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Services Overview

The University Counseling Center is committed to supporting a flexible and culturally responsive model focused on mental health and wellbeing. Specific and tailored treatment plans and referrals are developed for each client. The following services are offered at the UCC:

The Flexible Care Model is greatly inspired by the common factors approach, which is a research-based model focused on what makes psychotherapy/counseling work. Its tenets are: Therapeutic alliance, empathy, expectations, cultural adaptation, and therapist differences.

The flexible care model approach is based on same day access (i.e., Drop-in Consultations and Urgent Care), variable session lengths and treatment length based on clinical presentation and clinical needs, goal-focused counseling, and customizable follow-up plans.

CLINICAL SERVICES: Time-limited and Responsive Care



  • UCC Drop-in Consultations
  • UCC Workshops
  • Satellite Clinics for School of Medicine, BRET Programs, and Athletics Department
  • Intersectional and inclusive outreach programming for students, faculty, and staff
  • Referral services in tandem with Student Care Coordination (SCC)
  • Mental health and wellness-informed consultation to faculty and staff


The UCC is a confidential setting under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). To the extent permitted by law, the UCC does not share information about students or anything discussed in session, with the exception of safety concerns, which may override the confidentiality policy. For example, limits of confidentiality include situations that involve imminent risk to a client or another individual, and situations involving elder or child abuse. The UCC encourages students to sign a written release of information form if they would like for the UCC to share information with members of the student’s family or others. The UCC may share attendance and additional minimally necessary information with the other primary Student Care Network offices, including Student Care Coordination, Student Health Center, and Center for Student Wellbeing for the purposes of care coordination.

Scope of Clinical Care

The Vanderbilt University Counseling Center strives to facilitate the development of Vanderbilt students providing culturally responsive psychological interventions to promote the holistic wellbeing of VU students. The UCC staff is committed to promoting a safe and affirming ethos of care, for students of all identities and backgrounds. The UCC has the following essential roles for advancing the educational mission of Vanderbilt University:

  • Providing time-limited clinical services that help students achieve their academic and personal goals.
  • Responding to the psychological effects of crises impacting individual students and the campus community.
  • Educating the campus community about the psychological and developmental needs of students through community-level interventions, including outreach programming and consultation.



The Student Care Network is the holistic network of services pertaining to health and wellness available to Vanderbilt University students. The Student Care Network is inclusive of on-campus Vanderbilt offices and providers, off-campus community providers, and online resources. Primary offices include Student Care Coordination, University Counseling Center, Student Health Center, and Center for Student Wellbeing.


This document explains who is eligible for Student Care Network services, including Student Care Coordination, University Counseling Center, Student Health Center, and Center for Student Wellbeing.

Eligibility for Services

Student Care Network services, including at the primary offices, are provided to Vanderbilt University’s degree-seeking students who are charged the Student Health Fee from the time of matriculation until commencement. Services are also provided to non-degree-seeking students who are charged the Student Health Fee, including exchange students, during the period of their enrollment. Students who become inactive either permanently (through graduation or withdrawal from the university) or temporarily (through leave of absence or through a withdrawal from a semester) may be granted one or two additional sessions to support the transition of care if approved by the office’s leadership.

Students in the following programs and/or classifications are not charged the Student Health Fee, and are therefore excluded from eligibility for Student Care Network services:

  • ENG 2U
  • PBDY 2U
  • Nursing DNP
  • Nursing NHCL
  • Nursing NINF
  • Study abroad programs administered through GEO
  • Consortium students
  • Summer interns
  • VUMC Allied Health Programs

Services at the University Counseling Center and Student Health Center (including telehealth or virtual services) require a student to be physically present within the state of Tennessee to receive care in order for providers to remain compliant with our state licensure requirements.

Student Care Network services may be terminated at the discretion of the University for Non-compliance with the treatment plan, rude or abusive behavior, repeatedly failing to appear for appointments, drug-seeking behavior, or non-payment of services. In such circumstances, students may be required to seek services from community providers.


Our staff at the UCC understands that feeling connected with your provider enhances your success in treatment. We strive to ensure our students feel supported and engaged with our providers. If you feel a change of provider is needed, we strongly encourage you to first talk to your provider directly about your concerns.

If you are uncomfortable talking with your provider directly, please reach out to our clinical operation team for support. There are two ways to access our clinical operations team:

  1. Email our team at and provide us information about your name and request. Email is not a secure method of communication so be mindful of the information you send.
  2. Send a secure message through our student portal ( to Melissa Porter providing information regarding your request. This method is a secure form of transmission.

For all requests, please share the name of your current provider, the reason for your request, and what you are hoping to achieve. This information is helpful to know what you are needing in a treatment relationship with another provider. One of our team members will reply to you within two business days.


Students may present with concerns and/or characteristics that require a different type or level of care than what is within the role and scope of the UCC. In such cases, the student will be referred to a Student Care Coordinator at SCC in order to identify, evaluate, and connect with treatment and support options in the community.  The UCC may provide interim support to assess and stabilize the student while the student connects with appropriate community resources. The list below reflects general parameters and is intended only as a guide:

  • Students for whom a time-limited treatment model would be detrimental or inappropriate to the presenting issues or who require long-term and/or more intensive treatment (i.e., higher level of care);
  • Students who need services beyond the clinical expertise of UCC staff (i.e., specialized care or intervention);
  • Students who present a chronic, ongoing risk of harm to self or others, and whose symptoms do not respond to outpatient crisis intervention or require specialized services. This includes students with a history of multiple psychiatric hospitalizations, chronic suicidality, homicidality, and/or a history of repeated suicide attempts;
  • Students with a desire to be seen more frequently than the UCC resources can provide (e.g., more than bi-weekly on a consistent basis), or on a long-term basis;
  • Students who demonstrate a serious lack of motivation or engagement in treatment and/or are unable to comply with treatment recommendations.
  • Psychological evaluation or assessment for the purpose of employment clearance, adoption proceedings, eligibility for disability benefits, accommodations on graduate school entrance exams or professional licensing exams.
  • Court-mandated assessment or treatment requirements, or documentation for legal proceedings.
  • Documentation letters for emotional support & service animals, or housing accommodations.

This page was last updated July 2023