What We Do

Make an Appointment

If you or someone you know is experiencing a life threatening emergency, call: 9-1-1 or UNIVERSITY POLICE: (813) 974-2628.

Making Your First Appointment

This page outlines the process for making an appointment with a counselor in Tampa. Please click the following links to make an appointment in St. Petersburg or Sarasota-Manatee. It's easy to make your first appointment at the USF Counseling Center!

First, please take a minute to read about our short-term, goal-oriented clinical model and what we can offer students in support of your mental wellness. 

Our goal at the USF Counseling Center is to balance providing effective, evidenced-based, goal-focused treatment while assuring that all USF Bulls have access to care without long waiting periods.  Consequently, we offer short-term individual and group counseling, in addition to mental health services in the form of outreach, consultation, and group interventions.  Our model allows us to serve upwards of 2,000 USF Bulls in individual and group counseling in a typical semester, with interventions designed, and demonstrated, to produce changes that enhance academic and personal success.

Our providers meet intermittently (every 2, 3, or 4 weeks) with clients, and encourage students to use adjunct resources (e.g., TAO modules, Togetherall, online tools, etc.) between sessions in order to foster their sense of self-efficacy in working on their goals. In addition, we are likely to recommend our group program (e.g., therapy groups, workshops, etc.) to students. While more than 90% of students consistently report their satisfaction with our services, we recognize that our clinical model may not meet the needs of all students (e.g., those that need or desire more frequent, longer-term, more intensive, or less structured treatment). We are committed to assist these students in connecting to resources in the community, as needed. If you would like assistance in connecting to a community provider for therapy, please feel free to attend a single session consultation with a provider in our office. 

Before seeking services, please be sure that you are enrolled at a USF campus for the  semester that we are currently in and then complete “ALL Required Center Paperwork”. If you have an urgent need, same day appointments are available in office Monday through Friday, from 9am-4pm. If you need assistance with the forms, please call us at (813) 974-2831.

Some students find it helpful to learn more about our providers before calling for an appointment. Requesting specific providers may result in longer wait for an appointment, so we encourage you to select multiple providers to compare availability. All of our providers engage in ongoing professional development training, including training focused on diversity competence, to meet the needs of the diverse USF student community. Students may also request a change in clinicians if, for some reason, your mental wellness needs are not being met. We can only facilitate clinician change requests once every 6 months.

Next, have your calendar ready and call the center to schedule your appointment. It is helpful to have thought through when you would be available for an appointment before you call.  Our staff will assist you in scheduling an appointment with either the first available provider who meets your schedule, or your preferred provider if you have selected one. You have the option of participating in either an in-person or telehealth appointment, though in times of emergency (e.g., natural disasters, COVID) in-person services may not be available. 

  • If you choose a telehealth appointment, you will need to:  
    • Identify a private and confidential location for your appointment. (Please keep this in mind when determining when you are available for an appointment. If you are unable to find a private location, please call the counseling center to discuss if an alternative location can be found.) 
    • Be able to provide the name and contact information of a close contact who can be contacted to support you if needed. (Your clinician will discuss this in more detail with you during your appointment) 
    • Be able to provide the name and contact information for your local law enforcement. (911 is not an acceptable response as this will not link to your resources, but to emergency response in the counselor’s location)  
    • Be in the state of Florida at the time of the appointment.

If for any reason you are unable to keep your scheduled appointment, it is very important to call and let us know as soon as possible, as this will allow another student to be seen during that time. Please contact us no later than 5:00 pm the business day before your appointment to avoid the late cancellation fee.


Before Your First Appointment

Prior to your first appointment at the USF Counseling Center, you will be required to complete several forms online that allow you to consent to treatment, to learn about your rights and responsibilities as a client, and to learn about the Center's confidentiality policy. Forms will be deleted if you do not call to schedule an appointment within 7 days of completing them. You will also complete assessments that, together with the information on your forms, will help your counselor to better understand your needs.  As such, it is important that you answer all questions as honestly as possible. Your counselor will review this information prior to meeting with you, but not before you present for your appointment.

Call the center to schedule after you complete forms. We will schedule your in-person or telehealth appointment and complete the process for enrolling you in telehealth. We will be enrolling every student in our telehealth platform, even if you select in-person services. 

  • This will allow us to maintain continuity of services if in-person services are unavailable or less ideal (e.g., a  severe weather event, you are too ill to commute for your appointment but would like to attend it). All students are required to complete a brief assessment before every appointment with a counselor. Instructions for this will be made available to you prior to your first appointment. This assessment provides you and your counselor with information about how you may be progressing in counseling. You can complete the assessment online, and should complete it no more than 12 hours, but at least 20 minutes prior to your appointment. Every student should arrive at the counseling center or log-in a few minutes early for scheduled sessions to complete this assessment. 

During Your First Appointment

During your first appointment, your counselor will focus on getting a detailed understanding of why you are seeking counseling. At the end of the appointment, you and your counselor will work together to create a goal and determine a plan for meeting your needs. The plan may include one or several of the many treatment resources that are available through the USF Counseling Center and our wellness campus partners. It may be helpful to think about your goals for counseling before your first appointment so that you are prepared to discuss them with your counselor. To facilitate our check-in process for in-person appointments, while reducing crowding in the waiting room, please plan to arrive no more than 5-10 minutes before your scheduled appointment  

Before your appointment it may be helpful to review these online tools, to help with decreasing stress and anxiety, and enhancing your mood. USF also has many Health and Wellness campus resources to stay mentally well this semester and we encourage you to use them all!

Completing Your Forms Online

It is important to be aware of the following information:

  1. The online paperwork will take 20-30 minutes to complete and must be completed in one sitting; you will not be able to save your information once you have started completing it. If you are idle for too long, the forms will time out. 
  2. If you have difficulty completing forms, we recommend trying a different browser or clearing your cache and cookies in your current browser.  
  3. If you have not completed your paperwork online, or if you have incorrectly or incompletely completed it, you will be asked to complete it before you schedule your first appointment. If you need assistance with your online paperwork, please call the front office at (813) 974-2831 to verify. 
  4. Completing online paperwork does not constitute treatment, or the beginning of a treatment relationship with a mental health provider. Your online paperwork will not be reviewed by a Counseling Center provider until you arrive for your appointment. If you are in need of immediate assistance, please call the Center during business hours, or call (813) 974-2831 to speak to a licensed provider after hours. 
  5. Forms will be deleted if you do not call within 7 days of completing them to schedule an appointment.

Complete forms here. Call us after completing forms at 813-974-2831 to schedule.

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