Counseling Center helps students through difficult times

Joseph Hermes

The number of students who reach out to the Counseling Center is increasing, says director Joseph Hermes. — Photo: Roberta Dupuis Devlin


The UIC Counseling Center, which just received accreditation from the American Psychological Association, sees about 1,000 students a year.

And the number of students who seek the Counseling Center’s services is increasing, says director Joseph Hermes. “It’s a national trend,” he said, pointing to the cover story of APA’s Monitor on Psychology magazine for September, which reports increases in the frequency and severity of problems faced by college students nationwide.

“There are more students who are able to go to college and less stigma about acknowledging concerns,” Hermes said. “Staff and faculty are better at noting problems and helping us to respond. They know we’re here and recommend our services.”

Typical issues are stress, anxiety, depression, romantic relationships, academic struggles, active suicidal thoughts, substance abuse, psychotic thought processes and difficult transition to college, he said.

“Another one is living too close or too far from parents,” Hermes added.

The Counseling Center is supported by the health service fee and enrolled students are eligible for services at no cost. The center offers individual, couples and group therapy, psychiatric assessment and follow-up, referrals and consultations with faculty and staff. All services are confidential.

For individual therapy, students average five or six visits, Hermes said. Weekly group therapy sessions may continue for up to a year.

The InTouch Crisis Hotline, 312-996-5535, is available 6 to 10:30 p.m. Sunday through Friday. The hotline, a nonprofit organization, is staffed by undergraduate students trained in crisis counseling skills by the center.

The center has 13 professional staff, three support staff, three postdoctoral fellows, four doctoral psychology interns and four advanced psychology externs.

APA accreditation is good for seven years. The counseling center is also accredited every three years by the International Association of Counseling Services.

For more information on the Counseling Center, stop by 2010 Student Services Building, call 312-996-3490 or visit

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