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Scope of Practice

Short-term, Solution-Focused Counseling Services

The SUNY Potsdam College Counseling Center (CCC) serves to provide an opportunity for students to address psychological and emotional challenges to promote a healthier, more successful student body.  The CCC provides consultation, assessment, counseling, referrals, and related services to students while they pursue their educational goals. Our services assist students with identifying and addressing facets of their behavioral, psychological, emotional and cultural experiences which may present as barriers to their success. Through our work together we strive to act as change agents to empower our students to become fully engaged members of the campus community as well as active contributors to their home communities.

Initial Intake Process

The first appointment for students each year is an Intake appointment. Your counselor will gather information about your mental health history, prior treatment experience, family history, current concerns and your goals for therapy. There are some situations that require us to refer students to off-campus providers. These include situations that require more than bi-weekly solution-focused treatment, substance abuse issues and other situations that require a specialist.

Referral to Community Resources

The CCC brief therapy treatment approach is time-limited due to the natural limits of resources.  In order to best serve the needs of our students, those who require long-term and/or intensive support will generally be referred to community resources for ongoing treatment.  Similarly, students whose needs require a particular type of expertise that is not available in the CCC are also referred to community resources.

In cases where a student's ongoing needs warrant a referral to community resources, the CCC may provide some interim support to the students as they are connecting to the appropriate community resources.  The CCC may provide referrals during or after the initial assessment meeting, or as these factors become more apparent during the course of services. 

Referral to off-campus providers may occur due to the following reasons:

  • A need for intensive, long-term, or open-ended therapy.  Possible indicators for longer term or more intensive therapy include:
    • Recent or multiple psychiatric hospitalizations
    • Chronic thoughts of suicide, frequent self-injury behaviors, or history of repeated suicide attempts
    • Evidence or risk of progressive deterioration in mental or emotional functioning that requires intensive intervention
  • A need for specialized services not available through the CCC, including but not limited to:
    • Presence of significant drug or alcohol problems such as substance dependence and/or past failed treatments
    • Need for drug testing
    • Presence of severe or long-standing eating disorder symptoms
    • Request for formal psychological assessment (e.g., ADHD testing)
    • Request for psychological evaluation for the purpose of employment clearance or other non-academic purpose
    • Request for services to fulfill students' court-mandated assessment or treatment requirements

The general guidelines listed above are only intended to serve as a guide to assist treatment decisions.  The nature and complexity of presenting concerns and the broader context are considered in making the appropriate treatment recommendations(s).  Students are evaluated individually and the professional judgment of the mental health providers(s) will determine the treatment recommendation in a particular case.