Counseling Services

About our Counseling Services

If you need attention in an area not listed here, please call our office on 304-696-3111 to arrange a consultation with one of our professional counselors. Counseling services are FREE of charge to Marshall University students.

Counseling Center Confidentiality Policy

Information obtained during counseling sessions will not be disclosed outside of the Counseling Center without permission. Throughout the entire counseling process, students can expect full protection of their privacy rights. The only exception to this is if students area danger to themselves or others. The Counseling Center has a duty to protect students and those around them.

Counseling Process

Students must take an active role in the counseling process to receive the full benefit. As a team, the student and the counselor work together to personalize the counseling process by discussing individual goals and needs, then deciding the frequency of sessions. This team concept helps build trust and rapport between students and counselors while giving students control over their sessions. There may be a time when a student and their counselor agree that medication may be beneficial. In that case, the counselor will schedule an appointment for the student to talk with the Counseling Center’s psychiatric support. Psychiatric support is offered one half day per week in the Counseling Center. Office visits are free. Only those students in an ongoing therapeutic relationship with a counselor in the Counseling Center are eligible to take advantage of this on-campus service.

Counseling Records

A brief record of all interactions between students and counselors is kept in the Counseling Center’s office. These records are not part of the Marshall University central files. University administrators and faculty outside the Counseling Center do not have access to counseling records. The Counseling Center is committed to protecting students’ privacy.

For information about off-campus mental health services in West Virginia, click here.


Due to COVID-19, the Marshall University Counseling Center will increase Telemental Health/Distance Counseling services which include individual therapy, supportive counseling, case-management, group therapy/workshops, and training. Remote counseling services will be offered via the HIPAA compliant version of Zoom Meeting and Microsoft Teams. See below for more information about Telemental Health/Distance Counseling Services:


Telemental Health/Distance Counseling Services will be provided in the following ways;


  1. Synchronous: Counseling services where the counselor and the student participate in counseling at the same time
    1. Phone Counseling Sessions
    2. Video Conferencing Sessions


  1. Asynchronous: Counseling services that are delivered and received at different times.  This may include messaging via e-mail about current functioning, mood and other mental health factors.
    1. Message exchanges via e-mail (please keep in mind this is not completely confidential). You must verify your 901 number and date of birth for e-mail exchanges with a counselor in the event of distance counseling or for


  1. Online Mental Health Support
    1. Online screenings and assessment tools on the Counseling Center Website:
      1. ULifeline
      2. eCheckUp to Go
    2. Apps for mental health (available on the Counseling Center website-




The Marshall University Counseling Center has protocols in place to verify the identity of the student for each telemental health/ distance counseling session.  Students’ identity must be verified prior to engaging in confidential services. All sessions will be password protected and set to your 901 number.


Confidentiality and Privacy


The Marshall University Counseling Center utilizes multiple measures to ensure client’s confidentiality and privacy during distance counseling sessions by the counselor (sessions with a closed door, no one present in the office besides the counselor, distance counseling sessions are not saved or recorded).  The Marshall University Counseling Center would like to point out measures that the student should take to ensure confidentiality and privacy from their end.  Examples include:



  • Conduct the sessions in a private location where others cannot hear you.
  • Using secure video conferencing technology. The Marshall University Counseling Center uses Zoom, a HIPAA compliant application.
  • Do not record any sessions. The Marshall University Counseling Center’s HIPAA compliant Zoom application does not allow recording of sessions. If your Zoom meeting has a record option, please notify the counselor immediately.
  • Password protect your computer, tablet, phone, and any other device with a password that is unique.
  • Always log out of your sessions.
  • Do not have any software remember your password. Sign in every time.
  • Do not share your passwords with anyone.
  • Do not share your computer when you are logon to any counseling software.
  • If you wish to avoid others knowing that you are receiving counseling services, clear your browser’s cache (browsing history), and on your phone, list your therapist by a name rather that as “counselor or therapist”.
  • Have all of your devices set to time out requiring you to sign back in after a set idle time.
  • Keep your computer updated.
  • Use a firewall and antivirus program.
  • When online do not login as an administrator.
  • Router / Access Point
    • Only use a secure network for internet access using a WAP2 security key.
    • Use your own administer ID and password (not the default) for your router or access point.
    • Choose a custom SSID name, not the default name.
    • Limit the range of your Wi-Fi by positioning it near the center of your home.
  • Notify your counselor if you suspect any breach in your security.



Benefits to Telemental Health/ Distance Counseling


  • Increase access (disabilities, transportation issues, weather, illness, or emergencies)
  • Convenience regarding scheduling, travel time, etc
  • Cost savings (e.g. cuts out travel costs, childcare, time off work)
  • Barrier removal, including those with dx such as PTSD or social anxiety
  • Reduced perceived stigma (not being seen
  • Authenticity of emotional expression: online disinhibition effect – more likely to share more intense or authentic emotion when at a distance
  • Effectiveness literature indicates effectiveness, and body of literature growing
  • Client empowerment: clients can feel sense of control
  • Social Justice: removal of barriers creates more equitable access for students
  • Increases clinical capacity: by using multiple tele-mental health services, can increase number of students served and seeking services (which can also lead to limitations to ability to serve the demand)


Limitations of Telemental Health Services


  • Confidentiality is greatest concern
    • Instruct clients about how to maintain their own confidentiality, including where they may want to be during their sessions (not in a public location) and being mindful that no one else is in the room that should not be in the room
  • Interception of sensitive data/data breeches: meeting current data encryption standards and data security measures; asynchronous services, such as messaging could be at risk for others seeing
  • Keeping pace with ethical codes and best practices
  • Limited literature on TMH effectiveness
  • Inability to see communication in context, including non-verbal communication; may have to instruct client on how to create the best atmosphere for the most effective session
  • Service disruption due to technical issues, power outages, challenges with internet connections; identify back-up plans
  • Credentialing and training is essential
  • Administering assessments can be challenging online if it hasn’t been created for online delivery
  • Ensure malpractice insurance covers TMH
  • Lack of technical infrastructure- ensure hardware, software, and human resources are available to provide services in effective, legal, ethical manner
  • Crisis intervention must be planned in advance
  • HIPAA compliance is required; clients may not waive rights to HIPAA with non-compliant service delivery platforms