Scope of Practice

Counseling Center Scope of Practice

The Marshall University Counseling Center supports the mission of Marshall University and the Division of Student Affairs. The counseling center provides support and assistance to develop students’ personal growth, academic success, and mental health. The Marshall University Counseling Center recognizes and supports the diverse needs of students through counseling, education, assessment, outreach, and training services.

At times, students may require mental health services that reach beyond the scope of practice of the Marshall University Counseling Center. In such situations, we provide appropriate referrals to community resources, while still providing support for students along the way. We are sensitive to the fact that some students require greater needs than others, and we do are best and within our ethical duty, to balance this reality with our responsibilities as a university counseling center.

If we believe that a student’s needs for services go beyond our ability to meet these needs, we will offer referral information for treatment providers, agencies, or organizations that might be able to meet this need. If a student or parent has questions about the center’s scope of practice, they are encouraged to contact the Director at 304-696-2269 or e-mail

After a referral and completion of registration and consent paperwork, students are scheduled an intake appointment. Due to the fact that it may take up to two weeks to receive an intake appointment, students are welcome to attend the counseling center walk-in clinic, Let’s Talk groups, workshops or attend evening or weekend walk-in with the Counselor in Residence until the intake appointment.

Students symptomatology and functioning is assessed and they are placed in one of the following four levels. The services level help to provide a scope and plan of care, and a severity level for counselors. All students all provided treatment plan goals and objectives that guide treatment.

Level 1- The student presents with symptomatology that are sufficient for a DSM-V diagnosis and is actively suicidal with intent or presents with suicidal ideation – weekly to bi-weekly appointments. Students will also be referred for psychiatric services through the counseling center at Marshall Psychiatry. Students in this level of treatment may be referred for an emergency psychiatric assessment in the community and possible hospitalization if voluntary. If students refuse a voluntary assessment, it may be necessary for a counselor to file for a mental hygiene. A mental hygiene will only be filed in extreme cases, and if the students presents a harm to him or herself and others on campus.

Level 2- The student presents with symptomatology that are sufficient for a DSM-V diagnosis. Students will be provided bi-weekly sessions and may be referred for psychiatric services.

Level 3– The student presents with symptomatology, but symptoms are not great enough in severity or duration to warrant a DSM-V diagnosis. Students will be provided bi-weekly to monthly services with a Mental Health Specialist in the center. This may be supplemented with supportive counseling services.

Level 4- The student presents with stressors and minimal to no symptomatology. Students in this level will be provided supportive counseling in our daily walk-in clinic.


Services provided by the Marshall University Counseling Center:

  • Short-term counseling and psychotherapy: students receive 10 counseling sessions per semester. This does not include the walk-in clinic offered at the counseling center. The following are included in the 10 sessions:
    • Individual Therapy
    • Couples Therapy
  • Group therapy and workshops
  • Psychiatric evaluation and medication management
  • Walk-in clinic/drop-in consultation
  • 24/7 emergency/crisis coverage- students must contact MUPD at 304-696-HELP (4357)
  • Evening drop-in hours with Counselors-in-Residence in Twin Towers West
  • Outreach and consultation for students, as well for University organizations, student groups, faculty and staff on mental-health-related topics
  • Documentation for an Emotional Support Animal (ESA) may be provided if a student presents with a DSM-V diagnosis, provides vaccination records for the pet (dog, animal, rabbit), as well as review of the risks and benefits of having an Emotional Support Animal. The student is also required to attend at least six (6) counseling sessions with a Mental Health Specialist in the Counseling Center.


Services NOT provided at the Marshall University Counseling Center:

  • Testing/evaluation for disability claims, custody claims, or other legal proceedings
  • Psychological testing for learning disabilities, ADHD, or neurological conditions
  • Intensive outpatient therapy (e.g., regularly-scheduled individual sessions which occur more than once per week, and/or have a duration longer than 1 hour)
  • Family therapy
  • Therapy services for students who are not currently enrolled in classes, due to graduation, withdrawal, or dismissal from the University.
  • Therapy/evaluation that is court-ordered or required by any non-University judicial body
  • Detox/rehab treatment for individuals with chemical dependency
  • Intensive ongoing case management services; for example, daily phone check-ins or daily medication management.
  • A situation in which a client has a severe mental health concern, AND, based on available treatment guidelines, clinical knowledge/experience, and professional standards of practice, we believe that this severe mental health concern cannot be treated at CPS without risking probable further deterioration of a person’s health and safety.
  • CPS cannot contact students who are not our clients with the intention of encouraging them to seek services here.