Our Mission: It's our mission in Counseling Services to promote personal wholeness in the lives and relationships of all students in a safe, confidential environment that is conducive to growth and learning.

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What is Counseling?

  • A growth process that can help you define goals, make decisions and solve problems related to personal, social and educational concerns.
  • A collaborative effort in which you and the counselor form a team, working together toward your goals.
  • An opportunity to talk with an objective person who can help you learn new skills and ways of looking at situations.
  • An opportunity to identify new ways of thinking and behaving and to work on implementing them into your life.
  • It is not a passive process in which the counselor "fixes" you or their issues

Who uses Counseling Services?

Students who seek counseling are typically interested in growing and learning more about themselves and their relationships with others.

Individual counseling may help you overcome current personal and educational concerns. Counseling can also provide a preventive function, helping you anticipate situations that may hinder your growth and planning interventions that will be constructive.

Examples of issues addressed in counseling include:

  • family relationships
  • depression
  • anxiety
  • stress
  • self-image
  • eating disorders
  • substance abuse
  • adjusting to college life
  • homesickness
  • anger
  • sexuality
  • serious illness in family
  • thoughts of self-harm
  • finances
  • relationships
  • spirituality and faith
  • loneliness
  • loss and grief
  • time management

Are services free for all students?

Free and confidential services are available to all USF students who are registered for classes during the current term.

What services are available?

Individual Counseling

Counseling Services provides short-term individual counseling. You and the counselor will discuss the actual number of sessions necessary to address your concerns. Individual sessions are usually scheduled weekly or every other week.

Group Counseling

Group Counseling most often involves several students who share similar concerns or life circumstances. Groups are facilitated by the counselor(s) and are available on a variety of topics, based on student interest. Examples of groups that may be offered include, but are not limited to, healthy relationships, stress management, children of divorced parents, or loss and grief.


Because we offer primarily short-term counseling, we provide referral information for appropriate community resources to students whose needs are beyond the scope of our Counseling Services.


Faculty, staff, family members or friends who have concerns about a student may call Counseling Services at (605) 331-6619 to discuss these concerns with a counselor. Doing so can help determine whether further assistance or counseling might be needed. Guidance can be given regarding how to speak with the student in concern. Because of confidentiality, we cannot provide information about the treatment of a specific student without the student's written permission.

Will my visit be confidential?

Information shared by you in individual or group counseling sessions will be treated with strict confidentiality and is protected to the full extent of the law. That information will not be disclosed to anyone outside counseling services without your written permission except when, in the judgment of your counselor, such disclosure is necessary to protect you or someone else from imminent danger. On occasion, the Student Life office may refer a student for counseling. The conditions of the referral will be specified and communicated to the student at that time.

How do I make an appointment?