Scope of Care

Counseling and Psychiatry

Scope of Care: 

University of South Carolina’s Counseling and Psychiatry (CAP) provides assessment, med management and/or short term, time-limited therapy to students who are experiencing developmental, psychosocial, academic, career, and/or mental health concerns. Treatment varies according to each student’s goals and treatment plan as agreed to by the clinician. Clinicians work to provide evidence-based and best clinical practices in order to facilitate adjustment and functioning, successful academic performance, problem resolution, and symptom relief as soon as possible. Referral to services can be arranged for long-term or intensive treatment plans and needs, or for students leaving the campus community. Ongoing treatment is subject to review and recommendation(s) from the utilization review committee. Services are available to students who have paid the student health fee and/or are enrolled for at least 1 credit.  

Exclusions to Care:

  • Forensic Evaluation: CAP is unable to offer any psychiatric or psychological evaluation for forensic purposes (i.e., custody disputes, fit to stand trial, not guilty by reason of insanity arguments). 

  • Court Mandated Treatment: CAP does NOT provide court-mandated treatment for any population.  If a student is already in treatment with CAP when the mandate is given, the only documentation we can provide is a verification of visit. 


Scope of Practice for Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD/ADD)

Students requesting medication services for Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD/ADD) must first receive formal psychological testing to confirm the diagnosis. Having previously been prescribed medication by a physician does not replace the need for psychological testing. Students who have not been tested or tested within the last five years may contact CAP to assist them with making the arrangements to get testing completed, because CAP itself does not offer ADHD testing services. The cost of this testing is NOT covered by the student health fee. Test results will be accepted from off-campus or out-of-state psychologists provided that they comply with CAP guidelines. Once students’ test results are received, reviewed, and approved, students will be contacted for an appointment with a psychiatric provider. The prescribing of any medication is at the discretion of the psychiatric provider.


Scope of Practice for Eating Disorders and/or Disordered Eating Related Concerns

CAP refers to the American Psychological Association’s guidelines regarding levels of care for the treatment of eating disorders. Pursuant to these guidelines, students who are significantly underweight, have severe co-occurring medical and mental health issues, are engaging in frequent bingeing and/or purging behaviors or severe restriction or excessive exercise, are in need of regular medical supervision, are unmotivated for treatment, or are unable to follow a treatment plan are considered outside of CAP’s scope of service. Students deemed beyond CAP’s scope of service may be referred for more intensive outpatient counseling or psychiatric treatment in the community, partial hospitalization or inpatient treatment, or may be advised to seek immediate medical treatment. These recommendations will be decided in consultation with the Eating Disorders Consultation Team.


Scope of Practice for Alcohol/Drug Use Services

CAP provides assessment and individual and/or group treatment for students dealing with problematic alcohol and drug use which can be safely provided in an outpatient setting. Individual counseling is available for students in recovery, and students may be referred to the Gamecock Recovery Community. For students presenting with substance dependency, efforts will be made to refer out to community services.

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