Mental Health Services

Retriever Integrated Health supports students in attaining their goals and assists students with mental health, emotional, and social concerns that interfere with their personal and academic functioning. Our center utilizes a range of options to match the needs and goals that bring students to our office.

Many students have trouble adjusting to the challenges of college life. It is quite common to feel anxious or concerned about your course work, social life, or the everyday pressures of being a college student. Retriever Integrated Health is a place where you can get support in addressing these problems in a number of different ways. We assist students who are struggling with a variety of difficulties or concerns such as anxiety, relationships, depression, sleep, academics, family, and questions about identity. We also support students in identifying effective strategies for coping with their concerns.

We know that seeking help can be difficult and you may not know where to begin. At RIH, the first step is to schedule an Initial Consultation call with one our counselors. This is a 20-minute phone appointment during which you can discuss your primary reasons for seeking support and collaboratively explore which of the many services RIH offers are right for you. Schedule this appointment by visiting RIH, located in the Center for Well-Being, by calling our office at 410-455-2542, or by going to the myRetrieverCare patient portal and scheduling online.

Single Session Therapy

Single Session Therapy highlights our confidence that you’re doing the best you can and might have hit a bump in the road. We’ll talk through what’s happened, where you’ve been successful in the past managing similar or related concerns, and strategize with you on how to get to where you want to be.

Individual Therapy

Individual counseling provides an opportunity for you to talk with a mental health professional about what is troubling you. We strive to help you to learn more about yourself and your situation in ways that will improve your ability to deal with your struggles. RIH operates from a short-term model of individual therapy, helping students understand and problem-solve stressful situations. Our brief therapy model is designed to help students manage immediate problems and concerns. Therapists and students work collaboratively to address identified concerns and determine a plan based upon students’ needs and available resources.

Common concerns addressed through short-term counseling:

  • Mild to moderate anxiety and depression
  • Relationship concerns like roommate conflict, romantic relationship difficulties, family problems
  • Transitions such as adjustment to college and graduation
  • Questions related to various dimensions of identity (race/ethnicity, sexuality, religion, gender, etc.)
  • Desire to change substance usage including alcohol or other drugs
  • Academic concerns such as test and performance anxiety, motivation, perfectionism, career indecision

Group therapy is helpful for many students in meeting their goals and supporting their growth. RIH offers a variety of therapy groups depending on the semester, availability of group leaders, and student interest (e.g., undergraduate and graduate process groups, support groups, and skill-development groups.

Groups typically involve 1-2 counselors with 8 to 10 students, and they usually meet weekly for 60-90 minutes and students may participate in group therapy across an academic year. You control what and how much you share with the group, and we encourage you to share when you are ready. Group counseling provides unique opportunities to:

  • relate with others in a way that can increase self-awareness
  • experiment with different ways of interacting
  • connect with peers who have similar experiences
  • improve interpersonal relationships

A commitment to maintaining confidentiality is required for participation in group counseling.

Students might feel nervous or uncomfortable with the idea of joining a group. This is normal. Pursuing or confronting the things that cause us to feel uneasy can sometimes be the most beneficial way to facilitate change. RIH staff recognizes this; thus, efforts are made to ensure group environments are supportive and safe.

The first step to joining any group is to complete a triage appointment. Please visit our appointments page for information about how to schedule an appointment.

For general group questions, please use your student health portal to send a secure message to our Group Coordinator, Lauren Mirzakhalili, LCSW-C.

Reflecting Retrievers: Undergraduate Student Process Group

This group provides a safe, confidential space for students to find a sense of connection, shared understanding, and an opportunity to learn from others’ experiences. Members will also learn how to make new relationships and/or improve existing ones. The goal is for members to gain greater self-knowledge and develop more meaningful connections with friends, family, partners, etc. The group requires a semester-long commitment.

Graduate Student Support Group

Pursuing a graduate degree/Ph.D. can be one of the most challenging phases in an individual’s academic career. The road to earning the diploma can be long and lonely. The Graduate Student support group is composed of graduate/Ph.D. students who want to come together to share the challenges and struggles of their academic experience. The group will focus on discussing ways to balance school & personal life, relationships with advisers and peers, and how to deal with the stress and anxiety of academic pressures while defining and pursuing career goals.

Support Group for International Students

This is a semester-long group intended to serve the mental health needs of international students. It provides a safe space for students to discuss the unique challenges of moving to a different country, such as homesickness, acculturation, and academic and interpersonal issues. The goal is for members to develop meaningful connections with others, find community, and get support regarding their challenges.

Support Group for Neurodivergent Students

This is an 8-week in-person group incorporating information, skills: tips/tricks/hacks, and a space to explore your unique self from a strengths-based perspective. It’s for anyone wondering if you are neurodivergent or if you have been diagnosed as neurodivergent (ADHD, processing disorders, autism, and more). We will learn about common myths and stereotypes, burnout (how to prevent and address it), and self-advocacy.

Skills Training in the Application of Interpersonal Regulation (STAIR)

STAIR group helps persons who struggle with relationship dynamics and emotion regulation. High-stress experiences overwhelm the emotional system, creating both emotional chaos and numbing, undermining our ability to think and act effectively, and disturbing our sense of self and relationships. The skills training and practice introduced in this program are designed to help you leave behind old patterns and develop new interpersonal behaviors and emotion management skills more consistent with your current life goals.

Moving Forward with Purpose

This is a five-week-long skills group to help you learn strategies to approach challenging situations flexibly. Often, while facing difficult experiences, we tend to either avoid the actual challenge or get hooked by our experiences. In this group, we will conduct our own mini-experiments to address these challenges by exploring values and creating the willingness to face discomfort.

Boundaries Skills Group

Do you always put yourself and your needs at the bottom of your priority list? Do you feel you can’t say NO, because people might get mad at you? If so, you may be struggling with setting boundaries, a VERY common relational issue in which people of ALL ages can have difficulty. This group will help participants identify and understand boundaries with themselves, family members, and others. Open to all undergraduates and graduate students who want to improve their self-esteem, increase their independence, and learn to communicate more effectively.

Workshops teach specific concepts and skills that students can either use on their own or bring into individual or group counseling sessions at RIH to deepen their work. Workshops are open to all members of the UMBC community and require no clinical intake with RIH. As non-clinical informational sessions, workshops do not require personal sharing, though active engagement is always encouraged.

Anxiety Toolbox

Anxiety Toolbox is a 3-session workshop series focused on helping students understand anxiety symptoms and build skills to manage them. Modules are as follows:

  1. understanding anxiety;
  2. introducing a method for slowing down and disentangling the experience of anxiety; and
  3. developing alternative responses to anxiety.

Students will leave the workshop with an individualized plan for managing anxiety. Students can join this workshop at any time after completing a triage appointment.

Anxiety Toolbox Handbook

Executive Functioning Skills Workshop Series

Executive functions are things we do daily that help us get things done (for example, making lists, managing a schedule, setting reminders, etc.). This open therapeutic skills group provides an opportunity to get and provide peer support. Group members will also work on developing skills to overcome barriers to success, including time management, task prioritization/implementation, motivation, and self-accountability.

Question, Persuade, Refer: Suicide Prevention Training

Suicidal thoughts are more common than people realize, with suicide being the 10th leading cause of death in the United States. Retriever Integrated Health is offering a new 1-hour training option for supporting people who experience suicidal thoughts. The Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) Suicide Prevention Training is an evidence-based program that will help you learn the signs that someone might be thinking about suicide, how to talk to them about their mental health, and how to refer them to a mental health professional to get help and support. With these skills, YOU have the power to help save a life.

How to Get a Good Night’s Sleep

Sometimes it feels like there aren’t enough hours in the day, and when we’re busy what ends up falling by the wayside? Probably sleep. But sleep is actually one of the most important ways to promote healthy brain function- including concentration and memory- the things you need to succeed in college! Join Retriever Integrated Health to talk about some ways to improve sleep and learn how RIH’s counseling and medical services can further support your journey to a better night’s sleep.

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