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. If you are interested in counseling, feel unsure about whether counseling is for you, or would like to learn about available resources, we encourage you to make an appointment. RIH staff are available to discuss your concerns and provide information about different services that may fit your needs, including any number of resources at RIH that could be of assistance to you.
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 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
If you’re in a relationship that you would like to improve (e.g., partner or spouse), relationship counseling may be a helpful option for you. The focus is typically on identifying and finding solutions for problem areas, then assessing and strengthening communication to address these problems beyond counseling.
All participants must be current UMBC students. Appointments typically last 45 minutes.
Please note that RIH cannot provide both individual and relationship/couples counseling services simultaneously to an individual student. For situations in which both forms of counseling would be indicated, staff can assist you in finding appropriate community-based resources.
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
Reflecting Retrievers: Undergraduate Student Process Group provides a safe, confidential space for students to find a sense of connection and shared understanding as well as an opportunity to learn from others’ experiences. Members will also learn how to make new relationships and/or improve existing ones. The ultimate 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
Graduate Student Support Group is a semester-long group geared towards students in masters’ and doctoral programs. This group is designed to provide a safe and confidential environment for graduate students to discuss the stress and challenges they’re facing being in grad school. Members will also have space to gain support for relational concerns and personal difficulties they may be experiencing. We hope that the group cultivates deep and meaningful conversations and contributes to group members’ emotional wellbeing.
Support Group for Transgender, Non-binary, and Gender Questioning Students
Support Group for Transgender, Non-binary, and Gender Questioning Students is a semester-long, emotional support group for students who identify as trans, genderqueer, gender fluid, non-binary, bigender, and/or those who are questioning their gender identity.
Survivor First Group
Survivor First is a semester-long interpersonal processing group for students who have experienced sexual assault. This group is designed to provide a safe and confidential space for students to address how sexual trauma has impacted them and their ability to relate to others. The goal of the group is not to recount specific experiences of trauma in detail, but rather to help survivors learn new ways of connecting and relating to others. Survivor First is a gender-inclusive group.
Flexible and Balanced (FAB) Living
Flexible and Balanced (FAB) Living is a 7-week group for students experiencing anxiety, depression, or stress-related to perfectionism. It is based on concepts and skills from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Through a combination of exercises and discussions, the group will help students recognize and begin to change unhealthy perfectionistic thoughts and behaviors (e.g., all-or-nothing thinking, setting unrealistic standards, negative self-talk, basing self-worth on achievement). Skills introduced include thought monitoring, challenging unhelpful thoughts, behavioral experiments, self-compassion, and mindfulness..
You’ve Got This
You’ve Got This is a 4-week program, based on Dialectical Behavior Therapy. It is intended to help students develop the tools that they need to cope with some of the challenges they experience in their day-to-day life. The program utilizes evidence-based skills and strategies designed to reduce symptoms of distress and increase positive coping strategies. Topics include mindfulness, thought as thought, emotion as emotion, and interpersonal effectiveness.