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Counseling ServicesFlexible Stepped Care Model

For Urgent/Crisis Support, please call 757-683-4401, press OPTION 2.

This line is available to all ODU students 24/7/365.

More Info on Emergencies

What is a Flexible Step Care Model?

We have adopted a Flexible Step Care Model which provides students with the right level of service based on their presenting needs. It also offers quick access to services through on-demand, same-day counseling options.

The Flexible Step Care Model seeks to meet students where they are in the change process, while promoting autonomy and empowerment. This is not a linear model, so you do not need to complete lower steps in order to reach the higher ones. Instead, it is simply that the most effective, yet least resource intensive intervention is offered first, and care is stepped up to the level based on evidence of required need.


  • Improved access to mental health care
  • Individualized and customized care plans for each student
  • Connection to a range of wellness services
  • Referrals to campus and community partners
  • Enhanced participation in workshops and groups
  • Promotion of self determination
  • On-demand, same-say appointments and self-scheduling through the portal

Step 1: The Initial Session

The initial session is designed to clarify your concerns and help you access the services you need, whether that be at ODU OCS, other campus resources, or in the community. You and the clinician will discuss what type of service will be most helpful to you. Some students need only one session to help them feel "back on track" and other students may want to continue through learning skills, participating in groups, or utilizing individual counseling.

If it is decided that Counseling Services may be of assistance to you, the initial session will introduce you to our services and inform you of what to expect. Counseling Services provides on-demand, same-day or next-day sessions within a brief treatment model.

After the initial session you will leave with an individualized care plan which may involve participation in workshops, use of self-guided digital programs, skill-based groups, group or individual therapy, or campus and community resources. You may also be referred to psychiatry services for medication evaluation and management, if you believe that could be helpful to you.

Follow-Up Appointments

After your initial session, follow-up appointments are typically on-demand. The day you want to be seen for a follow-up appointment, you can schedule online, or contact us to schedule with the same counselor who did your initial appointment, if possible. Follow-up appointments are typically scheduled as concise problem targeted 30-minute sessions.

Note: All counseling sessions will end at least ten minutes early so that counselors have time for documentation.

Next Steps Might Include:

2. On-Campus Supports & Off-Campus Resources

On-Campus Supports

  • Office of Educational Accessibility
  • Women & Gender Equity Center
  • Student Health Services
  • Student Outreach and Support
  • Student Success Services
  • Career Development Services
  • Tutoring Central
  • Office of Intercultural Relations
  • Health Promotion Office
  • Housing/Residence Life
  • Military Connection Center
  • Student Engagement & Traditions
  • Center for Global Engagement
  • International Student Advising
  • University Chaplain's Association

Off-Campus Resources

  • LGBT Life Center, Norfolk
  • YWCA South Hampton Roads
  • Peer Recovery Drop-In Center

3. Peer Support & Mentoring

  • ODU F1rst Peer Mentors: 1st Gen. Students
  • TRiO Student Support Services
  • Brother 2 Brother
  • PAVE Peer Mentoring for Veterans
  • Living-Learning Communities
  • Themed Living Communities
  • Student Organizations
  • African Caribbean Association
  • As(t*)risk Trans* Student Advisory Board
  • SAGA & Safe Space
  • Black Student Alliance
  • Asian Pacific American Student Union

4. Mental Health Workshops & Self-Serve Wellness Modules

  • Anxiety and Depression Workshops
  • Self-Paced Online Wellness Modules
  • Wellness Apps (e.g., Calm.com, CBT-I Coach, Headspace, etc.)

5. Skills-Based Group Therapy

  • Healthy Thinking
  • Seeking Safety
  • DBT Skills

6. Brief Therapeutic Interventions & Referral

  • On-demand option or scheduled single session interventions (1 Session): Solution & problem-focused
  • Same-day option or scheduled 60- or 30-minute follow-ups (2-3 sessions)
  • Referral to Community Wellbeing & Support Clinic (CWSC); workshops and/or Mantra

7. Interpersonal Process Groups

  • LGBTQIA+ (HAVEN & Trans* Student IP)
  • WOW (Women on Wednesdays)
  • Graduate Student IP
  • Undergrad Student IP

8. Individual Therapy

  • Customized session length and frequency
  • Ongoing symptom measurement
  • On-demand option or scheduled
  • Service Provision via OCS, CHWC & Mantra Health

9. Psychiatric Services

  • Time-limited medication management and psychiatric symptom reduction (excluding ADHD/stimulants & narcotics)
  • Requires a full diagnostic evaluation with OCS psychiatrist

10. Care Coordination, Stabilization & Referral

2-3 Sessions of Crisis Stabilization & Clinical Case Management with referral for:

  • Long-term therapy
  • Psychological Assessment
  • Recovery Support
  • Psychiatric Services, etc.

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