How can I communicate with someone at the Counseling Center if I have a concern about my child?

Phone the Director of the Counseling Center, Dr. Ernesto Escoto, at 305-284-5511 during office hours. As a matter of policy, we do not send email responses about students.

When my child arrives, I would like her to meet with a counselor. Should I come also to provide you with information?

We do not encourage a parent to come with a child as your child’s development of independence is more likely to foster positive college adjustment. However, if the student requests the counselor to allow the parent to join a session, we will abide by her wishes and we do enjoy meeting parents.

If I am concerned that my child is not adjusting well and she refuses to seek help, what should I do?

For students who reside on campus, you should phone the resident coordinator of your child’s residential college. The resident coordinator can check on your child’s current welfare. In case you believe the situation is serious to the point of endangering your child’s safety, you should phone the Dean of Students Office. In those circumstances, you are also advised to follow up your phone call with a visit to your child to see for yourself and arrange help.

My child is afraid to come to the Counseling Center because the information about his visit will appear on his school record? Is he correct?

No, counseling is confidential except in unusual circumstances involving protection of life or required by law. Other university officials ordinarily have no information about what goes on in counseling or who visits the Counseling Center.

What do you mean by short-term psychotherapy?

At some university counseling centers, the number of sessions for a student is strictly capped each semester or year. We are more flexible but recognize that our staff size requires us to emphasize crisis intervention and problem solving rather than long term personality restructuring. Our goal is to help students to take advantage of their educational opportunities. Usually we do not work with students on a regular weekly individual basis for more than a semester but they can continue in one of our excellent groups on return as needed. We are also happy to make referrals off campus for more extensive or specialized psychotherapy than we can provide.

My child was taking an antidepressant for three years before entering college. Can he simply continue his medication under the care of a Counseling Center psychiatrist?

No, the Counseling Center is not a psychiatric clinic. He can obtain psychiatric service here only if he comes for regular counseling. We believe that most students can learn new strategies through counseling to help them cope more effectively with their problems.

Is it okay for a freshman from 1,000 miles away to come to the University of Miami and not see us again until Christmas?

That is not ideal. Visits should be arranged during that long first semester away from home. There are some good opportunities. For example, if at all possible, you can visit for parents’weekend or allow your child to come home for Fall break.

Is there anything we can do to facilitate continuing psychological and psychiatric treatment when my child enters Miami?

You could have prior treatment records or a treatment summary mailed to the Director of the Counseling Center, Ernesto Escoto, Ph.D.,  at P.O. Box 248186 , Coral Gables , FL 33124 . We will then have that information when your child arrives at the Counseling Center.

I am worried that I will miss my child terribly when she leaves home. She is the last of three and I am very attached to her though she is really excited to be getting away. Do you have any suggestions?

Come to the Counseling Center ‘s popular parent orientation session, Adjusting to Life as the Parent of a College Student. It will be a great opportunity to share feelings and ideas.

Do you need special permission for treatment if my child is under 18?

Yes, for any session beyond initial crisis counseling, we will need a parent or guardian’s written authorization. We have forms for that purpose which we can give to your child.