CVM Counseling Services

Confidential counseling services are available to MU College of Veterinary Medicine students, interns, and residents at no additional cost. Kerry Karaffa, PhD, and Tiffany Sanford-Martens, PhD, are licensed psychologists with the MU Counseling Center and College of Veterinary Medicine. To schedule an appointment, please email You will be prompted to provide your contact information and indicate all the days and times you are available to meet. Note that e-mail is not confidential so please do not include sensitive information in your message. This account is only monitored during typical business hours. Additional resources are available through the MU Counseling Center (, including access to 24/7 consultation and crisis support by calling (573) 882-6601.

Scope of services at CVM Counseling Services:

CVM Counseling Services provides the following:

  • Brief counseling for CVM students, interns, and residents.
  • Mental health education, outreach presentations, and workshops
  • Consultation with CVM students, interns, residents, and faculty regarding mental health- related concerns
  • Appropriate community and campus referrals for the CVM community

Any currently enrolled CVM student, intern, or resident is eligible to receive an initial evaluation or consultation appointment. A decision about whether the needs of the client fall within our scope of care is made after considering the information provided. The professional clinical judgement of our providers will govern the determination in each case. Clients and their provider will discuss treatment recommendations, including services offered on campus and/or in the community, if appropriate.

Common concerns that may be addressed in brief counseling:

  • Making a specific, important decision
  • Adjustment and developmental concerns (e.g., transition to professional school or internship/residency, graduation, etc.)
  • Academic performance or motivation
  • Mild to moderate anxiety and depression
  • Interpersonal concerns (e.g., conflict with family, friends, romantic partners, or roommates)
  • Grief or loss
  • Self-esteem or self-confidence
  • Issues related to meaning, purpose and spirituality
  • Identity development related to various dimensions of self (e.g., sexual, gender, racial/ethnic, spirituality, etc.)
  • Stabilization related to trauma or interpersonal violence
  • Some body image and eating concerns
  • Impacts of oppression and racial trauma
  • Brief support and referral for autism spectrum disorders
  • Mild to moderate substance use concerns

Common concerns that are best served by off-campus referrals:

  • Significant substance use requiring specialized care
  • History of chronic hospitalization or suicidality
  • Eating disorders without medical stabilization (or requiring more intensive treatment)
  • Psychosis without medical stabilization
  • Non-suicidal self-injury that is not improving
  • Clients who prefer or are assessed to best benefit from more than weekly sessions or longer-term treatment
  • Clients who need interventions not within our scope of care
  • Clients who are noncompliant with treatment recommendations
  • Clients who have recently completed a full course of counseling with CVM Counseling Services or the Counseling Center and are wanting or needing additional services

Services that are not available through CVM Counseling Services include:

  • Couples or family therapy
  • Mandated or court-ordered assessments and/or treatment
  • Forensic evaluation or support
  • Counseling required by an academic department
  • Evaluation or letters for emotional support animals
  • Evaluations to diagnose learning disorders, ADHD, or other neurological or neurodivergent concerns
  • Specialized treatment for conditions such as: personality disorders, long-standing and/or untreated eating disorders with medical safety risks, and substance use disorders requiring intensive treatment

Referrals at CVM Counseling Services:

CVM Counseling Services strives to serve as many clients as possible, while acknowledging the inherent limitations of a university counseling setting. Thus, clients whose needs exceed what can be provided on campus will be given referrals to off-campus services, which may better address those concerns. CVM Counseling Services and the MU Counseling Center have excellent relationships with community providers and can assist clients in finding resources that meet their treatment needs.