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Counseling & Psychological Services offers an active training program for practicum students from Penn State and other campuses, a post-doctoral program, and an internship program. 

About the Center for Counseling & Psychological Services

The Center for Counseling and Psychological Services is the major and primary mental health and personal counseling resource for the over 45,000 students at Penn State's University Park Campus. Each year our staff sees approximately 3,800 Penn State students for a total of over 19,000 contacts. During their years at Penn State, nearly one-sixth of all students use our services for a wide variety of problems ranging from normal developmental issues to more extreme psychopathology. Typical presenting problems include interpersonal concerns, depression, anxiety, lack of motivation or concentration, poor academic performance, eating disorders, and trauma. Less typical but frequently seen problems include various forms of more severe psychological disturbance.

The center has four primary modes of service delivery, including brief urgent evaluation and follow-up, short-term individual and couples therapy and, group counseling/therapy/workshops​.

  • Urgent evaluation and follow-up refers to a program in which clients are seen immediately following the phone screening for up to three sessions for further assessment, counseling, and referral as needed. 
  • Short-term individual therapy (from 6-9 sessions including the first appointment) is offered to students with personal concerns that do not seem appropriate for group intervention. Long-term therapy is not generally provided by the center; however, at times, trainees are allowed to see a limited number of long-term therapy cases through occasional extended counseling where clinical need and financial need warrant such continued services. CAPS may also provide longer term counseling for athletes with drug and alcohol problems, eating disorders, or other emotional difficulties. Sexual assault survivors may also be seen for extended services.
  • CAPS offers approximately 20-25 therapy groups per semester being offered. The majority of groups offered are general therapy groups, including those directed at specific populations (e.g., undergraduate women's groups, returning adult and graduate student groups, men's therapy group, etc.). In addition, theme oriented groups or clinics are also offered (e.g. sexual assault recovery, stress management, eating disorder recovery, loss, substance abuse, anxiety, insomnia, perfectionism, mindful mood management, etc.). The center also offers a number of discussion and support groups directed at specific populations (e.g. Women of Color Empowerment, Conversations on Culture and Belonging, Penn State Students on the Spectrum, etc.). Workshops are also offered on a weekly basis.

Psychiatric services are also offered through a full-time psychiatrist and through psychiatric nurse practitioners. Clinical assessments using a variety of psychological tests are conducted with clients when appropriate.

The Center also conducts extensive outreach programming for the University community as well as consultation for various departments and groups on campus. 

About the Staff

We are a staff of seventeen psychologists with backgrounds in counseling psychology or clinical psychology, six social workers, three psychiatric nurse practitioners and a psychiatrist, one full-time addictions specialists, three licensed professional counselors, and additional clinical service providers, five-six practicum students, four full-time interns, four post-doctoral fellows, and associate clinical staff.

Approximately 50 percent of staff time is devoted to the delivery of direct clinical and counseling services. An equivalent amount of staff time is spent in training and supervision, consultation and outreach, staff development, administrative responsibilities, and research and program evaluation.

The theoretical orientation of our staff includes a range of theoretical orientations, within a context of strong humanistic values. Significant interest and expertise exist in psychodynamic, existential-humanistic, feminist, interpersonal, and cognitive-behavioral models, with staff members being theoretically integrative and most operating within the short-term model.

About Penn State & State College

Penn State is the single greatest provider of higher education in the state, enrolling one of every ten college students in Pennsylvania. Since its founding in 1855, it has established an international reputation for excellence in education, research, and public service.

The University's 540-acre campus is located in State College, a pleasant university community located in a lovely valley closely surrounded by the Allegheny Mountains. The population of Centre County stands at over 130,000.

The University is the major intellectual, cultural, and recreational resource for Central Pennsylvania, providing access to extensive libraries and major artistic and musical events. The Bryce Jordan Center on Penn State's University Park campus brings major concerts and entertainment events to the area and the Center for the Performing Arts on campus also has an excellent Artist Series each year. The State Theater in downtown State College brings interesting performances to the area as well. Penn State has a reputation for outstanding sports programs and fine sports facilities (e.g., superb swimming pools, tennis courts, golf courses, running trails, etc.). In addition, the Centre Region offers ample outdoor recreational opportunities, including hiking, swimming, camping, fishing, and downhill and cross-country skiing. The University is located in the geographic center of Pennsylvania, approximately a four-hour drive to Philadelphia, New York City and Washington, D.C., and a three hour drive to Baltimore and Pittsburgh.

Diversity at Penn State

Penn State has a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion. The university also has decades-long, strategic focus on diversity and has created a document outlining plans and efforts to this end, called Fostering and Embracing a Diverse World-Strategic Plan 2016-2020.

The university continues to successfully attract a vibrant, diverse student body as indicated in Penn State’s Fact Book (http://www.budget.psu.edu/factbook/). With the influence of such a diverse student body, staff, and faculty, the State College community boasts a number of ethnically diverse restaurants, grocers, and merchants that give State College a cosmopolitan flavor. 

In terms of campus and town, a number of groups exist which can provide a network for interns to join. Internship is a year to transition from student to professional, so there are opportunities to join both student groups and professional faculty/staff groups. For post-docs, there are opportunities to join professional and faculty/staff groups.

There are 87 student organizations that serve various multicultural/international constituencies. Penn State also has various committees and commissions designed to improve the campus climate and examine the progress Penn State is making in the area of recruitment and retention of individuals from diverse backgrounds.

In addition, there are ongoing cultural activities and programs throughout the year. Check out Penn State's Diversity Calendar for events planned this coming year.

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Training
Penn State Student Affairs
Counseling & Psychological Services
Main Location

501 Student Health Center
University Park, PA 16802

Additional Locations

3rd Floor Bank of America Career Services Building
University Park, PA 16802

Allenway Building (Downtown)
315 S Allen Street
State College, PA 16801