Welcome to the Center for Counseling and Personal Growth
Our main goal at the Center for Counseling and Personal Growth (CPG) is to promote the wellbeing of Clark students. Our counseling services are offered with recognition and appreciation of each student’s individual and unique personality, and we are honored to play a part in helping students to grow emotionally and intellectually.
Counseling in the Time of COVID-19
During the summer while we are still dealing with COVID-19, the Center for Counseling and Personal Growth (CPG) is closed to students seeking counseling appointments.
However, we can help connect you to mental health support and therapists through CPG After Hours, a telephonic support service.
Please note that:
- CPG After Hours is available 24 hours per day, seven days per week.
- The service can be used by students regardless of where they live; students from different states and countries may use this service.
- Students can reach a therapist at CPG After Hours by calling CPG at (508) 793-7678 and selecting Option 2.
Therapy and Student Health Insurance
For the duration of the Massachusetts health emergency, the student health insurance company (Blue Cross/Blue Shield) has waived co-pays and deductibles for all mental health-covered services for therapists who are conducting therapy through a telehealth platform.
There are several resources you use to find a therapist in your community, including the Psychology Today Therapist Finder tool (which searches by Zip code in the United States and by town or postal code in 15+ other countries) and your insurance company’s provider search tool.
If you need additional help in locating a therapist, please contact CPG at email@example.com, and a staff member can assist you.
Questions During the Summer? Contact Us
The staff at CPG wish you a summer of safety and health and look forward to seeing everyone when it is safe to do so. If you need any assistance during the summer, please feel free to contact the counseling center (firstname.lastname@example.org) or the director, Megan Kersting, at email@example.com.
Updates on Clark’s COVID-19 Page
As we develop our responses and additional counseling resources for students, staff, and faculty, updates will be posted on Clark’s COVID-19 Information page. Please continue to check that page for more information about how our services and availability may change in response to this situation.
The Center for Counseling and Personal Growth (CPG) provides a range of mental health services to the Clark community, including:
- Brief individual counseling
- Group counseling
- Psychiatric medication management
- Urgent appointments and crisis stabilization
- Worcester Community Counseling Collaborative (WCCC)
- Online and Telehealth Resources
If you are enrolled as a Clark student, you are eligible for services at CPG. Services are confidential and counseling records do not appear on your permanent academic record. CPG is staffed by a team of mental health professionals as well as interns from doctoral degree granting programs, under the direct supervision of licensed psychologists at CPG. All services are designed to help you develop your strengths and confidence, so that you can address life challenges effectively and be successful personally, socially, and academically.
Clinical Services at CPG:
Brief Individual Counseling – We utilize a brief counseling model in order to accommodate the many students who request our services. Like many college counseling centers in the nation, the number of students seeking counseling services at Clark is very high; over 25% of the undergraduate student community requested services from CPG in 2018-2019. To manage the need for Clark students to receive rapid access to counseling as well as high quality and effective treatment, CPG has made changes to how we deliver mental health services for the 2019-2020 academic year. After an initial half-hour consultation meeting, the student and therapist will create a treatment plan that is suited to meet what is clinically needed, including the frequency and duration of treatment. For some students, this may include shorter, same-day follow up sessions (1/2 hour in length) and others will receive longer (1 hour) previously scheduled sessions to help with stabilization and success. The determination about what level of treatment is provided is based on what is clinically needed at the time. If students do not meet the clinical criteria for longer-term and more intensive treatment, yet would like to pursue this treatment option, they are welcome to utilize the Worcester Community Counselor Collaborative as well as our group counseling, telehealth, and online skill building program options (explained below).
Group Counseling – In group therapy, 4-8 students meet weekly with 1-2 group facilitators, who help promote a safe and confidential environment, in which all members can develop a sense of trust and begin to work through their challenges in their own way. Building on the success of CPG’s group programs of the past few years, most groups will now run twice a semester. This schedule will help groups maintain a consistent numbers of participants and offers students two opportunities to join. A list of our robust group offerings at CPG can be found on the Group Webpage on the CPG website.
Psychiatric Medication Management – If you are in need of a psychiatric medication, CPG offers a limited amount of psychiatric care for the Clark community. Because the demand for psychiatry appointments is very high, CPG offers medication appointments with a psychiatrist for assessment and stabilization of symptoms. Once a student’s mental health symptoms are stabilized with medication, they are either referred to a physician at Clark University Health Services or a psychiatrist in the community for continued medication management. Because psychiatric resources are very limited at CPG and in the Worcester community, we urge you to keep your mental health prescriber (or Pediatrician/Primary Care Physician) from home. Many students currently do this, and follow up appointments can be easily scheduled during school breaks. However, if it’s not possible to keep your mental health prescriber from home, we recommend that you contact a Worcester area mental health clinic to arrange an initial appointment. A list of specific mental health clinics in the Worcester area can be found on the Off-Campus Mental Health Resources webpage on the CPG website. ** Please note that psychiatric medication management services at CPG are available only for students who are actively involved in counseling at CPG.
Urgent Appointments and Crisis Stabilization – If you are experiencing a mental health crisis, CPG is able to see you for a same-day appointment to help you focus on the crisis at hand, manage your discomfort, and develop a plan. During business hours (9am-5pm), we ask that you call CPG at (508)793-7678 and we will work to provide you with an immediate appointment with one of our CPG mental health professionals or interns.
Generally, a crisis entails one or more of the following:
- Having experienced a recent physical or sexual assault or another significant trauma
- Your life is currently in danger
- Having intention or plans of hurting or killing yourself or someone else (or concern about someone else’s suicidal thoughts or behaviors)
- Losing touch with reality or having otherwise disturbing experiences or behaviors (such as hearing or seeing things that others do not)
Worcester Community Counseling Collaborative (WCCC) – This is a new mental health initiative at Clark University to bring licensed mental health providers on campus to provide low-cost, longer-term mental health care to the Clark student community. These mental health providers function like therapists in an independent private practice setting and have no affiliation with Clark University, however they are able to see Clark students on campus at CPG during weekday evening hours and weekends. Students utilize their health insurance or pay a low-cost/sliding scale fee for these services. WCCC therapists manage their own scheduling and treatment plan of students. This option is ideal for students who are seeking more frequent sessions on a longer-term basis or have limited availability to schedule sessions during normal business hours (9am to 5pm). If you are interested in this option of care, please contact CPG to learn about the process of connecting with treatment from a WCCC therapist. Information about WCCC therapists (including availability, specialties, and insurances/payment options they accept) can be found here. Please email CPG Administrative Assistant, Mary Hynes, if you are interested in connecting with a WCCC therapist.
NOTE: If you are interested in seeing a WCCC therapist and you plan to utilize your health insurance, it is recommended that you call the Mental Health or Customer Service phone number on the back of your insurance card to verify if your insurance benefits cover the particular therapist whom you are interested in receiving services from. When speaking to the health insurance representative, please ask if the therapist is “in-network for mental health outpatient services”. Clark University and CPG are not responsible for any costs incurred with a WCCC therapist.
Online and Telehealth Resources
- iHope – Telehealth is a rapidly growing field that involves the use of technology to deliver healthcare services. It is designed to provide convenient access to care that can be delivered when and where it is convenient to you. Clark has partnered with iHope, which offers cognitive behavioral therapy via videoconference. The option of utilizing iHope for your treatment needs is ideal for students who are studying abroad or have limited availability to schedule sessions during normal business hours. To connect with a therapist from iHope, your device can be a computer with a microphone and video camera, a tablet like an iPad, or a smart phone. To get started, visit the iHope website or call (800)225-0634.
- Mental Health Toolbox – In order to help empower you and those around you, we here at Clark University Center for Counseling and Personal Growth have put together a Mental Health Toolbox to meet those overwhelming needs. We hope that this library of resources can be used in conjunction with your therapy or simply to gain some relief, direction and self-help. To access the Mental Health Toolbox, please select the Mental Health Toolbox page on our website.
Counseling services are short-term, and solution-focused. For those students looking for a more long-term relationship with a counselor, we can assist in the facilitation of a referral to a therapist at the Worcester Community Counseling Collective (WCCC) at CPG or in the nearby Worcester community. We operate from a student-centered perspective, in which the student takes an active role in his or her treatment. Our therapeutic services are primarily strength-based, with emphasis on behavior-based problem solving. Some students experience needs outside the scope of our services, for example: conditions requiring close coordination with psychiatrists or other providers; conditions with persistent symptoms of risk to personal safety; and conditions requiring access to therapists outside of normal business hours. These students are encouraged to consult with us for an assessment of their symptoms (diagnostic evaluation), and assistance with a referral to mental health providers in the community.
Note to Students Who Are Studying Abroad: Because of constraints established by state professional licensure laws, CPG counselors and interns are not able to provide psychotherapy remotely to students studying away. Therefore, CPG counselors and interns cannot engage in providing mental health treatment to students studying in different countries and states (this includes Skype, FaceTime, and telephonic exchanges). If you are in need of therapy while you are studying abroad, your study abroad program typically has designated therapists in the area to whom they can refer you. Another alternative is to utilize a telehealth provider, iHope, who offers cognitive behavioral therapy via videoconference. To connect with a therapist from iHope, your device can be a computer with a microphone and video camera, a tablet like an iPad, or a smart phone. To get started, visit the iHope website or call (1-800-225-0634).
If you are in need of a psychiatric medication, CPG offers a limited amount of psychiatric care for the Clark community. Because the demand for psychiatry appointments is very high, CPG offers medication appointments with a psychiatrist for assessment and stabilization of symptoms. Once a student’s mental health symptoms are stabilized with medication, they are either referred to a physician at Clark University Health Services or a psychiatrist in the community for continued medication management. Because psychiatric resources are very limited at CPG and in the Worcester community, we urge you to keep your mental health prescriber (or Pediatrician/Primary Care Physician) from home. Many students currently do this, and follow up appointments can be easily scheduled during school breaks. However, if it’s not possible to keep your mental health prescriber from home, we recommend that you contact a Worcester area mental health clinic to arrange an initial appointment. A list of specific mental health clinics in the Worcester area can be found on the Off-Campus Mental Health Resources webpage on the CPG website.
Please note that psychiatric medication management services at CPG are available only for students who are actively involved in counseling at CPG.
The entire staff at CPG takes students’ privacy very seriously, and our personal and professional ethics guide us in ensuring that the services students receive here remain confidential. The service is confidential for students and information is not shared without permission, except in these following cases:
- When a counselor believes you present an imminent danger to yourself or others
- When a counselor believes the life and safety of a readily identifiable third person is endangered
- When a counselor believes that a child or vulnerable adult is being subjected to abuse, neglect, or exploitation
- When disclosure is made necessary by legal proceedings
We ask that you call the Center for Counseling and Personal Growth at (508)793-7678 to schedule an initial appointment that is convenient to your schedule. If you do not want to call to make an appointment, you may email the general counseling center email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or go to our Meet The Staff webpage and click on “Request an Appointment with …” link at the bottom of the staff person whom you feel you would like to meet with. It is recommended that you call, as that is the quickest way to schedule an appointment. In addition, your success in obtaining an appointment with the staff person you want is based on the counselor’s availability at that time.
If this is your first time coming to CPG in the current academic year, you will be asked to come in for one hour. The first half hour will entail you filling out forms and documentation about yourself, your history, and what you are looking to focus on in counseling. For the second half hour, you will meet with a counselor (professional staff or doctoral intern). In this meeting with the counselor, the two of you will determine the best course of action, including individual or group counseling at CPG, referrals for counseling with therapists at the Worcester Community Counselor Collective or in the nearby community, options such as telehealth (iHope), and/or online skill building resources.
Please make note that when you schedule your appointments at CPG, you have reserved this time in our schedule and we have placed it aside to meet with you. If you must cancel or change your appointment, we require that you contact our office at (508)793-7678 at least 12 hours in advance. This will allow our staff to contact students who are waiting for an appointment and offer them this appointment time. Therefore, if you do not keep your appointment and have not called to cancel or reschedule within the allotted time limit, you will be responsible for a Missed Appointment Fee of $25 for a therapist and $50 for the psychiatrist.
NOTE: We do not allow parents or staff to schedule appointments for a student. In addition, we do not reach out to students by request to begin the scheduling process. All appointments must be made by the person seeking counseling.
The Center for Counseling and Personal Growth is located at 114 Woodland Street. Our building is located on campus.
Hours of Operation
Our counseling center is open Monday through Friday from 8:30am to 5pm when school is in session. It is open on a limited basis during Fall, Winter and Spring breaks. The Counseling Center is closed during the summer (May 15th to August 15th). Depending on the time of year, students are generally seen within a week of their request for an initial appointment. During peak times of use, such as November and April, students may have to wait a little longer to get in.
Please note that the counseling center is closed during lunch each day from 12-1pm.