We live in a society where we frequently encounter demands and pressures that negatively impact our sense of well being and our ability to function at your best. As a student, you are not immune to such pressures and may occasionally benefit from the services of our psychological counseling staff. We are available to help you understand and cope with issues such as self-esteem, self-direction, anxiety, depression, motivation and loss. We can help you learn how to handle relationship difficulties with loved ones, friends, or family, and conflicts with your peers.
Services are free to all registered students and completely confidential.
Services Provided for Students
- Individual Therapy
- Workshops and Presentations Offered
- Pre-Doctoral Internship Program
- What To Do in Case of Emergencies
Services Provided for Faculty and Staff
Why do people usually seek therapy?
People ask for our help:
- when feelings of depression get them down
- when anxiety gets in the way of concentrating and studying
- when relationships with loved ones have more conflict than peace
- when angry about discrimination that is too much to bear
- when reality and fantasy become confused
- when using alcohol or drugs has gotten to be too much
- when feeling like you'd really like to kill yourself or somebody else
- when uncertain what academic path would bring true satisfaction
- when needing to recover from trauma that happened long ago
- when wanting to learn how to speak up for yourself
These are just a few of the reasons that students like yourself have decided to call Psychological Services in order to request therapy. Our quality assurance surveys show that the overwhelming majority of students who use our services experience significant relief and newfound direction.
Our permanent staff consists entirely of Ph.D. level psychologists with several years of clinical experience, all licensed by the State of California. (Our unit is also a training site for doctoral students in their last year of preparation for the Ph.D.)
Why, you may wonder, does the university provide such an important and vital service? The answer is: because we directly support the University Mission by empowering you to resolve personal issues, you are freed to focus effectively on your academic goals, and to benefit from all that CSUDH has to offer. We invite you to use our services.
Do I have to be in Psychological Services?
No. Please call the psychological services office immediately if you are in crisis; we will do everything we can to help you. But, don't think that you have to be in crisis to use our services. In fact, our therapists advise that you come in to talk long before problems erupt into a crisis.
What about confidentiality? Who will know what?
You can feel assured that everything you tell your therapist will be completely private and confidential, and will not be revealed or released to anyone outside of the counseling office (on or off campus) without your written consent, unless it is necessary to prevent injury to yourself or others, or as otherwise required by law. We encourage you to discuss any concerns you have about confidentiality or privacy in your first visit with your therapist. All psychological counselors at CSUDH take their ethical and legal obligation to maintain confidentiality very seriously.
Is there a fee for psychological services?
No. The fees you pay for tuition and student activities allow you to utilize the psychological counseling services here on campus. Although these services would cost between $75 and $125 or more per session outside of campus, they are provided to currently enrolled students at no charge.
How long does a typical session last?
Individual therapy sessions are typically held for 45 minutes once a week.
How will I know what to talk about in sessions?
There are no specific criteria for what or how to talk about your issues in session. Most therapists would probably agree that the more you participate, the more you can expect to gain from the experience. All of the psychological staff at CSUDH believe that it is important for the client to feel comfortable and safe in counseling, and want you to be the judge of how much you will share, about what, with whom and when.
What if I don't feel comfortable with a particular therapist?
Sometimes you may feel it is important to speak to someone of a particular gender, cultural or ethnic background. If you feel uncomfortable with a therapist for any reason, please discuss this with him or her for a possible referral. You have a right to feel comfortable with the therapist you choose. Our staff will honor and appreciate your honest and direct feedback.
Counseling seems like such a cloudy thing. How can I tell if I have actually benefited?
By the end of your sessions, you might be less upset, more in charge of your life, and have more satisfying relationships with friends and family. And when your relationships are smoother, you will probably have more energy and focus to accomplish the things you want and need.
Psychological Services staff are available to do presentations on a variety of mental health topics. Examples include stress management, healthy self esteem, diversity & multicultural issues, and dealing with grief and loss. Take a look at our Presentations page for more information. If there's a topic you'd like a presentation on, let us know and we'll see if we can accommodate you.
Additional workshops and presentations are offered in the Office of Student Development.
Description of Training Program
Since 1987, California State University Dominguez Hills, has served as a training site for graduate students who are working toward a doctoral degree in clinical psychology. Our training program is CAPIC-approved. Interns are provided supervised experience in clinical assessment, individual and group therapy, development of university outreach programs, and psychoeducational workshops. Licensed professionals provide experientially based clinical training, using audio tape and individual and group supervision. Professional staff as well as interns present clinical cases in group supervision. Training seminars are provided monthly on various topics of interest to students and staff. The internship provides both short and "longer term" therapy experiences.
Candidates for the pre-doctoral internships must be fully enrolled in a doctoral program and have some supervised clinical experience. Ph.D. and Psy-D students with advanced doctoral training are preferred. CSUDH is rich in cultural diversity and non traditional returning adult students. Interns need to have experience with and interest in working with culturally diverse populations.
While there is no stipend, students are afforded a number of perks to enhance their academic and professional experience. Students are provided a private office with late model computers, printers, Internet, and e-mail services. They are also afforded access to the CSUDH Library, sponsored attendance at professional conferences, parking privileges, vacations and holidays. The internship typically begins mid-September and runs through mid-June.
Questions about applications contact:
Janet Niederman, Ph.D., Training Director
Student Health & Psychological Services
California State University Dominguez Hills
1000 E. Victoria Blvd.
Carson California, 90747
Please use our Emergency page to contact the appropriate agency or authority.
Faculty and staff are encouraged to contact us for individual consultations regarding issues with disturbed or disruptive students. We can help you to identify strategies for dealing with such situations, and provide you with referral resources as appropriate. We also encourage you to contact us if you feel you are the target of any kind of harassing, intimidating or threatening behavior by any member of the campus community that is causing you emotional distress and/or concern for your safety. If, of course, you feel you are in any kind of immediate danger, you should contact the university police directly.
All consultations will be kept confidential, although in helping you to develop a plan of action, we may suggest involving other university departments (e.g. University Police, Faculty Affairs, Human Resources Management). In addition to individual consultations, we can arrange for presentations to be given to groups or departments on the following related topics:
- Workplace Violence
- Assisting Troubled Individuals
For more information, please contact:
Dr. Janie MacHarg
Director, Student Health & Psychological Services