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Student Psychological Counseling Services

» Student Psychological Counseling Services

+ - Services

Student Psychological Counseling Services (SPCS) provides psychotherapy to students at Chapman University and is staffed with licensed and professional psychologists, counselors and counselor interns.  All full-time undergraduates pay a Health and Counseling Services fee each semester, which allows them to use the Health Services and the Student Psychological Counseling Services at no additional charge.  Part-time students and all graduate students not required to pay the fee must be willing to pay the Health and Counseling fee if they wish to use these services after an initial intake session at SPCS.

NOTE: This fee is NOT the same as the Health Insurance, which is a separate requirement.  Regardless of what insurance coverage you may have, you are still eligible for basic health services at the Health Center and for counseling services at the Student Psychological Counseling Services if you have paid the Health and Counseling Services fee.

  • INDIVIDUAL COUNSELINGOffered to students who meet the criteria for short-term therapy, with an option to continue in group counseling.  When longer-term therapy is indicated, or psychiatric consultation is needed, referrals are given for off campus resources.
  • COUPLES & FAMILY COUNSELING:  Offered to student couples who are both students at Chapman University.  Family and other persons important to student client may be involved in counseling sessions on a limited basis with student permission.  Decisions to involve others will be determined by student and student’s counselor.
  • GROUP COUNSELING & WORKSHOPS:  Group counseling is offered at SPCS each Fall and Spring Semester upon enough interest to form a group.  See Group Counseling section for more information about groups and how to sign up.  Groups and workshops are available (based upon response of interest, creating a group) on various issues including stress, anxiety, self image/self esteem, social confidence, and relationships.  If you would be interested in a group focusing on a different topic, please contact the counseling coordinator at (714) 997-6778.

SPCS is a department within the division of Student Affairs.  Our services provide expertise, acceptance, and objective guidance in dealing with personal problems to help students function successfully in the academic environment.  While we work with students who may be experiencing a crisis, our goal is to help students deal with their concerns before they develop into more serious problems.

Other Campus Services:

Disability Services

Jason McAlexander



(714) 744-7971 FAX (714) 744-7940

Peer and Health Education

Dani Smith


(714) 744-7080

 Student Health Services

Jacqueline Deats

Director of Student Health


(714) 997-6851

+ - Why Seek Counseling? What can I Expect?

Why Seek Counseling?

Students come to Student Psychological Counseling Services (SPCS) to seek help from a counselor for a variety of reasons.  Students who seek counseling usually are experiencing discomfort or dissatisfaction in some aspect of their personal lives.  Some common reasons are problems with friend, family, and or significant other relationships, concerns about personal adequacy, feeling overwhelmed, or feeling sad or anxious without knowing why.  The following are some warning signs that may indicate the need for counseling assistance:

  • Problems in academic performance
    Dramatic drop in grades, incapacitating test anxiety, sporadic class attendance, excessive procrastination and poor academic performance, dissatisfaction or confusion about your major or your career plans.
  • Difficult changes in personal relationships
    Death of a family member or close friend; difficulties in marriage or intimate relationships; problems at home with family members; problems with roommates or friends.
  • Feelings of sadness for no apparent reason
    Prolonged feelings of despair and unhappiness, withdrawal, missing family, missing home, loneliness, lack of concentration, loss of interest in usual activities, eating changes, feelings of hopelessness and helplessness, sometimes wondering whether life is worth living.
  • Excessive anxiety or fear
    Unexplained nervousness, panic, inability to sleep, avoidance of certain activities or situations, profound shyness or constant worrying.
  • Personality changes
    Unexplained and sudden shifts in mood or behavior, being overly argumentative, angry or aggressive, excessive alcohol consumption, habitual use of legal or illegal drugs, or strong feelings of disconnectedness with one’s self.
  • Physical complaints when no medical reasons can be found
    Frequent stomach aches, headaches, back or joint pain after a physical exam shows nothing.
  • Desire to talk with a neutral person  You need someone to listen to you and give you an objective point of view.

Students experiencing any one or combination of the above may benefit from counseling.  No reason is too small to talk about at SPCS. 

What Can I Expect from Counseling?

You can expect to find someone who is interested in listening to your concerns, helping you understand them better and guiding you to resolving them in a healthy manner.  Your counselor will take you seriously, and be willing to discuss anything you wish to talk about.  Counselors have no "magic wand" and cannot read your mind, and are not there to solve your problems for you.  They are there to help you look at your concerns in a new way, and assist you in deciding how to change what you want to change.

Counselors differ in their approaches, but you will find that a positive relationship and partnership is essential in all counseling for it to be effective.  As you develop trust in your counselor, you may be expected to participate in trying new ways of approaching your problems, and be willing to try thinking in new ways or experimenting with new behaviors.

Your responsibility in counseling includes a commitment to attending sessions regularly, talk as honestly as you can about what is bothering you, and be willing to look at your life in a different way.  You are also responsible for letting your counselor know if something isn't working for you, or if you feel that you are not benefiting from your experience at SPCS.


Individuals over the age of 18 have a legal right to privacy.  The fact that you are seeking counseling and all of your psychological records are kept strictly confidential. This means that what you discuss with your therapist is private information that cannot be revealed to anyone without your written authorization. This includes all information documents you fill out, any testing results, and basic information kept by our staff.  Our records are separate from academic records and only you have access to them.

Exceptions to this rule are made in rare situations where a therapist feels you, or someone else is in danger. When this situation arises, the therapist will take the appropriate steps necessary to ensure your protection and physical well being.

+ - Making a First Appointment

In order to schedule an appointment with a counselor, you must:

1) Visit Student Psychological Counseling Services in person, located at 410 N. Glassell St. (house in-between Public Safety and Student Health services).  

2) Fill out intake information provided.  The process will take approximately 15 to 20 minutes to complete and is submitted to the counseling coordinator in the front office. 

3) For non-emergencies, an appointment will be scheduled for you based on a match of availability between you and a counselor.

4) Emergencies will be triaged for assessment immediately or same day.

After the first session, you and your counselor will discuss your options and decide together what will be helpful for you, or you may be referred to another agency or practitioner in the area if it appears that this would be more helpful and/or appropriate.   Students often find this process comforting despite their initial stress and anxiety, and leave feeling a sense of relief.  .

If both you and your counselor decide continuing sessions at SPCS is appropriate, your responsibility in the counseling process includes a commitment to attending sessions regularly, to talk as honestly as you can about what is bothering you, and having a willingness to look at your life in a different way.  You are also responsible for letting your counselor know if something isn't working for you, or if you feel that you are not benefiting from your experience at SPCS.

If you wish more information about the process before you come in, please call (714) 997-6778 and talk to our counseling coordinator. 

+ - Important Scheduling Notice

SPCS experiences a high demand for services and we want to be able to assist all students requesting help. 

We offer assessment and brief therapy and are available for emergency crisis situations during regular office hours. At times, there may be a wait for additional appointments for non-emergency situations. When there is a wait for additional appointments, students may wish to pursue other options in the community.

Our community resource list is given to every student who makes an appointment and is available to anyone upon request.  Students are encouraged to check their insurance company’s website.  For students who have Chapman’s health insurance, the website is www.UHCSR.COM

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Contact Us

Phone: (714) 997-6778
Fax: (714) 744-7940

Location:  410 N. Glassell St.
(House between Public Safety & Student Health)

8:30 a.m. - 5p.m.

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