Let’s Explore Therapy Options

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Whether you’re going through something difficult, or you just want someone to talk to, therapy is a good option for anyone. For many people, the hardest part about it is getting started and finding a therapist you connect with. Here in State College especially, it can be hard to find what works for you when therapy is in such high demand among students.

If you’re looking to get started, there are a couple of different ways you can do it. Penn State has counseling resources available to all students, but for some people, they need more frequent and consistent sessions. If you’re someone who wants something completely disconnected from the university, State College therapy options or online therapy may be a good option for you. We’re here to break down these options so we can help YOU help your mental health.


Penn State offers free counseling and psychological services through CAPS, the mental health provider for students here at University Park. If you want to give therapy a try but don’t want to commit to a service you have to pay for, this is a great option for you. Depending on your case, you will have a certain number of sessions you are able to attend.

To get started with CAPS, students can participate in a phone screening appointment, where a clinician can determine the next steps. Depending on the screening, CAPS can set you up with counseling, refer you to other resources on campus, or refer you to resources in the community. If you would like to set up your phone screening appointment, call 814-863-0395.

Many different services are offered through CAPS, including individual and group counseling. If there is a specific issue you want to work through, there may be a group that would be beneficial to you. Visit the CAPS website to learn more about their various offerings. Even if you do not end up utilizing their counseling, they will likely be able to point you in the right direction.

State College Therapy Options

There is an abundance of therapists in State College, which can make it overwhelming to find one that works for you. Even though it may seem tedious, one of the best ways to find one is to try out a few different therapists. Many people make the initial mistake of attending a session with one therapist who they don’t connect with, which can lead to them writing off therapy entirely.

The biggest difference between CAPS and an external therapist is that external therapy does not have any hard restrictions on how many sessions you are able to attend. The high demand for CAPS forces them to have certain limitations, since so many students are in need of appointments. If you feel like you need frequent and consistent sessions, finding a therapist in town is probably the best option for you. This way, you are able to work through what you need to without worrying about restrictions through the university.

Psychology Today offers a list of therapists in State College along with descriptions and bios with their credentials. If you are looking for something or someone specific, this is a great resource to use. If you originally met with CAPS for a phone screening appointment, they may be able to give you a therapist recommendation in State College.

Online Therapy Options

Especially as a result of the pandemic, online therapy has become more and more popular. Like other meetings and obligations, it can be a commitment to physically attend therapy sessions. When you are able to meet with a therapist from your own home, it can be more convenient and comfortable for you as a patient.

One of the best parts about virtual therapy is that you are able to meet with the same therapist, even if you are in a different location. This eliminates the issue many students have of leaving behind their therapist at home to find someone at school to meet with. You also don’t need to worry about increased anxiety that can come from visiting an actual office for your sessions.

Websites such as Better Help are able to connect people with therapists that will likely work for them. Depending on your objectives, issues you’re dealing with and counseling preferences, they are able to find you a therapist match after you answer a few initial questions when setting up your account. There are also sites such as Talkspace that have a very similar function.

What are your therapy recommendations? Tweet us at @VALLEYmag or leave a comment down below!


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