Student Counseling Services
The Student Counseling Services is a caring group of professionals, committed to helping USC students overcome obstacles and realize their academic, professional and personal goals. Services are provided to help enhance students' skills and attitudes in adapting to college life; creatively handle stresses and challenges; relate to new and different people; and make their USC experience satisfying and productive.
The professional staff of the Student Counseling Services is an ethnically and educationally diverse group, which includes licensed psychologists, social workers and psychiatrists as well as advanced graduate interns in psychology and social work. They are highly trained and experienced in helping students successfully cope with a variety of issues and concerns that are common during their college experience.
Each year almost 3,000 students utilize the Student Counseling Services with the objective of enhancing their ability to reach academic and personal goals. Students may need help with coping with stress, relationships, fears about possible failure, dissatisfactions about themselves, or the discomfort of depression, guilt, anger or anxiety. Eligible students are those who pay the Engemann Student Health Center fee. These students are evaluated to determine what services would best assist them at Student Counseling Services, on-campus or off-campus. Clinical services at Student Counseling Services include group counseling and short-term individual, couples, or psychiatric treatment. All personal information discussed in counseling is kept confidential. Sessions are free of charge.
Each semester a number of different counseling, therapy and skill-building groups provide a unique opportunity to increase self-awareness and self-acceptance. Within a supportive environment of peers, there is a chance to experiment with new behaviors and exchange ideas with others. The counselor you see for your initial appointment will help you decide which group best fits your needs.
To initiate counseling, please call us at 740-7711 or come in to make an initial assessment appointment. At that time, you and the counselor will identify what your needs are and what type of help makes sense at this time.
If you are experiencing a life threatening situation, please call the Department of Public Safety at (213) 740-4321 if on campus, or LAPD at 911 if off campus. Urgent walk-in services during business hours (8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m.) are intended for use by students who genuinely require immediate assistance. Please call the center at 740-7711 to speak with a crisis counselor. After hours, please call the center and press “0” at any time during the message and you will be connected with an on-call. Note that medication questions should be made to the agency during business hours. If Student Counseling Services psychiatrists did not prescribe your medication and you are having a crisis around medication prescribed, please call your prescribing doctor or go to the nearest emergency room.
Referral ServicesMany of our clients need services such as long-term individual psychotherapy, frequent or intensive individual counseling, family counseling, psychoeducational testing or other types of treatment not offered at Student Counseling Services. In addition, there are some students who prefer to be seen by a provider off campus or in the community. In these cases, we have a coordinator of referral services who can help find a practitioner to meet your needs. The coordinator can also explain how to use insurance to pay for these services.
Consultation and Training
In addition to counseling students, the professional staff provides training to university personnel. This includes consultation to faculty or staff concerned about a distressed student, presentations to classes and training residence hall personnel.
The staff also provides workshops and consultation on stress management, assertiveness, communication skills and conflict resolution techniques as well as many other programs for staff, faculty and student organizations.
Questions & Answers
Question: "Aren’t most people who seek counseling 'sick' or 'crazy'?"
Answer: Certainly not! Most students who come to Student Counseling Services are seeking personal growth and are responding to changes in their lives. For those few students with severe problems, Student Counseling Services is the place for them to come for help with their struggles.
Question: "What kinds of problems do students have?"
Answer: To name just a few: loneliness, depression, dating and sexual concerns, parental pressures, academic and study problems and pressures, tension, disordered eating, shyness, test anxiety, general worries or feelings of inferiority to name a few.
If you have other questions, please call (213) 740-7711 or visit usc.edu/student-affairs/Health_Center/cs.index.shtml.