Psychological Services Center
The Psychological Services Center (PSC) is a community mental health agency affiliated with the Psychology Department of Colorado State University (CSU). PSC offers therapy and psychological evaluation services for children, adolescents, adults, couples and families to members of the Fort Collins community.
Services are provided by advanced graduate students with doctoral-level training in the provision of counseling and psychological evaluation services. Many of our therapists also have experience in the mental health and related fields prior to training at PSC. All of our therapists are supervised by staff psychologists.
Our commitment as an agency is assisting individuals, couples, families, children and adolescents become equipped with the tools necessary to address difficulties that may be affecting their well-being, relationships, and academic or professional functioning. Our staff members strive to create a safe environment in which a variety of such issues can be shared and explored.
PSC values diversity and will not discriminate or refuse to provide services to anyone on the basis of race, age, color, religion, national origin, gender, disability, sexual orientation, veteran status or disability.
The director of PSC is Deborah Essert.
The Graduate Program in Counseling Psychology at Colorado State University has full accreditation from the American Psychological Association. (Committee on Accreditation, American Psychological Association, 750 First Street, NE, Washington DC 20002-424; (202) 336-5979).
For additional information please contact us at (970) 491-5212. We are located at C-36 Clark Building and 119 Gifford Building on CSU’s campus.
The Psychological Services Center (PSC) staff therapists have training and background in providing Individual, Couples, and Family Therapy services with a variety of presenting concerns. Specifically, therapy services are offered in the following areas:
- Social Skills Training
- Bipolar Disorder
- Drug and Alcohol
- Eating Disorders
- Family of Origin Issues
- Parent-Child Difficulties
- Relationship Difficulties, including Marriage, Couples, and Family Therapy
- Vocational Development and Career-Related Concerns
- Lifestyle Interventions for Everyone (LIFE) geared toward weight management, smoking cessation, pain management, and other health behaviors
- General Psychological Well-Being and Personal Growth
Group Therapy is also provided at PSC. We have a variety of group modalities designed to address a wide variety of presenting concerns. The most common groups that PSC runs include the following:
- Social Skills Training groups offer opportunities for individuals who wish to learn more about effective social interactions and the basic skills that underlie building successful and lasting relationships. Group membership is based on age range. For children ages 5-11, PSC offers a group that focuses on learning new social skills and practicing them in a peer group setting. The adolescent group offers teenagers the opportunity to practice their social skills in experiential settings. Finally, the adult group features a mix of didactics and in-group exercises to strengthen relationship building skills. All social skills groups are designed to meet the needs of individuals experiencing social skills difficulties related to diagnoses such as Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADHD, ODD, Bipolar Disorder, General Anxiety Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, and Non-Verbal Learning Disability. However, no specific diagnosis is required for group participation.
- Interpersonal Process groups provide a forum in which adult individuals gather with 6-8 other members to explore ways in which relationships are formed and maintained. The focus of the group is deepening understanding of behaviors that both promote and hinder meaningful connection with others. Additionally, self-exploration is encouraged and members are provided the opportunity to experiment with and receive feedback about new ways of relating to others.
Other groups are offered periodically. Please contact PSC to find out more about social skills, interpersonal process, or other group offerings.
PSC offers a wide range of Psychological Evaluation Services. Psychological evaluations are conducted to assess for the possible presence of a psychological disorder which may be influencing an individual’s personal, professional or academic performance and functioning.
- Emotional Functioning
- Asperger’s and Autism
- Learning Disabilities
- Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity
- Neurological Impairment
- Cognitive Assessment
- Personality Assessment
- Developmental Disabilities
PSC also offers Vocational Assessment services, which examine how various aspects of an individual’s work personality match with various occupations and work environments.
For Older Adult Assessment services please visit the Aging Clinic of the Rockies.
The Psychological Services Center (PSC) provides individual, couples, and family therapy services to address a variety of presenting concerns.
Individual therapy consists of meeting one-on-one with a therapist and exploring issues relevant to your presenting concern. You will be encouraged to reflect on your behaviors, thoughts, emotional expression, and relationship patterns to gain insight into your presenting concern and potential ways to bring about change in your life. You will also be presented with opportunities to make and evaluate changes and provided with tools to maintain these changes.
Couples therapy involves attending sessions together as a couple with an emphasis on evaluating your relationship concerns. Your therapist will work with you to increase understanding of the dynamics in your relationship and potential changes to increase your satisfaction with your relationship. You can expect to have a chance to practice new behaviors during your sessions and to apply these behaviors to your interactions between sessions.
Family therapy focuses on the relationships between all members of a family with an emphasis on decreasing familial strife and increasing effective communication and interactions. Your therapist will work with you to assess and understand the dynamics of your family and assist you in implementing strategies tailored to addressing your particular needs and concerns.
Child/adolescent therapy assists children or adolescents in addressing the emotional or psychological concerns that affect their daily lives and relationships. Your therapist will work to provide a safe and supportive environment in which your child or adolescent can explore their presenting concerns and gain tools for effective communication and emotional expression. Your therapist is likely to recommend strategies to implement at home to provide opportunities for the tools your child or adolescent is learning in therapy to be transferred to other settings. Behavioral modification programs may also be implemented to decrease problematic behaviors and increase effective behaviors.
PSC offers a wide range of psychological evaluation services. Psychological evaluations are conducted to assess for the possible presence of a psychological disorder which may be influencing an individual’s personal, professional or academic performance and functioning. Our evaluations feature extensive psychological testing and culminate in a thorough evaluation report including diagnoses and recommendations.
Learning Disability assessments consist of evaluating your educational history, understanding current and past performance in academic or educational environments, and conducting testing related to cognitive abilities and achievement. The tests conducted will be selected based on your specific concerns. Your counselor may also recommend additional testing to rule out other possible problems that may be contributing to difficulties in the academic or educational environment.
Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) assessments evaluate attentional processes and their influence on academic, professional, and/or daily functioning. Clients seeking this type of assessment can expect cognitive ability and achievement testing, as well as reports about past and present symptoms and difficulties. Your counselor may also seek information from other individuals (e.g., teachers, caregivers, significant others) regarding educational, attentional, and other difficulties.
Autism Spectrum Disorder assessments focus particularly on social skills deficits with an emphasis on determining whether an Autism Spectrum disorder best accounts for these difficulties. Multiple possible disorders can lead to social skills deficits, and your counselor will collect a detailed history and provide specific testing recommendations. You can expect cognitive and social abilities to be a main focus of this type of assessment.
Child Behavioral/Emotional assessments are conducted with children experiencing complex behavioral and emotional symptoms. After gathering a detailed history, your counselor will make specific recommendations about testing based on possible diagnoses that may account for your child’s specific difficulties.
Cognitive assessment provides information related to intellectual functioning, with a particular emphasis on factors related to various aspects of intelligence. If mental retardation is a potential diagnosis, your counselor is likely to recommend additional testing related to adaptive functioning.
Neuropsychological assessments collect information related to neuropsychological functioning, including memory, cognition, language, learning, and other behaviors influenced by brain functioning. The specific battery of tests conducted will depend on your individual needs. In addition, please note that these assessments are not substitutes for neurological exams, which are likely to include brain imaging and are conducted by neurologists.
Personality assessment consists of evaluating current general psychological and emotional functioning, as well as identifying personality characteristics that are likely to influence long-standing behavioral patterns. Projective and/or objective measures may be employed to obtain a thorough understanding of your personality.
Social Skills Training groups offer opportunities for individuals who wish to learn more about effective social interactions and the basic skills that underlie building successful and lasting relationships. Group membership is based on age range. These groups are designed to meet the needs of individuals experiencing social skills difficulties related to diagnoses such as Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADHD, ODD, Bipolar Disorder, General Anxiety Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, and Non-Verbal Learning Disability. However, no specific diagnosis is required for group participation.
Children’s Social Skills Groups are aimed at teaching children new social skills and giving them a chance to practice them in group. In the past, we have focused on things like: conversation skills, friendship skills, emotions, anger and anxiety management, peer conflict management, and manners. Each week we start the group by reviewing what we talked about the previous week and then introduce the new topic or skill we’ll learn that day. There is usually a discussion of the topic or skill and the kids are encouraged to add their thoughts and opinions to the conversation. After the discussion there is usually some sort of activity or game that we play to help the children put the new skill into effect. We always have snack and social time during the last 10 minutes of group. These groups are designed for children ages 5-11.
The Adolescent Experiential Social Skills Group is designed to assist teenagers in translating social skills to real-world settings by providing an opportunity for teenage students to practice social skills in community settings. For example, possible activities include mini-golf, bowling, and other extra-curricular activities in which adolescents generally participate. This is a unique chance for teenagers with significant social skills difficulties to practice social skills with their peers in an interactive way. These groups are designed for adolescents ages 12-17.
The Adult Social Skills Group provides an opportunity for adults experiencing significant social skills difficulties to gain and practice skills for forming and maintaining social relationships. This group is organized to provide a didactic component that familiarizes participants with basic social skills for adult relationships, as well as a practical component in which skills are practiced. In addition to basic social skills training, this group offers participants the opportunity to gain support from peers experiencing similar difficulties.
For more information about any of our groups, please contact us at (970) 491-5212.
In order to ensure the most efficient services possible, please call ahead and schedule an appointment with one of our staff. Our phone number is (970) 491-5212. Messages left at this number are confidential and will be returned by a member of the Psychological Services Center (PSC) administrative staff. After providing contact information and reasons for your call, you will be contacted by one of our assistant directors who will provide information about our services that relate to your needs, and can answer any questions you may have about the services or process.
Please be aware that we may have a wait list, and that you will be contacted about your status periodically. If we do not have a staff member available within your time frame, we will assist you in finding the service that you need.
As soon as possible, you will be contacted by a therapist trained in your area of concern. This therapist will schedule an initial appointment for you. From that point on, you will work with your therapist to establish and work toward your goals.
The Initial Appointment
When you arrive for your appointment, you will first be asked to spend a half hour completing written forms that will assist us in providing services for you. During the initial appointment, a member of our counseling staff will meet you to discuss how we can help you. This counselor will work with you to set goals and provide recommendations within our agency that best address these goals. If it is determined that an alternative agency would be better able to meet your goals, your counselor will assist you in seeking out the most appropriate services.
The Psychological Services Center (PSC) offers services on a sliding scale fee schedule. This means that the charges for all services are adjusted to take into account the family size and the annual income of clients. Fees are determined during your follow-up phone call from our assistant directors.
Individual, family, and couples therapy fees are charged per session, which is typically a 50-minute session for individual therapy and a 75-90 minute session for couples and family therapy, depending on your individual needs. Payment is expected at the time of service.
Psychological evaluation fees are also determined based on a sliding fee schedule. Fees for evaluations are typically expected to be paid in full by the first testing session.
Full-time students at Colorado State University (CSU) or Front Range Community College (FRCC) interested in therapy services at the PSC would be charged a standard rate of $15/hour.
One of your most important rights as a client involves confidentiality. Within certain limits, information revealed by you during therapy sessions will be kept strictly confidential. It will not be revealed to any other person or agency without your written consent.
You should also know that there are certain times when, as a mental health professional, your counselor is required by law to reveal information obtained during therapy to other persons or agencies without your consent. Also, your counselor is not required to inform you of such actions in this regard. Even so, he or she will most likely discuss with you such potential disclosures before they are made. The times when your counselor must reveal information to other persons or agencies are as follows:
- If you threaten grave bodily harm or death to another person, your counselor is required by law to take reasonable care to protect that other person. This may include telling the intended victim and/or appropriate law enforcement agencies.
- If you indicate a serious intention to harm yourself, your counselor will take steps to prevent such harm from occurring.
- If a court order is issued, your counselor is required by law to provide the information specifically described by the court (unless an appeal is filed).
- If there is reasonable cause to believe that a child or “at risk adult” may be abused or neglected, your counselor is required by law to report this to the Department of Social Services or the local law enforcement agency. “Abuse or neglect” means an act or omission on the part of any person which seriously threatens the health or welfare of the child or “at risk adult”. This includes abuse that is occurring now or that has occurred in the past.
Please feel free to discuss confidentiality and its limits with your counselor during your initial appointment or at any point thereafter.
The Psychological Services Center (PSC) does not provide after-hours or emergency coverage.
If you have an emergency or need after-hours care, please call 911 or Poudre Valley Hospital at 495-7000.
The Psychological Services Center
C-36 Andrew G. Clark Building
Colorado State University
Fort Collins, CO 80523-1876
Telephone: (970) 491-5212
Fax: (970) 491-3380
The Psychological Services Center (PSC) is located in the Andrew G. Clark Building on the Colorado State University (CSU) campus.
From College Avenue, you will turn West on Pitkin Street. You will continue West on Pitkin past the athletic track, across the railroad tracks straight through the stop sign. On the right you will turn into the Animal Sciences Parking Lot. Then come into the Clark Building to the basement to C – 36.
Please allow yourself extra time to find a parking spot. Parking is available in the garage on Pitkin Street.
If you have questions, or need more information, please call us at 970-491-5212.
Directions to the Gifford Building
Heading North on College Ave:
- From College turn LEFT on W Prospect Rd
- Turn RIGHT on Center Ave
- Turn LEFT on W Lake Street
- The Gifford Building is located on the right side
- For parking, continue on W Lake St and turn RIGHT on Meridian Ave
- Take the 1st RIGHT and the parking lot will be on your right
Heading North on S Shields St:
- From Shields turn RIGHT on W Lake St
- The Gifford Building is located on the left side
- For parking, turn LEFT on Meridian Ave
- Take the 1st RIGHT and the parking lot will be on your right
The building has a playground on its west side; the parking lot is located on the north side. Our waiting room is located in Room 119; this is on the east side of the first floor of the building.