When coming to a clinic like ours, it is natural for people to have questions about how the clinic operates, what will happen to them, and what will be expected of them. Hopefully, this information page will provide you with some answers.
You may also find it helpful to tour some of the other clinic links listed above to find more specific information about topics of interest to you.
In any event, should you have remaining questions, please feel free to drop by 340 Fraser Hall or call 785-864-4121 and ask to speak with someone who can respond to your concerns. E-mail inquiries regarding general information will be answered in kind. However, due to confidentiality considerations, the clinic does not schedule appointments or conduct client business via e-mail. For appointments, call 785-864-4121.
The KU Psychology Department operates the clinic as part of its graduate training program in clinical psychology. The clinic has been offering a variety of services to the University and Lawrence community since it was first established in 1952. The clinic is staffed by licensed clinical psychologists and graduate students who have completed at least part of their training toward the doctorate degree (Ph.D.) in clinical psychology. As part of their training, the graduate students provide the majority of the services performed in the clinic and are closely supervised by the licensed staff members. Because this is, first and foremost, a training clinic, it does not offer after-hours or weekend counseling services. We do, however provide information regarding other agencies that provide after-hours emergency services. In addition to training students and providing services, the clinic provides opportunities for students and faculty members to do research on topics related to the practice of clinical psychology.
Our clinic functions much like a small community mental health center. People who are contacting the clinic for the first time, either in person or over the phone, are put in touch with an "intake" worker. An intake worker is available between the hours of 12:30 pm and 4:30 pm. Monday through Friday, and is usually one of the graduate students in training. The intake worker determines whether the person is seeking services or is simply wanting information. If it is information that is being sought, the intake worker either provides it or refers the person to a resource where the information may be available. If services are being sought, the intake worker does a brief (typically 10-15 minute) interview to determine the general nature of the needed services. If the needed services are not available through our clinic, the intake worker attempts to refer the individual to a resource where the services may be available. If the needed service is available through our clinic, the intake worker passes the general information on to a "Clinic Coordinating Assistant" who reviews it and assigns a therapist who then contacts the individual to set up an appointment for their initial consultation.
Initial consultation sessions for therapy are free and are for the purpose of (a) finding out more about what type of services the individual wants, (b) answering questions the individual may have about the clinic, and (c) helping the individual decide if the clinic is a good "fit" for him or her. Occasionally, people decide that the clinic is not well suited to their needs. When this happens, the therapist tries to help them find services that are a good match.
If the therapist and prospective client agree that the clinic is a good fit, they proceed to determine a fee for the services. Standard clinic fees are $12.00 per 50-minute session for students and between $9 and $48.00 for all others. For non-student clients, these fees are commonly adjusted according to a sliding fee scale based on income and number of dependents, if the individuals provide us with evidence of their income. Once a fee has been agreed upon, the client will be asked to sign a Fee Contract and a Consent for Treatment form.
Among other things, the CONSENT FOR TREATMENT form states that the client understands that the clinic is a training facility, that the services provided by the therapist will be supervised by a licensed professional, and that there are some limitations to the confidentiality of his or her clinic files. These limitations are the same as those for other mental health clinics and professionals and include the facts that, based on professional ethics and state law, the clinic is obligated to break confidentiality in order to prevent a client from harming him/herself or someone else, to respond to court orders, and to report child/elder abuse and neglect. Except for these instances, all client information (including the fact that the individual is a client of the clinic) will not be released to anyone without the client's written permission.
The key to the success of psychological treatment is the willing and informed cooperation of the client. It is extremely important that clients regularly attend scheduled sessions.The client's own efforts play a crucial role in determining how much benefit is received. It is especially important that there be open communication. In fact, the most important responsibility a psychotherapy client has is to try to clearly express what he or she is thinking and feeling. Clients are far more likely to be successful in getting what they want if they and their therapists are communicating honestly and working together toward the same goals.