Welcome to Counseling Services at the University of Denver Health & Counseling Center (HCC). We are here to support your mental well-being and academic success. Whether you are experiencing a situational problem or mental health crisis, or you have ongoing psychological concerns, we are here to help.
Our dedicated professional staff includes licensed psychologists, licensed clinical social workers, and licensed professional counselors, as well as supervised graduate students from all of these disciplines who gain valuable experience through our training and professional development programs. Each staff member is committed to supporting student development and growth from the period of transition to DU, throughout the college journey, all the way to graduation and beyond.
Counseling services at the Health & Counseling Center are offered to all on-campus undergraduate and graduate students. Individual, couples and group therapy options are available in English and Spanish. All our services are confidential — no information is released to anyone without written consent, except in the case of a life-threatening emergency or when it is otherwise required by law.
Please browse through this section of the HCC website to learn about the counseling services we provide. You may drop in to our same-day access services (without a scheduled appointment) on weekdays between 1 and 3 p.m. at the HCC main location on the third floor of the Ritchie Center (north side, on Buchtel Boulevard facing I-25). Call the Front Desk during business hours at 303-871-2205 or schedule an initial consultation online via the MyHealth portal any time.
We're Ready To Help
Counseling Services is here to ensure you get the support you need, whenever you may need it. Here are the ways you can get in contact with us or with sources of help we recommend from outside DU.
Schedule an Initial Consultation
If you'd like to make an appointment to meet us for an initial consultation, you may do so online via the MyHealth portal or by calling the Front Desk at 303-871-2205 during regular business hours. We look forward to meeting you!
Get Help Right Away
In any life or safety threatening emergency, dial 9-1-1 or call Campus Safety at 303-871-3000 or ext. 1-3000 right away. If you are experiencing a mental health crisis, call the Front Desk at 303-871-2205. Even after hours, there is always someone available to help! Just follow the prompts.
Drop In — No Appointment Necessary!
Our offices are open for no-cost same-day appointments on weekdays (Monday through Friday) between 1 and 3 p.m. Stop by to meet with a counselor for a brief 15-20 consultation. Student are invited to come meet with a counselor to learn more about our services and treatment options, or in the event of an urgent mental health issue. Students are seen on a first-come first-serve basis during this time.
Download the MySSP App
Get confidential support on your phone through MySSP; Student Support Program. The MySSP app from LifeWorks gives you 24/7 access to counselors who speak Mandarin, Cantonese, French, Spanish, and English. Other languages may be available by appointment based on availability. Helpful articles and videos focused on your wellbeing and success are also available through MySSP.
Learn More [Video]
Get the Help You Need, Your Way
At Counseling Services, we know some students benefit most when we offer a greater understanding of identity, a collaborative therapeutic setting, or a diagnosis and treatment plan for a specific mental health disorder. Choose a card below to learn more about how we provide the services you need.
Inclusive & Specialty Services
Our professional, highly trained counselors celebrate the wide spectrum of identities among today's college students, with a special sensitivity for the unique challenges faced by historically marginalized and oppressed groups.
Group Therapy & Workshops
We host a variety of therapy groups for students who want to engage together around similar issues, and can even send staff members out to your on-campus group to lead mental health workshops for residence halls, clubs, sports teams, and more.
Types of Therapy
Every individual's mental health is unique. That's why we offer a range of methods and approaches to help find the type of therapy that works best for you.
Traditional one-on-one counseling is still the most common type of mental health therapy. People choose to seek individual counseling for a variety of issues, including:
- Stress or anxiety
- Academic concerns
- Career choice confusion
- Eating disorders
- Substance abuse
- Family relationship conflicts
- Financial stress
- Grief/loss issues
- Intimacy, commitment, or relationship issues
- Identity concerns (e.g., ethnic/racial identity, sexual orientation, spiritual identity)
- Thoughts and feelings about suicide or self-harm
- Anger or thoughts of violence
What Can I Expect from Individual Counseling?
Individual counseling involves regular one-on-one meetings with one of our licensed professional therapists (or unlicensed trainees under close supervision), usually biweekly for around 45-50 minutes. The substance of these meetings is dependent on your own unique needs and circumstances. Because of this, each counseling experience is different.
Individual Counseling Often Includes
- Learning new problem-solving or coping skills
- Increasing self-understanding
- Exploring life patterns
- Gaining a better sense of how you are influenced by your surroundings
How to Begin Receiving Counseling
To begin receiving any type of therapy at the HCC, you must first complete a Initial Consultation or group screen with a counselor. This is used to clarify your reasons for seeking help and connect you with the services best suited to your concerns. Student can best start the process of treatment by booking either a same-day access appointment or an initial consultation appointment. See details below.
Same-Day Access Appointments
To book a free same-day access appointment, you must call the Front Desk at 303-871-2205 on a weekday between the hours of 1 and 3 p.m. These appointments cannot be made online. They take approximately 15 to 20 minutes and are administered first come, first served, so there may be a wait, depending on demand.
Initial Consultation Appointments
You can make an initial consultation appointment by calling the Front Desk at 303-871-2205 during normal business hours, or by using the MyHealth portal any time. They take approximately 45 minutes and involve an in-depth screening that covers more information than a same-day access appointment.
Get the Most out of Individual Counseling
- Attempt to clarify goals and what you hope to gain from the experience
- Consider how you feel about the counseling relationship
- Be an active participant
- Focus on what is most important to you
- Recognize and express feelings
- Be patient with yourself
- Ask questions
Group therapy is a highly effective means of addressing personal concerns — in fact, it has been proven equally effective to individual therapy, and even more effective in certain cases. The HCC offers a variety of group counseling options. Some of our groups are focused on a particular subject or skill, while others are more general in nature.
Our more general, interpersonal groups are titled "Understanding Self and Others." They can be particularly beneficial if you:
- Are concerned about how you relate to other people
- Feel isolated, depressed, or anxious
- Experience discomfort in social situations
- Lack intimacy in relationships
- Have family-of-origin difficulties
- Are dissatisfied with your friendships or romantic relationships
- Struggle with low self-esteem and/or low self-confidence
Watch this brief video to learn more about group counseling and how it can help:
What Can I Expect from Group Counseling?
- Groups typically comprise between five and eight people who meet to discuss their concerns together with one or two counselors.
- Group sessions are confidential — what is discussed may not be disclosed or discussed outside the group.
- Many groups last eight to ten weeks while others continue from one quarter to the next.
- You can participate in as many groups as you'd like.
- All group counseling and workshops are free for DU students.
General Groups: "Understanding Self and Others"
These groups have no specific topic for each group session. As a group member, you may bring up any issues you choose. The primary focus of therapy in the group is on the interactions among you and other group members. This is done through disclosure and feedback (giving and receiving information about yourself) in order to feel more connected and learn about how we relate to one another.
- The Johari Window is a visual resource that helps demonstrate this process.
- The Group as a Laboratory helps show how group members can try new ways of interacting within a safe and confidential environment.
- Learn some common misconceptions about group therapy.
These groups involve a mix of structured and unstructured activities, providing and receiving support from others around a specific shared issue or common experience.
Structured Skills Workshops
These workshops are group sessions focused on a particular topic. They typically consist of brief lectures by the group leaders, group discussions, and experiential activities.
Do I Have to Reveal All My Deepest Secrets and Feelings?
No. You alone decide how much you want to share, although members often report gaining more from group counseling when they decide to share more about themselves. Most group members tend to share more about themselves when they feel safe and supported in the group.
What Role do Group Leaders Play?
- Help create and maintain safety in the group
- Guide and facilitate self-exploration
- Give feedback and support
- Provide comments on interpersonal issues in the group
- Encourage group cohesion (closeness)
Some leaders take an active role throughout the duration of the group while others tend to give group members more responsibility for self-exploration. Generally, leaders of structured groups take a more active role than leaders of general groups, providing instruction on specific topics related to the group theme.
What Groups and Workshops are Currently Offered?
The following groups and workshops are being offered during the 2022 spring quarter. Groups and workshops will be offered in-person or online. Please see the brochure for details.
- Graduate Student Support Group
- LGBTQIA-focused Trauma Support Group
- LGBTQIA Support and Empowerment group
- Students of Color Support and Empowerment Group
- Understanding Self and Others
- Grief and Loss Group
- Stronger Together (for survivors of trauma)
- Time Management 101
- ACT workshop (for those struggling with depression and anxiety)
Please email the group counseling coordinator, Dr. Anand Desai, with any group related questions.
Designed to assist couples with relationship issues, couples counseling can help you gain insight into each other and learn effective ways of communicating and solving problems. It is available to couples composed of two individuals, at least one of whom is a DU student. Married couples, LGBTQIA+ couples, roommates, and housemates are all eligible.
How Do We Get Started?
Couples intake appointments can be made by calling the Front Desk at 303-871-2205. Both participants must attend initial appointment. DU students will need to complete associated forms via the MyHealth portal. Non-student participants should sign up for an account, and then contact the Front Desk at 303-871-2205 to have their appointment scheduled.
Who Will Be Our Counselor?
If, after your couples intake appointment, couples counseling is indicated as the recommended treatment, you may continue with your intake counselor or you may be assigned to a counselor with special interests or training in couples therapy. Counseling is provided by licensed professional therapists (or unlicensed trainees under close supervision).
How Much Does It Cost?
Fees will be assessed to the University of Denver student in the couple. If you are both DU students, your counselor will work with you to decide whose account will be charged. Fees are dependent on your health insurance and payment of the quarterly Health & Counseling Fee.
Let's Talk is a free and informal weekly service providing easy access to confidential and anonymous consultations with HCC counselors at different sites on campus, outside of the HCC. It is not a substitute for regular counseling, but can provide direction toward solutions and resources for navigating difficult situations. Sessions typically last about 15 to 20 minutes and are currently available at the Veteran's center and the Law School.
Who Should Visit Let's Talk?
No one will be turned away from Let's Talk but it is best utilized by:
- Those who are not sure about formal counseling and wonder what it might be like to talk with a counselor
- Those who are not interested in ongoing counseling but would like the perspective of a counselor prior to committing
- Those who have a specific problem and would like someone with whom to talk it through
- Students who have a concern about a friend and want some thoughts about what to do
If I Go to Let's Talk, Will Everyone Find Out?
No. Let's Talk meetings are confidential and anonymous. If safety is an issue (yours or someone else's), there may be a need to inform other professionals
Is Let's Talk Appropriate for Someone Who Is Suicidal or Threatening to Harm Themselves or Others?
No. If you or someone around you is in immediate danger, call 9-1-1 or Campus Safety at 303-871-3000 or ext. 1-3000 right away. If possible, you can go directly to the Health & Counseling Center (3rd Floor North Ritchie Center) during our normal hours, where you can get immediate help. Additionally, you can call the Health & Counseling Center Front Desk at 303-810-2205 — a counselor is available to talk 24 hours a day.
Is There a Time Limit for Let's Talk Meetings?
Meetings typically last about 15 to 20 minutes. They can sometimes be extended if you are in need of more time, but may be cut short if others are waiting. If you need a lot of time or have many things to talk about, consider making an appointment with a counselor at the Health & Counseling Center.
Can Parents, Faculty, and Staff Utilize Let's Talk?
Yes. If parents, faculty, or staff have an issue or concern about a student, Let's Talk is a great starting point to find help and resources.
If Appointments at HCC are All Booked, Can I Use Let's Talk Instead?
Let's Talk is not meant to take the place of counseling. If you need immediate assistance with a problem or feel you are in crisis, you can always call the Health & Counseling Center at 303-871-2205 or use our same-day access services.
Can I Bring a Friend I'm Concerned About to Let's Talk?
Yes. A Let's Talk counselor can meet with you and your friend, or with your friend alone. For questions, please contact the Health & Counseling Center at 303-871-2205.
Crisis and Urgent Counseling
If you or someone around you is in an emergency situation, don't hesitate to call 9-1-1, or Campus Safety at 303-871-3000 or ext. 1-3000, right away. For a non-emergency mental health crisis, call the Front Desk at 303-871-2205 — help is available 24/7.
If you are calling after hours, follow the prompts to speak to the counselor-on-call. This service is for urgent, non-emergency crises only, such as:
- You are unable to stop crying
- You have thoughts of hurting yourself
- You have thoughts of hurting other people
- You have not eaten or slept in days (not due to illness)
- You are unable to go to classes (not due to illness)
- You have experienced some form of gender violence, including sexual assault, relationship violence, stalking, and/or sexual harassment
- You have significant concerns about the welfare of another DU student
- You have experienced a loss
Gender Violence Counseling
The HCC provides counseling for victims of gender violence, including sexual assault, relationship violence, stalking, and sexual harassment. Students can also receive advocacy, support, and education from CAPE (Center for Advocacy, Prevention, & Empowerment).
Alcohol & Other Drug Counseling
Counseling Services at the HCC offers several counseling options to address issues related to alcohol and other drugs. Get more information, including the cost of each program, below. For further information on costs visit this page or call the HCC at 303-871-2205.
One-on-One Counseling Consultation/Outcome
In our one-on-one consultation, we assess your counseling requirements as they relate to drugs and alcohol, and develop a personalized game to best meet your needs. Session cost is $0 for students who have both the DU Student Health Insurance Plan and the Health & Counseling Fee (HCF), $20 for students who have HCF only, and $50 for students who have neither.
Our BASICS assessment consists of two separate 50-minute appointments with a counselor or health educator. These meetings focus on information gathering (an intake interview and drink tracking homework between sessions), assessment tools, and written feedback applying the information obtained. Cost is $0 for students who have both the DU Student Health Insurance Plan and the Health & Counseling Fee (HCF), $40 for students who have HCF only, and $100 for students who have neither. This includes two sessions and all of the assessments.
Our CASICS assessment is identical to BASICS, but with a focus on cannabis use rather than alcohol. Cost is $0 for students who have both the DU Student Health Insurance Plan and the Health & Counseling Fee (HCF), $40 for students who have HCF only, and $100 for students who have neither. This includes two sessions and all of the assessments.
The mission of the CHOICES program is to educate college students about the effects of alcohol on their behavior, to promote self-evaluation of drinking patterns, and to facilitate the acquisition of effective coping strategies so that students can make informed decisions and reduce their alcohol-related risk and harm. Students discover for themselves that their expectations about drinking often don't match their experiences, and the consequence of excessive alcohol use is incompatible with their academic and social goals, as well as their future desires. We administer CHOICES as a one-time, 90-minute group workshop for students referred to us by the office of Student Rights & Responsibilities for sanctions related to alcohol misuse. There is no cost for CHOICES.
Call the HCC at 303-871-2205 or talk to your counselor about tobacco cessation options. You can view resources for vaping and e-cigarettes on this page.
Community Resource List
Find community resources in the Denver area such as inpatient treatment facilities, intensive outpatient clinics, psychosocial rehabilitation, and private practitioners specializing in drug and alcohol counseling services.
Psychology Testing and Assessment
Assessment and diagnosis of mental health disorders such as ADHD and learning disabilities are available at the HCC.
The HCC offers full assessment batteries for students that include:
- Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- Learning disabilities (LD)
- Combined ADHD/LD
- Personality/behavioral assessments
Prices range from $505 to $1,560, but are discounted for students who have paid the Health & Counseling Fee.
Call the HCC at 303-871-2205 or book an appointment through MyHealth to learn whether a psychiatric assessment may be beneficial for you.
Suicide Prevention and Coping with Loss
Suicide affects millions of people each year. While there is no single cause of suicide, it most often occurs when stressors exceed the coping abilities of someone suffering from a mental health condition. Fortunately, everyone can play a role in suicide prevention. If you are suffering an emotional or suicidal crisis, know that there is hope and help is available. Visit our Suicide Prevention page to learn what you can do to keep yourself safe and steps you can take right now to get yourself back on track and living mentally well.
If you are concerned about a friend who may be in emotional crisis or thinking of suicide, you can learn how to talk with them, what to watch for, risk factors, warning signs, and what to do by visiting our Suicide Prevention page.
If you or a loved one has experienced the loss of a friend or family member to suicide, the feelings can be overwhelming and seemingly unmanageable. There is no one way to best handle such a tragedy, but there are tools available that can help survivors cope with grief. Learn more by visiting our Suicide Prevention page.