Counseling Center services are free of charge to currently enrolled students who have paid registration fees. Sometimes other people important in your life, such as spouses/ partners, parents, children, or friends, may be involved in therapy sessions with you. The need to involve others will be determined by you and your therapist.

During the summer, students who are enrolled in the preceding spring quarter and are registered for the following fall quarter may receive services depending on service demands.

Students who are Minors (under 18 years of age)

Students who are not 18 years of age can be seen for therapy without parental consent if the student is 12 year or older and is mature enough to participate intelligently in the treatment. Although parental consent is not required for therapy under above circumstances, your therapist is required to involve your parent or legal guardian in the treatment unless their involvement would be inappropriate. Your therapist will speak with you first before making the decision to involve your parents. However, your parent or legal guardian does not automatically have access to your mental health records.

Why Do Students Come to the Counseling Center

UC Irvine can be a challenging environment for many students. For some students, the following “Top Ten” list has proven helpful in making the decision to utilize services.

Top Ten Reasons to Visit the Counseling Center:

  1. Stress is getting the best of me, and it is getting harder to juggle school, work, family, and relationships
  2. Intense feelings and thoughts make it difficult for me to concentrate, study, and focus.
  3. I try, but I’m unable to find the love I want.
  4. I am standing on the threshold of becoming "all that I can be" and I don't have a clue about how to take the first step.
  5. I am having trouble making decisions; family and friends run my life.
  6. I don't fit in and don't know how to get past hello with new acquaintances.
  7. So much has changed, and I no longer know who I am.
  8. I worry a lot about my weight; I am preoccupied with food.
  9. I am my own worst enemy. I don't treat myself well, and I question whether I should even exist.
  10. The "unspeakable" has happened, and I need to get past it.

Some of the issues students discuss:

  • Academic Performance
  • Stress
  • Life Transitions
  • Loneliness/Isolation
  • Relationships/Intimacy Issues
  • Roommate Conflicts
  • Self-Esteem
  • Anger
  • Grief/Loss
  • Anxiety/Persistent Worry/Panic Attacks
  • Family Issues
  • Identity Confusio
  • Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity
  • Eating Disorders/Body Image Concerns
  • Depression/Apathy
  • Sexuality
  • Abusive Relationships
  • Alcohol/Substance Use/Abuse
  • Sexual Assault/Rape
  • Pregnancy

What Services Are Right for You?

What Type of Service is Right for Me?

Why You Might be Reluctant to Seek Counseling

Here are some common ideas students may have that can interfere with their seeking therapy and responses to each of these interfering thoughts:

“I’m not crazy, and I’m not weak.”
Wanting to resolve problems is wise, not crazy. Seeking therapy allows you to get support and help with personal issues that are common for many people. Reaching out for resources to solve problems is a sign of strength and not a sign of weakness.
“What would my friends think if they knew?”
All services in the Counseling Center are completely confidential. Unless required by law, no information is shared without your written consent.
“I don’t discuss family matters outside the home.”
In many families and cultures, it is common to keep problems within the family environment. There are times, however, when an issue/problem might need the help of someone who can be objective and who has skills and training to handle particular concerns. The staff in the Counseling Center are professionally trained therapists who have expertise in multiple areas to help students.
“I should be able to handle my own problems.”
You are capable of handling many of your own problems. However, when an issue surfaces that is causing you to question yourself, or affects your daily functioning, or seems to be “unsolvable”, a therapist is an excellent resource. The therapist can assist you in finding ways to handle a particular issue.
“My problem isn’t that big, other people have bigger problems.”
Some of your problems may feel less important than those of your friends. However, if they are causing you distress and interfering with your daily life and work, a little help is a good thing. The Counseling Center staff is trained to work with students on a variety of issues and to focus on your unique needs.
“It’s too expensive.”
This is the best part! If you are a registered student, services in the Counseling Center are offered at no additional cost to you!

What Can You Expect From Therapy

The Counseling Center recognizes that each person is unique. As such, the issues addressed and the approaches used for each individual will be tailored through your work with your therapist. This is a collaborative, professional relationship with the focus on your concerns. Initially, your therapist will work with you to identify and assess your needs. Your therapist will often focus on gathering information on the current issues you present, and looking at historical data, if it is appropriate. Your therapist will help clarify your reasons and goals for entering into therapy. Once this is done, your therapist will work with you to determine the best therapeutic approach to help you meet these goals.

There are many approaches to help you move towards growth and problem-resolution. Often therapists will provide you with opportunities to learn new skills and coping mechanisms while also increasing your self-understanding and insight. Therapists may also examine past patterns to help you assess in a healthier way your current/past relationships, decision-making, and family dynamics. With the help of your therapist, you will better understand your strengths and abilities to manage life challenges which can be very important in achieving your therapy goals.


In keeping with ethical standards of the Counseling Center mental health providers, as well as California and federal laws, all services provided by Counseling Center staff and the records of these services are confidential to the extent allowed by law.

There are exceptions which include, but are not limited to,

  • If you provide written permission and request that we share information about the services you receive, the Counseling Center staff will share appropriate information with the designated people or agencies.
  • We consult as needed within the staff of the Counseling Center about the best way to provide the assistance that you might need.
  • Counseling Center staff members will share information about your services and/or your treatment records with your other mental health and/or health care providers when your Counseling Center provider believes that the information will benefit your care.
  • The Counseling Center shares an electronic medical system with the UCI Student Health Center, UCI Campus Assault and Resource Education, UCI Campus Social Workers, and the Assistant Vice Chancellor of Wellness Health and Counseling. The following specific fields of your electronic record may be visible to all of the above offices: appointment dates, your medications, allergies, problem lists, laboratory tests ordered, laboratory results, referral forms, and some letters from your providers.
  • Information from client records may be used for research purposes as allowed by state and federal law (e.g., client utilization data, clients’ top concerns).
  • Some administrative functions (such as technical maintenance, quality assurance and performance improvement, clinic/center operations, and professional audits) require access to our client records by Counseling Center staff members and affiliated professionals. These professionals maintain confidentiality within their jobs.
  • The Counseling Center professional staff have ethical and/or legal responsibilities to disclose client information without prior consent when:
    • A client is likely to harm themselves of others unless protective measures are taken.
    • When ththe client lacks the capacity to care for themselves.
    • When there is a reasonable suspicion of abuse of children (including developing or accessing child pornography), dependent adults or the elderly.
    • When there is a valid court order for the disclosure of client information and/or records.

o   Note: Some court orders require that the Counseling Center abstain from notifying the client of the release of clinical information and/or records.

Notice to Consumers

If you have questions or complaints regarding the practice of psychology, please see the Notice to Consumers