Frequently Asked Questions
What is therapy?
Therapy is a process that involves talking with a person trained to help you address areas of concern and help you meet your life goals. At the UCLA Psychology Clinic, we strive to use therapy strategies that have been shown by scientific research to be helpful for the important issues in your life. The first few meetings with your therapist will likely be used to get a better sense of your concerns and areas of strength, your history, and your goals. You and your therapist will discuss the approach that will be used, and your therapist will help you track your weekly progress towards your therapy goals.
Sessions typically last 50 minutes, one time a week, but they may happen more frequently or somewhat less frequently depending on the type of concern that you have and how far along you are in the treatment. It is important that you attend regularly in order to get the maximal benefit from therapy. Often, your therapist will ask you to complete some specific activity during the week to help you continue making progress between therapy sessions.
What is group therapy?
Group therapy involves meeting with one or two therapists and a small group of other individuals (usually between 2 and 5 other people) who are coping with similar concerns. The therapists will lead the group through skill-building exercises and discussions. Group members can provide one another with support, new ideas for coping, and a chance to practice new skills and behaviors. We offer Dialectical Behavior Therapy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy groups for adults and a social skills/ friendship group for elementary and middle school children. Please call the Clinic office for further information about our current group offerings. We are currently not accepting new clients for Dialectical Behavior Therapy.
What is assessment?
Assessment refers to testing and other forms of information gathering done to help answer client questions about possible learning disabilities, attention problems, behavioral problems, school/work difficulties, or other cognitive concerns. In general, the assessor will meet with you for one intake session to gather information about your current concerns and history. This intake appointment is typically followed by 2-4 testing sessions of 2-3 hours each, where the assessor will give you different types of tests that are specifically selected to answer the question that brought you into assessment. After the testing is complete, the assessor will prepare a full report with all of the results, and meet with you to discuss the findings and address any questions you may have. If you are completing an assessment to determine whether you might be eligible for accommodations through a specific organization (e.g. the College Board, the California Bar Exam), you must notify your assessor of those needs at the intake and bring along information about any specific tests that organization requires. We do not provide giftedness testing or custody evaluations.
Who is eligible for services at the UCLA Psychology Clinic?
Services at the Clinic are open to the general public. You need not be affiliated with the university in any way to seek services here. We welcome clients of all ages, nationalities, gender identities, races, ethnicities, sexual orientations and ability/disability.
UCLA students may be eligible for free services at the Counseling and Psychological Services on campus, which is separate from our clinic.
What can I expect when I call the Clinic for the first time?
When you call the Psychology Clinic during our office hours, one of our staff members will tell you more about our clinic and our policies. They will also spend about 10-20 minutes asking you some questions about what kinds of services you're seeking (therapy or assessment), your current concerns, and whether you're experiencing some types of problems that often bring people into treatment. If it seems likely that we can provide services that are a good match to what you are looking for, you will be scheduled for an intake appointment. If your needs would be better met by a different type of service, or if you would like to pursue treatment outside of the Clinic, we will be happy to give you appropriate referrals.
What do I need to bring to the intake appointment?
If you have records that would be important for the person treating you to see, it's a good idea to bring those to the intake appointment. For example, if you are seeking an assessment because of school problems it could be helpful to bring along your school records. If you are currently taking any medications, please bring along the names and dosages of those medications, as well as information about who is prescribing them. Fees for therapy and assessment are determined on a sliding scale, so it is important to bring a form of income verification to this first meeting (e.g. check stub, income tax return, or W-2). Intake fees are $40 for therapy intakes and $60 for assessment intakes, payable by cash, debit, or credit card at the time of the intake.
What does it mean that the UCLA Psychology Clinic is a training clinic?
The services at the UCLA Psychology Clinic are provided by graduate students in the Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program at UCLA. They are not yet licensed, but all of the services they provide are supervised closely by UCLA faculty or a licensed clinical psychologist affiliated with our program. You will be provided with this supervisor's name at the start of your therapy or assessment. Because the students are being supervised, sessions are observed live or recorded and the supervisor reviews the recordings to ensure that the students are providing the best care possible. The recordings are confidential, will be deleted at the end of treatment, and are used only to provide feedback to the students. If you are not comfortable with this arrangement, we can provide you with referrals to a licensed psychologist.