UO Psychology Clinic provides low-cost, science-based therapy

November 28, 2018 - 5:00am

For UO students and people in the surrounding community, finding affordable mental health options can sometimes be a challenge.

But high-quality services are available right here on campus at the UO Psychology Clinic, located in Straub Hall. The clinic, which is the primary internal training site for the Department of Psychology’s clinical psychology doctoral program, supports the needs of the campus and local community through access to cognitive-behavioral therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy, and integrative behavioral couple therapy.

“One of the things that makes us different from a number of other providers in the larger community is that it can be really hard to find providers who are delivering evidence-based treatments that have good fidelity or good match to the treatment as it was originally developed,” said associate professor and psychology clinic director Crystal Dehle.

“The Ph.D program here operates from the clinical science model with the intent of training exceptional clinical scientists,” she said. “When they’re learning their professional skills around therapy and assessment we want to make sure they’re developing professional skills that are grounded in things that have good scientific validity.”

This year, the clinic is offering couple therapy, dialectical behavior therapy skills groups and individual therapy for adolescents — those 14 and older — and adults for many common psychological difficulties and disorders such as depression, social anxiety, phobias, panic attacks, trauma and acute stress, post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, sleep difficulties and generalized anxiety.

“The (dialectical behavior therapy) skills group is really good for people with anger issues or really intense mood swings or who have difficulty managing crisis and coping situations to practice skills in a group environment,” Dehle said. “During the evaluation we do a comprehensive diagnostic interview to sort out what types of symptoms people are having, if they have diagnosable disorders or not; what kinds of difficulties and impairments they’re experiencing, and then we’ll make recommendations about what might be most helpful. Sometimes it’s individual therapy sometimes it’s group; sometimes it’s couples therapy and sometimes it might be a combination of those things.”

Reflecting the diversity of coupling relationships that people are in — from couples who are dating and living together, married, straight or gay or lesbian, to polyamory and open relationships — the clinic provides behavioral couple therapy with an emphasis on changing some parts of the relationship but also accepting normal and inevitable differences between partners.

“Our main focus is helping people identify the repetitive arguments and fights that they have and helping them shift from trying to change each other to accepting their differences and managing how they have discussions that are more effective,” Dehle said.

Although the clinic does not bill insurance, it sets fees on a sliding scale starting as low as $10.

“Any current UO student or anyone affiliated with the military automatically pays the lowest fee,” Dehle said. “It can go up to $50 depending on household income and how many people are supported by that income.”

People seeking treatment can visit the website at https://psychology.uoregon.edu/psychology-clinic/ or call the clinic at 541-346-4954 to schedule an appointment and receive an assessment for a customized treatment plan. If the clinic is unable to meet their specific need, they offer referrals. And for patients on medication, a consulting psychiatrist is onsite once a month for medication evaluations or medication management.

Located at in Straub Hall,  the clinic is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday, with evening hours available on Wednesdays and Thursdays.

Although other clinical services are available on campus, Dehle stresses how vital the psychology clinic’s services are not only for the doctoral students in training but also for UO students and the community.

“Graduate training clinics, like ours, play an important role in psychological services in the U.S.,” she said. “We are training the next generation of clinical psychologists who will go on to improve the quality of psychological treatments and add to our understanding of psychological issues, while at the same time helping to meet the mental health needs of the campus and local community through access to affordable, high-quality services. The integration of professional training, community service and psychological science is at the heart of what we do.”

—By Sharleen Nelson, University Communications