Student Counseling Services provides a wide variety of free, confidential services to ISU students. Schedule an initial appointment- either virtual or in person- based upon your preference. You will complete electronic forms prior to your appointment and then meet with one of our clinicians to discuss your unique situation. During that appointment, the clinician will recommend the service/s which best support your concerns. Recommendations may include one or more of the following options.

Counseling Options

Staff at SCS are trained to assist with a wide variety of presenting concerns such as: anxiety, depression, self-acceptance, relationship challenges, career exploration, grief, procrastination, family of origin concerns, life transitions, disordered eating/eating disorders, negative coping behaviors, as well as sports psychology for Iowa State students. Services to address these concerns may be provided by the following:

SCS Workshops


Workshops are engaging and interactive sessions designed to increase coping skills and mental wellbeing. Workshops are three weeks long and run continuously throughout the semester.

MOTIVATION & PROCRASTINATION: Three-week, skills workshop in which students will learn to identify factors that contribute to procrastination and low motivation as well as strategies to effectively address these challenges. Mondays 1-2:00 pm

CREATE YOUR OWN CALM: Three-week, skill-based workshop focused on developing strategies for addressing anxiety, excessive worry, and feeling overwhelmed. Tuesdays 1-2:00 pm

Group Counseling

Group Counseling

Group Counseling options are offered each semester for students working to improve their mental health. Group sessions involve sharing your experiences and listening to others' challenges. Group counseling provides a supportive environment to discuss concerns and work toward your personal goals. Group therapy is a powerful way of connecting students with others who are also navigating challenging experiences. Groups meet weekly for 90 minutes.

All students are welcome to express interest in any group.

UNDERSTANDING SELF AND OTHERS GROUP: General process oriented groups for students dealing with a variety of concerns (depression, anxiety, stress, relationship struggles, etc). Members explore patterns of how they relate to themselves and others to help change current behaviors and develop greater insight and acceptance. Mondays 3:00-4:30, Tuesdays 1:00-2:30, Thursdays 3-4:30 pm

UNDERSTANDING SELF AND OTHERS GROUP-Anxiety Theme:  This group will be similar to the description of the Understanding Self and Others group, with a specific focus on anxiety. Thursdays 1-2:30 pm

UNDERSTANDING SELF AND OTHERS GROUP-Graduate and Non-Traditional Students:  This group will be similar to the description of the Understanding Self and Others group, but specifically for graduate and non-traditional students. Wednesdays 1-2:30 pm

ACT Group: The Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) Group is for students who want to encounter depression and anxiety differently as well as pursue a full and meaningful life. ACT helps people relate differently to their anxious feelings, depressed moods, worrying mind, self-defeating behaviors and/or anything causing problems. Members explore patterns how they related to themselves and others to help change current behaviors and develop greater insight and acceptance. Tuesdays 3-4:30 pm

BIPOC GROUP: This group is intended for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) to openly engage in dialogues related to what it means to be BIPOC on a predominantly white campus. The group will be a mixture of both support as well as process and will additionally address general mental health concerns (relationships, depression, anxiety, etc.). Wednesdays 3:00-4:30 pm

Dialectical Behavior Therapy for Eating Disorders Group: Dialectical Behavior Therapy for Eating Disorders (DBT for EDs) is a semester-long skill-based group for students experiencing a range of body image, disordered eating, or eating disorder concerns.  The group comprises five modules: Mindfulness, Interpersonal Effectiveness, Emotion Regulation, Distress Tolerance, and Openness/Flexibility.  DBT skills help students who wish to improve their ability to regulate emotions, tolerate distress, be mindful and present in the given moment, communicate and interact effectively with others, and become more open and flexible to new experiences.  All of which are useful in healing your relationship with food and body. Thursdays 3:00 – 4:30

Group therapy is often the treatment of choice for people who experience troubled relationships, loneliness, depression, anxiety, grief/loss, and low self-esteem.  People who participate in groups have the opportunity to benefit from sharing personal experiences, giving and receiving support/constructive feedback, and experimenting with new interpersonal behaviors.  In order for group to work, a safe environment must be created and expectations for members and co-leaders must be understood by the participants.  The best way to create a safe environment for personal growth is for you to understand and to agree to these guidelines.

What’s said in the group stays in group

Feeling safe in group is very important to a successful group experience. Confidentiality is the shared responsibility of all group members and leaders.  Please keep discussions that occur in group confidential and keep names and identities of other group members confidential.  You are free to disclose to people that you are a member of a group and that you attend group, but to protect confidentiality, please do not discuss person-specific details of other group members to persons outside the group.

Weekly attendance is expected

Group members are expected to make a commitment to attend group the entire term.  Members also agree to come on time every week.  If you are running late or have an emergency/illness that prohibits you from coming to group, we ask that you call or email one of the co-leaders or let the front desk know.  If you know ahead of time that you will miss a later group session, we ask that you share the date of your absence with the group beforehand.  Individual and group sessions are provided at no charge but failure to attend group without cancelling will result in a $25 charge.  If you are unable to attend group consistently, you may be asked to discontinue group.

Group members do not socialize outside of group

Outside relationships between members can disrupt group cohesion and the therapeutic process. As long as group members are in group, relationships outside of group should be avoided.  This includes texting and social media.   If you do have contact with someone outside of group (e.g. see someone on campus), we ask that you share that contact with the group at the next meeting.

Safety of group members is important

If you experience thoughts of self-harm, suicide, or harm to others, it is expected that you will bring this up in group and/or make separate contact with an SCS counselor to discuss your thoughts.  If you are in crisis, you commit to seek out the help that is required to keep you and others safe.  Possible actions include coming to SCS for a walk-in crisis appointment (M-F 8:00-5:00), calling the National Crisis Line at 800-273-8255, calling 911 or going to the emergency room.

Individual Counseling

Individual Counseling

Individual Counseling is traditional one-on-one counseling offered through Student Counseling Services. Students schedule an initial appointment, where they will speak with one of our certified counselors about their individual situation. Sessions are typically every other week. This is a short-term solution, with students typically completing 4-8 sessions.

There is no charge for individual appointments with a counselor. If psychological testing is indicated, there may be a small charge associated with the cost of testing. There is also a charge for missed appointments without calling ahead of time.

Get Started

To get started with any of the above options, simply give Student Counseling Services a call.

Student Services Center

Hours and Location

Student Counseling Services is located on the third floor of the Student Services Building. 

Counseling Services is open 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., Monday-Friday during fall and spring semesters, but closed during all university holidays.

During breaks and summer, hours shift to 7:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

View on Campus Map

Although we provide individual therapy for many common presenting concerns, we cannot accommodate some therapeutic needs such as primary substance abuse, neuropsychological testing, court mandated therapy/assessment, or any level of severity not appropriate for every other week outpatient therapy. The Student Counseling Services Clinical Care Coordinator is skilled at connecting students with appropriate referrals.

Community Referrals

Student Counseling Services operates within a short-term counseling framework in order to use resources most effectively and meet the significant student need.  Generally, students who are referred to community resources include those whose needs would be best met by longer-term services or those whose needs require a specific expertise not available at SCS.  Students sometimes choose a community referral for a variety of reasons including the desire to access therapy services more quickly than the SCS can provide following the initial appointment. When a student is referred to a community provider, the SCS Clinical Care Coordinator may assist the student to determine an appropriate provider and make the initial appointment.  In other cases, the Clinical Care Coordinator may follow-up with students who have been referred to other services helping to assure that recommended care is being received.

Please download our Story County Community Provider List or our Polk County Community Provider List that includes information about local providers, their specialties, and information about what insurance they accept. 

On Your Own Options

While some people prefer an in-person counseling experience, others would rather interact with resources independently. The following resources are free to Iowa State students are are available 24/7, 365 days a year.

  • vcg


    Iowa State University Student Counseling Services provides free Virtual and In-person counseling services. An alternative option for free telecounseling services is offered through Iowa State’s partnership with Virtual Care Group.

    This includes ongoing individual therapy with the same provider available 24/7, 365 days per year completely FREE to students.

    Students experiencing crisis can be connected immediately with a counselor via telecounseling.

  • cy using tao

    Self-Help App (TAO)

    Therapy Assistance Online (TAO) is a phone app that gives users free access to thousands of self-help resources across a broad array of topics. The app includes features to journal and track different aspects of your wellbeing.