Student Affairs psychology

Navigating College, Navigating Life

Sometimes life hits you like a tsunami or slowly sucks you under like quicksand. The Abington Counseling & Psychological Services staff, Dr. Karen Gould and Janee' Stevenson, can help you through challenging times.

By: Regina Broscius
"We want to normalize the counseling process. Most people can benefit from having someone sit with them for an hour and listen intently. That can be hard to find in a fast-paced world." — Dr. Karen Gould, Penn State Abington

Many students deal with academic, financial, and family pressures that can intensify during college. Gould and Stevenson, a fourth-year doctoral candidate in clinical psychology, say seeking counseling shouldn’t be stigmatized.

"We want open and frequent conversation about the benefits of counseling so that the therapy process becomes normalized," Gould, coordinator of Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), said.

Students who seek help from the campus CAPS run the gamut from being fearful about a specific test to more serious concerns. Among the services CAPS offers:

  • Crisis intervention
  • Professional counseling
  • Referrals to outside agencies for psychological testing and/or psychiatric evaluations
  • Wellness programs on mental health issues

To encourage students to come in initially and then return if necessary, Gould and Stevenson rely on the students to take the lead.

"I let them talk about what they want to talk about and tell me what they need. They are in the driver's seat in this situation, and our work together should feel nonthreatening," Gould said.

Most importantly, "no one should feel pressured to go to counseling," Dr. Gould said. "It's a very personal decision."

Counseling

Where to Find CAPS Abington

Janee' Stevenson and Dr. Karen Gould have offices in the Cloverly Building, tucked away on the edge of campus to offer a measure of privacy.

Image: Pam Brobst

CAPS offers free services, and confidentiality is paramount. Last fall, the staff moved to the Cloverly Building on the edge of campus. There is little traffic in the area, and CAPS has a private side entrance to the building.

Gould reminds anyone considering visiting CAPS that, by law, she can't talk to parents or anyone else about their treatment without written consent from students. 

CAPS accommodates walk-ins but also accepts appointments. 

CAPS

Health Fair

Dr. Karen Gould (right) attends many events for students including the Health Fair so they are familiar with her.

Image: Regina Broscius

The University and Penn State Abington are addressing the current mental health crisis among young adults by increasing its commitment to providing support services. 

Abington Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS)

Hours: Monday through Thursday 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Fridays until 5 p.m. 

Contact information:

Dr. Karen Gould, licensed psychologist, Coordinator of Counseling and Psychological Services

103 Cloverly Building

215-881-7577 or ksg17@psu.edu

Emergency Resources:

Police or Ambulance: 911

Penn State Abington Security: 215-881-7575. 

Abington Hospital-Jefferson Health Crisis: 215-481-2525

Montgomery County Mobile Crisis: 855-634-4673

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-TALK (8255)

 

Health & Wellness Resources at Penn State Abington

The Penn State Abington Health & Wellness Center provides free on-campus basic health care, counseling and psychological services, and wellness programs.   

The Abington Care Team (ACT) provides members of the campus community an opportunity to share a concern about a student’s wellness or safety. The main purpose is to be proactive in assisting students and intervening with students who appear to be having academic or health/safety issues. Concerns may be submitted online

The Personal Support Team (PST) consists of faculty and staff available to lend short-term support to students in distress. This is not a professional counseling service. Students may contact any PST member to set up an appointment.