Therapy for College Students and its Importance

Group of international students having fun after studying

School is a demanding and difficult time in a student’s academic career. Because of this, all schools should provide easy access to mental health treatments for students. Some colleges offer these services through psychiatric departments or other related training programs. 

Contrary to common assumptions, college life is more than partying, making new friends, and trying new things. It’s also a tremendous transition, with new difficulties and obligations than in high school. Students in college confront everyday challenges and academic obligations that, if neglected, can aggravate mental health difficulties.

Counseling services can assist in combating negative mental health and providing good coping mechanisms. Students should not let the stigma associated with therapy deter them from getting help if and when required. To have a successful and pleasurable college experience, you must manage your mental health.

So, if you’re a college student who feels like you’re drowning in debt, know that you’re not alone. More significantly, there are resources available to assist. The issue is that not all college students use mental health services.

You never have to feel “bad enough” to seek help from a therapist or a campus support group. Even if it appears that you’re just dealing with everyday stressors (homelessness, an obnoxious roommate, an unsatisfactory exam grade), speaking with a professional can help you deal with them more effectively and avoid a gradual buildup of stress that will be much more difficult to overcome on your own later.

Some students are concerned about the cultural stigmas associated with therapy, but this should not affect your decision to consult a therapist.

If you’re worried about your friends or family finding out, remember that therapists are compelled by their professional code of ethics to keep your information private unless required by law.

You may be surprised to learn that therapy is more adaptable. Going to therapy for the first time does not imply that you are committed to several sessions. You can go every other week, every month, or work with your counselor to create a custom plan. You may also ask about conducting phone or video sessions after meeting with a counselor a few times to make it simpler to connect around your schedule.

Students think the app is a great solution for therapy needs. Colleges and universities can use mental health grants to support students in this endeavor.

It’s also a good idea to look for a therapist that matches your requirements and personality. Suppose the first person you meet doesn’t give you a good feeling. In that case, you can request to be allocated to someone else and continue seeking the appropriate fit.

Until a certain point, most campus health clinics offer free sessions. Following that, you can discuss with your therapist the possibility of continuing your sessions with another expert off campus, especially since most insurance companies now cover basic mental health treatments.

If you don’t have health insurance, your on-campus therapist can refer you to low-cost options like sliding-scale therapists. Making the first step to schedule an appointment or learn more about the options available on your campus is a tremendous help to yourself. And you’ve earned it.

So, if you believe counseling services on your campus could be beneficial to you, perform a fast Google search for them. You may phone, send a message, or just stroll into the health center to be set up after finding the primary number, email, or address on your school’s website. If you can’t locate the information you need on the internet, contact your academic adviser.

Class Of University Students Using Laptops In Lecture

Types of Therapy available for college students

Psychodynamic, cognitive, interpersonal, and supportive therapy are available to students.

Psychodynamic Therapy (PDT): 

This method focuses on uncovering the unconscious meanings and reasons for harmful behaviors, feelings, and beliefs to change them. A tight working connection between the therapist and the student is a hallmark of psychoanalytically oriented treatments. Students get insight into themselves as a result of their therapeutic encounters.

Few mental health practitioners currently perform psychodynamic therapy alone, according to experts, but rather combine elements of it with other types of therapy, such as cognitive behavior therapy (CBT). The therapeutic bond between the therapist and the medical student in issue is most important for successful outcomes. It is the coming together that brings healing.

Psychodynamic therapy can help you recognize, comprehend, express, and resolve various difficulties. It may be quite beneficial for a range of emotional issues. It can assist college students in coping with repressed feelings to strengthen their relationships.

Suppose you’re a college student having relationship problems, for example. In that case, it could be good to think about prior trauma or neglect—PDT is one approach to look at probable links. It’s a repeated urge if your father always knocked you down and you find yourself in love relationships with critical males. Returning to unpleasant early childhood memories and examining how you enact those painful relationship patterns in your daily lives may be instructive.

Regardless of the therapeutic technique, the task of therapy is to observe the mind’s workings. Instead of attempting to figure out why dysfunctional patterns exist in the first place, CBT focuses on how a person’s ideas impact their feelings and actions—a means to learn new habits instead of figuring out why dysfunctional patterns exist in the first place. CBT is a problem-solving approach to the behavioral modification that is more in the present moment. The premise behind PDT is that knowledge will suffice to see the patterns. 

Cognitive Therapy: 

Instead of focusing on what individuals do, cognitive therapy focuses on what they think. According to cognitive therapists, dysfunctional thinking leads to dysfunctional emotions or behaviors. People may alter their feelings and actions by altering their thinking.

The basic premise is that thought precedes a mood. Therefore, learning to replace negative ideas with positive ones can enhance a person’s mood, self-esteem, behavior, and physical status. Studies have demonstrated cognitive therapy to be an effective treatment for depression, equivalent to antidepressants and interpersonal or psychodynamic therapy. 

Cognitive therapy and antidepressants are used together to treat severe or persistent depression. Students who have just a partial response to proper antidepressant medication have found cognitive therapy helpful. Cognitive therapy has been demonstrated to lower recurrence rates in people with depression. 

Cognitive therapy is a type of treatment that involves assisting students in identifying and correcting incorrect self-beliefs that cause particular moods and behaviors. The core idea of cognitive therapy is that a person’s environment, physiological reactions, and subsequent behavior are all tied to their thoughts. As a result, altering a thought that develops in a certain context will alter mood, behavior, and bodily reaction. 

Interpersonal Therapy (IPT): 

IPT (interpersonal therapy) is a concentrated, short-term treatment for depression. IPT, which focuses on interpersonal concerns, has been proven in studies to be at least as beneficial as antidepressant therapy for mild to severe clinical depression.

IPT is a time-limited, organized treatment program that focuses on a person’s primary social support network, attempting to resolve any issues to alleviate depressive symptoms. It was found by chance in research comparing the effectiveness of antidepressant drugs to psychotherapies in the 1970s.

Symptom remission and the improvement of a student’s primary social support unit are the two main goals of IPT. The therapist usually asks inquiries to learn about the student’s present social support system and previous life experiences and assist them in compartmentalizing them. Unresolved bereavement (such as the loss of a loved one), life transitions (such as changes in employment or marital status), disagreements/disputes (such as with a loved one), and interpersonal deficiencies are the four most common kinds of interpersonal issues. 

IPT is now used to treat depression, bipolar disorder, eating disorders, substance misuse, and anxiety, among other problems. IPT is adaptable to students of all ages. There are presently no recognized drawbacks to this treatment. The only criteria for being accepted for IPT treatment are that the student has enough drive and interest to stick with it for the entire treatment period (usually 6 to 20 weeks) and that they are aware of and understand their interpersonal interactions.

Attachment and interpersonal psychoanalysis are the two major psychological theories that IPT is based on. According to attachment theory, humans are driven to develop meaningful ties with others from birth, which serve as a source of identity, security, and support. Disruptions in these connections, such as losing a loved one, can negatively influence one’s health.

Supportive Therapy: 

Supportive therapy is a type of psychotherapy that depends on the therapeutic alliance to relieve symptoms, promote self-esteem, restore reality, regulate impulses and negative thinking, and strengthen the capacity to cope with life’s stresses and obstacles. 

Supportive therapy is a collection of practical and adaptable psychosocial therapies. The student and therapist work together to alleviate suffering and improve functioning. The purpose of supportive therapy is to improve the student’s capacity to utilize their strengths, successfully engage with sources of social support, and practice adaptive problem-solving skills. Supportive therapy acknowledges that everyone has abilities and coping mechanisms that can sometimes be overwhelmed by circumstances. When people are overwhelmed, they have a hard time mobilizing their abilities and strengths, have a lower capacity to handle complicated information, and may feel helpless.

Medical professionals sometimes become so preoccupied with their students’ acute symptoms and unhappiness that they neglect to learn about and emphasize their students’ previous strengths and good characteristics. Supportive therapy allows therapists to focus on the student’s strengths and resources while also assisting the student in efficiently mobilizing these to better tolerate emotions, solve issues, manage obstacles, and improve social support.

The supportive psychotherapy connection only exists to address the student’s needs, which is a significant aspect of the relationship. The therapist’s happiness must stem from professional satisfaction and a job well done, not from the student’s thanks. 

Only issues and conflicts that the student is aware of are addressed in supportive psychotherapy. Other psychotherapy, such as recognizing unconscious issues, relies on less direct methods. They are examined in supportive psychotherapy only when abstract concepts like defense mechanisms appear dysfunctional.

Multiracial students are walking in university hall during break.

Importance of Therapy for College Students

The following are some of the most common aims and advantages of psychodynamic psychotherapy: 

  1. In schools, there will be an improvement in interpersonal functioning and relationships.
  2. Students’ self-esteem will improve due to improved performance and capacity to find joy in the medical profession.
  3. Improved capacity to achieve long-term objectives.
  4. Aggression and negative emotional displays are better managed.
  5. Anxiety and depression symptoms among college students will decrease.

While these objectives are connected to the student’s difficulties, the other objectives and benefits of therapy are internal changes that the student will design and implement. These are some of them:

  1. Unconscious conflict revealed.
  2. Use of mature psychological barriers and coping systems improve.
  3. More versatility in how college students think about their colleagues and how they interact with them.
  4. The students’ mental representations of relationships will improve in quality.
  5. The medical student’s ability to perceive their own and colleagues’ mental states is improved.

The main importance of cognitive therapy:

  1. To educate you on how to assess the correctness of your thinking so that you may “lighten your load of unneeded emotional baggage” and use that additional energy for more constructive pursuits.

Students are not told that their thinking is incorrect; instead, cognitive therapists educate them on identifying the forms of thinking that make them feel worse and make them less able to cope with problems by utilizing their own experiences and behavioral trials. 

  1. Students can uncover more balanced ways of thinking by learning to test their views via real-world trials. Thanks to more balanced thinking, they’ll be able to handle a range of emotions that previously appeared overpowering.

The main aims of supportive therapy; 

  1. Assist students in improving their social support, directly impacting their mental and physical well-being.
  2. Medical results and psychological functioning improved.

Interpersonal therapy has some benefits, including:

  1. IPT can help students realize how their relationships influence their lives, leading to better relationships. The goal is to assist people in improving their social skills while also lowering their depression levels.
  2. Your connections have the power to raise or lessen your depression, and being depressed has the potential to negatively affect your relationships. As a result, the goal of IPT is to strengthen your ability to interact with others to reduce your depression symptoms.


The relevance of students’ mental health and optimum psychological functioning is obvious. Students’ mental health treatments should be accessible and cheap at all schools.

Individuals, families, and communities can benefit greatly from therapy delivered by experienced specialists. Therapy assists people in through difficult life events such as a loved one’s death, divorce, natural catastrophes, school stress, and job loss. It gives you the tools and knowledge you need to deal with mental health concerns like anxiety and sadness. Therapy, in the end, enables individuals to live healthy and productive lives.

Individualized attention to a student’s psychological functioning can aid in the promotion of well-being and the reduction of burnout. Helping students develop the skills they’ll need to be healthy throughout their careers has significant benefits for the school system.

If you are a college / university administrator or student, please contact us to learn more about, the Telehealth service designed specifically for colleges and universities.


1. Ablon, J., and Enrico Jones. “How expert clinicians’ prototypes of an ideal treatment correlate with outcome in psychodynamic and cognitive-behavioral therapy.” Psychotherapy Research 8.1 (1998): 71-83.

2. Beck, Aaron T., and Marjorie Weishaar. “Cognitive therapy.” Comprehensive handbook of cognitive therapy. Springer, New York, NY, 1989. 21-36.

3. Rupke, Stuart J., David Blecke, and Marjorie Renfrow. “Cognitive therapy for depression.” American Family Physician 73.1 (2006): 83-86.

4. Stuart, Scott. “Interpersonal psychotherapy for postpartum depression.” Clinical Psychology & Psychotherapy 19.2 (2012): 134-140.

5. Klerman, Gerald L., et al. “Treatment of depression by drugs and psychotherapy.” American Journal of Psychiatry 131.2 (1974): 186-191.

6. Kirkpatrick, Lee A., and Phillip R. Shaver. “Attachment theory and religion: Childhood attachments, religious beliefs, and conversion.” Journal for the scientific study of religion (1990): 315-334.

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