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What is personal counseling?

Personal counseling offers guidance and consultation designed to provide students with support and an opportunity to talk about personal, social, and academic matters in a safe, confidential setting.  

What's the purpose of student counseling?

Personal counseling is designed to identify students' strengths and enhance personal growth skills in the learning environment. 

Why use personal counseling? 

Frequently, there are stress factors associated with college life. You may experience challenging times when faced with the rigors of academics mixed with potential new freedoms, exciting and demanding life choices, and a variety of venues for growth and expression.

Or you simply may need to get something off your chest. 

Personal counseling can provide support for your individual concerns that might interfere with personal success and satisfaction, academic progress, and social development at Penn State. 

Some of the more common concerns include difficulty with friends, roommates, or family members; depression and anxiety; sexual identity issues; lack of motivation or difficulty relaxing, concentrating or studying; eating disorders; sexual assault and sexual abuse recovery, and uncertainties about personal values and beliefs.

Many common concerns for students include:

  • Difficulty in adjusting to college
  • Homesickness
  • Problems with friends, roommates, and/or family members
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Lack of motivation 
  • Difficulty in relaxing
  • Concerns about your major, career, and/or future
  • Difficulty in concentrating or studying
  • Trouble coping with academic pressures
  • Uncertainties about personal values and beliefs

If you experience or deal with any of these issues or any other stressors, you're urged to make an appointment to talk with our personal counselor. We're here to help you. 

What services are provided?

Personal counseling offers a variety of confidential and free services for currently-enrolled students, including:
  • Individual counseling
  • Community referrals
  • Programs on topics of well-being
  • Additional counseling and support services as needed 

How is student confidentiality protected?

  • All information shared between the student and the counselor is strictly confidential.
  • All calls and requests for information are strictly confidential.
  • No contacts are made without the student's written permission, unless the student is a risk to himself/herself or others.

How do I make an appointment for personal counseling?

To schedule a personal, confidential appointment, please contact Brenda Schultz, MA, student personal and career counselor, at bcs16@psu.edu, 724-773-3961, or contact the Office of Student Affairs at 724-773-3959 or 724-773-3951. Students are also encourage to stop by the Student Development Office, 101 Student Union Building.

Crisis Intervention

If you're afraid you can't avoid hurting yourself or someone else, get help immediately, no matter the time of day or night. C3888.

Students who experience a psychological and/or emotional crisis often need immediate help and intervention.  Examples of serious crises include: 

  • Suicidal or homicidal thoughts or impulses
  • Sexual or physical assault
  • Hearing voices and/or misperceiving reality in any way
  • Overwhelming loss, such as a death in the family

The student, or the faculty or staff member referring a student, should alert authorities in the event of a crisis situation. MAKE IT VERY CLEAR THAT YOU (or the student) ARE IN CRISIS. Every effort will be made to respond immediately.

If you can’t reach someone immediately, please contact Dr. Chris Rizzo, director of student affairs, 724-773-3957, or Ms. Amy Gartley, associate director of student affairs, 724-773-3956 or 724-773-3950. In addition, Harmony Hall residence are provided with after-hours crisis assistance.

In the event of an after-hours crisis, please call Penn State Beaver University Police immediately at 724-773-3888.

Additional counseling services are available in the area.

Heritage Valley Health System
Stauton Clinic and Community Crisis Counseling Services
176 Virginia Avenue
Rochester, PA 15074

If you feel you need more professional counseling assistance, the Heritage Valley Health System and Stauton Clinic in Rochester has an assigned licensed social worker liaison who partners with Penn State Beaver.

You may meet with the liaison for an on-campus appointment for a maximum of three visits by calling Staunton Clinic at 724-770-8222 or by contacting Brenda Schultz, MA, Beaver campus student personal and career counselor, bcs16@psu.edu or 724-773-3961.

Crisis intervention services at Staunton Clinic are available 24 hours a day. Services include phone, cell, and walk-in. Call 724-775-5208 or 1-800-400-6180. 

Students can also meet with the assigned licensed social worker liaison at the Heritage Valley Stauton Clinic's Rochester office, which is located 10 minutes from campus. Students may receive six to eight sessions at no charge for services and no insurance is required when you show your current PSU ID.

The clinic can provide confidential mental health outpatient crisis services for students using best practice standards.

Outpatient and specialty programs include:

  • Clinical evaluations,
  • Psychiatric evaluations and medication management
  • Individual, marital, family, and group therapy

To make an appointment, please contact Lori Thomas, support staff at Heritage Valley Health System, 724-770-8290.

If you need transportation to the clinic, arrangements will be made for you through the campus shuttle service. To schedule the shuttle, please contact the Office of Student Affairs, 724-773-3959 or 724-773-3951, or visit the Student Development Office in room 101, Student Union Building.


For help or assistance, contact:

Brenda Schultz, MA
Student Personal and Career Counselor
724-773-3959 or
Room 101-C, Student Union Building.