Frequently Asked Questions

We are available to speak with you by phone during business hours.  Learn more about our staff and faculty and our services.

How do I make an appointment?

We require an application for all services at the CPSD.  After submitting an application, one of our assistant directors may contact you to learn more about your needs and goals so that we can be confident that our clinic is a good fit for you. If it is determined that we can meet your needs, you will be contacted by a therapist to schedule your first appointment.

We are not able to see all applicants. If we are unable to meet your needs, or you would prefer to be seen sooner than our schedule allows, we will be happy to provide you with a list of community resources.

Do you accept my insurance?

The CPSD does not participate in any insurance plan and we not file claims. At your request, we will provide documentation that you may use to file a claim for reimbursement.

How much will therapy/assessment cost?

We operate on a “sliding scale” meaning we base your fee on your yearly income. If you have private insurance, we may be able to set your fee equal to your copay amount for a specialist's visit.  Fees must be paid at the beginning of each appointment.  Learn more about our Fees and Appointments.

What if I can no longer afford to pay for my sessions?

We understand that certain financial situations can interfere with your willingness or ability to continue treatment. If you have difficulty paying for your treatment, please contact the CPSD and ask speak to an assistant director about your fees.

What if I can’t attend my appointment?

To avoid being charged your full session fee, you must call at least 24 hours in advance to cancel your appointment. If you are scheduled for an assessment, we require 2 full business days notice of a cancellation to avoid late cancellation fees. Exceptions may be made in case of an emergency. Learn more about our fees and appointments.

What can I expect when I come to the CPSD?

During your first visit you will talk with your therapist about your concerns. Your therapist will discuss what you can expect from treatment and answer any questions you may have. In early sessions, you and your therapist will work together to identify your goals for therapy. Your progress will be continuously monitored and your therapist may suggest changes to treatment, as necessary.

How does psychotherapy work to address my concerns?

Your therapist talks with you to understand your concerns and goals. The process will vary, depending on the approach that is most appropriate for you. For example, you may examine factors that led to the problems you are currently facing, learn ways that your thinking patterns influence how you feel (and what to do about it!), or experiment with healthier alternative ways of coping with life stressors. The focus of your treatment is to create positive change in your life over time, through increased understanding and/or behavior change. Learn more about the process of therapy: Understanding Psychotherapy

Why is regular, on-time attendance necessary?

Regular attendance in therapy improves the chances of your reaching your goals, by ensuring that you are working on them consistently. Arriving on time gives you and your therapist adequate time to work on your goals during each session.

How are doctoral student therapists supervised?

The CPSD requires that all sessions be digitally recorded to allow for regular supervision by our faculty. The recording is confidential and will only be viewed by CPSD treatment staff for professional training, consultation, or supervision to facilitate your treatment. Session recordings are deleted on a regular basis.

What if I don’t feel better after therapy?

People usually experience some relief from therapy. However, discussing life challenges can be uncomfortable and/or upsetting. It is important to talk to your therapist when this happens. Considering all feelings, thoughts and perspectives - positive and negative - is necessary for making lasting life changes.

Can I get medication at CPSD?

No, we do not have medical providers on staff. However, our therapists are happy to collaborate with your doctor to coordinate your care.

I’m unfamiliar with downtown Richmond, where do I park? Will I be safe?

Because we are located in a vibrant and busy urban environment, we want to ensure that all of our clients feel safe in what may be less than familiar surroundings. Our area is well-lit and we have a VCU Security Officer on staff each evening. On-street parking is available at free and metered spots.

Learn more about VCU Visitor Parking.  Get a map and directions to the CPSD and learn more about our building.

Please do not park in VCU's parking lot (WW) next to the building.  It is permitted parking only and is well-patrolled.