Counseling & Personal Development Center

We are CPDC, we provide free individual and group counseling to students in a confidential setting. We additionally provided programming, outreach and consultation services for the Allegheny Campus community. We know the college years are a time of growth, transition, significant challenges, and considerable stress. We are here to help you with your concerns by being authentic in the pursuit to provide you with brief strength-based support.

Philosophy, Vision, and Mission


Consistent with the philosophy of the Division of Student Life that learning is grounded in an integrative, comprehensive, holistic, and transformative learning and student development approach, the Counseling & Personal Development Center (CPDC) believes in the intrinsic value of all students and in students’ ability to evolve and grow in ways that maximize strengths, minimize limitations, exercise resilience, and allow students to be their best selves. A multidisciplinary clinical approach is taken with licensed and license-eligible counselors from the disciplines of Counseling Psychology, Mental Health Counseling, and Marriage and Family Therapy. We work from a brief strength-based developmental approach that emphasizes person-environment interactions.


We aspire to meet students where they are while encouraging the integration of all academic and life experiences in a manner that is transformative and meaningful with regard to where students are and desire to be. We endeavor to provide mental health services that support the personal, emotional, psychological, social, and academic growth and personal development of Allegheny College students.


Our mission is to offer assistance with personal, interpersonal, social, educational, and emotional and psychological functioning from a developmental perspective through counseling and personal development services. We provide free, confidential, safe and supportive counseling services that include individual and group sessions, and consultation for students. We conduct outreach and prevention programs that focus on the development of the whole person, and programming that supports holistic wellness, student retention and success. We offer support to the campus community through consultation and support services to all student populations including but not limited to underrepresented and underserved students (i.e. first-generation students, students of color, LGBTQ students, international and undocumented students, and other student populations).

Roles and Responsibilities

Our role on campus is supportive and consultative in nature, affording CPDC the option to refer off-campus as is appropriate. The responsibility of the CPDC is to support students who experience mental, emotional, or psychological challenges during their academic tenure, through the use of brief counseling and personal development interventions. Additionally, we provide consultative services to the campus community.

Treatment Model

A brief therapy treatment model is utilized within CPDC for individual sessions. Brief therapy focuses on short-term treatment with a collaborative process between client and counselor with clear and focused goals at the center of the work. Treatment may also include specific therapeutic interventions and assignments. Students will have access to up to 14 individual sessions per academic year or up to 7 sessions per semester. Individual appointments will be approximately 45 minutes long, the frequency of appointments will vary based on student needs, with some students requiring just one to two sessions. The clinical judgment of the counselor and the client’s progress will determine the duration, frequency, and type of therapeutic services the student receives.

CPDC offers both referral only and open support groups. Those that attend individual sessions can also attend the open support groups and may be referred to the referral group. Group sessions do not count against the available individual sessions per academic year.


Students come for counseling to address:

  • roommate difficulties
  • loneliness
  • anxiety
  • low self-esteem
  • disordered eating
  • abuse issues
  • procrastination
  • family problems
  • interpersonal conflicts
  • difficulty in intimate relationships
  • questions about sexuality or sexual orientation
  • depression
  • cultural or ethnic concerns
  • achievement conflicts
  • concerns about the use of alcohol or drugs
  • gender identity questions

What You Should Expect

Below are some general principles that we follow. We will:

  • Maintain confidentiality
  • Provide an atmosphere that fosters authenticity, trust, and openness.
  • Provide you with unconditional positive regard in a non-judgemental setting
  • Work with you to understand your previous history, current concerns and goals
  • Address questions that you might have about the therapy process
  • Welcome feedback and criticism in relation to the therapy work


We take the confidentiality of our work quite seriously.

CPDC is one of three confidentiality resources here on the Allegheny College campus and we take confidentiality as a serious matter. The clinicians at CPDC are held to ethical, moral and legal aspects of confidentiality and therefore unless we have a signed release of information we are not able to disclose information regarding a student’s treatment. Additionally, we reserve the right to limit the information provided to a party who is requesting a release of information and/ or records requests.

Of note, CPDC maintains our records for a period of seven years at which time they are then destroyed per confidential recycling means.