ASU psychology center aims to help children and adolescents improve mental health

Clinical Psychology Center now accepting patients from the community

August 8, 2022

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 1 in 3 high school students experienced persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness in 2019, a 40% increase since 2009. In 2021, those numbers continued to rise, with 44% of high school students reporting experiencing persistent sadness, and 37% reporting experiencing poor mental health during the pandemic. 

“These data echo a cry for help,” Acting Principal Deputy Director Debra Houry in the CDC release. Two adolscents seen from behind skipping toward a sunset, one wearing a backpack that reads "excited about life." In 2021, 44% of high school students report experiencing persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness, and 37% reporting experiencing poor mental health during the pandemic, according to the CDC. Photo by Kevin Schmid/Unsplash Download Full Image

The Clinical Psychology Center at Arizona State University is doing something about it. The center is now providing services to help families deal with this crisis and is accepting patients for in-person and telehealth treatment. These individual and family therapy options are designed specifically to help children and adolescents cope and build positive skills for the future. 

Services in the Clinical Psychology Center are provided by doctoral student therapists under the supervision of licensed clinical psychologists. The clinic provides a safe and accepting environment and a collaborative experience with active participation from youth and families. Clients work together with the therapist to identify goals in treatment, learn coping skills that could help with the presenting problems, and to practice these skills in between sessions as clients live their life.

Poor mental health in youth and adolescents is associated with negative physical health and behaviors like drug use, risky sexual activity and decision-making, and poorer grades at school. With the added stress of schools in many districts starting right now, it is important to take stock of what can be done to improve youth mental health.

One of the many challenges with dealing with adolescent mental health is that parents are often excluded and communication suffers. The student may isolate themselves, and the parent might not know what to do. The clinic teaches key skills to both the parents and the students in order to remedy this communication breakdown. 

“With low-cost, effective treatments available to address problems that present increased risk for later diagnoses, this is an excellent opportunity for parents to take advantage of our limited openings for evaluations and therapy,” said John Barton, director of the Clinical Psychology Center. 

The center was established in 1959 as an outpatient clinic and training facility for doctoral students in clinical psychology, and its mission is to provide outstanding service to its clients using evidence-based best practices, or treatment methods that have been tested and proven to work.

Therapy is available to children, adolescents and adults for a broad range of problems, including anxiety, depression, family problems, stress, child behavior problems, relationship problems, anger issues, ADHD, sleep disorders and adjustment to chronic health problems. Student therapists will teach strategies from evidence-based treatment modalities such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), motivational interviewing, acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) and parent management training (PMT). Fees are determined on a sliding-scale basis that takes an individual's income and family size into consideration. 

To get started, new clients can start the process by calling 480-965-7296 or by filling out an interest form.

Robert Ewing

Marketing and Communications Manager, Department of Psychology


Reproductive rights, prison reform and voting equality take center stage in ASU lecture series

The Seeking Justice in Arizona Fall Lecture Series returns for its 18th year

August 8, 2022

The School of Social Transformation at Arizona State University will celebrate the 18th annual Seeking Justice in Arizona Fall Lecture Series with three guest speakers spanning the month of September. The series kicks off at 3 p.m. MST Wednesday, Sept. 7, via Zoom webinar.

Seeking Justice in Arizona aims to engage community experts in conversation about national issues through the perspectives of Arizonans. The three speakers slated to speak at this year’s virtual event will discuss topics including voting rights, abolition and criminal justice reform, and reproductive rights. Seeking Justice in Arizona Fall Lecture Series speakers (from left to right): Alex Gulotta, Caroline Isaacs and DeShawn Taylor. Seeking Justice in Arizona Fall Lecture Series speakers (from left): Alex Gulotta, Caroline Isaacs and DeShawn Taylor. Download Full Image

According to Madelaine Adelman, professor of justice and social inquiry at the School of Social Transformation, this lecture series was established to highlight the multiple pathways to justice and address pressing yet entrenched contemporary social problems.

"The series enables students to learn about what motivates a person to create social change and how to effectively engage in social change efforts," said Adelman.

The first lecture of the series on Sept. 7 will feature Alex Gulotta, Arizona state director of All Voting is Local, an organization that advocates for the right to vote through a unique combination of community power building, data-driven advocacy and strategic communications. Gulotta’s presentation, “Don’t Believe the Propaganda: Our Elections Are Secure,” will focus on the importance of voting despite nuanced, systematic discouragement.

Next up is Caroline Isaacs, who will deliver a lecture titled “Creating Safety Outside of the Punishment System” on Sept. 19. Issacs is the executive director of Just Communities Arizona, an abolitionist organization that focuses on advocacy and organizing to reduce the size and scope of the punishment system to foster new, community-based approaches to justice.

DeShawn Taylor, founder and CEO of Desert Star Institute for Family Planning, completes the series on Sept. 28 with a talk on “Health, Rights and Justice: Frameworks to Address Reproductive Oppression." Taylor's institute partners with organizations led by people of color whose work and programming centers on their lived experiences.

All the lectures are free and open to the public and are held virtually on Zoom from 3–4:15 p.m. Video recordings will be available on YouTube following each event.

 Visit for more information. Register for the event here.

Marketing Content Specialist, Graduate College