Kansas adults eligible for free, online therapy through University of Kansas

The University of Kansas is offering free, online therapy to adults living in Kansas this summer.
The University of Kansas is offering free, online therapy to adults living in Kansas this summer.(WCAX)
Published: May. 25, 2023 at 11:19 AM CDT
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - Struggling with anxiety, depression or in general? The University of Kansas may have a cheap solution.

The University of Kansas Center for Psychoeducational Services is offering nine free, online therapy sessions for any adult living in Kansas struggling with depression, anxiety or “general life concerns.” Sessions will be provided by 19 doctorate and Masters students in the university’s counseling psychology program focusing on “client strengths and building hope.”

The program, which is conducted through KU’s Positive Psychotherapy Clinic, has limited openings for the summer with about 50-60 slots. The clinic estimated the first round of spots would fill up by June 8, but that the clinic would provide a waitlist to work from as soon as more slots open up.

Dr. Brian Cole, the director of training for the counseling psychology doctorate program at KU, said their therapy will take a more “balanced approach,” where therapy continues even after symptoms go away.

“We work to remediate symptoms and build well-being by engaging clients in goal directed thinking, positive emotional experiences, identifying their strengths and helping them to lean into positive relationships with others,” Cole said. “We want clients leaving our clinic to feel empowered to take on life stressors using the skills they learn in our clinic.”

Cole, who works alongside the clinic’s co-coordinator Kristen Hensley, said the clinic began to serve three purposes: to give experience to students meeting their degree requirements, to serve their community and to conduct research on the most effective therapy methods.

After the university’s campus shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, Cole said they made the switch to online therapy after realizing they could reach clients all over the state who needed help. Since then, the clinic has provided over 1,400 hours of therapy to clients as far west as Garden City.

Despite a small, annual budget of $3,500, Cole said the clinic is doing important work to improve the mental health of Kansans. Providing free mental health services helps the majority of Kansans who live in mental health deserts – or counties which have little to no access to mental health professionals – and those who do not have insurance or reliable transportation, he said.

Those interested are encouraged to apply as soon as possible by filling out this form or emailing Cole at bricole@ku.edu.