Psychology department offers anxiety clinic for students in need

Marian Lacey

The psychology department at Washburn University provides clinics and aides for those with social and psychological problems throughout the academic year. Among these clinics is the Anxiety Clinic.

One of the great things about the Anxiety Clinic is that it is not just limited to the Washburn community. People from Topeka and surrounding communities are able, and encouraged to attend. The clinic takes place in Henderson Room 111 and is only available during the academic year. Anxiety disorders such as generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, specific phobias and social anxiety disorder are treated here.

While in college, there are many worries and difficulties students may face. These include problems with classes, work, finances and public speaking anxiety. The Anxiety Clinic is there for reasons just as those. People with anxiety have a terrible time coping from day to day and these problems do not make it any easier.

“I think the Anxiety Clinic has a lot to offer,” said Cynthia Turk, director of the clinic and assistant professor of psychology.

Anxiety is among the most common group of disorders, and there are many different approaches to therapy for it. According to Turk, the cognitive behavioral approach works best and is used at Washburn.

“Anxiety problems are some of the most treatable,” said Turk.

This approach teaches the person skills to manage their anxiety. They are instructed to seek out situations that make them anxious and confront them using coping techniques taught at the clinic. Those individuals with problematic anxiety, who complete a trial of cognitive behavioral therapy, report significant improvement in their lives.

Multiple sessions are involved in the clinic. First, there is an entrance interview to determine if the clinic is right for a person. This involves an assessment of the problems one has been facing. This is followed by multiple treatment sessions. On average, seven to 14 additional sessions are needed. The cost of the clinic is $5 per one-hour session, which are typically once a week.

The therapists who diagnose and treat those in the clinic are graduate student therapists. This allows the clinic to serve a dual purpose: to treat those who suffer with anxiety and to give those graduate students training in the diagnosis and treatment of such disorders.

Many people have suffered with anxiety for years without seeking treatment either because they aren’t aware of the treatment available or for fear of embarrassment. The Anxiety Clinic at Washburn is strictly confidential.

“It’s amazing how much difference such a short amount of time can make,” said Turk.

For more information on the clinic, and the types of anxiety treated, one can go to To make an appointment or to speak with a therapist about the clinic, call (785) 670-1564.