Therapy for College Students

For as long as you can remember, you’ve been excited about going to college.
You pictured the freedom and ease of making all your own decisions without anyone being the ‘boss of you’.
You’ve looked forward to picking out all your own classes and imagined forming life-long friendships.
The new opportunities to get involved in sports, clubs, greek life, the arts, social justice, or politics seemed exciting.
Generally, college life is a very exciting time for many young adults like you. However, this transition can also be overwhelming and catch you off guard. In fact, starting college may be the biggest transition that you’ve ever had to make.

Becoming a College Student Can Be Overwhelming

On one hand, you are now legally an adult and have all the freedoms that go along with that. But, on the other hand, adult responsibilities and making decisions on your own is new to you. You may still want or need your parents’ guidance. Also, your parents may be helping you pay for college and may continue to impose rules and expectations.

Often, when a college student comes to our counseling center they are worried about their privacy. Especially if their parents are paying for their education and/or therapy. At New Connections Counseling Center in Baltimore, MD, our therapists are skilled at navigating this tricky situation. We will always respect your right to have confidential counseling while also recognizing that your parents can be an asset during therapy.

Common Challenges College Students Have

Every college student faces their own unique challenges and struggles. Therefore, the things that you find difficult about college is likely different than what your friends and roommates are struggling with. But, these are some of the most common things many college students struggle with:

Making Friends in College

Making friends in college is different than in high school. It can be particularly challenging for students who are introverted, shy, or anxious in social situations. We frequently hear students discuss the difficulties of making friends as a person of color, socializing in ways that don’t involve alcohol, and finding like-minded people on a diverse campus.

In therapy, we can strategize ways to connect you with other students who share your interests or ideals. Also, we will discuss how to let your guard down so you can form strong relationships.

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Sex, Sexuality and Sexual Orientation

College is a time when young adults are figuring out who they are. Part of that may be exploring their sexuality. Our therapists create a non-judgmental space where you can feel comfortable talking about sex. The role of therapy isn’t to teach a particular set of values. We will help you understand your feelings related to sex and attraction. When you identify what you need in order for sex to feel safe and fun, you are better equipped to make good decisions for yourself. Ultimately, we will provide you with support while you form your own set of sexual values.

As a member of the LGBTQ+ community in college, you may be looking for support. Our caring therapists are here to listen, support you during the “coming out” process, or help you cope with intolerant beliefs or attitudes.

Rape and Sexual Assault on College Campuses

Unfortunately, sexual assault is an issue on college campuses and sadly, it often is not reported. Many sexual assault survivors feel ashamed or isolated, they may worry that no one will believe them. Sometimes, they will fall behind in their classes or drop out of school.
If you have survived sexual assault, it is important that you seek support to begin the healing process. We provide a trusting relationship where you can discuss what happened and will always be believed. The therapists at New Connections Counseling Center specialize in treating survivors of sexual assault. We are trained to help and support you through the healing process so you can regain control over your life.

College Alcohol and Drug Abuse

Generally, college is a place where drugs and alcohol are easily accessible. Many students report the pressure to use or abuse substances is intense. As much as most parents would prefer their children not indulge at all, many young people do. We want you to feel safe discussing substance use with us. Therefore we will provide you with a non-judgemental place to talk about the pressure or urges you are having. Then we will discuss the consequences of substance use or abuse and other choices you could make. If you decide to partake in drinking or drug use, we will discuss ways in which you can make safer choices. 

If you have found yourself abusing drugs and alcohol in a way that interferes with your life, then we can help. We offer specialized treatment for alcohol abuse to help you cut down or stop drinking altogether.

Academic Pressure and Career Choices

male student in a black cap and gown graduates from college. He feels confident about his career choices and graduating after therapy for college students in baltimore, MD 21210 at new connections counseling center " width="300" height="200"
For many students, your college schoolwork may be harder than it ever has been before. The expectation to get good grades is higher. It can seem like there is always someone else working harder or naturally more academically gifted then you are. For those prone to competitiveness, the pressure can feel stifling. This transition can also be particularly challenging for first-generation college students. Therapy can be critical in helping you identify any emotional issues that may interfere with your academic performance. We will also help you develop the ability to manage the inevitable disappointments you will have.
Maybe, your family has certain expectations regarding the major you declare or the career you are pursuing. Uncertainty about the future can be very anxiety-provoking if you’re approaching graduation. Unfortunately, this anxiety often gets in the way of career exploration and decision-making. Managing expectations, pressure, and anxiety so you can thrive is often the focus of counseling.
male student in a black cap and gown graduates from college. He feels confident about his career choices and graduating after therapy for college students in baltimore, MD 21210 at new connections counseling center " width="300" height="200"

Depression and Anxiety

College is a time when students often experience struggles with depression and anxiety for the first time. Maybe college didn’t live up to your expectations or you are struggling to get good grades and make new friends. These things can cause you to experience symptoms of anxiety or depression. These symptoms may make it hard for you to function. Therapy can help you learn new skills to cope with the things that are causing you stress or sadness.

Social and Economic Justice

If you are a college student of color, you will most likely find yourself as a minority on most college campuses (with the exception of historically black colleges). With that comes a host of unique challenges. It can be hard to manage the expectations your friends and family may have for you to achieve success. And it can feel particularly isolating and challenging to build community as a minority student. Furthermore, overt and institutional racism are additional things that you may have to navigate.

Money Issues

Anxiety about money comes in many forms. In high school, differences in wealth may not have been as obvious as they are now. On college campuses, income disparities can be quite wide and may leave you feeling like you don’t have enough. Keeping up with your peers’ spending habits can be a source of stress.

Student Loans

Maybe you are very worried about how you will pay off your student loans. Or you may feel guilty for burdening your parents with paying for school. This is common. You might feel uncomfortable discussing money or financial responsibility with your peers.

First-Generation College Students

First-generation students face unique challenges. Learning the jargon involved with higher education and can be confusing. Navigating these issues for the first time can cause stress for the whole family. Sometimes, first-generation college students can feel like they don’t fit in on-campus or at home.

Exploration of Beliefs, Values, and Spirituality

College is a time of self-exploration. Growing up, many beliefs and values were seen as facts. In college, many young adults re-consider things such as religion/spirituality and political view. If you are starting to identify with new and different values this can cause tension with your family. Although parents may want their children in college to establish independence they still may expect their student to uphold their family values. Counseling for college students can be a place to reflect on and clarify your individual values. Therapy can also be helpful in helping students navigate any tensions that come up.

The Advantages of Seeing an Off-Campus Therapist

More availability

Unfortunately, campus counseling centers are routinely overloaded with demand. For that reason, they generally can’t offer weekly therapy sessions or longer-term counseling. Due to limited resources, students with ongoing psychological issues, are generally referred to off-campus therapists. At New Connections Counseling Center there are no session limits. Additionally, there is the convenience of evening or weekend appointments. Our counseling sessions are available year-round, even when school is not in session.

Choice of Therapists

Campus counseling centers are limited to the therapists they have on staff. Going off campus gives you many more options, making it more likely that you will find a therapist who is a good fit for you.


You may not feel comfortable having your peers knowing you are in therapy. In our off-campus counseling offices, you are much less likely to run into a classmate or peer. If you still have concerns, please let us know and we will do our best to schedule your appointments at a different time than other students from your university.

The New Connections Approach to Therapy for College Students

Although we provide a very individualized approach to helping our clients, we generally use some combination of the following types of therapy:

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for College Students

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We often help college students navigate the transition to college and the challenges that occur. CBT will help you cope with the reality that your expectations for college may not match the reality of what it is like. We will identify the unrealistic expectations you have for yourself or others. Our therapists will help you stop comparing yourself with others. Also, we will help you cope with any tension or challenges you may be having. Them, we will help students develop healthy coping skills to manage challenging emotions. Often, we will brainstorm ways to meet new people or identify resources available to help them reach their goals.
group of college students sitting at a table working on homework on computers. Help making friends is a common concern discussed in therapy for college students at New Connections Counseling Center in Baltimore, MD 21210" width="300" height="200"

Supportive Therapy for College Students

We aim to provide support during the inevitable ups and downs of college. At New Connections, we provide you with a safe and supportive place to express your feelings and worries.

Psychodynamic / Interpersonal Therapy for College Students

Using psychodynamic techniques, we can help you explore who you are and what you need. We will help you process and clarify what is important to you and identify who you want to be. Then, we will talk about what may be making college extra hard for you and explore new ways to cope with negative feelings.

Therapy Can Help College Students Succeed and Find Happiness

Ultimately, therapy helps you identify new sources of meaning and purpose in your life. Change is part of life. You have probably gone through many life transitions already. It’s important to recognize your past is the foundation of who you are today, and parts of your past will always remain dear to you. Embrace that reality and look ahead to the future with a focus on the positive. It’s true that you will experience stress, and that’s ok. Not fun, but ok. Therapy can help you adjust to the changes in your life so you can enjoy your life to the fullest. And make decisions that are best for you.

Begin Counseling for College Students in Baltimore, MD

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If you are a college student who is struggling in some way, we can help! We are walking distance to Loyola University, 1.5 miles from Johns Hopkins University and within 3 miles of Maryland Institute College of Art, Morgan State University, and Towson University.

Follow these simple steps to begin counseling for college students at our counseling center in Baltimore, MD.

  1. Reach out to us using our appointment request form.
  2. Meet with our supportive therapists.
  3. Begin therapy for college students and learn useful tools to cope with the challenging parts of college life.
a female college student smiles while listening to music on her headphones after getting help during therapy for college students in Baltimore, MD 21210 at new connections counseling center" width="300" height="200"


In addition to therapy for college students, our Baltimore counselors provide a variety of mental health services at our counseling center in Baltimore, MD. Ultimately, our goal is not only to help you feel better but help you live better. Therefore, our services include therapy for depression, anxiety treatment, counseling for grief and lossalcohol abuse treatment, counseling for life transitionsindividual counseling for relationship issues, therapy for survivors of sexual assault, men’s therapy, and therapy for women. Call our Baltimore counseling clinic today to learn more about our counseling services and the many ways we can help you lead a more fulfilling life.

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