Free and confidential personal counseling, both in-person and telehealth, is available to students wishing to address a variety of issues. Whether you are in distress or struggling, seeking to gain a deeper understanding of yourself and your relationships, or working to prevent current concerns from developing into more serious problems, CPS has many options available to assist you during your time at MSU. There are options for individual counseling, group counseling, couples counseling, consultation, as well as seminars and training on special topics. CPS does not prescribe medication, though students can consult about medications at UHP Medical Services. CPS and its affiliated training program are accredited by the International Accreditation of Counseling Services and the American Psychological Association.

Scope of Clinical Practice Statement

Counseling and Psychological Services (CPS) strives to promote the academic success and personal well-being of the students of Montana State University by providing the most appropriate, inclusive, and effective mental health care services available. To best serve the MSU community, CPS provides a variety of clinical services offered within a short-term counseling model, which is focused on assisting students to effectively manage immediate concerns and achieve specific desired changes or goals.

All students are welcome to be seen at CPS for an initial intake assessment where they can discuss their presenting concerns and receive information and recommendations for available treatment options. At the intake appointment, and sometimes during the course of treatment, it may be determined that the needs of a student are outside the CPS scope of practice, or that a student does not meet the service eligibility requirements (Please contact CPS for details on eligibility criteria).  When services other than those provided by CPS are recommended by CPS staff, or elected by a student, an attempt will be made to provide appropriate referral resources and guidance to aid students in the process of accessing those services. 

CPS will remain available to all MSU students for crisis intervention, emergency services, and/or assistance accessing off-campus mental health resources, regardless of whether a student has been referred to off-campus services. CPS is also available to provide consultation services to students, faculty, staff, and parents to aid in situations involving a mental health concern.

 CPS offers the following mental health services to eligible MSU students:

  • Group Counseling and Workshops
  • Short-Term Individual Counseling
  • Short-Term Couples/Relationship Counseling
  • Crisis Intervention
  • Online Self-Help Resources (Available to all MSU students)
  • Educational presentations on topics related to mental health

To provide a clearer picture of those concerns that are commonly addressed in the context of short-term counseling, the following examples are offered. Please recognize this list is not exhaustive and is intended only as a guide.

Concerns commonly addressed at CPS:

  • Anxiety (e.g. mild-moderate social/general anxiety, test anxiety, etc.)
  • Mood (e.g. depression, anger, guilt, unhappiness)
  • Thoughts of suicide
  • Academic-related issues (e.g. motivation, procrastination, concentration etc.)
  • Relationship issues (e.g. break-ups, communication, isolation)
  • Trauma/sexual assault
  • Grief and loss
  • Adjustment (e.g. transition to college, changing life circumstances)
  • Identity (e.g. personal, cultural, gender, sexual, racial/ethnic, religious, etc.)
  • Substance use concerns (e.g. mild-moderate alcohol/marijuana use issues)

 To further illustrate those concerns that are likely to fall outside of the CPS scope of practice, the following set of examples is provided. As mentioned above, this list is not exhaustive and intended only as a guide.

 Concerns/circumstances likely to fall outside of the CPS scope of practice:

  • Concerns that require frequent counseling sessions (i.e. more than one-time weekly appointments) or long-term care.
  • Specialized or intensive treatment (e.g. Outpatient/Inpatient care for Eating Disorders)
  • Formal psychological assessments (e.g. ADHD, learning disability evaluations)
  • Mandated counseling or mental health evaluations
  • Services initiated for class credit or as a course requirement
  • Concerns being addressed concurrently by another mental health provider
  • Lack of consistent attendance/adherence to recommended treatment
  • Need for “reaching out” to students who have not initiated treatment at CPS
  • Services initiated for the sole purpose of obtaining documentation for another office (e.g. documentation for emotional support animal)

 At times, CPS clinicians may provide services that extend beyond the stated scope of practice. In general, these services are time-limited, individualized, and based upon considerations for client welfare and clinical judgment.

To learn more about our services or to schedule an appointment, stop by our office or call us at (406) 994-4531.

You can also refer to the “Our Services” and “Frequently Asked Questions” pages on the CPS website to learn more about the ways CPS is available to support the mental health and personal well-being of MSU students. 

Individual Counseling

Individual counseling provides an opportunity to address concerns on a one-on-one basis within the context of a trusting and confidential relationship. CPS utilizes a brief counseling model that aims to empower students in a process of working through and finding positive solutions to the unique challenges they encounter.

Relationship and Couples Counseling

CPS offers relationship counseling to students with their partner(s).  Recognizing and valuing the diversity of relationship compositions, CPS provides conjoint relationship counseling sessions to students and their partner(s) as long as one person in the relationship is eligible for services.  Relationship counseling typically involves those in the relationship coming in for sessions with their counselor(s) and working on goals mutually agreed upon by all parties.

Group Counseling

Group counseling can be one of the most effective strategies to address many of the issues and concerns commonly experienced by college students. Counseling groups are often a place where students come together in a safe environment and support one another as they navigate concerns and address struggles.  Groups allow students to share their experiences with peers who can likely relate to their concerns and understand their difficulties. Group can also provide unique opportunities to increase our knowledge of self and others, connect across differences, and learn new perspectives. Through group engagement, students can develop insights and skills that help them address challenges and deepen connections.

Spring 2022 Semester Groups

Mindfullness Skills Group-

Develop a more balanced way of being through meditation, gental yoga and guided imagery technique

  • Tuesdays @ 3:30 p.m. at Johnstone 
  • Wednesdays @ 3:00 p.m.

Understanding Self and Others Group-

Feel less alone in your struggles by giving and receiving support and practicing new ways of relating to other

  • Mondays at 4 p.m.
  • Tuesdays at 3 p.m.
  • Tuesdays at 4 p.m.
  • Tuesdays at 5 p.m.
  • Wednesdays at 4 p.m.
  • Thursdays at 1 p.m.
  • Thursdays at 3 p.m.
  • Thursdays at 4 p.m.

Building Connections: Social Skills Workshop-

Learn skills to increase your comfort in interactions with others.

  • Mondays at 1p.m.

Empower to Heal-

Open to survivors of unwanted sexual experiences and relationship violence.

  • Mondays at 3p.m.

Grief and Loss Support Group-

  • Wednesdays at 12p.m. 

Racial Connection and Healing Space 

  • Thursdays at 4p.m. at the American Indian Hall, Room 102

Now more than ever, it is important to connect with others and feel a sense of community. Having a sense of community can be even more challenging for students who identify with underrepresented ethnic identities on campus, especially during the pandemic. The goal of this space is to provide a safe place to discuss your experiences with others with shared identities. It is intended to provide a source of support, a sense of community, healing, and empowerment. The topics are open and flexible and will be based on student interest. Topics may include but are not limited to general experiences on campus and in the boarder community, discrimination, microaggressions and macroaggressions, academic stress, privilege, election stress, imposter syndrome, and anything else on your mind!

Drop in (no appointment or registration needed) Thursdays at 4pm at Wilson Hall 2-105 starting October 14th. The space is for anyone who identifies as an ethnic minority or has an underrepresented ethnic or racial identity on campus. This space will be facilitated by a counselor from Counseling and Psychological Services.   



Students are welcome to be seen at CPS for an initial intake assessment where they can discuss their presenting concerns and receive information and recommendations for available treatment options.

Students enrolled in online-only degree programs are not eligible for counseling services at CPS. Online-only students can access a list of community providers through the Thriving Campus platform. 

Students are generally considered eligible for services at CPS if they meet the criteria outlined below. Questions about eligibility can be clarified during an intake appointment or by calling CPS.

During the Academic Year (Fall and Spring Semesters):

  1. Undergraduate students enrolled in 7 or more credits; graduate students actively pursuing a degree or certification who is enrolled in at least 1 credit.
  2. Undergraduate students who have less than 7 credits can receive services if they pay the Student Health Fee (not to be confused with the Student Health Insurance).
  3. CPS offers relationship and couples counseling to students, where at least 1 person in the relationship is an eligible student. 
  4.  In the event that a student is not eligible to receive services at CPS, the CPS Care Manager can provide assistance with referrals to counselors/agencies in Bozeman. Please call our office to make an appointment with the Care Manager.

During Summer Sessions:

  1. Any student who is enrolled in summer school.
  2. Any non-matriculated student who was eligible for CPS services in the spring semester and will be eligible in the upcoming fall semester.
  3. In the event that a student is not eligible to receive services at CPS, our staff can still provide assistance by offering referrals to counselors/agencies in Bozeman.


CPS staff work closely with other providers at University Health Partners including Medical, Psychiatry, and Nutrition Services. At times it is helpful to share treatment information to coordinate mental health care, and as an integrated agency, your providers may do so. Outside of University Health Partners, CPS services are completely confidential within the limits of the law. The fact that you received services from our office, the reason for your visit, and the content of what was discussed are confidential and cannot be disclosed to anyone without your signed consent. This means that parents, professors, Residence Life staff, partners, coaches, friends, etc. will not be privy to your contact with CPS without your permission. CPS values your right to privacy and confidentiality and adheres to strict legal and ethical standards set forth by the State of Montana and the American Psychological Association. Exceptions to confidentiality include: 1) threat of harm to self/others; 2) report of abuse of minor children or dependent adults; 3) report of minor children witnessing abuse; 4) if records are subpoenaed by a court of law. 

Consultation & Referrals

Consultation: CPS staff are often called upon to provide consultation regarding mental health issues and students of concern, or to assist students in managing crises or distress. Friends, parents, faculty, and staff often consult with our office when they are concerned about a student. Even if someone knows that a student is being seen at CPS, we cannot provide any information about the student without their consent. However, we can always take information and provide guidance regarding how to help the student in question. For faculty, staff, and parents, click here for more information.

Referrals: Some students prefer to seek counseling off campus. Thriving Campus is another great resource for finding counseling services online and in the community . If you are still having trouble finding a provider, please call our office at 406-994-453 to meet with our Care Manager who can assist you in finding a qualified professional in the community. 

Services for Residents of University Student Housing-Apartments

During Fall and Spring Semesters, CPS offers evening appointments to accomodate the unique scheduling needs  of Graduate Students and residents of USH-Apartments. Students, and live-in partners/spouses of students residing in USH-Apartments are eligible for couples counseling. Spouses/partners of students residing in USH-Apartments can also receive individual counseling services. Please call us to make arrangements!

Substance Abuse Counseling

CPS provides counseling services to students who would like to address substance use concerns. 

Reference Source- Links to other campus offices

Depending on your needs these other MSU offices may be of interest or offer relevant resources.