Community Counseling Center Expands Access to Mental Health Services in Contra Costa County

(NOTE: For more information on the Centers, including how to apply for services, visit

Through its Concord Community Counseling Center, JFK University offers important mental-health services for underprivileged individuals in Contra Costa County. This key program is representative of JFK University’s ongoing mission to positively impact the community while educating the next generation of public-service-minded practitioners.

Most people are aware of the vastly uneven distribution of mental-health services in this country, both in terms of geographic location and socioeconomic status. What many people may not be as aware of, however, is the extent to which this uneven distribution impacts members of our own local communities, affecting our friends, colleagues, and neighbors in ways that often go unnoticed to outsiders.

As with JFK University’s other Community Counseling Centers (CCCs) in Oakland and Sunnyvale, the Concord CCC looks to the specific needs of the local community in determining which services to emphasize. In the Concord area, this means working with adults, children, couples, and families to resolve issues involving:

  • Parenting and Child-Parent Conflicts
  • Career/Workplace Challenges
  • Life Transitions such as “Empty Nest” Syndrome, Job Loss, or Divorce
  • Grief, Anxiety, and Depression
  • Abuse and Trauma
  • Drug Abuse and Addiction

In addition to counseling individuals, couples, and families, the Concord CCC also works closely with military veterans in helping them to overcome challenges relating to Post-Traumatic Stress and other lingering mental effects resulting from their service. By teaching veterans to cope more effectively with their trauma, the Concord CCC’s counselors give them the tools they need to minimize the impact their mental health may have on their personal relationships, careers, and general well-being.

The CCCs provide access to affordable mental-health care regardless of ability to pay by staffing the Centers with highly qualified graduate students from the Masters and Doctoral programs in JFK University’s College of Psychology. Working under the close supervision of professionals licensed in clinical psychology, marriage and family therapy, professional clinical counseling, and social work, our student trainees gain invaluable practical experience along with an appreciation for public-interest work that they will carry with them throughout their careers.

Two other important components of the Concord CCC’s work are its Family Resiliency Project and its School-Based Program. The Family Resiliency Project uses Functional Family Therapy, an evidence-based practice for treating at-risk youth and their families, to offer local families a resource for helping to deal with challenges that sometimes can feel insurmountable. The Concord CCC’s School-Based Program reaches students in need right at their local schools, eliminating many of the obstacles that often get in the way of young people obtaining adequate counseling. The School-Based Program uses trauma-based cognitive therapy, an evidence-based technique for treating children and adolescents, ages 3 through 18, and their families, who have been impacted by similar trauma. The Concord CCC’s School-Based Program serves students on-site at elementary, middle, and high schools, as well as junior colleges, throughout Contra Costa County.

Since its founding, JFK University has made service to the local community a key component of its mission. The University strives not only to instill the value of public service in its students but also to lead by example, engaging with the local community to identify the areas of greatest need and then address them. Nowhere is the realization of this commitment displayed more prominently than in JFK University’s three Community Counseling Centers, which serve a wide range of people in need on a variety of issues at locations throughout the Bay Area.

(To schedule an appointment at the Concord CCC, call 925-798-9240. The Concord CCC is located at 2702 Clayton Road, Concord, CA 94519.)