1. the clients i see are aware that the center is staffed exclusively by master's students providing counseling as a part of their training. they call just as they would call any other agency and undergo a screening to see if the campus center will meet their needs. i wouldnt say they are getting lesser service than they would at any other setting. trust, our supervisors' licenses are on the line so if we were subpar, they wouldnt allow us to do that work.
2. we are supervised by our instructor, a doctoral student, as well as the clinic director. our sessions are recorded on dvd and clients have the option of not having their faces shown. we make all attempts to maintain confidentiality.
3. services are provided on a sliding scale: you pay what you can. i think it's a dollar for every $1000 of income up to $30.
4. clients vary but are mostly students from the university, students from my old high school next door and people from the area who cant afford much else. therapy in DC is high!
5. for high risk/suicidal clients, we have a procedure in place and im sure it's similar to that at any other agency.
6. you can get therapy for less by finding a university counseling center or a community agency that offers a sliding fee scale. some counselors in private practice may accomodate you.
i think of it as analogous to an doctor doing residency or interning or whatever they do. we're backed by those with far more experience and clients are in good hands. some people arent ok with that and those are the people who get referrals to other established counselors. i dont see anything wrong with that either.