UC Berkeley Psychology Clinic


Child/Teen/Adult Therapy and Assessments

Parent Reviews

Parents, please Sign in to post a review on this page.

I noticed no one mentioned the UC Psych Dept. They did a very thorough job for our child. And because it is CAL students they get the 2e issues -- the student who did the eval in high school was familiar with the kind of modifications that are needed for a college 504 plan (It needs to be redone at that age for most colleges). The first testing we did was in 2nd grade for visual motor issues, and then a full eval in 4th grade. The full evaluation included quite a few subtests that found the specific processing areas that were a problem (and also the ones that were strong.) The detailed testing was very helpful to share with the teachers and to plan modifications, even though because of the giftedness they were always above grade level and so never qualified for services through BUSD (I'm not sure if this is the rule in other districts). We paid out of pocket for various remediation. Even now, as a young adult, the testing has been helpful for self-understanding and career development.

I've recommended them before, and will recommend them again, particularly if you have a 2E child. The Cal Psych Department does a very thorough job. They caught, and honed in on a specific area of learning difference. The report was good, and usable for accommodations at school. The only caveat was we needed a 504 plan, not an IEP because the student compensated well enough not to be below grade level to the point that the public schools would do an IEP. The child also had an initial eval through BUSD but they were much less thorough in identifying the specific area for remediation. Unfortunately we had to pay for the OT and other services out of pocket because it wasn't worth fighting with the school district.

We actually did well with the UC Psychology Department. The evaluation was very thorough, and the accommodations helpful. Just be aware that your child will need to be retested at 16 with the adult instruments for college accommodations. I felt like the Cal Students and the supervisor really “got” our kid. 


While it won't fit in to the time frame you're hoping for, you may want to consider getting your child assessed at the UC Berkeley Psychology Clinic.  The assessment is conducted by grad students under close supervision by a professor, and it's very thorough and also low-cost.  The only downside is the waiting period, likely until the summer.  The learning specialist at our daughter's school said the report from UC was by far the best she'd ever seen, in terms of clarity and completeness, and it has helped us a lot to understand what our child is experiencing.  The UC clinic has also helped us deal with our kid's school and has offered to continue to do so next year when she's in high school.  Finally, we really liked the people at UC.

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Nov 2015

RE: Best Person for Educational Testing?

I've recommended them before, but I want to recommend UC's Psych Clinic for testing. They do a very thorough job, and the graduate students are well-supervised. They also meet the criterion of being objective. A further thought -- it is difficult to get services in 2nd grade, because (at least in Berkeley) eligibility for services requires being two grade levels behind -- i.e. a second grader testing at the K level. Even if a child has a large discrepancy between areas, if they are at or above grade level it is pretty much impossible to get services in the areas where they need them (at least in Berkeley.) We ended up paying for OT and some other services out of pocket and using a 504 plan to get accommodations. However, it is good to have a better understanding of what is going on in order to advocate for your child. anon

Aug 2013

Re: Possible Dyslexia in 7-year-old

Make an appointment at the UC Psychology Clinic for an evaluation - they will do testing and let you know definitively if she has dyslexia or not (sounds like yes) -and then give you guidance and resources. Good luck! been there

Oct 2011

Re: Dyslexia re-testing and paperwork for young adult

Two sliding pay scale alternatives: contact Elizabeth Milnes, PsyD, Executive Director at Alliant in Oakland or the Psychology Clinic at Tolman Hall, UC Berkeley http://psychology.berkeley.edu/graduate/cl_clinic.html Both have a supervising accredited person overseeing a person not yet fully accredited. Used them both successfully

Aug 2011

Learning Disability testing for College - UCB?

August 2011

We are considering UC Berkeley Psychology Clinic for a learning assessment for our high school senior. The assessment is needed in order to qualify for disability services at college. The testing is conducted by graduate students under the supervision of UC faculty. I am wondering if we will get as comprehensive a report and recommendations as we would, if we chose a licensed psychologist experienced in the field. There is a significant cost savings if we choose UC. Thanks anonymous

A few years ago, I worked with the UC Berkeley Psychology Dept. for my daughter. She had a graduate student who was supervised by the best in the field (cognitive behavioral therapy for panic disorder in our case), a top guy in Berkeley. We never met or heard about him, but the counselors she had - 2 over the course of 3 semesters - were excellent. They were clear in their diagnoses, flexible and allowing choice in ideas for further treatment, and totally positive and forward looking about my daughter's future. And they were supportive of her place in her family, her relationship with me and respectful of me in their general attitude while allowing the experience to be her own confidential thing, she was 16-17. This was important because bonding with a girl that age over her natural developmentally appropriate rejection of her mother would be an easy cheap trick and they didn't do it. (Not all that can be said for a supposedly experienced therapist she saw later.) Their age actually made them more approachable for her. What she learned there was the foundation for further self examination. That was our experience. anon

My daughter was evaluated by the UC Berkeley clinic in 2006 when she was in high school. The report was extremely helpful to us as parents and to the staff of the high school as well. I am a professional in the field of LD, have seen many reports and appreciated how the UC report not only gave results but also gave the observations of the process as my daughter was assessed. ed. therapist

We had our son evaluated by a grad student at the UCB clinic and got a thorough evaluation and helpful report. We needed it for services in high school and we'll use it now for college support. The grad students are supervised and a licensed psychologist signs the report as well. I've seen other reports via my work and they are all solid. Kathy

March 2011

Re: Middle School Homework Ruining Our Life

My 9th grade, ADDish daughter has always struggled with homework- although things have begun to improve recently. Executive functioning finally kicking in? Her wonderful therapist? I don't know, but it is a relief. I hope she will keep up the good work!

We have been extremely happy with her two (5 th grade and 9 th grade) neuropsychology evaluations at the UC Berkeley Psychology Clinic at Tolman Hall. They charge on a sliding scale, and while not inexpensive, it is a fraction of the cost of an evaluation by a private practitioner. Anon

Dec 2009

Re: How to get teenager diagnosed for dyslexia?

My daughter's dyslexia was diagnosed at UC Berkeley's Psychology Clinic at Tolman Hall. They have a sliding scale. Her diagnosis of dyslexia allowed her to receive time and a half on tests, and other accommodations. Half a year before high school, I requested that the district have her tested. (Needless to say, this process can take some time). They like to look over outside testing but require their own assessments or won't provide accommodations. They tested and approved. This worked for a few years, and I would inform each teacher about it because the administration was slow in doing so. When she was a junior, I started the paperwork for her to get accommodations in taking the PSAT and SAT. Again, starting early is important as it can take several months for these agencies to approve extra time. Her counselor did not want to sign, and wanted to take away her accommodations-- we assumed it was because she was receiving good grades. It required sustained effort to keep the accommodations in place until she graduated.

Dec 2009

Re: Kids with processing differences hard to identify as LD

Go to the UC Berkeley Psychology Clinic. They do a very thorough job of testing. You will work with a very knowledgeable PhD candidate (supervised, in the background, by a professor), who wants to administer every test possible. We got a 25-page report with every detail imaginable, interpretations, recommendations, etc. We received several thousands of dollars worth of testing for only a few hundred dollars. They really worked to make the fee something that we could afford. (Unlike most ''sliding scales'' which don't apply to anyone who makes a living wage...)

It turned out that the biggest issue was a ''processing speed'' problem, along with inattentive-type ADHD. The testing sessions took much longer than was typical, but he did beautifully on any test that wasn't timed. If the test was timed, nearly everything that he did was correct but he never finished in time, so the score was low.

The problem didn't show up until Jr. High, because in the lower grades he was able to compensate, just by being smart. Eventually, though, the volume of work increased to a point where compensating just wasn't possible any more. He spent hours and hours on homework, and his in-class assignments and tests were usually turned in unfinished because he ran out of time.

When we got to high school, once I explained the situation, the teachers were very understanding and informally gave him as much time as he needed to finish his tests. He often went back at lunch or after school to finish a test from earlier in the day. (He still spent hours and hours on homework, but not everything has a tidy solution...)

Where we ran into trouble was trying to get a formal 504 plan -- because he was ''doing too well''! I tried to explain that his grades were so good only because he informally received the very accommodations I was trying to pin down. Finally, after a lot of work -- and the arrival of a different person as school psychologist -- we did get our 504 and the extra time was always given. This was important because ''informal'' accomodations cannot be given on standardized tests (SAT, AP, etc.), but a formal 504 is valid. (He is in college now, and the extra time is still granted on exams.)

Anyway, I did not mean to ramble on so long! I highly recommend the UC Berkeley Psychology Clinic. anonymous

April 2009

Re: ADD/LD testing for college accommodations

Reading the other posts, and the amounts that people have paid for testing leaves me a bit breathless. We went to the UC Berkeley Psychology Clinic and, for almost nothing, received the most careful, caring, and comprehensive testing imaginable. It is definitely an option to explore. anonymous

March 2009

Re: 14-year-old with severe depression and panic

Yes, there are psychiatrists who also do therapy as well as medication management. We found an excellent one, Dr. Petra Steinbuchel, at Children's Hospital. Unfortunately, we could not continue 50-minute weekly therapy sessions as the cost was prohibitive.

A better resource for us is the public UC Berkeley Psychology Clinic (510-642-2055). Initial testing costs about $20. Weekly sessions are on a sliding scale (we pay $70/week). Therapists are PhD grad students under the supervision of a licensed psychologist, Dr. Laura Mason. We are doing family therapy which really has decreased conflict with our teen.

Jan 2006

Re: Assessment for 8-year-old?

If you decide you want/need a psychoeducational assessment, you can get one at a low/sliding scale fee at UCB Psych Dept's Psychology Clinic (642-2055). PhD students conduct them but are supervised (very closely) by the top assessment specialists in town who would charge thousands for their work. m

June 2004

Re: Really bad anxiety, can't afford therapy

Assuming you have health insurance, you should talk to your physician and/or get a referral to a psychiatrist. Also, the UC Berkeley Psychology Dept. operates a low-cost clinic in which graduate students in clinical psychology work with clients under the supervision of licensed clinical psychologists (642-2055; http://psychology.berkeley.edu/resources/clinic.html). Their fees are very reasonable. The type of anxiety problems you are experiencing are often very successfully treated with medication and/or behavior therapy. Good luck! Liz O.

Dec 2001

Re: Couples Counseling
The Couples Clinic at University of California, Berkeley is offering low-cost, short-term therapy to a limited number of couples. Our approach is based on the latest research on marital relationships. We will help you and your partner to communicate openly, resolve your disagreements positively, and cope with negative emotions. Dealing with these issues now is an investment in the future of your marriage and the well-being of your children. Your marriage is too important to put on hold. The Psychology Clinic is open to all Bay Area residents and offers affordable fees. For more information, call (510)642-2055.

Re: Affordable marriage counselor (Oct 2001)
The Couples Clinic at University of California, Berkeley is offering low-cost, short-term therapy to a limited number of couples. Our approach is based on the latest research on marital relationships. We will help you and your partner to communicate openly, resolve your disagreements positively, and cope with negative emotions. Dealing with these issues now is an investment in the future of your marriage and the well-being of your children. Your marriage is too important to put on hold.

The Psychology Clinic is open to all Bay Area residents and offers affordable fees. For more information, call (510)642-2055. (Dec 2001)

1997 - 1999

Re: ADHD resources
In reponse to the family moving to Berkeley this summer who has a child with ADD (and some information for other families on this network, especially who may have a child with "attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder") - there are several projects and a clinic run by the Hinshaw research group (Dr. Steve Hinshaw) located at the Institute of Human Development in Tolman Hall on campus that may be able to offer a lot of support.

In addition to support and counseling for those involved in a research project, they run a summer camp (July & Aug. I think) which is free to those accepted, and open to both kids with and without ADHD. For the past 5-6 years, there has been a camp open only to boys between 6-12. Next summer they are starting the first summer camp in the nation specifically for girls with ADHD. (I think the age range is the same, and it is also open to girls without the disorder.)The person to contact is Dr. Brian Zupan at 643-0373, or bazupan at cmsa.berkeley.edu.

I don't have any specific information about their projects, but their office number is 643-7716.

Randi Roberts

Date: Tue, 28 Jan 1997

Regarding testing for ADHD: Check out the UCB Psychology Clinic. I had one of my kids tested there and was pleased with the thoroughness. Also, Steve Hinshaw, a national authority on ADHD, is routinely consulted regarding possible ADHD diagnosis. He seems cautious and takes into consideration varying complex issues in child's life before making an ADHD diagnosis.

From: Becky

Professor Stephen Hinshaw and Brian Zupan in the School of Education here have been studying ADD-diagnosed boys for several years and have run Summer Enrichment camps to assist boys in their socialization processes. This past summer, Hinshaw and Zupan got a grant to begin to study girls and they are the first in the country to study ADD-diagnosed girls in this fashion. It's a blind study, with half the girls non-ADD diagnosed. They offered 5 weeks of summer daycamp in Berkeley and it was terrific. How do I know? My daughter was in the program! She loved it and cried when it was over. The grant is for another two summers, and we can't apply again since they want new girls to study each summer. Look for the ad in the summer camps issue of Parents Press when it comes out (April?), or contact the School of Education next spring. It takes a bit of doing to get in--lots of forms to fill out, and then a second level of being interviewed and so forth. Apparently over 1,000 families applied for 80 spots this past time. But, well worth it if you get in (also, being grant-funded, the daycamp is free).

The reason I especially wanted to mention this is it seems likely that there may be studies or public information that Hinshaw and Zupan can share--especially about boys, since they have completed a 5 year study of ADD-diagnosed boys.