Biola University celebrated the opening of the first Biola Counseling Center in Orange County on March 2, 2009. The purpose of this counseling center is to offer mental health services not only to Biola students, staff and faculty, but also to the Orange County community.

Melanie Taylor, director of the Biola Counseling Center (BCC), said the project has been in the works for almost a year.

The main Biola Counseling Center in La Mirada has drawn patients mostly from Los Angeles County. However, over the years, there has been a demand to expand the counseling center into Orange County due to the large amount of patient referrals. In the past, those patients located in Orange County have often not been able to make the distance to the La Mirada location. Now, the new location will be beneficial to potential Orange County patients with services provided closer to home.

“We are excited to provide this office to expand the mental health services available at BCC,” said Taylor.

The center opened less than a month ago making it difficult to gauge the popularity of the new location, but Taylor is “anticipating good responses.” The BCC is currently working on advertising, a website and public relations to promote the new center in addition to word of mouth marketing.

“It is difficult to tell at this point in time how the economy will affect people seeking counseling/therapy,” Taylor said. “But we will continue with our calling - to provide mental health services to the Biola students, staff and faculty, and the community at large.”

Currently there are two part-time therapists at the new center who will hop between the Orange County and La Mirada locations. Students will still be seen at the La Mirada location, leaving the Orange County location for the Orange County community, who will pay the licensed psychologist fee, $135, or the sliding fee, $40 to $100, based on the income of the client.

“We are looking forward to increasing the number of therapists in Orange County as the need arises,” Taylor said.

The Orange County BCC, located at 24422 Avenida de la Carlota in Laguna Hills, CA, is now open and appointments are available. Call (562) 903-4800 to make an appointment or for more information.

Written by Jenna Bartlo, Media Relations Coordinator. Jenna can be reached at (562) 777-4061 or through email at