Psychological Counseling Services provides comprehensive mental health services to all students and consultation to members of the college community free of charge.
Many students find that they can explore and resolve their salient issues in one to five counseling sessions. Many others benefit from a more extended process, up to a semester or more. There is no limit on the number of sessions per student. Sessions are usually weekly. A session is typically 50 minutes long.
At the initial “intake” appointment the therapist will work with you to identify and clarify your concerns, gather relevant information and, together with you, make a plan for any follow up sessions. Ordinarily, a student will continue with the therapist who does the intake.
We offer group therapy as sustained by student interest and participation. In recent years, for example, PCS has offered a Mindfulness Group and a workshop focused on enhancing self-awareness. PCS has also offered WSP’s with an experiential and personal growth emphasis. In February 2013, Paul Gitterman & Trina Zahller will be facilitating an Improving Relationships Group. For more information, please contact PCS at X2353.
The staff includes a psychiatrist and a clinical nurse specialist who provide psychiatric evaluations, prescriptions, and medication management.
Psychiatric evaluations are usually 50 minutes long. The clinician focuses on determining a psychiatric diagnosis and appropriate treatment recommendations which may include life style changes, psychotherapy, and prescribed medications. Students are free to accept or decline medication recommendations if they are made. In any case, a psychiatric evaluation can be an important source of information for the student and for the referring counselor. Most students taking psychiatric medications continue in psychotherapy with their therapist along with periodic medication visits to the psychiatric clinician.
In the belief that psychological and physical health are integrally connected, we encourage students to take charge of their lives towards total wellness and often refer them to other Health Center professionals.
At times our most effective response to a student’s concerns integrates the services of PCS with other services provided by the medical staff, health educators, and nutritionist of the Health Center. For example, we often take a team approach to severe stress manifesting itself in somatic complaints; eating disorders; and chronic sleep disturbances. We often work collaboratively with the substance abuse counselor in the assessment and treatment of substance abuse issues.
We offer consultation and advice for all Williams students, friends, family, faculty and staff who may be concerned about a student. You can consult with a counselor by arranging an appointment through our administrative assistant at x2353. A counselor can help sort out your concerns; explore strategies such as how to speak with someone who may be having psychological issues or how to make a referral to PCS; and provide information about other resources in the college community.
In the event of an acute crisis affecting a student you’re concerned about, speak to the on-call counselor.