IWS: Frequently Asked Questions

Emergencies – If you are experiencing a life-threatening emergency call 911 or 9-911 if calling from a campus phone. If you are experiencing an urgent psychological crisis call IWS at (413) 597-2353 and select option 2 to speak to the on-call clinician. You can also call Campus Safety and Security at (413) 597-4444 to be connected with crisis services.

    • IWS provides crisis response, individual psychotherapy, group psychotherapy, self-scheduled appointments as needed, psychiatric evaluation and treatment. IWS is offering a hybrid model of services that include in-person services with masks and/or telehealth.
    • IWS clinical services for individuals and groups are available throughout the academic year to enrolled students on campus while classes are in session. Students may schedule appointments via email or phone (413)597.2353.
    • In case of an emergency, contact IWS' on-call services, day or night, by calling IWS at  (413) 597-2353 and select option 2.
    • All enrolled students continue to have access to Talkspace, which provides 4, 30 minute live video-sessions/month, unlimited asynchronous texting, voice or video message, at no cost. TalkSpace now offers free psychiatric medication management and treatment services. Register for services using your Williams email address and follow the prompts.
  • How do I schedule an appointment?
    To schedule an appointment, email IWS with "Scheduling" in the subject line. Kim Tremblay or Jessica Russell will follow-up to schedule your appointment. You can also call 413.597.2353 to schedule an appointment.

    Can I meet with my therapist in person?
    IWS is offering a hybrid model of in-person and telehealth therapy options. Students can choose to meet with their therapist in person with both parties wearing masks. Students also have the option of meeting with their therapist via telehealth.

    Can I choose my therapist?
    Our staff is a multidisciplinary, diverse group of clinicians with broad experiences and training treating a wide range of issues. If you have a preference for who you would like to work with, please let us know and we will do our best to accommodate your request.

    How do I schedule self-schedule sessions? Can my therapist reserve these times for me?
    To Self-Schedule an appointment, please visit the patient portal at health.williams.edu. Once you log in, look for IWS Scheduling Options and you can select a time and clinician based on availability. Only students can reserve these appointments.

    What counts as a "crisis?"
    We strongly encourage you to reach out if you are concerned about your safety or are experiencing what feels like a psychological emergency. We encourage you to reach out if you are experiencing psychological distress, even if you might not consider it a "crisis."

    What options are available to me if I am having difficulty functioning as a student?
    We recommend reaching out to the Dean's Office. Your Dean can begin to help you identify your needs and direct you to the appropriate resources.

    I'm concerned about my friend. How can I schedule an appointment for them?
    Due to issues of privacy, you cannot schedule an appointment for your friend. If you are concerned about your friend, let them know about IWS services and how to reach us. However, if your friend is unable or unwilling to seek support and you are concerned for their safety, it would be appropriate for you to reach out to the Dean's Office.

  • What services will IWS provide?
    IWS will be offering a hybrid model of in-person and telehealth services. Students will be able to choose whether they see a therapist in-person or opt for telehealth services. IWS will provide in-person and telehealth crisis response,  counseling support, individual psychotherapy, group psychotherapy, psychiatric evaluation and treatment.

    What is Telehealth?
    Simply put, telehealth is the remote delivery of services via videoconferencing or phone. This modality allows our clinicians to continue providing therapeutic services to students while maintaining adherence to social distancing guidelines.

    I've always gotten weekly therapy at IWS-can I still?
    At IWS, we remain committed to providing timely access and equitable services for all students throughout the course of the academic year. To meet this commitment and to address continued increases in requests for services, IWS offers therapy frequency based on clinical need as determined by the therapist. The majority of students working with therapists are seen every other week. Sessions are 45 minutes in length.

    If I choose to engage in telehealth, can I use my phone instead of video for my sessions?
    Yes. Sessions can be conducted using video or phone. Having an open discussion about your preference with your therapist can provide them with important information about you and allow you to make an informed decision about which modality is best for you and your treatment.

    What are Self-Schedule Sessions?
    Self-Schedule sessions are supportive sessions designed for students who are unsure they want to engage in therapy, but would like to speak with a therapist. Students can use the Health Portal to sign up for 20 minute supportive care appointments as needed and available.

    What is TalkSpace and TalkSpace Psychiatry?
    In addition to ongoing access to all IWS services, students have access to TalkSpace, a HIPAA compliant, mobile app/web-based unlimited messaging therapy option, which includes four 30 minute live video sessions a month. This service is free to all enrolled Williams students. It may be used year-round, on or off campus.

    In addition to our on-campus IWS psychiatrist, Dr. Lesley Brodie,  psychiatric services also include participation in Talkspace Psychiatry - giving students free access to a diverse network of prescribers who specialize in mental health care and prescription management via Live Video Sessions. TalkSpace prescribers are able to prescribe all medications, with the exclusion of controlled substances. Students can register for TalkSpace using their Williams email address. The password for Talkspace Psychiatry is "TSPLUS" and is also provided at no cost to students.

    Psychiatric services available are explained in detail below.

    Who will be providing psychiatry and telepsychiatry services at IWS?
    IWS has an on staff psychiatrist, Dr. Lesley Brodie. Psychiatric services include psychopharmacological evaluation and management for a range of mental health issues, including: Depression, Generalized Anxiety Disorder,, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Social Anxiety, Bipolar Disorder, and Psychotic Disorders. If psychotherapy is indicated, pyschiatrists will, in most cases, refer individuals to counselors at IWS. If more intensive treatment is necessary, students may be referred to therapists in the community. Contact IWS to schedule an appointment with a psychiatrist and include "Appointment Request" in the subject line.

    What types of services are provided by IWS psychiatry?
    Our psychiatrists offer psychopharmacological evaluation and management for a range of mental health issues, including: Depression, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Social Anxiety, Bipolar Disorder, and Psychotic Disorders. If psychotherapy is indicated, the psychiatrist will, in most cases, refer individuals to counselors at IWS. If more intensive treatment is necessary, students may be referred to therapists in the community.

    My medication is not working, what should I do?
    Contact IWS to request an appointment with Dr.Brodie. 

    How do I make an appointment with a psychiatrist?
    An initial appointment with a psychiatrist requires a referral from IWS. You may contact [email protected] for guidance.

    What is TalkSpace TelePsychiatry?
    Williams College has partnered with TalkSpace to offer free therapeutic and psychiatric services. Students can work with TalkSpace Psychiatry connect with a prescriber who specializes in mental health care and prescription management via Live Video Sessions. Learn more about TalkSpace services here.

    TalkSpace prescribers are able to prescribe all medications, with the exclusion of controlled substances. Controlled substances include, but are not limited to: Adderall, Ativan, Concerta, Klonopin, Librium, Tranxene, Ritalin, Vyvanse, Valium, Xanax and Suboxone.

    What is telepsychiatry?
    Telepsychiatry is the practice of psychiatry-specific telemedicine. The field of psychiatry is inherently well-suited to using telemedicine techniques as there is generally no physical exam component involved during appointments. These days, most telepsychiatry is done via real-time televideo-conferencing methods very similar to a Skype or FaceTime session. As long as you are at a location with reasonably fast internet access, you can see an online psychiatrist for your appointment. The American Telemedicine Association defines Telemedicine as "the remote delivery of health care services and clinical information using telecommunications technology" and can involve the use of internet, wireless, telephone, and satellite. To learn more about Telemedicine, please visit the American Telemedicine Association FAQ page.

    Is telepsychiatry effective?
    There is substantial evidence of the effectiveness of telepsychiatry and research has found satisfaction to be high among patients, psychiatrists, and other professionals. Telepsychiatry is equivalent to in-person care in diagnostic accuracy, treatment effectiveness, quality of care and patient satisfaction. Patient privacy and confidentiality are equivalent to in-person care.

  • Lesley Brodie, M.D.,MSW

    Education and Professional Training:  I am a board-certified as both a Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist and an Adult Psychiatrist. I received a BA from Smith College, and Doctor of Medicine (MD) and a Master's in Social Work (MSW) from the University of Vermont. 

    After completing medical school, I was accepted to a highly competitive 5-year combined residency training program in Pediatrics, Adult Psychiatry, and Child & Adolescent Psychiatry called the Triple Board program. As a resident physician, I had extensive training with 20,000+ direct patient care hours. 

    Since completing residency training in 2008, I have worked in a variety of practice settings including: an urban Healthcare for the Homeless Clinic working with runaway and homeless youth, providing mental health care, and serving as the only pediatrician for homeless families; as a child and adolescent psychiatrist for a rural Federally Qualified Community Health Center that served 85% of the county;  a Community Mental Health Center;  several residential treatment programs, most recently one that supported young adults transition into adulthood; my own private practice; K-12 and College Counseling Centers; and as a Principal Investigator (P.I.) for pharmaceutical clinical trials.

    Philosophy of Student Support/Practice Style: I believe that establishing a collaborative partnership with my patients, as well as with other involved, treating professionals is crucial towards providing the highest level of care.  I can provide expertise with regards to my medical training and experience but understand that each person is the expert when it comes to their lived experience. I see my role as that of a witnessing traveler, and for a time we share the same road together. I have the privilege of being a witness to your journey and hope at times to be able to facilitate your wayfaring through our work together. 

    With our first meeting, I will seek to have a deeper understanding of who each student is, what their experience has been, what symptoms they are experiencing, and how those symptoms are interfering with their ability to function. 

    Although I am one of the physicians responsible for prescribing medication, I do not think that pharmacotherapy is ever 'THE answer', but instead see it as a possible small part of a larger treatment approach that is right for some people.

    Professional Interests: (general areas professionally - e.g. emerging areas of field, modalities, training areas, and / or macro change and advocacy issues) As my original professional training and work was as a social worker, social justice has always been an important part of my professional identity and mission. I have particular interest and expertise in working with LGBTQ+ and gender diverse patients and their families. I have committed to increasing my personal and professional understanding of anti-racism, feminism, multi-culturalism, equity and inclusion, economic equity, and incorporating this awareness into my medical practice and the care that I provides patients. 

    With the legalization of marijuana across the United States, I have an increased professional interest in providing accurate information about the risk of adverse effects of cannabis on psychiatric symptoms, so that people can make more fully informed decisions about its use. 

    Clinical Interests: I have training and experience to treat the breadth of psychiatric illnesses. With COVID-19, I have increased interest in, and understanding of, the impact of developmental and environmental trauma on our society. I have had advanced training in evaluating and treating racial trauma, Family-Based Treatment (FBT) for Eating Disorders, Substance Use Disorders, and Meditation and Mindfulness-Based Therapy. I very much enjoy co-facilitating group therapy.  Most recently, I ran a support group for parents with young adult children with eating disorders that had 7 families enrolled and met weekly for 2 years. 

    Multicultural/Holistic Practice areas of emphasis: I support affinity groups as an important way for individuals to feel connected in their community. These can be with communities of faith, race, sports teams, specific interest, or location based. From these, then building a larger sense of community and meaningful relationships is necessary for the full human experience.  

    With all my patients I focus on the importance of healthy, restorative sleep; exercise in moderation; and mindfulness practices as a means of managing and maintaining wellbeing. 

    Training Interests:  Supervision, Clinical Interview, Pharmacotherapy, Lifestyle/behavioral interventions, Boundaries and use of self in our work, and Sleep Hygiene

    Why Williams? I feel so fortunate to be working as a team member at IWS, with staff who have a shared mission to support the holistic growth and development of Williams students, and a shared value around professional education. Working with college students comes with the pleasure of being a witness to amazing change, growth, and transition. Williams College students have high levels of motivation, commitment, and thoughtfulness. My hope is that I can support students in identifying ways of being that increase their health, wellbeing, sense of connection with others, and capacity to share their gifts with the world. 

    Favorite word/phrase:  Shoshin: a word from Zen Buddhism meaning 'beginner's mind'

    "Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced."

    -James Baldwin

    "Life is amazing.

     And then it's awful.

     And then it's amazing again.

     And in between the amazing and the awful it's ordinary and mundane and routine.

     Breathe in the amazing, hold on through the awful, and relax and exhale during the ordinary."

     -L.R. Knost


    Education and Professional Training: I received my Masters Degree in Clinical Social Work from the Smith College School for Social Work and a Masters Degree in Psychoanalytic Developmental Psychology from the University College London and the Anna Freud Center. I am a Certified Group Psychotherapist and I was a senior level Chemical Addictions Counselor. I held an academic appointment as an adjunct faculty for Naropa University's Transpersonal Psychology Masters Program and currently am an adjunct associate professor for the Smith College School for Social Work.

    Philosophy of Student Support / Practice Style: I find that students need access to support in a variety of settings as it can be so hard to reach out, particularly if we have beliefs or messages that we should not share our inner experiences with others. Having the confidential privacy of a therapeutic relationship can be transforming. The vulnerable sharing of such experiences helps transform obstacles into assets for one's continued growth. Groups provide an important setting for change and support. They provide a power greater than the sum of its parts in their ability to meet needs that no one individual can meet. 

    Professional Interests: Social justice and group psychotherapy. Exploring power, privilege and social identities. Psychology of sport and performance as well as team/group dynamics.

    Clinical Interests: The effects of anxiety and depression on interpersonal/relational experience as well as challenges around addiction including eating, sexuality, and body image concerns. Identity exploration and development around marginalized and majority aspects of social identity. 

    Multicultural/Holistic Practice areas of emphasis: Social identity awareness. The use of physical awareness skills in helping process challenging emotional content and actualizing potential. 

    Training Interests: Group psychotherapy and social identities, power and privilege. 

    Why Williams? To work for an institution that does not operate on a scarcity model but one that invests in the well-being of students and employees. To aid in realizing the potential of individuals and systems within this organization to continually improve access to services and the safety of our community.

    Favorite word/phrase:  We can do together what we cannot do alone.


    Education and Professional Training: I received my master's degree in social work from Boston College and bachelor's degree in psychology from Carleton College. My work experience includes community-based, residential, school, and government settings. I am co-host of the Melanated Social Work podcast, a presenter at national social work conferences, facilitator and consultant for therapeutic agencies, and guest lecturer in graduate school social work courses.

    Philosophy of Student Support/Practice Style: I strive to foster a strong therapeutic relationship and explore creative and collaborative treatment goals tailored to each individual's needs. I aim to think critically and collectively about how to engage in healing work, and utilize psychodynamic and strengths-based approaches to guide clinical treatment. My approach is to identify the strengths of a person within their environment and incorporate daily practices that support an individual's desired growth.

    Professional Interests: My professional interests include young adult life transitions, social justice, social identities in relation to systems of power, anxiety, stress management, masculinity, depression, and grief/loss.

    Clinical Interests: I am interested in working with anyone who holds a marginalized identity including but not limited to students of color, undocumented students, first generation college students, and LGBTQ+ students. As a former collegiate athlete, I am also interested in sports counseling and supporting student-athletes.

    Multicultural/Holistic Practice areas of emphasis: I am someone who is eager to unpack identity and explore the nuances in how a person shows up in different environments. I believe it is necessary to learn to challenge and think critically about an assumed default, as well as to identify how one's experience is shaped within the context of Western values and norms.

    Training Interests: Psychodynamic, Liberation Counseling and Sports Counseling.

    Why Williams? I believe there is a unique opportunity for students to have unlimited therapeutic sessions while navigating the college setting. Williams allows me the opportunity to support young people emerging into adulthood and offer professional support during their formative years. I hope to contribute to destigmatizing mental health services and empower those willing to share their inner experiences so they can show up as they are and thrive.

    Favorite word/phrase: "When 'I' is replaced with 'We' even illness becomes wellness." - Malcolm X


    I graduated from Indiana University as a first-generation college student and earned an M.A. in clinical mental health counseling from Antioch University New England after pursuing a two-decade international career in the performing arts. I have post-graduate training in psychoanalytic psychotherapy from the Berkshire Psychoanalytic Institute and a certificate in treating eating disorders, compulsions and addictions from the William Alanson White Institute. While holding in mind context and the impact of systems on identity and lived experience, my integrative approach addresses the personal, emotional, cultural and developmental challenges unique to each student. I collaborate with students to address a wide range of issues and routinely work with students who are struggling with eating disorders and body image concerns. I have training in mind-body based practices and work with students in developing sustainable ways to care for themselves while meeting the rigorous demands of being a Williams student.


    Education and Professional Training: I have been a licensed psychologist for over 20 years.  I hold a doctorate in clinical psychology from the New School for Social Research, and completed a clinical internship at Dartmouth Medical School and a post-doctoral fellowship at the Austen Riggs Center.  After working more than a dozen years at Austen Riggs, I joined the staff at Williams in 2005.

    Philosophy of Student Support/Practice Style: In my work with students, I intend to create a safe, non-judgmental space in which students can embrace and integrate all aspects of their unique experience and identities with curiosity, understanding, kindness, and acceptance. 

    Clinical Interests: Although I have experience working with students on a wide range of issues, I have worked with students extensively on issues relating to perfectionism, anxiety and obsessive worry, self-criticism, social discomfort/awkwardness, relationship difficulties, trauma, and identity.

    Why Williams? Williams provides me with the opportunity to work with a bright, talented, and diverse group of students as they navigate through a complex and critical time in their lives.  My hope is to be available to students to help address issues that are preventing them from thriving at Williams. 


    Education and Professional Training: Counseling is a second career for me, having worked in agricultural research and in several teaching/advising roles.  I have been a psychotherapist at Williams since 2000, after internships at Berkshire Medical Center (psych inpatient) and at our very own counseling center.   I have also worked in community mental health (North Adams) and my own private practice (Northampton), but am now full-time at Williams.  I am intensively trained in Dialectical Behavior Therapy and also as a gender specialist.

    Philosophy of Student Support/Practice Style:  I empower students to define values and priorities, clarify cultural context and held identities, cultivate self-awareness, compassion and self-acceptance.  My style is collaborative, active, empowering, and didactic.

    Professional Interests: Multicultural competence, trauma and its effects on development and the self, gender identity and expression, living well and coping effectively.

    Clinical Interests: Issues related to gender identity and expression or sexual orientation, trauma, anxiety and depression, living well and coping effectively.  I enjoy variety in my work and can work effectively with many issues or problems, so don't hesitate to consult with me!

    Multicultural/Holistic Practice areas of emphasis:  Fostering genuine willingness to explore difference, understanding privilege, mindfulness and living with intention, engendering compassion, leaning into awkwardness. 

  • I am concerned about a student. How can I get the student help?

    • If a student is in immediate danger, please call 911 and Campus Safety and Security (413-597-4444).
    • For urgent needs that are not an emergency, please direct the student to call IWS (413-597-2353) for the counselor on call during the day.
    • After hours, students can reach our on-call service, ProtoCall, via the IWS phone number (Option 2) or by calling Campus Safety and Security (413-597-4444 and asking to speak to the counselor on call). The student will be assisted by a trained clinician in college student crisis counseling and assessment.

    If a student is unwilling to seek help, notify the Dean's Office with your concern. This will initiate a process leading to assistance and assessment. During business hours call 413-597-4171, and after hours call Campus Safety (413-597-4444) and ask to speak with the dean on call.

    My student needs more frequent therapy than every other week. Can I advocate for weekly sessions for this one student?
    At the conclusion of a brief telephone assessment followed by a longer intake,students and their therapists will develop an individualized treatment plan which takes into consideration (1) the student's unique circumstances and (2) IWS's commitment to provide equitable and timely access and evaluation to the entire Williams student community. Students who elect to begin psychotherapy with an IWS therapist, the plan will in most cases consist of every-other-week psychotherapy sessions, with the option of self-scheduling shorter inter-session support meetings as needed. IWS clinicians are available to assist the student in finding services that will meet their clinical needs. What resources can I provide students who have specific concerns about things like food insecurity, financial stress, difficult family dynamics, difficulty learning in their remote environment, isolation, or suicidality, for example?
    The safety of an individual should always take precedence. If imminent risk is a concern, contact CSS and emergency personnel. The Dean's Office is a vital source of support, information, and problem-solving for a wide variety of student needs (413-597-4171), including referrals to various resources on and around campus. Because stress can affect students' mental health and their ability to function, a referral to IWS or other sources of emotional support are often advisable. Students can access IWS by calling (413-597-2353) or sending an email to schedule an appointment.
    Can I refer a student in crisis on the same day? Students can be referred on a same day basis by having the student call IWS (413-597-2353) and ask for a crisis (urgent) session. Outside of business hours and on weekends, students will reach our on-call service, Protocol, via the IWS phone number (413-597-2353, Option 2) or by calling Campus Safety and Security (413-597-4444) and asking to speak to the counselor on call). The student will be assisted by a trained clinician with expertise in student crisis counseling and assessment.

    I have a student who is requesting special considerations or accommodations due to a mental health issue. How do I get help for the student? For special considerations related to academics, the student should contact G.L. Wallace in the Office Accessible Education (413-597-4978). For non-academic needs, the Dean's Office (413-597-4171) will advise a student on the best way to proceed. **For most requests of this type, the student will need documentation from a mental health clinician, so a referral to IWS (413-597-2353 or [email protected]) is usually needed if the student is not already working with a therapist or psychiatrist.

  • Why is supporting my child in connecting with IWS a good idea?
    Mental health struggles can be an isolating and confusing experience for many students. Robust evidence indicates that the best clinical outcomes occur when family and friends support the pursuit of mental health services for their loved ones.
    I'm concerned about my child. How do I schedule an appointment for them?
    Students are encouraged to schedule appointments for themselves. If you are concerned about your student and they will not schedule an appointment, it would be appropriate for you to contact the Dean's Office to express your concern.
    Can you tell me if my student is working with a therapist?
    No. Treatment confidentiality agreements safeguard the dissemination of an individual's health information to anyone unless authorized by the student.
    Does my child need to be in crisis to use IWS services?
    No. In fact, we strongly encourage students to utilize our services before a mental health crisis occurs. What extra resources is the College providing regarding COVID 19 specific concerns?
    Williams College provides an up-to-date website detailing all topics specific to COVID 19. Our family is having adjustment challenges with our student. Does IWS provide family therapy?
    We are unable to provide family therapy.