Commitment to Diversity

We, the staff of Psychological Counseling Services, embrace diversity as an ideal and ethical imperative that has important implications for the provision of psychological services to Williams students.

We affirm and support the dignity, worth, and self-determination of all people. We welcome all students regardless of ethnicity, race, gender, sexual orientation, nationality, religious or spiritual beliefs, and economic background. The Counseling Service strives to create an atmosphere of openness and inclusiveness in which differences are valued and students can expect acceptance and respect as they reflect on any aspect of their identities.

We believe that human development and psychological functioning are influenced by culture in its broadest sense. Our clinical mandate, therefore, is to provide multidimensional, multi-cultural counseling in which students’ lives, experiences, and psychological concerns are understood in their underlying cultural, social, political, and economic contexts. Our aim is to provide sensitive, relevant counseling to multi-cultural students who may be experiencing complex challenges at the intersection of diversity issues and traditional college-aged developmental concerns and psychological problems.

We also strive to develop other models of services, in addition to traditional in-office individual counseling, which are responsive to the multi-cultural needs of an increasingly diverse Williams. We are committed to finding ways of removing barriers and facilitating every student’s participation in the opportunities and resources that Williams provides, including that of the Counseling Service. Finally, we believe that the Counseling Service has a role in fostering a campus culture that nurtures the psychological well-being of all. We will continue to bring outreach and education on mental health issues to a diverse campus community as well as be involved in systemic change which enhances the learning and living environment for all.

As clinicians who have witnessed the liberating powers of self-reflection, we are committed to identifying and examining our own cultural identities, assumptions, beliefs, values, and biases as they affect our personal relationships and clinical work. To this end, we regularly participate in continuing education and training, professional conferences, staff presentations, and other venues in order to deepen personal awareness, increase our knowledge base, and enhance our clinical skills in the delivery of professional counseling that is culturally sensitive and relevant.