What Is Integrative Wellbeing?


Williams takes a creative leadership role in reimagining the purpose and reach of college mental health services. There is an opportunity to shift the paradigm:

  • from surviving college to thriving throughout and beyond it;
  • to expand the spectrum of services to impact all students, to develop healthy coping and self-care skills for all students, in addition to providing clinical services for students seeking traditional mental health counseling;
  • to exponentially change the skill sets students have to recognize, understand and integrate their needs in heart, mind, body and spirit, not just stabilize students when they cannot do so themselves;
  • for graduating Williams alumni to take these integrative wellbeing skills into the world beyond graduation to actively contribute to a world where all can thrive;
  • to train the professional mental health workforce to take the integrative wellbeing skills and practices into higher education.

Integrative Wellbeing Services declares thriving as the goal for all students.  Through the development of our innovative construct, “integrative wellbeing,” we will cultivate student skills and practices that attend to mind, body, heart, and spirit, while still offering the full array of mental health assessment and treatment services. 

Integrative Wellbeing also incorporates a focus on social systems’ impact and the role we all play in assuring that Williams is a place where all can thrive.  

We teach students to develop integrative ways of living. This involves students recognizing, understanding and growing through their experiences, not compartmentalizing them, cutting off various aspects of themselves or disconnecting from important areas of belonging, such as culture of origin.  These areas of integrative work include, but are not limited to students learning to integrate:

past and present difficult experiences and coping skills
heart, mind, body and spirit experiences and needs stress and functioning
person within community mental illness and effective functioning
cultures of origin with cultures of college relationships and development of self
identities of all kinds crisis and safety
individual and shared needs child self and emerging adult self
internal valuing and meaning and external valuing and meaning scholar and athlete / artist / performer
productivity and self-care success and disappointment

Students will learn integrative ways of living not only through the full array of clinical mental health services (individual and group counseling; crisis assessment and intervention; and, psychiatric assessment and treatment), but also though the ever-expanding array of psychoeducational workshops, groups, special events and outreach activities offered through Integrative Wellbeing Services.

Students will still benefit from the full array of psychological counseling services.  And… we want students to seek wellbeing as the goal, not treatment as the goal.  Integrative living becomes a key to wellbeing overall and to thriving at Williams, even and especially in this rigorous learning environment.  We promote both rigor and vigor, working hard and being well.

We foster integrative wellbeing.

We catalyze a community of wellbeing through Education, Practice and Partnerships. Expanding efforts include developing health promoting, protective factors and skills for students using evidence-based practices associated with enhanced functioning, such as mindfulness, self-compassion and gratitude.   Our goal is not only to treat psychological challenges, but also to enhance the overall wellbeing of the student in each aspect of self.  Through Integrative Wellbeing Services programming, students can participate in a variety of workshops, training sessions, and educational groups to develop integrative wellbeing skills and follow up with practice sessions to use and benefit from them, while receiving the supportive guidance of staff.

We see as an important part of our purpose to contribute to a community at Williams where all can thrive.  This necessitates our strong partnerships with the full spectrum of other medical and educational offerings through Student Health and Wellness Services, as well as the Davis Center, Chaplain’s Office, Dean’s Office, VP for Campus Life and others to co-create opportunities and resources.  Together, we support student thriving and equal access to that thriving.

We train the next generation of professionals in holistic and multicultural care for the college population. Integrative Wellbeing Services trains future leaders in college mental health through a two-year interdisciplinary training program for post-graduate and post-doctoral fellows, and one-year internships and practicums for masters and doctoral level trainees across mental health disciplines.  This state of the art training program aims to graduate specialists in holistic and multicultural care, committed to social justice and to taking the innovation of Williams’ Integrative Wellbeing Services into the field.   We prepare a workforce to foster thriving for all.