What do you do in Counseling Services?
We provide individual and couples counseling for MCLA students. For most students, this means that we meet one-on-one to talk about what is troubling you. Students often seek counseling for help with family concerns, relationship difficulties, depression, anxiety, eating problems, grieving, or dealing with stressful situations. We generally operate on a Solution-Focused Brief Therapy model in which the counselor actively assists the student in defining the problem, identifying specific goals, and producing change.
Group counseling is offered as needs arise.
We also provide outreach services to the MCLA community, usually in the form of presentations or trainings to campus groups in classrooms or residence halls. Topics include depression screening, suicide prevention, sexual assault prevention, stress and time management, test anxiety, and effective communication. Ideas for other mental-health related topics are welcome.
Who can come to Counseling Services?
Any currently enrolled MCLA student can be seen in Counseling Services. Consultation services are available to students, faculty, staff, and parents.
Where are you located and when are you open?
Counseling Services is located on the 2nd Floor of the Hoosac Bank Student Wellness Center. Our hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. Monday through Friday and until 6 p.m. on Tuesday. Students are seen by appointment only.
How do I make an appointment to talk with a counselor?
Call 413.662.5331 or stop by our office.
I need to speak with someone right away. Is that possible?
If it is urgent that you be seen right away, we will meet with you immediately. Walk-in visits are usually 15-20 minutes and can be used for evaluation, to talk something over with a counselor, or to obtain a referral to an off-campus provider.
What does it cost?
There is no cost to students for using Counseling Services. However, if you are referred to an outside provider you will need to use your health insurance to cover the cost of those services.
Who works there?
The staff of Counseling Services is made up of the Director, one full-time counselor, two part-time counselors, a consulting psychiatrist, an Office Manager, and a graduate level trainee. Professional specialties vary by staff member, but all clinicians have appropriate training and state licensure, and interns are supervised by full-time staff.
I want to talk with a counselor, but I don't want anyone to know. Is my business kept confidential?
All visits to Counseling Services and conversations with staff are considered confidential unless you have specifically given your consent for us to share information with a particular person. State law and professional ethics protect your privacy as a client, however there are exceptions to this. In general, all contacts are confidential unless we determine that you are at risk of hurting yourself or another, you inform us of child abuse or elder abuse, or under rare circumstance, if a court of law orders that we provide certain information. Please visit our Confidentiality page for more information on this topic.
I'm not "crazy" and I'm not suicidal. Isn't counseling only for people who are?
Certainly not. Counseling Services are sometimes used by people with more severe mental health problems, or people who are in crisis, but most of the students we meet with are struggling with the stressors of daily living and are having difficulties coping as effectively as possible. When possible, we are happy to work with you to prevent a crisis from happening. Counseling can help you improve problem-solving abilities, and assist you in developing flexible coping strategies.
I think my roommate (or friend) has an eating disorder, or a drinking problem, etc. Can I talk with someone in Counseling Services about this?
Absolutely. We can assist you to identify if there is a problem, to decide what you should do, if anything, and provide you with support.
What kinds of things can I talk about with a counselor?
Basically anything that is important to you - no problem is seen as too big or too small. Some things students discuss with their counselors include feelings of depression, low self-esteem, anxiety (including test anxiety), suicidal thoughts, family problems, relationship problems, sexual orientation, disability issues, past sexual assaults, substance abuse, family or parental alcoholism, abusive relationships, eating disorders, learning disabilities, anger management, loneliness, grief and loss.