Counseling Center

We provide individual short-term counseling and services for on-campus undergraduate and graduate students in degree-granting programs. Our counselors are sensitive to issues of ethnicity, spirituality, culture, sexual orientation, gender, disability, learning differences, and body image. We offer traditional verbal therapy and non-traditional methods, such as expressive arts therapies.

Counseling sessions are held in confidence and are not part of your academic record. If you need or want long-term counseling, we can refer you to outside specialists. Students are responsible for the cost for outside services.

brown and white dog close up

Tally Bean, Therapy Dog

Tally has been at the Counseling Center since the summer of 2014. Tally is interested in the interaction between humans and animals, and often ponders why some people rub her belly and others do not. She is available for all students. When not at work, she loves to chase squirrels, take walks, and accept treats.

Read more about Tally Bean.

Our Services

In addition to short-term individual counseling, you can take advantage of a range of services.

  • Alcohol and other drug information, and preventive programming
  • Psychiatric medication services
  • Anonymous online mental health screening around depression, anxiety, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), eating disorders, substance use, and bipolar disorder
  • Resource and referral services
  • Consultation to students, student groups, faculty, parents, and the Lesley community
  • Graduate-level internship training program
  • Therapy Dog
  • Counselors and Interns

    Counselors and Staff
     

    Magi McKinnies, Director, LMHC
    Magi has an M.A. in Counseling Psychology and a BS in Human Services from Lesley University. Using a holistic, creative approach she aims to assist clients to connect to their deepest selves, be present with each moment, and create integrated and authentic lives. She is interested in how culture and spirituality affect the ways we make meaning in our lives and feels that true transformation takes place in the context of a safe, mutual relationship. She has experience with trauma, loss, autism spectrum disorders, transitions, and sexuality and relationship issues. Magi taught pre-school for many years and has trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing therapy (EMDR) and sand tray therapy. Her interests also include creativity as a vehicle for self-expression and our relationship to the natural world. 

    Deborah Levans, Associate Director, LICSW
    Deborah specializes in working with people who have experienced various forms of trauma, traumatic loss and grief. She has also worked with people from various cultural backgrounds.  She views therapy as collaborative dynamic process and her counseling style is interactive with a dash of humor.  Her work is informed by a number of theoretical perspectives including Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Psychodynamic Theory and Internal Family Systems. Deborah also values the importance of accounting for environmental and systemic factors which may be impacting your experience.

    Jason Healy, LICSW
    Jason is interested in how we can work with dilemmas and unhelpful patterns of behavior through creativity, curiosity and empathy as an ongoing practice. He works out of a psychodynamic framework and also makes use of various modalities such as mindfulness and narrative approaches to accompany people in a therapeutic process. He worked as an independent artist for several years and also offers the possibility to work with artistic materials to deepen and enhance therapy. Jason has previous experience working with young adults in an agency providing services to clients with ongoing mental illness. In addition to his position at Lesley, he sees clients in his private practice in Cambridge. He speaks French, Dutch, and Spanish. Jason has an MSW from Simmons School of Social Work, an MA in Art Therapy from City & Guilds in London through the Tobias School of Art and Therapy, and a BA in English Literature from Vassar College.

    Douglas Weiskopf
    Doug is a graduate from the Professional Counseling program at Lesley University. He is a firm believer in mind-body integration, has trained in mindfulness through the UMass Center for Mindfulness, and continues to expand his approach to integrated wellness through exploration of psycho-spiritual healing practices.  Doug is Level 1 trained in Internal Family Systems (IFS) and his approach to counseling also integrates humanistic, relational, cognitive-behavioral, and psychodynamic frameworks.  He has experience providing hotline support with The Samaritans, and has helped support LGBTQ youth and families as a volunteer at PFLAG.  Doug spends his leisure time hiking, gardening, cooking, and occasionally attempting to improve his guitar skills. 

    Ellen O’Neill
    Ellen has a bachelor’s degree in Education/Human Services from the University of Massachusetts/Amherst.  Before joining the Counseling Center staff, Ellen worked in the entertainment/music industry as a management assistant for a singer/composer/actor.   She has also worked with a state run agency which assisted in giving individual school placement to students with different learning abilities as well as supporting the school based programs in which they were enrolled.  In her spare time, Ellen enjoys baking, live music, movies, and spoiling her beagle Mable.
     

    Interns
     

    Mary Cannon
    Mary earned her B.A. in Sociology from the University of San Diego, and is currently in her final year of Boston University’s EdM in Counseling Program. For the past several years, she has worked in various administrative support roles at universities. Her experience working with both undergraduate and graduate student populations has helped her develop empathy and appreciation for each student’s unique experience. Mary understands that college is a time of great personal growth that can come with both challenges and successes, so she is honored to act as a resource for students seeking support. In her spare time, she enjoys going to the movies, reading, and hanging out with her cat Simon.

    Gabby Chudnow
    Gabby is in her final year of Graduate School at Lesley University, where she is studying Clinical Mental Health Counseling with a Holistic Specialization. As a holistic counselor, Gabby works eclectically with clients, and is largely informed by the mind/body/spirit paradigm as a source of healing and resilience. Through Gabby’s clinical experiences in addictions treatment, chronic mental illness, homelessness, and interpersonal violence, she is endlessly amazed by the human spirit and her clients’ capacity for self-love and change. Gabby firmly believes that all people are innately creative, resourceful and whole. In her free time, Gabby is either dancing, making art, or finding an animal to pet.

    Eileen Geiger
    Eileen has a B.A. in Psychology from Appalachian State University. She will complete her Masters in Mental Health Counseling and Behavioral Medicine from Boston University School of Medicine in spring 2020. Eileen believes that physical and mental health are strongly connected.  She approaches therapy with a feminist, humanistic approach with a love for Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. Eileen feels especially passionate about the LGBTQIA+ community and strives to create a safe place for all who enter. She recognizes that strength comes from self-love and self-understanding and that there is a power in community. Her favorite study buddy is her cat Oliver who is never seen without a bow tie.

    Karley Petersen
    Karley is in the final year of her Mental Health Counseling Master’s program at Boston College, and is grateful to be able to work with the diverse, driven and talented students at Lesley. Prior to her current program, Karley received her B.A. in the fields of Biology and Religion, and she received her M.A. in Theological Studies from Boston College. Her prior education and experience working with survivors of sexual assault has informed her belief in human resiliency and ability to write our own narratives while holding the reality of human suffering. Karley believes in fostering the whole human person, and thus strives to co-create a therapeutic space where people feel free to explore the depths of their own complexity and experience. In her spare time, Karley likes to watch Wed Anderson films, explore new places to caffeinate, advocate for menstrual equality, incorporate some kind of mindfulness and exercise into her day and discuss conspiracy theories at length.

    Teresa Yeh
    Teresa has a B.A. in Social Psychology and M.A. in Conflict Resolution from the University of Massachusetts Boston. In May 2020 she will complete her M.S.W. in Clinical Social Work with a specialization in Mental Health from the Boston College School of Social Work. Teresa grew up in multiple countries, and is bilingual in Mandarin and English. She is interested in a wide range of issues including those of trauma, culture, identity, relationships, anxiety, and depression, as well as in working with those directly and indirectly impacted by the current climate crisis. Teresa believes in a collaborative process to foster connection to each individual’s inner resources and to help them overcome challenges in order to live their highest vision of a meaningful life. In her free time, Teresa enjoys dancing, laughing with friends & family, reading, and spending time in nature.

  • Issues We Address

    Some of the issues we address at the Counseling Center include:

    • Abuse
    • Alcohol and drugs
    • Anger
    • Anxiety/panic
    • Body image
    • Communication skills
    • Depression
    • Eating concerns
    • Ethnic/cultural issues
    • Family concerns
    • Grief/loss
    • Life adjustment issues
    • Loneliness
    • Relationships
    • Roommate difficulties
    • Self-confidence issues
    • Sexuality/sexual orientation
    • Stress management
  • Referrals

    When the Counseling Center is unable to provide the type of service you need or request, your counselor will refer you to appropriate mental health professionals in the area.

    In this case, it’s important to know your insurance coverage and the benefits. If you would like us to help you with a referral, bring your insurance information with you.

    Get a list of local providers from your company's Customer Service Office or website. If you provide us with this list, we can review it to see if we can make recommendations.

    If you'd like to find a mental health professional on your own, we recommend HelpPro.com, an online National Mental Health Service Finder. It’s been in existence for over 10 years, and has a database of providers for individual and group therapy, medication assessment, and monitoring. You can search by location, area of specialty, theoretical approach, and payment options (for example, insurance type).

  • Drug and Alcohol Screening, Resources, and Support

    The decision to use alcohol or other drugs, or to abstain, is a choice that all college students must face.

    Whether you’re already in recovery or are seeking to moderate your use, we want to support you in your decision-making process. Our guidance is non-judgmental and non-directive. We’ll help you determine for yourself what’s best for you.

    If you’re concerned about your use of alcohol or other drugs (or the use of someone close to you) please explore our resources below, and reach out with questions or to set up an appointment.

    Confidential Consultation

    We offer confidential assistance and information, and we'll work to meet your needs. Feel free to offer feedback to help us make our services more useful to you and other students.

    Anonymous Online Screening

    Interested in knowing more about your use of alcohol or marijuana? Check out e-CHUG and e-TOKE.

    These are 2 online screening tools that can give you a sense of how your drinking or use of marijuana compares with national averages of college students. These tools can give you a sense about whether your use is heading toward a danger zone, or if it seems like you’re moderating your use and maintaining a healthy life balance.

    Resources

    • Half of Us, sponsored by MTV, explores mental health and substance abuse issues of young people. Find young stars sharing their own stories.
    • Signs that someone is suffering from acute alcohol poisoning from the Mayo Clinic.
    • Brad21 addresses responsible drinking. A parent who lost her son to a "rite of passage" (over-drinking on his 21st birthday) started this organization to give young people information about the consumption of alcohol.
    • Go Ask Alice is an informative, non-judgmental advice column for college students and their questions about alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs. Sponsored by Columbia University.
    • College Binge Drinking provides information about the myths, dangers, and issues surrounding college alcohol abuse.
    • National Institute on Alcohol and Alcoholism 
    • Mothers Against Drunk Driving 

    Support

    • Are you affected by the drinking of someone else? An Al-Anon support group meets on Lesley’s campus every Sunday morning at 11:00 am in University Hall. You'll find them on the third floor, Room 3-100.
    • Need another kind of support? Join an online support group and choose from more than 220 topics.
    • Always feel free to email Doug Weiskopf at weiskopf@lesley.edu with confidential questions or concerns regarding your own substance use or regarding someone you care about.
  • Confidentiality Policy

    Confidentiality means that under normal circumstances, no one outside of the Counseling Center is given any information about you—even the fact that you have been here—without your written consent.

    Exceptions to this include:

    • If you are a danger to the health and safety of yourself or others.
    • If you disclose the abuse (physical, sexual, or emotional) or neglect of a child under the age of 18, an elder, or a disabled person.
    • If a court orders the release of a record via subpoena.
    • If you are seen by Lesley Student Health Services staff and information about your care is needed as part of your integrated medical treatment.
    • If you file a complaint or lawsuit against the Counseling Center.

    There may be times that your counselor feels it would be in the best interest of your work together to talk with someone outside the Counseling Center—such as advisor, faculty, parent, or former counselor—to ensure you are getting the best care. In this case, your counselor will discuss this with you, ask your permission, and if so granted, have you sign a release.

Emergencies

In a crisis, contact us at 617.349.8545 when the Center is open. We do not provide emergency services outside of our regular hours of operation. For example, we don't provide nighttime and weekend coverage.

You should use outside resources since we may not always be able to respond immediately to emergencies.

In an Emergency:

  • Call 911 and then call the Lesley University Security Office at 617.349.8888
  • If you live on campus, you can call a Community Advisor

Local Hospital Emergency Rooms

  • Beth Israel Deaconess, Boston: 617.667.3337
  • Cambridge Health Alliance (Cambridge City Hospital), Cambridge: 617.665.1560
  • Mount Auburn Hospital, Cambridge: 617.499.5025

Student Insurance

Know your health insurance coverage for emergency services. Have your insurance card with you when you go to the hospital. Learn more about Student Health Insurance.

Intern at the Counseling Center

We offer an internship program each academic year for graduate and doctoral counseling students from local graduate schools.

  • Internship Hours

    We have training and administrative meetings each week on Monday and Friday afternoons. Other than these meetings, times are flexible, depending upon everyone's schedule and office availability. Interns are required to work one evening a week.

  • Eligibility & How to Apply

    Eligibility

    • Applicants must be 25 years or older.
    • All applicants need to have experienced their own personal therapy.
    • Ongoing clients at the Lesley Counseling Center are not eligible for this internship program.
    • We prefer students doing their second year internship. We'll consider an unusually experienced or mature candidate doing a first year internship.

    How to Apply

    We accept applications on a rolling basis beginning in mid-December through mid- to late-January. Submit a résumé and 3 letters of recommendation to the Lesley University Counseling Center. If you do not have all your recommendations in place, send or bring in the information you do have. We'll review all résumés and select candidates for an interview.

    You can apply 3 ways:

    • In-person: Drop off your materials at the Counseling Center, 3rd Floor of Doble Hall, Cambridge, Massachusetts
    • By Email: Send your information to Magi McKinnies, the Director of the Counseling Center, at mmckinni@lesley.edu.
    • By Mail: Lesley University Counseling Center
      Attn: Magi McKinnies, Director
      29 Everett Street
      Cambridge, MA 02138
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