Fall 2021 Reopening Plans
We will reopen our campuses for classes, activities, and residential living in Fall 2021. Find the latest information on our Fall 2021 Plan page.

Counseling Center

Here at the Lesley Counseling Center, we welcome you to campus and wish you a meaningful, engaging, and successful academic year. We're here to support you on this amazing and life-changing personal and educational journey you are on. 

Our counselors are sensitive to issues of ethnicity, spirituality, culture, sexual orientation, gender, body image, ability, and learning differences. We provide brief counseling, groups, referrals, and wellness programming. Our services are changing and expanding to offer new pathways to support students as outlined below.

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.

Emergencies

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 
FOR IMMEDIATE HELP 24/7, CALL 1-800-273-8255
TEXT "HOME" to 741-741 to connect to a counselor

During Counseling Center Hours: In a crisis, contact us at 617.349.8545. We do not provide emergency services outside of our regular hours of operation, such as nights and weekends.

Outside Counseling Center Hours: Call 911 and then call Lesley Public Safety at 617.349.8888. If you live on campus, you can call a Community Advisor. You can also go to a local hospital emergency room, such as Beth Israel Deaconess (Boston), Cambridge Health Alliance, or Mount Auburn Hospital (Cambridge).

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.

Social Justice Statement

The Lesley University Counseling Center is committed to knowledge, action, and working in trauma-informed ways to address issues of equity, diversity, inclusion, and social justice. We acknowledge the long painful history of systemic inequity, racism, oppression and imprisonment of too many people of color, the continuous deaths of Black people in particular, and the resulting harmful effects on the mental health on these individuals and communities. We offer space and compassion to hold these experiences individually and collectively, knowing this is necessary for healing. We stand in solidarity with all people who are committed to anti-racist and anti-oppression knowledge and action that dismantles the systemic structures of hate and inequity in our society and institutions.

COVID Safety Protocols

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are taking precautions to address your safety and the safety of others. These actions will allow us to provide safe and effective services to support your mental health. We are following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Massachusetts health guidelines, to limit the spread of COVID-19 through masking, social distancing, adequate ventilation, and limiting the density of numbers in our area whenever possible. 

  • To minimize traffic, unless it is a crisis, please call us in advance before walking over to the Counseling Center
  • We'll generally conduct counseling appointments over telehealth, with limits on in-person appointments that are available each day
  • If you have an in-person appointment and feel sick or are experiencing symptoms, please call us to reschedule or switch your appointment to telehealth
  • We'll conduct all counseling groups over telehealth
  • In-person sessions will require you and your counselor to wear masks
  • Please advise us if you have not been vaccinated and we will provide services over telehealth

Our Services

Brief Solution-Focused (BSF) model of care:

  • Brief Solution-Focused Counseling
  • Consultation & recommendation sessions
  • Group counseling
  • Same-day appointments
  • Crisis appointments (such as self-harm, danger to self/others, and more)
  • Referrals for specialist or longer-term treatment (such as medication, testing, and more)
  • Support spaces (non-clinical support for out-of-state students, international students, identity groups, and more)
  • Wellness programs (such as stress management, mindfulness training, and more)

Who we serve

The Lesley University Counseling Center provides services to enrolled Lesley students in degree programs living in Massachusetts. Due to licensing laws, if you reside outside Massachusetts, our staff can provide a consultation and help connect you to referrals in your state.

How to contact us

To explore our services or make an appointment, please call 617.349.8545 or email us at counselingcenter@lesley.edu.

Why our model is changing

Our new Brief Solution-Focused model of care will provide more students with greater access and a wider range of services than previously existed. This model will enable us to see more students, minimize the need for a waiting list, address problems sooner, and offer a flexible model of care. Our expanded services will include counseling groups, same-day appointments, support spaces, and wellness programming.

Nationally, across all college and university counseling centers, students are seen by counselors for about 5 to 6 sessions per year on average. The Counseling Center at Lesley mirrors this statistic, with 6 sessions being generally sufficient to address most student concerns. Some students may only require a single one-off consultation (such as a same-day appointment to address an immediate issue), a handful of sessions to address a current situation; while others will benefit from group counseling, a support space, or referrals in the community for the ongoing longer-term care they need.

If you need more help

We're committed to working from a Brief Solution-Focused treatment modality to help all students. At the same time, we understand this may not meet every student's needs. Therefore, if students request or need more consistent and weekly counseling or specialized treatment (such as medication, testing, or other need), our counselors will be happy to assist with referrals.

Out of necessity, the Counseling Center is creating new and varied entry points to serve more students within a short-term model and will keep providing referrals for longer-term treatment and specialist care. Although college counseling centers are not resourced to provide long-term care, research consistently illustrates the efficacy and benefits students can receive through brief treatment.

Promoting Equity & Access to Care

We're committed to equity and access to services to students from historically marginalized, low-income, or first-generation backgrounds. We understand the stigma and systemic barriers that have limited access to quality health care and treatment for members from these communities. We will work earnestly to gain the trust and confidence of our students in the Lesley community to provide them with access to services and also with referrals when appropriate.

Take a Mental Health Screening

ULifeline at Duke University School of Medicine developed the Self Evaluator to screen for common mental health conditions that college students face. This screening does not provide a diagnosis but identifies problems that could be impacting thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. The screening process also provides information on these conditions and how to reach out for help. 

Start Self-Screening Here

  • Crisis Hotlines
    • Crisis Text Line: You can text from anywhere in the United States, anytime, about any type of crisis. A live, trained Crisis Counselor receives the text and responds, all from their secure online platform. The volunteer Crisis Counselor will help you move from a hot moment to a cool moment. Text “HOME” to 741741.

    • 211 (community resource specialists): Aids in times of crisis, emergency, disasters and loss of essential needs. All languages available. 

    • Suicide Prevention Lifeline/National Crisis Hotline: This Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals. Call 800.273.TALK (8255) or chat online.

    • Samaritans Crisis Hotline (national suicide prevention): Call 877.870.HOPE (4673).  

    • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Disaster Distress Hotline: SAMHSA’s Disaster Distress Helpline provides 24/7, 365-day-a-year crisis counseling and support to people experiencing emotional distress related to natural or human-caused disasters. Call 800.985.5990 or text “TalkWithUs” to 66746.

    • Trevor Project LGBTQIA+ Hotline: Trained counselors are available to support you 24/7 if you are a young person in crisis, feeling suicidal, or in need of a safe and judgment-free place to talk. Call 866.488.7386.

    • National Sexual Assault Hotline: You'll to be routed to a local sexual assault service provider in your area. Trained staff can provide confidential support and connect you to resources in your area. Call 800.356.HOPE (4673).

    • National Domestic Violence Hotline: Highly trained expert advocates are available 24/7 to talk confidentially with anyone in the United States who is experiencing domestic violence, seeking resources or information, or questioning unhealthy aspects of their relationship. Services available in over 200 languages. Call 800.799.SAFE (7233).

    • REACH MA (domestic violence): REACH MA is a non-profit organization providing safety and support to survivors of abuse while encouraging communities to promote healthy relationships and prevent domestic violence. Call 800.899.4000.

    • Boston Area Rape Crisis Center (BARCC): BARCC empowers survivors of sexual violence to heal and provides education and advocacy for social change to prevent sexual violence. Call their 24/7 hotline at 800.841.8371 or their office at 617.492.8306 during regular business hours. Chat online from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.

    • Love is Respect: Loveisrespect is the ultimate resource to empower youth to prevent and end dating abuse. It is a project of the National Domestic Violence Hotline. Call 866.331.9474 or text “loveis” to 22522.

    • Veterans Crisis Line: Connect with the Veterans Crisis Line to reach caring, qualified responders within the Department of Veterans Affairs. Many are Veterans themselves. Text 838255.

    • Parental Stress Hotline (Massachusetts): Trained volunteer counselors offer a way to relieve stress in an environment which is non-judgmental along with being sympathetic. All languages available. Call 24/7 at 800.632.8188.

  • 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 Service 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.

  • 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
  • Groups & Support Spaces

    Telehealth Counseling Groups

    (Due to state laws, counseling groups are open to students who reside in Massachusetts and will be conducted virtually due to COVID.)

    The Counseling Center is offering confidential counseling groups that help people feel more connected and learn from each other. If you are interested in participating in one of the groups we are offering, please email us at counselingcenter@lesley.edu or call 617.349.8545 to schedule an initial meeting with the group leader.

    Befriending Anxiety: A Parts Work Approach to Address Anxiety

    Using an Internal Family Systems (IFS) lens, the goal of this group is to help members decrease anxiety and increase an overall sense of well-being. 

    Bouncing Back: Exploring and Understanding Resilience

    Together in a supportive space, group members will discuss how people are affected by and adapt to things like adversity, change, loss, and risk—and bounce back after changes, challenges, setbacks, and disappointments.

    Interpersonal Process Group

    Are you interested in deepening your personal relationships through open and honest communication? This group will offer a space for students to get to know each other, learn about oneself through social interactions, and engage through a here and now process.

    Processing Grief and Loss

    Groups can be helpful to individuals mourning the loss of a loved one. This group offers a safe and supportive space for students to come together, to share stories, struggles, and to explore ways of coping.

    Recovery Together: Exploring Your Relationship to Food and Your Bodies

    Together in a supportive space, this group will share the difficulties and successes in the eating disorder recovery process and help build coping skills and insight addressing thought patterns that fuel eating concerns.

    Virtual Support Spaces

    Open to all students no matter where you live: in-state, out-of-state or internationally and conducted virtually due to COVID.

    Support spaces will be monthly (unless otherwise indicated) where students can meet and connect with other students to share experiences and increase a sense of belonging at Lesley University. Contact us at counselingcenter@lesley.edu for the date, time, and Zoom links.

    BIPOC, Biracial, Multiracial students: A space to discuss experiences on campus related to race and intersecting identities and to have a safe space for support and to raise any concerns.

    International students: A space for international students to come together and share their experiences and have conversations about life as an international student at Lesley.

    LGBTQIA+ students: A drop-in support space designed for LGBTQIA+ students to gather and discuss topics related to sexuality and life at Lesley.

    “Mental Health Tips” to Help You Cope: Explore a weekly “mental health tip” that engages a calm mind, embodied presence, and ways to work with your thoughts and emotions for greater stability.

    Virtual Mindfulness Community: Attend a daily mindfulness program from 8:45 to 9:15 am. Open to all members of the Lesley community and facilitated by Jacob Aqua and other graduate students from Lesley's master's degree program in Mindfulness Studies.

  • Additional Services

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

    • Alcohol and other drug information, and preventive programming
    • Referrals for psychiatric medication services
    • Resource and referral services
    • Consultation to students, student groups, faculty, parents, and the Lesley community
  • 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 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, 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.

    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.
    • B.R.A.D 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.
  • Online Support Groups

    Each of these support groups provides services for anyone struggling. Each group may have a different focus.  

    • 7 Cups: Emotional support and wellness, and therapy options

    • Turn2Me : Various topics including anxiety, depression, and stress

    • Daily Strength : Anxiety support

    • DBSAlliance: Depression and bipolar support

  • Mindfulness Apps
    • Headspace ($10/year for students): Personal guide to health and happiness with guided meditations, stories, soundscapes, and music.

    • Insight Timer: The largest free library of guided meditations for free. 

    • Mood Kit: One-of-a-kind app designed to help you apply effective strategies of professional psychology into your everyday life.

  • Counseling Center Internship Program

    Check back soon for updates.

  • Meet the Counseling Center Staff
    A photo of Wayne Assing

    Wayne Assing, Director
    (He/Him/His)

    Wayne is deeply committed to students and to their holistic mind-body-spirit health and well-being. His understanding of human behavior is informed by his life experiences and his understanding of developmental, psychodynamic, relational, and socio-cultural theories. He values contemplative practices such as poetry, photography, watching clouds and listening to birds – practicing mindfulness in the present moment while enjoying the simple things in life. Read more about Wayne.

     

     

    A headshot of Tracy Greenfield

    Tracy Greenfield, LMHC, Associate Director
    (She/Her/Hers)

    Tracy is interested in the integration and healing power of spirituality in psychotherapy and supporting people toward actualizing their potential in all realms of life. She is bilingual (English-Spanish), and has a wide range of interests including liberation-focused healing, women's health, working with the LGBTQIA+ community, anxiety, depression, sexuality, relationships, divorce, trauma work, and culture. Read more about Tracy.

     

     

    Head shot of counseling center staff member Ellen O'Neill. She is smiling while looking at the camera. She has black hair and wears a black cardigan over a black shirt patterned with white flowers.

    Ellen O’Neill, Administrative Assistant
    (She/Her/Hers)

    Ellen has a bachelor’s degree in Education/Human Services from the University of Massachusetts/Amherst. Before joining the Counseling Center staff, she has 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. Read more about Ellen.

     

     

    A headshot of Rose Marsh

    Rose Marsh, LCSW, University Counselor
    (She/Her/Hers)

    Rose takes a relational approach, believing in the importance of understanding how relationship dynamics impact one’s mental health. She recognizes that each student comes with a differing level of experience with therapy and works with students to identify goals and a pace best suited for them. Rose welcomes working with all students and has particular passion working with students navigating sexuality, family and relationship dynamics, eating concerns, trauma, anxiety, depression, and grief and loss. Read more about Rose.

     

     

    Headshot of Edward Yates. Edward has short brown hair and a beard. He wears a plaid flannel.

    Edward Yates MSW, LCSW, University Counselor
    (He/Him/His)

    Edward’s approach to counseling is centered around mindfulness while empowering students to drive their experience during each session. He is bilingual (Spanish and English) and has been trained and has a passion for restorative justice which also influences the approach to his practice. Some areas of focus are trauma work, impacts of acculturation, family and relationship dynamics, anxiety, and depression. Read more about Edward.

     

    A headshot of Nasya Smith

    Nasya Smith, Staff Counselor 

    Nasya’s professional approach is to provide a collaborative therapeutic space, she aims to empower students through a whole-person, trauma-informed approach. She is passionate about helping clients develop skills to establish and maintain healthy boundaries. She holds a broad range of clinical interests, which include: shame reduction, self-esteem/self-compassion, mind-body connection, socio-cultural-political context and mental health, destigmatization of mental health in BIPOC communities, spiritual identity exploration, and stress management. Read more about Nasya.

     

    Thylia Duporte, Graduate Student Intern

    Thylia is a clinical intern pursuing her master’s degree in Social Work at Bridgewater State University. Thylia started her clinical experience at The Home for Little Wanderers Safe at Home Boston program where she provided age-appropriate, culturally sensitive in-home therapy services for clients and families. She worked to advocate for families and to help parents build advocacy skills, as well as to identify and utilize community resources that support the growth of children and families. Outside of interning and writing papers, Thylia enjoys traveling, trying new restaurants, and shopping.

     

    A headshot of Malaika Palacios

    Malaika Palacios, Graduate Student Intern 

    Malaika Palacios earned her bachelor’s degree in Biology at Binghamton University and is currently pursuing her master's degree in Clinical Social Work at Boston College. Prior to joining Boston College, Malaika spent her time at the Billerica House of Corrections, Therapeutic Mentor Network, and Lowell House Addiction Treatment and Recovery Program, building trusting relationships with the individuals and connecting them to care, eliminating barriers, and advocating for systemic changes.

    Malaika is bilingual (Spanish and English) and a first-generation college graduate. Malaika’s family immigrated from Trujillo, Honduras. Malaika’s experience as being part of the 1.5 generation influences her desire in seeing the power of collaborating with individuals in their context, learning about them on their own terms and in their own communities. During Malaika’s leisure time you will catch her spending time with friends, listening to music, or watching her favorite shows.

     

    A headshot of Jordyn Piccirelli

    Jordyn Piccirelli, Graduate Student Intern

    Jordyn is a graduate student at William James College, where she is obtaining her degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Previously, she attended SUNY Farmingdale State College where she received a degree in Applied Psychology with a minor in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Jordyn is committed to serving underserved communities but has a special interest in working with the LGBTQIA+ community. Her unique experiences, both personally and academically, have contributed to her passion for learning and practicing theoretical orientations that aim to empower, encourage, and support the strengths within each individual she has the opportunity to work with. When Jordyn isn’t working or tending to school requirements, you can find her listening to music, eating, or outside- sometimes all at once!

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