The Counseling Center provides a wide range of assessment, intervention, and consultation services for the College of William & Mary. We are the primary mental health resource on campus and we address problems ranging from stress management to suicidality. Advanced practicum students at the Center function as integral parts of our program, while receiving intensive training and supervision.
While the demands for services and needs of clients may change from semester to semester and from year to year, the following generalizations apply fairly well to our work:
- Our clients are enrolled undergraduate or graduate students. Roughly 65% of our clients are women and a large majority (94.9%) are 18-22 years of age. Approximately 26.6% of our clients are ethnic minority students and 13.3% identify as LGBT-Q students. Additionally, 3.7% of our clients are international students.
- Our clients present with a wide-range of symptoms and presenting concerns. Examples include: depression, anxiety, adjustment difficulties, body image/eating concerns, grief/loss, family of origin concerns, substance use, interpersonal issues and challenges, personality disorders, suicidality, Bipolar disorder, and psychosis.
- Our primary treatment modality is short-term, problem-oriented individual psychotherapy. The average course of treatment is 5-10 sessions. Longer-term individual psychotherapy is an option when appropriate. This will be determined during the disposition meetings and in conjunction with supervisors. We see some couples and we sometimes invite families in for brief assessment and treatment interventions.
- We have a strong group therapy program and the types of groups offered tend to change with staff interests and clinical need. Every semester, there are typically a mix of interpersonal process groups as well as thematic groups. Our process groups are called “Understanding Self and Others” (USO) and they can be co-ed, women only, or graduate/non-traditional students. Examples of thematic groups offered over the years include: LGBT-Q support group, body image/eating concerns group, family of origin group, grief/loss group, and support groups for international students. We are open to starting new groups based on the needs of our client population and the professional interests and availability of staff members.
- There are multiple theoretical orientations represented by the WMCC counseling senior staff, such as interpersonal, humanistic, psychodynamic, systems, and cognitive-behavioral theories that guide their clinical work. It is recognized that within a brief therapy model, an eclectic approach is often utilized in order to best meet clients’ needs. Practicum students are encouraged to build upon and strengthen their theoretical orientation throughout the training year by integrating preferred approaches to psychotherapy with personal strengths and values.