Scope of Practice

Wild flowers and bee

The Counseling Center is available and free for all students at Hampshire College. We offer time-limited individual and group counseling for students. We do not have formal session limits, but instead work with each student to come up with a treatment plan that best meets each individual’s needs within the available resources here at Hampshire. Some students come in for a one-time consultation while others are seen intermittently throughout their college career. For many students, group therapy can be a valuable addition to their treatment plan.

Most students who work with us in individual therapy in an ongoing way are seen for 6 or fewer sessions each semester. If a student is looking for something more intensive or more consistent, we have an extensive list of licensed professionals in the community who have gone through our vetting process and are experienced at working with college students.

Some concerns that are commonly addressed in brief or intermittent counseling at the Counseling Center are:

  • General Concerns such as stress, anxiety, depression, anger, loneliness, guilt, low self-esteem, grief, adjustment to college, etc.
  • Big Life Questions such as "Where do I find meaning in life?" or "What do I want out of life?"
  • Relationship Concerns, including relationship issues with romantic partners, modmates, friends, family, etc.
  • Identity Issues relating to all aspects of a person’s identity including personality, family,  race, culture, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, and many others.
  • Other Issues including academic concerns, trauma, childhood concerns, eating and body image issues, etc.

Off-Campus Referrals

Students generally seek outside referrals when their needs cannot be met by the time-limited offerings at our clinic. Time-limited therapy can be a wonderful fit for many students, but it isn’t right for everyone. 

Our approach to off-campus referrals is:

  • All students are welcome here for a consultation at any time in their Hampshire career.
  • The process of discussing treatment options can often take several sessions.
  • The decision to seek an outside therapist is a shared decision between the student and the therapist. 
  • Diagnosis is not the critical factor in making a treatment decision. At a given time, a person with any diagnosis or no diagnosis might benefit from time-limited therapy. We base our recommendations on the current clinical needs of the student.

Students may seek out an off-campus therapist when they know that they want therapy that is weekly or more often. Sometimes a student is able to make this decision immediately in a first consultation with us. Often, a student may take several sessions with us to make this decision. These are some reasons why a student may choose more intensive therapy or a counselor here might recommend it:

  • An interest, curiosity, or enthusiasm about weekly or more intensive therapy
  • A sense that short-term or intermittent therapy might be detrimental or unhelpful
  • Difficulty trusting or opening up to a therapist in a time-limited setting
  • A desire for therapy to be completely separated from the college environment
  • A clinical picture that suggests that a more intensive therapy could help students avoid outcomes such as a significant deterioration in functioning, the need for a medical leave from school, becoming a risk to themselves, and/or needing a hospitalization.
  • A person who is looking for formal psychological assessments, such as ADHD testing
  • Court-mandated treatments or assessment
  • Assessments for employment clearance or other non-academic concerns

Psychiatric Medication Consultations

Students who are seeing a therapist at our clinic may have a medication consultation with a general medical practitioner at Hampshire or with a psychiatric provider at the University of Massachusetts.. We can also provide referrals to psychiatric providers in the community. Which option is best for each student will depend on student preference and clinical picture. Students are encouraged to discuss these options with their therapist.

Stay In Touch
With Health and Counseling Services
Snail Mail
Health and Counseling Services
Hampshire College
893 West Street
Amherst, MA 01002