Personal counseling, or therapy, provides an opportunity for students to address and explore personal problems or concerns. It can help students cope with the issues that interfere with their personal and academic life.
The CAC's team of personal counselors consists of licensed clinicians and offers free and confidential individual counseling to currently enrolled students at Berklee. Consultation is available to students, faculty, staff, and family members who have concerns about a student.
Additionally, personal counselors offer outreach programs to support the well-being of our students.
Why Do Students Seek Personal Counseling
Personal counseling can help address:
- Depression or anxiety
- Adjustment to life at Berklee, Boston, and/or the United States
- Relationship problems with friends, roommates, parents, or significant other
- Performance anxiety
- Procrastination or decreased motivation
- Communication issues
- Problem drinking and/or drug use
- Trauma, assault, or harassment
- Loss, grief, or bereavement
- Concerns about sexual problems
- Developmental and identity issues
- Confidence and self-esteem
- Concerns around sexual orientation
- Health and wellness
- Eating disorder and body image
- Sleep problems
Personal counseling can help alleviate signs of distress such as:
- Feeling tired, fatigued, or like everything takes a lot of effort
- Loss of interest in once-enjoyable activities
- Unexpected crying
- Bursts of anger or unusual irritability
- Recent change in your sleeping patterns (e.g., trouble falling or staying asleep, sleeping all the time)
- Recent change in your eating patterns (e.g., loss of appetite or eating more than usual)
- Feeling guilty or inadequate
- Wanting to avoid most people, even those you like
- Having thoughts about hurting yourself, or suicidal thoughts
- Having panic attacks or experiencing intense physical discomfort for no apparent reason
Personal Counseling Services
Currently enrolled students can set up an intake appointment with a personal counselor by calling or stopping by the CAC greeting counter and speaking with the receptionist. At the intake appointment, the personal counselor will assess needs and discuss all treatment options. Depending on need and availability, the student will be referred for either individual counseling of up to 12 sessions at the CAC or longer-term counseling with a licensed clinician in the community.
We at the CAC respect confidentiality highly and follow it as a strict rule. Massachusetts law and ethical guidelines for personal counselors require that student visits and all information shared during personal counseling remain confidential. We cannot release information to anyone without a student's written permission. This includes friends, instructors, and parents. Records of personal counseling sessions are kept in separate locked files, and other CAC staff and student employees do not see or handle any of these records. Exceptions to confidentiality occur only under special circumstances such as being in imminent danger. A counselor will go over these exceptions in detail at the initial appointment.
Consultation service is available to Berklee students, faculty, staff, and family members who are concerned about a Berklee student's well-being. Please call the receptionist at 617 747-2310 or stop by at the CAC to leave a message with the on-call counselor. Let the receptionist know how urgent your situation is, and the on-call counselor will respond promptly.
A number of outreach programs are available to the Berklee community including workshops and groups related to well-being, health and wellness, and prevention.
During Business Hours
The CAC has an on-call counselor available from 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday to assist students who may need immediate attention. Students who are in crisis or having a mental health emergency should call 617 747-2310 or stop by the office and let the receptionist know that they need to see or speak to a personal counselor immediately or on the same day.
Staff, faculty, family members, and students who are concerned about a student's well-being may also request an urgent care consultation with an on-call counselor. Please call 617 747-2310 or stop by the CAC to speak with the receptionist and leave a message for the on-call counselor, who will respond promptly.
After Business Hours
If there is a mental health emergency after CAC business hours or on the weekend, members of the Berklee community should call Public Safety at 617 747-2333 (or extension 2333 from on-campus telephones). Public Safety will contact a clinical consultant who will be able to help.
You may also call 911 or go to your local hospital emergency room for assistance.
Self-help resources and hotline information is available below. For more specific referrals for community practitioners, students should make an intake appointment to discuss their needs.