Letter to the editor from Elise Harrison

Dear Editor,

Counseling and Psychological Services would like to thank Martha Schick and the Editorial staff for their articles that bring attention to the increase in demand for services at ECAPS. In reading the article, there are a couple of statements I would like to clarify for the Emerson community. ECAPS does use a short term or brief treatment model of therapy. However, students come to Counseling for a wide variety of issues including anxiety, depression, relationship issues, family issues, grief, substance use and abuse, sexual identity issues, and sexual assaults. This is not a complete list of reasons students come to Counseling, but gives the reader an idea of the complex issues faced by students today. Our licensed psychotherapists also respond to students in crisis situations such as suicidality and we are on-call for consultation for other crisis situations.

The staff of Counseling and Psychological Services is highly qualified to provide psychotherapy for the students at Emerson. ECAPS staff members are all licensed by the state of Massachusetts. On staff we have three licensed psychologists, two licensed clinical social workers and one licensed marriage and family therapist. Our six psychotherapists have many years of experience and expertise in providing psychotherapy for young adults. At Emerson, we are part of a national trend towards more acceptance of the need for psychotherapy in a highly stressful world. The number of students who have reached out to ECAPS for help increased 25% in 2012 over 2011. This year, as of Oct. 31, 2013, 29% more students came to ECAPS over the same time period in 2012. College Counseling Centers all over the country are reporting similar increases in the demand for services. In view of the number of students seeking psychotherapy, we frequently refer to community therapists and psychiatrists. We have developed relationships with excellent therapists and psychiatrists in the Boston area. Students who need or want longer term therapy and more frequent therapy appointments can come to ECAPS for referrals.

At Counseling and Psychological Services, we will continue to do whatever we can to help students with psychological barriers that make their lives difficult. We appreciate the interest Martha Schick and the Editorial staff have paid to Counseling and Psychological Services. We continue to be committed to providing the highest quality, professional services to an increasing number of students who are reaching out for help and to create a community in which all students can thrive.


Elise Harrison

Director of Counseling and Psychological Services