Current Issue

Issue 4: August 2018

  • Feature Article
  • Our Commitment to Multicultural Counseling & Inclusivity
  • Current Programming: Groups and Workshops
  • Upcoming Events & Announcements

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Past Issues

August 2018
July 2018

June 2018
May 2018

Letter from the Director

Dear Brandeis Students,

I am excited for the opportunity to address you all in our first official Brandeis Counseling Center Newsletter. I am also humbled by the opportunity to begin a level of engagement with students that we have not yet achieved in our center's timeline. In recent months, we at the BCC have begun to explore how we can better serve our student body in ways that are authentic, intentional, and welcoming. In order to address this issue, we posed the question to students, “what can the BCC do to improve?” The answers were passionate and insightful, many of you had lots of great ideas and plenty of helpful suggestions. Primarily, however, there was a resounding sentiment that the BCC needs to improve its communication with the student body and the campus at large. Therefore, I would like to take this opportunity to commit to this action and to communicate openly about the efforts the counseling center is making to improve student support, access, and overall experience.

First and foremost, this newsletter is the first of our newsletter series that will be sent to all students on a monthly basis. It is my hope that this forum allows students to be informed, ask questions, and provide feedback. We also plan to use this platform (and others) to update students on BCC events, changes in programming, important offerings, and ongoing discussions in the mental health community. It is our hope that through this avenue of improved communication, we work to repair trust with those students who have not felt supported, and strengthen the BCC’s mission to address the mental health needs of the Brandeis student body.

Beyond improving communication, the BCC is also working hard to improve access to care through expanding our staff and shifting our scope of practice towards a shorter term stabilization model. This means that we are working hard to plan and execute the most efficient and effective treatment plans for students as we work to address a variety of mental health needs. It is important to understand that the BCC will always operate on a case by case basis and that no one individual’s needs will be exactly the same as those of their peers. Therefore, we are working to consistently improve our assessment methods, data collection, and overall understanding of student needs. Additionally, we are working to improve our approach to treatment through ongoing staff training as well as the use of technology and existing resources. We are also highly invested in the BCC’s group program model as we believe group programming is an intensive and highly rewarding experience for students. We have also worked hard over this past semester to initiate and continue a community therapist program where BCC clinicians are stationed throughout campus to help with everyday stressors and general mental health needs. Lastly, we are working to improve and strengthen our case management operations to thoroughly support students through the process of accessing off-campus resources.

Additionally, and perhaps most importantly, we are working to strengthen our overall mission by engaging in ongoing education and training centered around thoroughly supporting our diverse student body. This commitment to multicultural counseling is a deeply passionate and necessary aspect of the BCC’s identity as a helping community. Beyond engaging in ongoing trainings with Chief Diversity officer Dr. Mark Brimmhall-Vargas and Chief Diversity Education officer Dr. Allyson Livingstone. We are committed to supporting specific group programming for people of color, as well as engaging in honest and thoughtful dialogue about how we can improve these aspects of our practice. Additionally, we as a staff are looking at how our own experiences of privilege, race, culture, and ethnicity affect the work that we do. While this is an ongoing process, our intention around this work is clear. We aim to be an inviting and supportive space where awareness and vulnerability guide us towards a trusting relationship with students who have otherwise not felt supported by such services in the past.

We will continue to offer services and programming throughout the summer for both graduate and undergraduate students.  I invite you to stay tuned for further information about programming and services.

Enjoy your summer,

Joy von Steiger