How to Make an Appointment

  1. Log into the Simmons Health Portal and select Forms. Under Counseling, please fill out the initial paperwork with as much information as possible. This includes Counseling Center Consent to Teletherapy, Counseling Center Consent to Treatment, and Counseling Center Demographic Information.

  2. Email us at [email protected] or call 617.521.2455 to let us know that you have completed the paperwork and are ready to make an appointment.

  3. If you need to be seen urgently (1-2 days), please include URGENT in your email subject line.

If you are experiencing an urgent matter and are on campus, please contact Public Safety: 617-521-1112. If you are off campus, please call 911 or visit your local emergency room.

Your First Appointment(s)

During your assessment appointment(s), your counselor will gather information to help understand your concerns and needs. We will want to hear what is going on for you and what brought you to the Counseling Center. We may also ask you questions about your current life, your relationships, your personal and family history, your prior experience with therapy, and your ideas about how therapy can be helpful. Some of these questions might not feel immediately relevant to you, but hopefully they will help us understand together how the Counseling Center can best meet your needs.

After our initial meeting(s) we will make a recommendation for therapy. This recommendation may include:

  • Several additional sessions in the Counseling Center to address an immediate problem (e.g. roommate or academic difficulties, adjustment to Simmons, etc.).
  • Longer-term therapy in the Counseling Center to address more significant issues or distressing symptoms.
  • A referral to a therapist in the community, for either longer-term and/or more specialized care.
  • Our recommendation will be based on such factors as scheduling, staff availability, constraints of the academic calendar, University resources, and your financial and insurance resources.

The Counseling Process

Counseling is a confidential process designed to help people address concerns, come to a greater self-understanding, and learn more effective personal and interpersonal coping strategies. It may involve sharing sensitive information and feelings and may, at times, feel distressing or anxiety-provoking. The outcome of counseling is often positive; however, it is not possible to predict the level of satisfaction for any individual. Our counselors are committed to helping you accomplish your goals and supporting you throughout the counseling process. During the course of your work with your counselor, they may recommend a consultation with the Center's psychiatrist for either a medication evaluation or for treatment planning. You and your counselor will decide together whether this might be helpful.

Your active participation in the initial evaluation and/or ongoing counseling is important. It is your responsibility to keep scheduled appointments. If you are unable to keep an appointment, please let your counselor know, by leaving her/him a voicemail as soon as possible; at least 24 hours notice is appreciated. If you regularly miss appointments and do not call to cancel or reschedule them, we may not be able to hold a place for you in the Counseling Center. Counseling sessions typically last for 45-50 minutes; arriving on time will help you take full advantage of your sessions.

There is no fee for Counseling Center services. If you are referred to a community provider for therapy, medication, or other mental health services, you are responsible for those fees, which may be covered by your health insurance. If we refer you to an off campus provider, we will discuss this with you further.

If you are concerned that you and your counselor are not working well together, we encourage you to discuss this directly with your counselor. If you continue to feel concerned about the match or are unable to talk about it directly, please feel free to contact:

Sherri Ettinger, PhD, LICSW
Director, Simmons University Counseling Center
Phone: (617) 521-2451