Individual Counseling

In light of COVID-19, most Columbia Health offices will be operating remotely as of Monday, March 16, 2020 and providing services virtually.

Short-term individual counseling is an opportunity to talk with a mental health professional at Counseling and Psychological Services regarding concerns or problems, such as stress, feelings of low self-esteem, anxiety, depression, academic concerns, substance use, issues with friends and family, or relationship concerns. Counseling sessions generally last approximately 45 minutes.

Feeling stressed? Make an appointment to talk with a mental health professional at Counseling and Psychological Services.

Individual counseling is available by phone/secure Zoom appointment for students who have paid the Columbia Health and Related Services Fee. Students are welcome to request a clinician of their choice (click here to view staff bios) and we will attempt to honor those requests. Students requesting an appointment for individual counseling for the first time will be scheduled for an initial interview with a clinician, usually within one to two business days. These calls are intended to facilitate access to appropriate treatment options.

First Virtual Appointment

  • Insures that students in crisis have immediate access to virtual appointments without unnecessary delay
  • Allows us to match students with an appropriate professional on the Counseling and Psychological Services team for counseling
  • Allows us to assess whether students might benefit from one of our many online support space options
  • Allows us to assist students in need of referrals to connect with off-campus resources as quickly and efficiently as possible
  • Provides an opportunity for our providers to direct students, when appropriate, to self-care resources and to provide initial recommendations for managing stress or related issues

CPS encourages students to access our services by calling 212-854-2878 to schedule an appointment. Typically, these appointments are scheduled within one business day. In this conversation, we will discuss your concerns and help you determine the most appropriate treatment options.

During Scheduled Clinical Hours

During the first session or two, counselors work with students to develop an individualized treatment plan that best meets students’ needs. While there is no specific limit on the number of sessions at CPS, services are focused on short-term care designed, for example, to help students improve coping skills, better manage distress, resolve immediate problems or meet near-term personal goals. Many students are able to achieve treatment goals through a relatively brief course of therapy on campus, while others may want or require more specialized or open-ended services and may benefit from an off-campus referral.

Diverse Staff

Successful counseling depends a good deal on personal chemistry. If a student feels for any reason that their clinician is not a good match, CPS will gladly facilitate a transfer to a different clinician at any time. Students need only ask.

The Counseling and Psychological Services team supporting Columbia University students (March 2019).

All CPS providers have experience and expertise in working with a full range of student concerns. Most clinicians also have particular interest, experience, or advanced training in specific practice areas, such as trauma support, eating disorders, sexual and gender concerns, and acculturation concerns, among many others.

Acute Psychiatric Emergencies

Students experiencing acute psychiatric emergencies should call 212-854-2878 for immediate virtual assistance and will be connected to a clinician whenever Counseling and Psychological Services is open.