Religious and Spiritual Concerns
All of the professionals at Counseling and Psychological Services are qualified to address the full range of concerns students bring to counseling. However, our counselors do have various areas of special interest or experience.
Our psychiatrists focus on medication consultation and management. Initially, students ordinarily meet with a social worker, psychologist, or postdoctoral psychology fellow. If together with your counselor you decide you would like to evaluate whether medication may be useful, you will then have the option of meeting with one of our psychiatrists, and may, if you like, request one of the psychiatrists listed below. Again, however, if your situation is urgent, we recommend you do not delay seeking psychiatric assistance.
Below is a list of our social workers, psychiatrists, and psychologists who may be especially good matches for students with religious or spiritual concerns as well as for students who wish to see a counselor with a specific interest in the intersection of psychotherapy and spirituality.
Religious and Spiritual Concerns Team
Debra has long been attentive to the place of religion and spirituality in psychotherapy and emotional wellbeing, and has co-facilitated training on this subject. She has worked with many students who struggle with the role of religion and spirituality in their lives.
Victoria views mind/body and spiritual life as interrelated. She has experience discussing spiritual matters with Columbia students of various religious backgrounds, including some who need to be validated in their beliefs or find encouragement to reconnect with their religious community, and others who are conflicted about their religious beliefs or practices. She has experience with different meditation practices and integrates mindfulness into psychotherapy.
Wardeh helps students utilize their spirituality in coping with grief and loss. She also has experience working with persons questioning beliefs as a result of living in regions with sectarianism. Wardeh enjoys working with students navigating their spirituality as they face struggles with existential questions, identity, and purpose. She can understand Arabic at a basic level.
Adam has experience incorporating spirituality into therapy and has worked with people from a variety of religious and spiritual backgrounds. Adam works with individuals to help make meaning of difficult existential questions such as questioning a higher power, issues related to life/death, grappling with multiple identifies that may be in conflict with one’s religious/spiritual beliefs, and finding one’s life purpose. His dissertation focused on implementing customized rituals in coping with losses. Adam frequently incorporates mindfulness and meditation into his work.
Regina provides consultations to students who may benefit from medication. She was raised Catholic and is open to including discussions about faith and spirituality with all students, including the role of faith for students in the LGBT community.
Shirley worked closely with the priest community at Seton Hall University for twelve years. She was a comparative religion teacher at her Unitarian Universalist congregation's Sunday school and has long been involved in a personal exploration of faith and religion.
Annette did her graduate training in a program based on a philosophy that promotes the balanced development of the mental, physical, social, cultural and spiritual aspects of human nature. She is actively involved in teaching seminars and facilitating discussions in churches on self-esteem, stress management, maintaining a healthy balance, and the intersection of vocation and faith. She enjoys working with individuals of all religious and spiritual backgrounds and recognizes the importance of respecting the uniqueness of each individual's experiences.