Counseling and Psychological Services

General Information

Counseling and Psychological Services promotes the wellbeing of the Norwich community by providing counseling, assessment, and consultation services. Individual counseling is provided for students, faculty, staff, and family members of staff. Psychological testing is available upon request. In addition, couples counseling, thematic groups, psycho-educational workshops, and other outreach can be provided in response to specific needs. These services are conducted by a well-trained staff of licensed professional psychologists, postdoctoral fellows, and doctoral interns.

Contact Us
(802) 485-2134
8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday
Kreitzberg Library, Suite 415
To make an appointment, call or drop-in during regular hours.

Emergency Coverage
For after-hours emergencies, please call our Crisis Line at (802) 793-3093. If your call is not answered, please leave a voice message, including the phone number where you can be reached. If you do not hear back within 20 minutes, call the number again. If for whatever reason you are not able to reach a counselor on our crisis line, call the Washington County Mental Health Services crisis line at (802) 229-0591.

Cost
Counseling services are offered free to members of the Norwich University community. A fee is charged for psychological testing.


Counseling and Psychological Services Staff

Director
Melvin E. Miller, Ph.D.

Dr. Melvin Miller, a professor of psychology, was appointed to the Norwich University Psychology Department in 1981. His fields of specialization are clinical and developmental. He is director of the University Counseling and Psychological Services Department. Dr. Miller was president of the New England Psychological Association from 1987 to 1988 and served seven terms as executive director of the Society for Research in Adult Development (SRAD). He is engaged in longitudinal research that investigates the relationship between personality development and philosophical frames of reference. Additional interests are in clinical assessment and psychotherapy.

Counselors
Alexandra Sredni, Psy.D., Postdoctoral Clinical Fellow

Dr. Alexandra Sredni received a Psy.D. in clinical psychology from Nova Southeastern University in 2016. She is drawn to psychoanalytic approaches to counseling because they conceptualize the therapeutic relationship as the core of the work. She believes that working with this relationship has the potential to improve other relationships, including one’s relationship to the self. The depth and complexity of psychoanalytically-oriented counseling also resonates with her interests in literature, poetry, and psychology. Her primary research interest is exploring the connection between the body, mind, and spirit.

Jacob Rusczek, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Clinical Fellow

Dr. Jacob Rusczek received a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Duquesne University in 2015. His approach to counseling prioritizes careful listening and he views the process as a collaborative dialogue aimed at increasing awareness. He believes that when we understand ourselves as we are, we become free to change and grow. He is interested in the history, philosophical underpinnings, and cultural context of psychology, psychotherapy, and psychoanalysis.

Jacqi Rodriguez, Psy.D., Postdoctoral Clinical Fellow

Dr. Jacqi Rodriguez is a postdoctoral fellow at Norwich University. She earned a Psy.D. in clinical psychology from George Fox University. Dr. Rodriguez practices psychoanalytically-oriented counseling. She believes that the counseling relationship can be a means of increasing capacity for healthy relationship with self and others, leading to profound change in one’s life. Her professional interests include integrating existential and spiritual perspectives with psychoanalysis.

Nathan Haskell, M.A., Clinical Intern

Nathan Haskell completed an M.A. in Clinical Psychology in 2014 and will graduate with a Psy.D. from George Fox University in 2017. He approaches counseling from a psychodynamic perspective, emphasizing the use of a therapeutic relationship to help uncover the internal and relational patterns/experiences that can make life difficult. His professional interests include dream analysis, group psychotherapy, and the unconscious communications found in language, literature, and film.

Paul McLaughlin, M.A., Clinical Intern

Paul McLaughlin received an M.A. in clinical psychology from George Fox University in 2014 and is on track to graduate with a Psy.D. in 2017. His approach to counseling is from a psychodynamic perspective with a strong awareness of existential issues. This theoretical orientation emphasizes the impact of significant relationships in our lives, and looks to use insight and the therapeutic alliance to foster positive growth. His research interests include the integration of psychology, theology, and spirituality; depth psychology; and a psychology of wisdom.

Clinical Supervisors
Polly Young-Eisendrath, Ph.D.
Stella Marrie, Psy.D.
Tamara Bisbee, Psy.D.

Administrative Assistant
Michele Robie


Questions about Counseling

What is counseling?

Counseling is a collaborative process that occurs between client and counselor. As a result, a given treatment is inevitably tailored to the individual and his or her particular concerns. In general, counseling involves the client speaking freely about whatever feels important while the counselor listens attentively, asks questions, and responds in various ways to what is being said. Counselors usually do not give advice, but instead try to foster the clients’ capacity to arrive at decisions that feel right to them. Individuals are helped to better understand their thoughts, feelings, behaviors, relationships, hopes, fears, and conflicts, thus contributing to increased self-awareness and personal growth. The process of counseling can bring up painful or difficult emotions and offers an opportunity to face our fears, pain, and other struggles in order to live with more freedom, strength, creativity, and love.

What are some of the concerns for which students attend counseling?

Relationship difficulties/Loneliness/Loss
Family-related problems
Depression
Anxiety
Trauma/Abuse
Problematic eating/Body image
Concerns about alcohol and drug use
Academic difficulties
Corps/Military-related difficulties
Questions related to sexuality or gender identity
Difficulties and challenges related to cultural differences

What should I expect during my first appointment?

During your first appointment, you will have the chance to describe your reasons for seeking treatment while your counselor listens and asks questions. Your counselor will also discuss the way counseling works, the conditions of treatment (such as confidentiality and scheduling), and answer any questions that you have. If you both agree that counseling will be helpful, you will typically establish a weekly appointment time.

Is counseling confidential?

Counseling is confidential. The condition of confidentiality is protected by law and ethical standards. Information about your treatment, including the fact that you are in treatment at all, is only released if you have agreed to such a disclosure in writing. Information about your treatment, including the fact that you are in counseling at all, is only released if you have agreed to such a disclosure in writing.

There are a few exceptions to the condition of confidentiality:

  1. If we believe that a client is at immanent risk of seriously harming him- or herself, we will contact the individuals necessary in order to ensure the client’s safety.
  2. If we believe that a client is credibly threatening to physically harm another person, we are required to take actions in order to protect that individual, including notifying the potential victim, the police, and other parties necessary to ensure safety.
  3. If we learn from first-hand knowledge that a child or incapacitated adult is being abused, we may be required to file a report to the appropriate state agency.
  4. If your records are requested by a subpoena or court order, we may be legally required to submit your records to the court.

Your counselor will discuss any questions concerns that you have about confidentiality during the first appointment and at any other point that you raise them.


Emergency Services

Counseling and Psychological Services is available to respond to crisis situations 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. During normal office hours, the individual in crisis should come to the counseling center, where he or she will be seen as soon as possible. If someone you know is in crisis during office hours, consider offering to bring them to the counseling center yourself. For after-hours emergencies, please call the crisis line at (802) 793-3093. If your call is not answered, please leave a voice message including the phone number where you can be reached. If you do not hear back within 20 minutes, call the number again. If for whatever reason you are not able to reach a counselor on our crisis line, call the Washington County Mental Health Services crisis line at (802) 229-0591. If you are calling on behalf of someone else, it is best to have him or her present if possible. One of the center’s counselors will answer the call and begin to assess the situation over the phone, and then continue on-site as necessary. The counselor will work with the individual in crisis and others who might be involved in order to work out a resolution.

Other Contacts Relevant to Crisis Situations
Campus Security: The Norwich University Security and Safety Department provides a 24-hour physical security presence 365 days a year. The Security Office is located in the southwest end of the Hayden Building. From an off-campus phone, security personnel can be contacted by dialing (802) 485-2525 or (802) 485-2499. On-campus callers can reach Security by dialing ext. 2525 or 2499.
Police and Emergency Medical Services: 911

Washington Country Mental Health Services: 24-hour crisis line: (802) 229-0591

Sexual Assault Resource Center (SARC): 24-hour crisis line: (503) 640-5311

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1 (800) 273-8255


Psychological Assessments

Counseling and Psychological Services provides psychoeducational and other psychological assessments. Students are typically referred by the Academic Achievement Center or other educational professionals in order to better understand academic difficulties. Psychoeducational testing is intensive, requiring around 10 hours of testing and consultation. The cost for a psychoeducational assessment is $475; the first $50 is due before testing begins. Counseling and Psychological Services will also consider requests for other types of assessments.


Referrals

How to Make a Referral

Oftentimes, people decide to attend counseling after encouragement from concerned family, friends, staff, and others who have noticed that they might benefit from seeing a counselor. One way to refer someone to counseling is to talk to them about your concerns and bring up the counseling center as a possible source of help. If you feel that the need is more immediate, or that a higher level of intervention or help is required, you can consider walking with the individual to the counseling center during regular hours in order to make an appointment.

What to Expect After You Make a Referral

We realize that after referring someone, you might want to know how they are doing. However, because counseling is confidential, staff at the counseling center will not be able to tell you if the person you referred is attending counseling or anything else about his or her treatment. The best way to follow up is to ask the person you referred directly. In cases where it is appropriate and the attendee is willing, a release of information form can be completed in order to authorize the counselor to communicate with the referral source.


Training

Counseling and Psychological Services is a training site accredited by the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers. For information about our predoctoral internship and postdoctoral fellowship positions, please refer to our brochure here.

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