Over the past summer, the branch of College Health Services previously known as Psychological Counseling Services (PCS) underwent significant modifications, changing its name to Integrative Wellbeing Services (IWS).
According to Wendy Adam, director of IWS, perhaps the most striking change that Integrative Wellbeing Services presents from the old PCS is the name change itself. Through the name change, the department wanted to stress that it provides services not limited to just one modality, psychological counseling, but rather a large variety of services with a holistic emphasis.
IWS stresses that thriving for all students at the College – mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically – is what it hopes to see. The goal of this change, according to IWS, is to frame the department’s work with the more positive goal of student “thriving” as opposed to “surviving.”
Although all of the same mental health services that were available last academic year are still available this current year (including 24/7 crisis coverage, individual and group psychotherapy, psychiatric assessment and treatment and medication management), the department is also expanding educational workshops, as well as practice sessions and outreach activities.
IWS has also hired several full time therapists since last May, and has an incoming class of seven therapists, including three post-graduate/post-doctoral fellows. Because of this personnel expansion, therapeutic services are now offered in Spanish and Portuguese.
Another change from last year is the establishment of “satellite” locations across campus. Although primary offices are still in Thompson Health Center, students can find branches of IWS on the third floor of Hardy House, the First Congregational Church (first floor and basement) and Athletics. IWS will also be renovating and moving into new space in Hewat House at 100 Hoxsey St. (“Psych Services hires new therapists, receives approval for new building,” April 12, 2017).
The programming that IWS is offering this year are somewhat different from last year as well. Brief walk-in sessions known as “Let’s Talk” take place in the Peer Health office in Paresky Center and in Jenness House library, and there are also a number of new multicultural outreach activities planned for the semester, such as Seeking Sacred Stories, a session that notices and names experiences of trauma related to racial oppression. Weekly Noon Sessions will be held in and around Paresky on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. IWS is also continuing the weekly drop-in lunch session it introduced last spring to provide support for Junior Advisors.
Other groups, workshops and skill building sessions center around topics such as gender and sexual orientation, body diversity, international student support and healthy relationships. For students that want to learn more about IWS and what it does, there is a general IWS info session this Friday from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. in Paresky 201.