What We Do
What we do, the concerns we address, and what to expect when you visit Psychological Services.
Psychological Services staff provide a range of on-campus mental health services to the Bennington College community including diagnostic assessments, individual psychotherapy, support and skill-based groups, psychiatric consultations, medication management, 24/7 crisis stabilization and emergency support during term, referrals, outreach programming, and training and consultation to students, faculty, and staff. Services are offered and available to students while school is in session and treatment is confidential within the professional guidelines and legal requirements in the state of Vermont. During the Fall and Spring academic terms, you are welcome to contact Psychological Services for a list of off-campus service providers. When school is not in session—summer, FWT—we encourage you to contact your health insurance provider for help. You can search for the insurance provider online or look on the back of your health insurance card to find the number to call.
Concerns we address:
- Relationship issues
- Academic concerns
- Sexual concerns
- Substance use issues
- Eating issues
- Family issues
- Identity issues (gender, race, ethnicity, ability, sexuality, socio-economic class)
- Adjustment issues
- Grief and loss
- Social issues
- Sleeping issues
*Comprehensive neuropsychological testing—not offered through Bennington Psychological Services—is required to confirm ADHD diagnosis prior to any treatment with stimulant medication.
What to Expect
Bennington students come to Psychological Services with a wide variety of concerns and symptoms. We offer a host of individual treatment options, including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Psychodynamic Therapy, Mindfulness techniques, and Psychopharmacology, as well as support and skill based groups to address the needs of students. Each student will come with their unique presentation and history and we work collaboratively with each student to provide a place for them to explore themselves, develop their sense of self-agency, and learn and implement skills that will contribute to their growth, development, and adjustment.
Initial (Triage) Appointments
Students who are coming to Psychological Services for the first time are scheduled for a 30 minute session with a therapist. Upon arrival to the appointment, students complete paperwork consisting of Informed Consent, Symptom Checklists, and Demographic and Health Insurance Information. The therapist then meets with the student to better understand their current concerns and how Psychological Services can best help. At the end of this first appointment, the student and the therapist will develop a plan that best meets the student’s needs (e.g., individual psychotherapy, educational, skills, and or support groups, referral to a psychiatrist for medication consult, referral to another campus office, or referral to off-campus resources).
Psychotherapy appointments are typically 45 minutes long and are scheduled in coordination with the therapist. Students typically meet weekly or every other week with a therapist.
Appointments with the psychiatrist vary in length depending on whether it is an initial evaluation for medication (50-60 min) or a follow up medication appointment (25-30 min). Frequency of appointments will vary and will be scheduled by the psychiatrist as needed to provide appropriate medication monitoring and care.
Any Bennington College student who is experiencing a mental health crisis and is in immediate need of support can access the on-call therapist 24/7 while school is in session. To speak to the therapist on-call, students should call Campus Safety at x767 from a campus phone or dial 802-447-4250 and request to speak to the on-call therapist. Students can also go to the Campus Safety booth in person. Campus Safety will contact the therapist on call who will then call the student.
Students are responsible for the timely cancellation of appointments they are unable to keep. For any cancellations, we request that you notify your therapist directly via email and/or contact Lori Willis the Health Center administrator at x4426 or firstname.lastname@example.org with at least 24 hours notice prior to the scheduled appointment. When students cancel with 24 hours or more notice, they are helping other students access needed psychological services. Students who no-show for appointments or cancel with less than 24 hours notice will be charged a fee for the missed session.