One of the many services available to Villa Maria College students is the Counseling Center. Led by two new additions to Villa’s staff, the Counseling Center provides supportive services that promote the emotional well-being and enhance personal growth that contributes to students’ academic success.
Supported by Jessica Siegel and Phoebe Allen, the Counseling Center has been reorganized to provide an enhanced set of services to Villa students who are feeling overwhelmed, stressed, depressed, anxious or struggling in any way.
Some of the services available to Villa students include individual counseling, in which a counselor will meet with a student in a confidential, one-on-one setting. During the meeting, the counselor will help the student identify current life obstacles and create a realistic plan to help them overcome issues.
Peer lead groups and awareness presentations are also available to help students connect with other students who are facing similar issues. During group sessions, students are welcome to share their experiences and feelings while learning they are not facing their issues alone.
If two or more students conflict with one another, the Counseling Center also offers mediation. Mediation is an informal and flexible dispute resolution process during which a mediator helps both parties express their thoughts, understand the other’s, and come to a resolution.
In addition, the Counseling Center now provides services dedicated to helping students address and overcome academic challenges. An academic recovery program is in place to help students who are struggling to make the grade.
One thing that has not changed? The team’s commitment to helping Villa students achieve all of their goals. “We want students to know we are here and what services that we offer,” said Siegel. “Students can make appointments to see us between Monday and Friday from 9:30 AM to 3:00 PM, or drop in anytime between 3:00 PM and 4:00 PM.”
Services are free of charge and all enrolled students are eligible to receive them. Most importantly, all of the services offered in the Counseling Center are confidential. “The Counseling Center is a safe, private place where students can come to share their feelings and their struggles and work on overcoming their hardships,” said Siegel.
Jessica Siegel, who is the Title III coordinator of counselling and social services, joins Villa after spending two years at Baker Victory Services, where she served as a clinical therapist. In addition to her role at Villa, Siegel owns her own private practice, which is located in downtown Buffalo. Siegel earned a Bachelor of Science in Public Relations from Medaille College and a Master of Art in Mental Health Counseling. Since then, she has amassed almost 10 years of relevant professional experience.
Phoebe Allen, the College’s licensed social worker, brings more than 10 years of professional experience to Villa. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from SUNY Plattsburgh and a Masters of Social Work from New York University. Allen is experienced in teaching, tutoring and mentoring. She is actively involved with trauma-informed social work and trauma-informed educational consultant work in the Western New York area.
For more information on the Counseling Center, visit villa.edu/campus-life/student-services/counseling.