Services Offered

The Student Counseling Services team can help address problems such as adjustment and acculturative stress, depression, anxiety, identity issues, and relationship issues that interfere with living and working productively. We can also help with issues specific to the demands and expectations that go along with graduate student life, such as dissertation and thesis writing difficulties.

Our counselors seek to understand each person’s unique circumstances and needs, taking into account individual and cultural differences.

Make an appointment to speak to a counselor and determine which services will best suit your needs.

Explore our Services

Group Counseling

Individual Counseling

Typically 10-12 sessions of short-term counseling. Sessions are 45-50 minutes long.

Individual counseling (sometimes called “psychotherapy” or “therapy”) is a process through which you work with a counselor in a non-judgmental, supportive, and confidential environment to explore your feelings, beliefs, and behaviors, to work through challenging or influential memories, to create and work towards personal goals, to learn to engage with others in a more fulfilling way, etc.

Graduate student life is rife with changes, new challenges and stressors. Our counselors integrate various interventions derived from psychodynamic, cognitive behavioral, family systems, and multicultural orientations of therapy.

Couples Counseling

*We have temporarily suspended couples counseling while operating remotely, but please contact us if you would like assistance locating a couples counseling referral in your area*

Typically 10-12 sessions of short-term couples counseling. Sessions are 50-60 minutes long.

Your partner does not have to be a student at The Graduate Center in order for you to request couples counseling here. Many couples experience difficulties in communication about a range of issues. The stresses and responsibilities of graduate school can sometimes trigger or exacerbate tensions in a relationship. Our counselors integrate various interventions derived from interpersonal, emotion focused, cognitive behavioral, family systems, Gottman method, gestalt, and multicultural couples therapy.

Group Counseling and Academic Support Groups

Group Counseling: Typically groups of 4-8 members meeting once weekly throughout the academic year. Sessions are 60-90 minutes long.

Group counseling can be one of the most effective tools for addressing issues common among graduate students. It is an opportunity to meet with one or two group co-facilitators and four to eight other students who are struggling with similar issues. It can be a powerful experience, as it allows you to see that you are not alone in your problems. Group counseling gives you a chance to tell your story in a safe space, feel supported and understood by others, hear how others have dealt with the same issues, and/or give and receive feedback to one another. Often, people find that the feedback that they get from group counseling helps them to gain perspective and be more effective in their academic and personal lives.

Academic Groups: Typically groups of 4-6 members meeting once weekly throughout the academic year.  Sessions are 60-75 minutes long.

Academic groups provide graduate students, with the help of one or two co-facilitators, the opportunity to explore and address, with fellow students struggling with similar issues, specific topical areas that may be affecting their academic work, including in their roles as instructors and researchers.

This group is currently on pause for the summer, but will resume in Fall 2023.

Being an Asian-identified graduate student can be unique experience for a variety of reasons. If you are an Asian international student, you may be grappling with a vastly different culture and academic setting and grapple with questions such as how do I interact with the faculty? How do I make friends and network?  What does critical thinking even mean?  Being an Asian-American, you may notice yourself ruminating about certain interactions, wondering if they were racially charged? You may be feeling physically exhausted or emotionally fatigued. For any Asian graduate student, at times you may feel isolated or alone, seeking community and support.

For many Asian graduate students, recent events have exacerbated existing challenges and posed entirely new obstacles within their graduate programs. For example, fear and anxiety may now be present for some due to the anti-Asian discrimination and assaults exacerbated by COVID-19. You may find yourself feeling isolated and questioning how you will be able to navigate this journey alone! This group is an academic support space designed to offer Asian-identified students the space to process thoughts and feelings, get feedback and support on individual and collective experiences, develop organizational skills and self-care strategies, all while building community.

Facilitators: TBA

This group is currently on pause for the summer, but will resume in Fall 2023.

Being a Black-Identified graduate student can be a unique experience. Sometimes you may feel a great sense of accomplishment while also feeling completely burnt out. You may feel a pressure to always be “on,” but long to find a way to reclaim your time and redirect your energy. Other times it might feel like you are struggling to maintain your academic workload but you are eager to learn new strategies to help you stay on track. You might also find that although you are satisfied in your relationships outside of school, you feel isolated within your program and often question your sense of belonging. You don’t have to navigate this journey or wrestle with these dilemmas alone.

The Black-Identified Graduate Student Academic Support Group is a restorative and empowering space designed for students to show up as their full selves. This group provides opportunities to build community and gain support by exploring challenges and celebrating successes. Through sharing and processing thoughts and feelings, giving and receiving feedback, and learning new tools and strategies for self-care and academic wellness, this group offers Black-identified graduate students a space to be seen, honored, held, and elevated.

Facilitator: Elisa-Cameron-Niang, LMHC, Clinical Fellow

Mondays 2:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m. via Zoom

This is a group for doctoral students working on their dissertations. Students from all programs, at all stages in the process, are welcome. You are not alone! This is a space for you to give and receive emotional peer support during a time in your academic journey that can often feel lonely and isolating. You may also benefit from accountability, learn practical strategies, and hear how others are navigating the process. This is NOT a peer writing and/or editing group. An individual screening appointment with the group facilitator(s) is required to determine goodness of fit.

Facilitator: Dr. Inez Strama, Assistant Director for Student Counseling

This group is currently on pause for the summer, but will resume in Fall 2023.

Congratulations! You’re the first in your family to go to graduate school. And yet...

Navigating graduate school as a first-gen student can be complex. This group offers an affirming space for you to build community, support each other, and share your feelings about this unique experience. Themes may include: managing the impostor syndrome and self-doubt; learning and perhaps challenging the unwritten rules of academia; juggling financial stress and work-life balance; feeling misunderstood by family, professors, or peers; identifying strengths associated with being a first-gen student and translating them into action and empowerment. An individual screening appointment with the group facilitators is required to determine goodness of fit.

Facilitator: Dr. Inez Strama, Assistant Director for Student Counseling

This group is currently on pause for the summer, but will resume in Fall 2023.

This is a group for graduate student parents. It’s hard enough to manage the usual stress of graduate student life. Juggling parenting and all your other responsibilities on top of that? What a challenge! You are not alone!

Facilitators: TBA

This group is not currently running, but please request services if you are interested.

This group is for graduate students who have lost a loved one in recent years and would like a supportive space to grieve. We know how hard it can be to carry on with your many roles and responsibilities after a major loss. Setting aside time to grieve with others who understand can help you heal. In the group, you will be invited to speak about your loved one (at your own pace), about the impacts of the loss and about navigating the broad range of feelings and physical sensations that can be present. There is no one right way to grieve and we will honor the range of ways that each member is journeying through their loss. While there are many kinds of losses that bring up grief, this group is specifically for those whose loved ones have passed away.

Wednesdays 1:30 p.m.-3:00 p.m. via Zoom

This group is for individuals looking to expand their awareness of themselves in relation to self and others. The focus is on themes such as trust, intimacy, and boundaries. If you struggle with interpersonal patterns such as not knowing how to communicate your needs/feelings, putting others’ needs ahead of your own, and/or shying away from getting close to people, then this group might be for you. It is a unique opportunity for honest (& sometimes challenging) exploration of personal and interpersonal process in an emotionally supportive environment. It is also an opportunity to practice new ways of being in connection with yourself and others. An individual screening appointment with the group facilitator(s) is required to determine goodness of fit.

Facilitator: Dr. Inez Strama, Assistant Director for Student Counseling

Thursdays 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. via Zoom

Graduate school can be exciting and exhilarating; it can also be a source of stress. For graduate students who identify as LGBTQIA+, there may be additional stressors connected to the academic and social demands of graduate life. Are you looking for a supportive space to explore and process your queer identities and how they might intersect with other identities (class, race, ethnicity, religious affiliation, nationality etc.) in the context of graduate school? Do you worry about coming out in your classroom or department? Could you use a safe place to discuss instances of homophobia or gender-based discrimination in school? Would you like a queer-friendly space to talk about your dating/sexual life, friendships and family relationships?

Facilitators: Dr. Arielle Shanok, Director of Wellness Center for Student Counseling and Jiaqi Li, LMSW, Clinical Fellow

This group is not currently running, but please request services if you are interested.

This is a group for master’s students working on their theses & capstone projects. Students from all programs, at all stages in the process, are welcome. You are not alone! This is a space for you to give and receive emotional peer support during a time in your academic journey that can often feel lonely and isolating. You may also benefit from the accountability, learn practical strategies, and hear how others are navigating the process. This is NOT a peer writing and/or editing group.

Fridays 2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. via Zoom

This group addresses the unique stresses graduate students often face, including multiple responsibilities, academic pressure, concerns about the job market, and financial responsibilities. These stresses exist alongside the potentially exciting challenge of developing identities as new scholars in students’ chosen fields.

In this group, students are also welcome to discuss life issues outside of school such as family of origin issues, friendship and romantic relationship dynamics, stressors of living in New York, etc.

Facilitators: Dr. Arielle Shanok, Director of Wellness Center for Student Counseling and Kendell Doyle, Clinical Fellow

Individual Academic Consultations

Typically 3-4 sessions, focused on academic issues.

We offer academic consultation, which provides graduate students the opportunity to explore and determine what may be getting in the way of their academic work. Examples of issues commonly brought to academic consultation include procrastination; time management; balancing academic and life responsibilities; writer’s block; dissertation and thesis issues; and difficulties with advisers and/or cohort and committee members.

Workshops and Supportive Spaces

Student Counseling Services offers monthly workshops and supportive spaces on topics relevant to graduate student mental health. Workshops are typically 60-90 minutes and require pre-registration. Workshop size will vary based on number of registrants. If you are interested in a workshop but are unable to attend, check out our Wellness Video Series.

See below for descriptions of recently offered workshops, or check our schedule for upcoming workshops including:

What is Mindfulness Really?
February 6, 2023 (Monday)
Time: 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. (1.5 hours)
Facilitators: Rozita Alaluf and David Gumpel 

Strategies for Managing Stress in Graduate School
Date: October 24th, 2022 (Monday) 
Time: 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. (1.5 Hours)
Facilitators: Elena Podell, LMSW and Ryan Savino, LMSW

Empowering International Students in a Challenging Sociocultural Climate
November 17, 2022 (Thursday)
Time: 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. (1.5 Hours)
Facilitators: Dr. Vivi Hua & Leecey Cameron, LCSW

This workshop is purposed to provide a safe, open space for Black-identified CUNY Graduate Center students to reflect, vent, process and discuss graduate training during intensified anti-Black racism.

This safe space is made available for Ukrainian graduate students and those with friends & family in Ukraine to share their thoughts, feelings, and experiences with one another.

“Radical self-love is a return to the love of our whole being.” In “The Body is not an Apology,” Sonya Renee Taylor explores the impact of systems of oppression, such as racism, fatphobia, and ableism, on our bodies and highlights the healing power of radical self-love. Radical self-love encourages us to examine beauty standards, thoughts that we have internalized about our bodies, and to challenge voices of judgment rooted in bodily hierarchy and shame.

This workshop is an integrative healing space that focuses on movement, breathwork, meditation, and collaborative reflection. It will begin with an introduction, intention setting, and creating a safe space. We will then transition to a 45-minute yoga flow followed by a discussion examining the impact of systems of oppression on our bodies and ways of being. Participants can expect to develop a deeper understanding of yoga, the mind-body connection, systems of oppression, and radical self-love. Please join us with a yoga mat, towel, and journal or notebook. 

For many lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning (LGBTQ) people, strength and healing is cultivated in community with other LGBTQ people. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, many of us are struggling with a sense of aloneness and social isolation, are coming up against challenges in our relationships, are back in our childhood homes, or are far away from those who affirm and celebrate us. 

Additionally, many transgender and gender non-conforming folks are without the resources necessary to cope with increased experiences of gender dysphoria. This workshop provides a space for LGBTQ students to connect with one another, find support and care in-community, and identify ways to cope with the unique challenges they're experiencing during this pandemic.

Are you feeling “burnt out” from writing your dissertation? Are you rethinking your commitment to your dissertation topic? Do you feel disconnected from the excitement you once felt about the work that you do? 

If you answered “YES!” to any of these questions, this workshop is for you! Join us to rediscover your passion for and reclaim your commitment to your research. There, you will have the opportunity to reflect on your experience, meet others sharing in your struggle, and refresh your perspective. 

This workshop aims to provide a space for international students to come together and reflect on their experiences in the U.S. both on and off campus. We will highlight recent global events as well as common interpersonal and cross-cultural situations where students tend to feel unheard or unseen. The workshop will provide students with tools as they seek to empower and advocate for themselves under these challenging circumstances. 

Research has shown that graduate students of color are often navigating personal and professional relationships and race-related experiences like racial microaggressions that contribute significantly to their professional identity and the overall academic climate. This workshop focuses on providing a safe space for participants to examine racial microaggressions that have occurred while in graduate school and to identify and develop strategies to address ongoing interpersonal discrimination. Participants can expect to develop a deeper understanding of racial microaggressions and microintervention strategies for addressing them.

There is no question that we have been experiencing a pivotal, paradigm-shifting time for the world, and collectively we will be experiencing the ripple effects for years to come. The collective grief and anxiety of a global pandemic and the impacts of pre-existing conditions such as racism and systemic oppression cannot be underestimated. We have been continually called in and challenged to be in deep and radical relationship to the nature of impermanence. To meet this call, we must lean into practices that can support our moment-to-moment experience. In this experiential workshop you will lean the fundamentals of mindfulness meditation and how to work with whatever arises within your internal experience and to meet the moment with more ease and spaciousness.

This workshop aims to empower students to manage their levels of procrastination in graduate school. Students will develop a better understanding of the different types of procrastination and the factors that maintain these behaviors. Students will also learn useful techniques and strategies to overcome procrastinating activities. 

Despite early research showing that COVID-19 is disproportionately affecting communities of color, it often feels like our mental and physical wellbeing is not a priority within the healthcare system. Due to historical trauma and ongoing discrimination and marginalization, we have long faced structural systems that have failed us. Now we find ourselves again navigating additional barriers during this pandemic and in our fight to address a broken criminal justice system. This workshop will create a safe space for participants to examine and share experiences about the impact of the current global pandemic and racial battle fatigue on our mental wellbeing and discuss ways to care for ourselves during this difficult time.

Are you a parent or caregiver and struggling to manage your and your child’s stress during COVID? Join us for an hour long workshop with others in the same boat! You will learn strategies for self care, identify strategies for increasing positive relationships and behavior with your children and create a plan to implement skills. We hope to see you there!

This workshop will discuss the ways in which we parent our kids, the values and goals we have for ourselves and for them, and the challenges we face in trying to parent expansively - to open up our children’s experiences and minds around issues related to race, culture, sexuality, gender - and more - in our current society, community, and families.

Participants and facilitators will engage in self-reflection activities and group discussion around our own identities and will leave the workshop with resources, conversation starters, and strategies for reflecting and acting on our values as parents.

This workshop will provide coping strategies with a focus on an introductory teaching of Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) Skills. DBT offers a range of useful tools and the course will emphasize those most relevant to navigating the stress of graduate school. This will include emotion regulation and mindfulness skills to strengthen abilities and confidence in navigating the semester ahead. 

It is no surprise that graduate students face many challenges both in and outside of school. Outside of the classroom, many students are faced with the role of “caregiver” when taking care of a loved with physical or mental illness. This workshop aims to provide support for those students and connect them with others who are also caring for loved ones with illness. Students will have the opportunity to discuss some of the challenges they face as an ‘informal caregiver’ in a safe and supportive space. Furthermore, students will learn self-care strategies that they can enact daily or during times of stress.

This workshop explores what mindfulness is and how it might be helpful to you. It will include experiential exercises and group sharing. We will share tips and resources to help you cultivate your own practice, for all levels of experience.

If you’ve experienced discrimination during the COVID-19 pandemic, you are not alone. Numerous incidents of anti-Asian discrimination, such as verbal harassment, physical assaults, or shunning, have been reported nationally and globally. This workshop aims to provide a safe space for Asian students to share their personal experiences, support one another, and discuss ways to manage different forms of discrimination during and after this pandemic.  

Virtual Self-Help Resources

Wellness Video Series

We encourage students to explore our Wellness Video Series for virtual workshops on a variety of mental health topics. "Self Care for Graduate Students" is a great place to start, as Eva Jo Meyers, M.A shares self-care themes, insights, and coping strategies. Watch here or click below to see the other videos in this series.

Browse wellness videos