Counseling @ Deerfield

Looking for apps to help with mindfulness and meditation?

We recommend: Headspace or Stop Breathe Think or Insight Timer

Looking for apps to help with depression or emotional regulation?

We recommend: Cognitive Diary CBT Self-Help or MoodTools

or Happify or MyMoodTracker.

For a Healthy Community

The Deerfield Academy Counseling Center is committed to promoting the psychological health and wellbeing of the Deerfield community through counseling, consultation, and crisis intervention. Our goal is to help our students enhance their inherent sources of strength and resilience, overcome obstacles big and small, and move towards living lives that are rich in meaning and in tune with deeply-held values. We encourage you to utilize this site to find answers to your questions about our services and to make use of the tools we offer which support healthy habits.

Psychiatric consultation is offered through the Health and Wellness Center as part of our integrated approach to providing health care. For the convenience of students and their families, our psychiatrist offers consultation on site at the Health Center.

Written consent for consultation must be granted by parents in advance.

Psychiatric consultation typically includes:

  • Completion of a psychiatric history form by parents. This form is quite detailed and we appreciate the thoughtful attention it requires.
  • Discussion by the psychiatrist with clinic staff and when appropriate with the academic staff regarding referral.
  • Review of available past records.
  • Initial interview with the student.
  • Telephone conference with the parents. When treatment with medication is recommended, informed consent for treatment will be obtained from parents, including an explicit review of target symptoms, potential risks and benefits to medications, and alternative treatments. A signed consent to the proposed treatment plan will be obtained by email or fax.
  • A brief letter will be sent to parents for their records.

Follow up appointments with the psychiatrist, when appropriate, will occur in accordance with the treatment plan (typically every other week for the first month or two, then decreasing to monthly).

Costs for psychiatric consultation fall outside of the health fee, and parents will be billed directly for the services provided. Parents may then submit the bill to their health insurance company for reimbursement. Please note that not all insurance companies reimburse for these services.

For more information regarding psychiatric consultation at Deerfield Academy, please contact the Health Center at 413-774-1600.

Frequently Asked Questions

To make an appointment to see a counselor, you can either email counseling@deerfield.edu, or you can reach out to one of the counselors directly (jrelin@deerfield.edu, ckowens@deerfield.edu, or swatson@deerfield.edu). In your email, please provide information about which days/periods would work best for you to meet. A counselor will contact you to schedule an appointment as soon as possible.

In the case of an emergency, go to or call the Health Center (413-774-1600) and ask to speak to the counselor on call. If it is after curfew, please call Deerfield Security (413-772-9880) to escort you to the Health Center.

A common misconception about counseling is that it is only appropriate for people who are experiencing severe mental illness. In actuality, most people can benefit from receiving support from a counselor at some point in their lives, and each year 1 out of every 3 students meets with a Deerfield counselor at least once. Counseling is an opportunity for students to speak individually with a trained professional about a wide range of concerns and develop successful strategies for coping with or working through them.

Some students meet with a counselor one or two times, while others may meet monthly, biweekly, or weekly with a counselor. The frequency and duration of counseling will be jointly determined by the student and his or her counselor and may vary over time according to the student’s needs.

The counselors recognize that being a student at Deerfield can be challenging at times and are available to provide support to any student seeking help. Speaking with friends, family, and teachers often can be helpful for students, but sometimes students can benefit from speaking to a trained professional in a safe, confidential, and nonjudgmental environment. Any concern is appropriate to talk about with a counselor, including (but not limited to):

  • Academic performance
  • Anxiety
  • Body image or eating concerns
  • Depression
  • Divorce or other family issues
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Gender identity
  • Homesickness
  • Loss of a friend or loved one
  • Procrastination
  • Race, ethnicity, nationality, or other cultural identity
  • Relationships with family, friends, or others
  • Self-esteem
  • Sexual orientation
  • Sexual assault 
  • Sleep issues
  • Stress management
  • Substance use (alcohol, drugs, tobacco)

In most cases, no one will be notified that you are meeting with a counselor. Counseling is most effective if students are able to share information in a confidential way, and the counselors are dedicated to honoring and protecting students’ privacy within the limits of safety and the law.  

Parents/guardians are not contacted by counselors unless a counselor has significant concerns about a student’s well-being. Counselors are mandated reporters, and as such are required by law to contact the proper authorities if there are concerns about abuse or neglect. If a parent/guardian directly contacts the counseling office inquiring if their child is being seen by a counselor, the counselor will confirm that the student is in contact with the counseling office but will not provide details about what is being discussed in counseling without first discussing this with the student.

There are times when deans, teachers, or advisors may express concerns about students to the counseling office. In such cases, the counseling office may acknowledge whether the student is in contact with the counseling office but will not divulge confidential information without the student’s permission.

The counselors do work closely with other members of the Health Center staff, including the Medical Director and nurses. Information is shared within the Health Center on a need-to-know basis in order to provide the best possible medical care.

Contact Counseling

counseling@deerfield.edu
413-774-1600
Fax 413-772-1118

D.S. Chen Center
Mon–Fri, 8am–4pm

7 Boyden Lane, PO Box 55
Deerfield, MA 01342