Counseling Center

We provide individual short-term counseling and services for on-campus undergraduate and graduate students in degree-granting programs. Our counselors are sensitive to issues of ethnicity, spirituality, culture, sexual orientation, gender, disability, learning differences, and body image. We offer traditional verbal therapy and non-traditional methods, such as expressive arts therapies.

Counseling sessions are held in confidence and are not part of your academic record. If you need or want long-term counseling, we can refer you to outside specialists. Students are responsible for the cost for outside services.

brown and white dog close up

Tally Bean, Therapy Dog

Tally has been at the Counseling Center since the summer of 2014. Tally is interested in the interaction between humans and animals, and often ponders why some people rub her belly and others do not. She is available for all students. When not at work, she loves to chase squirrels, take walks, and accept treats.

Our Services

In addition to short-term individual counseling, you can take advantage of a range of services.

  • Alcohol and other drug information, and preventive programming
  • Psychiatric medication services
  • Anonymous online mental health screening around depression, anxiety, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), eating disorders, substance use, and bipolar disorder
  • Resource and referral services
  • Consultation to students, student groups, faculty, parents, and the Lesley community
  • Graduate-level internship training program
  • Therapy Dog
  • Issues We Address

    Some of the issues we address at the Counseling Center include:

    • Abuse
    • Alcohol and drugs
    • Anger
    • Anxiety/panic
    • Body image
    • Communication skills
    • Depression
    • Eating concerns
    • Ethnic/cultural issues
    • Family concerns
    • Grief/loss
    • Life adjustment issues
    • Loneliness
    • Relationships
    • Roommate difficulties
    • Self-confidence issues
    • Sexuality/sexual orientation
    • Stress management
  • Referrals

    When the Counseling Center is unable to provide the type of service you need or request, your counselor will refer you to appropriate mental health professionals in the area.

    In this case, it’s important to know your insurance coverage and the benefits. If you would like us to help you with a referral, bring your insurance information with you.

    Get a list of local providers from your company's Customer Service Office or website. If you provide us with this list, we can review it to see if we can make recommendations.

    If you'd like to find a mental health professional on your own, we recommend, an online National Mental Health Service Finder. It’s been in existence for over 10 years, and has a database of providers for individual and group therapy, medication assessment, and monitoring. You can search by location, area of specialty, theoretical approach, and payment options (for example, insurance type).

  • Drug and Alcohol Screening, Resources, and Support

    The decision to use alcohol or other drugs, or to abstain, is a choice that all college students must face.

    Whether you’re already in recovery or are seeking to moderate your use, we want to support you in your decision-making process. Our guidance is non-judgmental and non-directive. We’ll help you determine for yourself what’s best for you.

    If you’re concerned about your use of alcohol or other drugs (or the use of someone close to you) please explore our resources below, and reach out with questions or to set up an appointment.

    Confidential Consultation

    Email questions about drugs and alcohol to Sharon Harrington-Hope at or stop by the Counseling Center. We offer confidential assistance and information, and we'll work to meet your needs. Feel free to offer feedback to help us make our services more useful to you and other students.

    Anonymous Online Screening

    Interested in knowing more about your use of alcohol or marijuana? Check out e-CHUG and e-TOKE.

    These are 2 online screening tools that can give you a sense of how your drinking or use of marijuana compares with national averages of college students. These tools can give you a sense about whether your use is heading toward a danger zone, or if it seems like you’re moderating your use and maintaining a healthy life balance.


    • Half of Us, sponsored by MTV, explores mental health and substance abuse issues of young people. Find young stars sharing their own stories.
    • Signs that someone is suffering from acute alcohol poisoning from the Mayo Clinic.
    • Brad21 addresses responsible drinking. A parent who lost her son to a "rite of passage" (over-drinking on his 21st birthday) started this organization to give young people information about the consumption of alcohol.
    • Go Ask Alice is an informative, non-judgmental advice column for college students and their questions about alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs. Sponsored by Columbia University.
    • College Binge Drinking provides information about the myths, dangers, and issues surrounding college alcohol abuse.
    • National Institute on Alcohol and Alcoholism 
    • Mothers Against Drunk Driving 


    • Are you affected by the drinking of someone else? An Al-Anon support group meets on Lesley’s campus every Sunday morning at 11:00 am in University Hall. You'll find them on the third floor, Room 3-100.
    • Need another kind of support? Join an online support group and choose from more than 220 topics.
    • Always feel free to email Sharon Harrington-Hope at with confidential questions or concerns regarding your own substance use or regarding someone you care about.
  • Confidentiality Policy

    Confidentiality means that under normal circumstances, no one outside of the Counseling Center is given any information about you—even the fact that you have been here—without your written consent.

    Exceptions to this include:

    • If you are a danger to the health and safety of yourself or others.
    • If you disclose the abuse (physical, sexual, or emotional) or neglect of a child under the age of 18, an elder, or a disabled person.
    • If a court orders the release of a record via subpoena.
    • If you are seen by Lesley Student Health Services staff and information about your care is needed as part of your integrated medical treatment.
    • If you file a complaint or lawsuit against the Counseling Center.

    There may be times that your counselor feels it would be in the best interest of your work together to talk with someone outside the Counseling Center—such as advisor, faculty, parent, or former counselor—to ensure you are getting the best care. In this case, your counselor will discuss this with you, ask your permission, and if so granted, have you sign a release.


In a crisis, contact us at 617.349.8545 when the Center is open. We do not provide emergency services outside of our regular hours of operation. For example, we don't provide nighttime and weekend coverage.

You should use outside resources since we may not always be able to respond immediately to emergencies.

In an Emergency:

  • Call 911 and then call the Lesley University Security Office at 617.349.8888
  • If you live on campus, you can call a Community Advisor

Local Hospital Emergency Rooms

  • Beth Israel Deaconess, Boston: 617.667.3337
  • Cambridge Health Alliance (Cambridge City Hospital), Cambridge: 617.665.1560
  • Mount Auburn Hospital, Cambridge: 617.499.5025

Student Insurance

Know your health insurance coverage for emergency services. Have your insurance card with you when you go to the hospital. Learn more about Student Health Insurance.

Intern at the Counseling Center

We offer an internship program each academic year for graduate and doctoral counseling students from local graduate schools.

  • Internship Hours

    We have training and administrative meetings each week on Monday and Friday afternoons. Other than these meetings, times are flexible, depending upon everyone's schedule and office availability. Interns are required to work one evening a week.

  • Eligibility & How to Apply


    • Applicants must be 25 years or older.
    • All applicants need to have experienced their own personal therapy.
    • Ongoing clients at the Lesley Counseling Center are not eligible for this internship program.
    • We prefer students doing their second year internship. We'll consider an unusually experienced or mature candidate doing a first year internship.

    How to Apply

    We accept applications on a rolling basis beginning in mid-December through mid- to late-January. Submit a résumé and 3 letters of recommendation to the Lesley University Counseling Center. If you do not have all your recommendations in place, send or bring in the information you do have. We'll review all résumés and select candidates for an interview.

    You can apply 3 ways:

    • In-person: Drop off your materials at the Counseling Center, 3rd Floor of Doble Hall, Cambridge, Massachusetts
    • By Email: Send your information to Magi McKinnies, the Director of the Counseling Center, at
    • By Mail: Lesley University Counseling Center
      Attn: Magi McKinnies, Director
      29 Everett Street
      Cambridge, MA 02138
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