College of Staten Island
 The City University of New York

The CSI Counseling Center is accredited by the
International Association of Counselling Services (IACS)

Counseling Center
 Counseling Services

Counseling involves meeting with a professional to address a particular issue, situation, or problem.  Professionally trained counselors provide individual and group counseling for CSI students.  As a collaborative effort between you and your counselor, counseling can help you address various issues that affect your performance and experiences in college and your personal life.  With a few legal exceptions to confidentiality that your counselor will explain, counseling is a confidential process.

While walk-in counseling services are provided, it is recommended that you call or drop by the Counseling Center to make an appointment.  All services provided by the Counseling Center are free.

At CSI, counseling usually addresses one or more of the following: personal issues, crisis situations,  and academic performance.

Crisis Counseling

Crisis counseling is designed to help students who are experiencing immediate and extreme distress.  Students who are in crisis may be depressed, anxious, agitated, express suicidal intent, or have psychotic symptoms (e.g., not in touch with reality, hearing voices).  Students may also have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event (e.g., being assaulted, seeing a building collapse). Counselors will talk with students to assess their situation, provide brief counseling, and make needed referrals for care.


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Group Counseling

Groups bring together a number of students sharing a common concern to provide an opportunity for support, skill building, and personal growth. Groups meet one hour weekly. Instead of just signing up, you'd first make an appointment to talk with a counselor, who could then introduce you to a range of theraputic strategies. Meeting dates and times to be announced. 

The purpose of this group is for members to develop a greater understanding of themselves and others. Group members will explore patterns of relating to others, self-awareness, and challenges in their interpersonal lives. Group members may be experiencing a variety of   difficulties including low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, loneliness, problems relating to/accepting others, and issues of family conflict.  Students  who want to resolve specific concerns as well as those seeking personal growth are welcome. This can be a good time for students to connect with their peers and recognize that they are not alone. For more information about the group, call Dr. Ann Booth  at  718-982-2391 or email

If you are L (lesbian), G (gay), B (bisexual), or T (transgender), or think you are, this group can be a source of support for you. Whether you are thinking of coming out, not ready to come out, or are already out, this group can offer an opportunity to talk with others who are having similar experiences or have been where you are, as well as a connection with other LGBT students at CSI. Group members will be expected to respect the confidentiality of group participants. The counselors will observe the confidentiality practices of the Counseling Center. 
Ann Booth, Psy.D. and Jason Relph, M.Ed. are LGBT affirming, professionally trained  counselors from the Counseling Center. For more information about the group, call Dr. Ann Booth at 718-982-2391 or email

What happens when someone you love dies?  Join us in a supportive group for those who have experienced the death of a family member or close friend.  In talking with each other, group members will have the opportunity to share their experiences, explore their reactions and the effects of their loss on relationships with family and friends.  Group members can also consider different ways of coping with grief and loss, and moving forward with life once someone special has gone. For more information about the group, call Mary Murphy at
718-982-2391 or email

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Individual Counseling

Individual personal counseling is designed to help you address your concerns, come to a greater understanding of yourself, and develop effective strategies for dealing with life's challenges.  It is best to seek help early, before problems become overwhelming.  Problems that are ignored can affect your schoolwork, job, life at home, or your relationships with others. Counselors are skilled listeners who provide support, help you explore your issues, and help you discover ways to cope with your problems.  Counseling may entail as little as 2 to 3 sessions with a counselor, or may span a semester or two.  Your counselor can also help you with referrals to services outside of the campus.

Students seek personal counseling for a variety of reasons.  Doing so does not mean that you are weak or crazy.  In fact, it is a sign of strength to recognize that you may need help.  Some common reasons for seeking personal counseling are listed below.

Family Issues                
Problems with Drugs and/or Alcohol
Life Changes/Adjustments
Suicidal Feelings
Achieving Goals
Sexuality/Sexual Identity Issues
Problems with Food
Relationship Issues
Academic Struggles
Cultural Adjustment

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HeartMath EmWave

Stress is a part of every student’s life.  Some stress is good; it can help one feel motivated and focused.  In contrast, too much stress can lead to overload and affect us emotionally, mentally and physically.   According to the American Institute of Stress, up to 90% of all health problems are related to stress. 

How stressed are you? 

Everyone responds to stress differently.  Do you have any of these symptoms?

  • I feel overly tired or fatigued.
  • I often am stressed, nervous, anxious or depressed.
  • I have sleep problems.
  • I have repeated headaches or minor aches and pains.
  • I worry about different things such as school, money or relationships. 

If you answered yes, it may be time to do something about your stress.

Help is here

The Counseling Center is now offering emWave, a computerized biofeedback program by HeartMath, to help you reduce your stress levels.  Studies show that training slower, deeper breathing in a way that measures heart rate variability (HRV) can be useful for a wide range of stress-related issues, including sleep, anxiety and depression. 

How to Train

To get started, make an appointment for a training session at the Counseling Center.  A counselor will show you how the emWave program works, and how you can change your reactions to stress and increase your energy.   The program is easy to learn, with interactive exercises, game play and user friendly graphics that update you on your progress.

Practice Makes Perfect

If you have stress in your life, this new HRV biofeedback training program could help you.  After completing your training at the Counseling Center, regular practice is important.  We encourage you to make appointments for practice sessions at any of four CSI locations:

Counseling Center, (1A-109), 718.982.2391
Health and Wellness Services:
Health Center, (1C-112), 718.982.3045 or Drop-In Center, (1C-111), 718.982.3113      
SEEK Program, (1A-108), 718.982.2410

Once you are able to perfect the technique and you are comfortable with slower, deeper breathing, you will be able to use it for quick stress relief anytime you want to feel calm and focused, even when you do not have access to the HRV biofeedback instrument.   

References and Resources
For more information about HeartMath emWave and HRV biofeedback, see research studies and other useful resources.

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