Counseling Services - Life at Colby - Colby College, Waterville, ME

Supporting Campus and Community

Your emotional health is our priority. When levels of distress start to impact academics, interpersonal relationships, physical health and safety, or your day-to-day, reach out to us.

We foster emotional well-being in a respectful and confidential environment through a range of psychological counseling, consultation, and outreach services, at no cost to Colby students.

Counseling staff

“We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face. We must do that which we think we cannot.”

Eleanor Roosevelt

Emergency Information

Make an Appointment

Monday – Friday 8:30am – 12pm, 1pm – 5pm

  • Call Counseling Services: 207-859-4490
  • Visit our office: Garrison-Foster Building, Room 205

We schedule initial appointments as soon as possible, usually within a week. We do our best to honor specific requests for counselors, though it is not always possible at busier times of the year.

Cancelling and Rescheduling Appointments
Cancellations and reschedules can be made by phone or in person as indicated above. We respectfully request that you notify us 24 hours in advance, if at all possible. This allows those appointment times to be utilized by other students.

Referring a Student for an Appointment
While we are happy to assist concerned others (parents, faculty/staff, peers) with referring a student to counseling, we require students to contact us directly to schedule their own appointments.

Emergency Information

Mental health emergencies: 207-859-4490

  • During business hours, inform our Administrative Coordinator that you are having a mental health emergency
  • After hours, press “0”

Off-Campus Emergency Support 24/7

Crisis and Counseling Centers Crisis Line

Medical Emergencies

**If you have reason to believe a student is suicidal, consult the Colby College Protocol for Safeguarding Students at Risk for Suicide for guidance on how to respond.

How we can help

Explore the services we offer, and reach out to make an appointment

  • Individual counseling
  • Group counseling
  • Consultation
  • Crisis intervention
  • Suicide prevention
  • Psychiatric consultation and medication
  • Workshops and training
  • Summer support


Let's cook together

“A tasty therapeutic culinary experience”
Cooking therapy is making its way into Colby Counseling services in the form of Culinary Art Group Therapy for wellness!

Are you struggling with fatigue, low mood, irritability, stress intolerance, overeating, craving sweets, and inability to sleep?

Are you interested in learning how to use food as a therapeutic means to support and improve mood, and feel vibrant?

Participants will be able to relax and engage in a hands-on, creative, fun, nourishing, and inspiring cooking class.

Group will run weekly. For more information, please contact facilitator Alfonso Ortega, Psy.D at: [email protected] or call 207-859-4490

Meet the Counseling Services team

If you‘re concerned about someone

We know it can be uncomfortable to approach someone who is struggling emotionally. We can’t always predict how they will respond. Some may become defensive or deny any concerns. Most respond with openness and appreciation. It’s okay if they minimize, become defensive, or reject your offer of support. They have heard you at some level and that is an important first step.

Common warning signs of problematic levels of distress:

  • Withdrawing from activities, incl. social
  • Skipping classes and not turning in assignments
  • Significant changes in sleeping and eating patterns
  • Substance abuse
  • Depressed mood
  • Chronically elevated anxiety/stress
  • Hopeless and/or negative comments
  • Irritability and/or angry outbursts
  • Impulsive or dangerous behaviors
  • Engaging in self-injury
  • Comments about suicide or suicide gestures or attempts
  • College transition
  • First Generation College Students
  • Eating and body image concerns
  • General mental health
  • Grief
  • Healing racial trauma
  • Sleep
  • Reporting and support services
  • Title IX Policy
  • Prevention programs

Frequently Asked Questions

Colby students seek counseling for a wide variety of emotional health concerns, from transition and relationship concerns to concerns about depression, anxiety/stress, and eating and body image, to name only a few. We encourage students to seek counseling when emotional health concerns are negatively impacting their academics, personal relationships, physical health and safety, or any other aspects of their day-to-day lives. If you believe counseling could be helpful to you in any way, we encourage you to connect with our office. Know that if you decide to seek counseling, you are not alone. More than 40 percent of Colby students seek individual counseling through our office over their four years on campus.

Our services are free for all Colby students.

Confidentiality is a critical component in the formation of a trusting therapeutic relationship. Information regarding a student’s counseling, including whether or not they have been seen in our office, cannot be released to anyone outside the Counseling Services office without prior consent of the student. Confidentiality in the counseling relationship is regulated both by law and professional ethics. The exceptions to confidentiality include: when a person is in imminent danger of harming themselves or another person; when there is suspected child or elder abuse; or when there is a court order requiring disclosure of counseling records.

Your first appointment is called an intake and we will ask you to fill out a few electronic forms on an iPad upon your arrival. This will take approximately 10 minutes. Following the completion of your paperwork, you will sit down with your counselor to discuss the concerns that brought you in, as well as other current and background information that will help your counselor better understand you and your presenting concerns. You and your counselor will then work together to identify a plan for moving forward. This will take approximately 50 minutes. Ongoing counseling appointments are typically scheduled weekly, or every other week, and include you working together with your counselor to address the concerns that brought you in and/or other concerns that may surface along the way. While we don’t adhere to strict session limits, our counseling work with students is designed to be shorter term and solution focused in nature.

We do not provide distance counseling for students who are studying abroad or who are away from campus during extended breaks. There are a number of ethical, legal, and clinical reasons for this, including our strong belief that a student is best served through in-person meetings with a professional counselor. While we are not able to provide ongoing distance counseling, our office is available for consultation around how to proceed with addressing your concerns, including help with identifying off-campus providers. With your permission, we can also communicate with your off-campus provider to facilitate your transfer of care. For students studying abroad, or thinking about studying abroad, visit Colby’s Off-Campus Study website for additional information about mental health support abroad.

Contact Counseling

[email protected]

Garrison-Foster Building, Room 205