Mission Statement

The mission of Colby Counseling Services is to foster the well-being of all students within a respectful and confidential environment through a range of psychological counseling, consultation and outreach services.

Meet Our Counselors

Katherine S. Barlow (Katie)

Assistant Director of Counseling Services and Coordinator of Alcohol and Drug Programs

Katie is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor, Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor, and Certified Clinical Supervisor. She graduated from Washington and Lee University with a Bachelor of Arts in Biology, and has a Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology from Lesley University. She has counseled adults and adolescents in outpatient settings and medication assisted addiction treatment. At Colby, Katie wears two hats. She provides alcohol and other drug counseling and support to students, and is co-coordinator of Healthy Colby. In addition, Katie has an interest in quality improvement and accreditation work, with experience meeting State, Federal, Joint Commission and the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care standards. She enjoys live music, hiking, and laughing with family and friends.

Greg Bazakas

Part-time Counselor

Greg is a part-time licensed clinical social worker in Counseling Services. He maintains a private practice in Waterville.

Alissa B. Benziger

Administrative Coordinator

Alissa joined the Colby community as the Administrative Coordinator for Counseling Services in August, 2015. She is responsible for the scheduling of appointments, collection and processing of intake data, and overseeing daily administrative operations of the Counseling Center. Alissa is a Massachusetts native and earned her B.A. in Art History at UMASS Amherst. She spends her free time focused on creative pursuits and is an active member of the Colby Pottery Club.

Loren Bush

Part-time Counselor

Dr. Loren Bush is a clinical psychologist who works with a wide range of populations and clinical presentations in his private practice in southern Maine. He has a personal and professional interest in sport and performance psychology, where he enjoys working with athletes in efforts to enhance personal performance by fostering the mental skills necessary for optimal success. For the past 3 years he has contracted with Colby College, assisting student athletes with traditional clinical issues as well as assisting in their pursuit of optimal performance in their sport of choice.

Julia Houska

Psychologist

Dr. Julia Houska is a Caucasian, Pansexual, Cisgender female who uses she/her/hers pronouns. Julia received a doctorate in Clinical Forensic Psychology from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology. She recently completed her post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Rhode Island before joining the Colby College community. Julia approaches therapy as she does life; with curiosity, compassion and commitment. Julia incorporates a variety of perspectives into her therapeutic relationships including Cognitive Behavioral, Acceptance and Commitment, Narrative and Existential viewpoints. Julia works with students on a variety of concerns including trauma, LGBTQ issues, anxiety, depression, interpersonal conflict, meaning making and stress management. Julia has worked in a variety of settings including; private practice, community mental health, inpatient mental health and college counseling. Outside of the office Julia likes to spend time outdoors, creating art, listening to music and taking care of her pets (Tobie and Sampson).

Eric Johnson

Director of Counseling Services

Dr. Johnson is a licensed clinical psychologist and oversees the Counseling Services office at Colby. He is passionate about supporting students’ emotional and intellectual growth and development and has over 20 years of experience in college counseling. He is a generalist in his clinical practice with special interests in anxiety and stress management, working with diverse student populations, and performance related issues effecting athletes and performance majors. Prior to Colby, Dr. Johnson worked 15 years at Ohio Wesleyan University as the Assistant Director of Counseling and served on the Presidents’ Commission on Racial and Cultural Diversity and as the adviser to the Spectrum Resource Center for LGBTIQ students. When away from the office, he enjoys spending time with family and is an avid runner and cyclist.

Michele Kaufman

Postgraduate Fellow

Michele (she/they) is a Licensed Certified Social Worker and a current post-graduate counseling fellow. She loves working with college students to address a wide array of symptoms and topics including but not limited to anxiety, depression, trauma, feelings of isolation, change and transition, family relationships, social concerns, and identity development. Michele uses a combination of psychodynamic theory, feminist theory, narrative therapy, as well as CBT. They center their work around the Liberation Health Model which makes space to examine the individual as well as the cultural and institutional factors impacting one’s experience. They received their Master’s in Social Work and Master’s in Special Education from Boston University. In their free time, Michele loves hiking, camping, baking, farming, and playing with their two kittens, Goose and Cosmo.

Alfonso Ortega

Assistant Director of Counseling Services, Psychologist

Dr. Alfonso Ortega, is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist originally from Puerto Rico, who has a special interest in mind/body medicine and wellness. He is passionate about helping students develop a sense of awareness and self-worth, and in the acquisition of personal exploration, decision making and goal-setting skills needed to facilitate their educational and personal development. He is committed to providing culturally sensitive services and is bilingual in Spanish and English. Dr. Ortega integrates Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) techniques into the treatment of depression, anxiety disorders, and chronic health issues. In addition, Dr. Ortega also has a professional degree in culinary arts from Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, France and is interested in the connection between food and mood. He fully understands nutrition as a key factor that leads to a healthier lifestyle and overall wellness.

Rebecca Lovitz Ortega

Part-time Counselor

Rebecca is a part-time licensed clinical social worker in Counseling Services. She maintains a private practice in Waterville.

RJ Reid

Part-time Counselor

RJ was thrilled to join the Colby Counseling Services team in the fall of 2020. He was born and raised in London England, and graduated with honors from Sussex University UK with a degree in Social Anthropology (major), African and Asian studies (minor). He moved to the States more then 20 years ago and became a US citizen. In that time, he worked with adjudicated youth both in New York and Arizona before moving to Maine. After moving to Maine, he worked in the Maine care system before going to and graduating from the University of Maine Orono with an MSW. RJ continued working in the field before starting his ‘Humanistic Practice’ serving the Greater Portland area with a focus on culturally diverse populations. He also works with Refugee Immigrant Services (RIS), giving support to staff through groups sessions. His overall focus in practice is to transcend differences and to find the human connections.

Jing Ye

Counselor

Jing brings diverse cultural and clinical experiences as a native Chinese with extensive training in the U.S. in applying Eastern philosophy to Western psychotherapy. Jing has over 20 years of clinical experience working with varied populations using different therapeutic modalities. She is especially interested in working with somatic complaints, as well as developmental related issues, e.g. adjustment issues, self-esteem, and relationship problems. Her Tai Chi, Chi Gong, and meditation practice further enables her to work compassionately, creatively, and sensitively with many unique situations. Since 2001, Jing has been leading a weekly meditation group on campus. Jing also regularly leads groups, e.g. Grief Support Group, Chronic Illness Support Group. JIng is also advisor to Colby Meditation and Buddhist Society. Jing obtained her MA in psychology and counseling from Goddard College in Vermont. Jing is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor. She is also a Certified Focusing- Oriented Therapist (www.focusing.org). Jing worked at an adolescent recovery program and other mental health agencies before starting at Colby in 2000. She enjoys reading, traveling, music, and foreign movies.

Contact Counseling

[email protected]
207-859-4490

Garrison-Foster Building, Room 205