Emotional Health

Life is stressful, but the life of a college student is especially so.  Counseling offers you an opportunity to talk to someone who will listen to you without criticism or passing judgment, and who will keep what you say confidential.  In counseling, you have a safe space to verbalize your thoughts, feelings, and concerns and – in doing so – to gain some understanding and control over them.

College students can at times experience many stressors as they pursue their educational goals.  A few examples of such stressors can be sorting out identity issues, establishing and maintaining important relationships, coping with anxiety and depression, communication parents and other family members, dealing with losses, handling new academic demand, etc. Counseling is the chance to learn how to resolve personal issues that are confusing or upsetting, talk with someone not personally involved in the situation who can give feedback from a different perspective, and learn new ways of coping that can help now and in the future. To help with these tasks, the Bloomfield College Personal Counseling Office provides a variety of psychological counseling services for students. Services are free, and confidential to all enrolled.

Who can use the Bloomfield College Personal Counseling services?

The Bloomfield College Personal Counseling Office provides services free counseling services to all students enrolled at the college.  If both partners of a couple are BC students, they can be seen for couples counseling to work on their relationship.  The office is also able to connect students with off campus referrals as needed.

Why seek counseling?

Most people come to counseling when their usual ways of handling problems are not working well. Maybe they have found that talking to friends or relatives about the problem is impossible or unsatisfying. Many students who come feel upset in some way - angry, depressed, scared, or confused. These feelings may have been set off for a number of reasons:

  • Feeling the loss of someone close
  • Trying to begin or maintain a relationship
  • Having problems concentrating while studying
  • Experiencing anxiety about tests or speaking in class
  • Procrastinating too much
  • Wondering why you are in college
  • Becoming aware you have a problem with alcohol or drugs
  • Struggling to become independent from parents or to not lose touch with your family
  • Concern about family members or friends who are facing issues such as a drinking problem, divorce, serious illness, or death
  • Reacting to an unwanted pregnancy or a traumatic experience such as rape

These are only a few of the reasons why people come for counseling.

How "bad" should I feel before I go for counseling?

Counseling is NOT just for those times when you feel "at the end of your rope." Many students find that using a counselor as a sounding board as they're trying to figure out a solution to a particular problem or learn more about themselves can be extremely helpful. While feeling bad can be one way of knowing it's time to speak with a professional, it's not the only one. Just feeling stuck or confused is enough reason.

Of course, if you are feeling distressed -- having difficulty concentrating: sleeping: experiencing changes in appetite; serious relationship problems -- then you should make an appointment as soon as possible.

How much does it cost to seek counseling at BC?

Services at FREE to all enrolled students.  Students are also able to participate in couple counseling with their BC partners.

Will anyone else find out what I talk to my counselor about?

A counseling session is private and confidential. The counselor does not report to deans, parents, and members of the faculty except at the student's written request.  The theory behind all forms of counseling is that creating a safe zone where anything can be discussed without worry of repercussion is a basic necessity before anything else can occur. For more information on confidentiality, click here.

What can I do if I'm not ready for counseling?

There are lots of other ways to work on your problems. A counselor might suggest reading material, self-help groups, internet links or hepful Apps. It's ok and, in fact, extremely helpful to tell the counselor if you're not interested or ready to continue one-to-one counseling. Other options can be discussed.

If you don't feel ready to meet with a counselor even once to explore some options, take a look through the many pamphlets displayed in the hallway on the 2nd floor of Talbott Hall. You may find something there that's useful.



Meet Our Staff

Nicole Palagano, LPC, NCC, ACS

Director of Personal Counseling

Phone:  973-748-9000 x1403

Email:  nicole_palagano@bloomfield.edu

Nicole Palagano is joined the Personal Counseling office is March of 2015. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and has been working in the higher education field for 20 years. Nicole received her Master’s Degree in Counseling from New York University and her undergraduate degree from the College of New Jersey. Nicole offers an integrative approach to help students who struggle with a variety of concerns including depression, anxiety, adjustment and identity issues, as well as loss and grief and family and relationship issues.

 

Krista Dobson, LAC, NCC 

Personal Counselor

Phone: 973-749-9000, ext. 1302

Email: krista_dobson@bloomfield.edu

Krista Dobson, is a Personal Counselor at the Wellness Center. She is a licensed counselor and earned her Master's degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Fairfield University in Connecticut. Prior to joining the staff in 2018, Krista's experiences have included counseling in college and community outpatient mental health agencies. Professional interests include identity development in emerging adulthood, generational trauma, and the role of ethnic identity, prejudice, stereotypes, and racism in mental health.