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Summer Student Guide

More wellness resources can be found in Summer Student Guide: Wellness & Self-Care.

Counseling Services for SSW Students

Purpose and scope

This summer, the School will offer limited counseling services for students. The services will be focused on brief counseling on issues affecting educational performance, as well as further assessment and referral when needed. Students will be limited to three sessions. (Students may also seek assistance from urgent care resources.)

At the first appointment, the counselor will explore what seems to be affecting the student's performance and discuss options for referral. The second and third sessions may focus on identifying resources and vulnerabilities, as well as developing coping skills. The goal of the three sessions is to assist the student in developing more effective ways of dealing with difficulties and to provide referrals in those situations where further clinical work is needed.

Cancellation/missed appoitment policy

When canceling or rescheduling counseling appointments, students must provide 24 hours advance notice. For each appointment that is missed, rescheduled, or canceled with less than 24 hours notice, a session will be forfeited from the student's remaining available sessions.

The service providers

The school has contracted with four independent counselors. All are within a reasonable geographic distance to the school and all are very familiar with this program.

How to use the SSW counseling services

Students who wish to use this service should follow these steps:

The information in the Counseling Services form will remain confidential.

The Counselors are: For appointments, call:
Angela Bardawil, LICSW
1500 Northampton St., #8
Holyoke, MA 01040
On-campus office: Hubbard 309
(413) 533-3840
Karen Bivona, LICSW
111 Pleasant St.
Northampton, MA 01060
(413) 582-3932
Peter Gilford, Ph.D.
13 Old South St., #2H
Northampton, MA 01060
(413) 585-0588
Virginia Van Scoy, LICSW
182 Main St., #302
Northampton, MA 01060
(413) 584-2600


Angela Bardawil, LICSW received her master's at Smith School for Social Work and has practiced psychodynamic, psychoanalytically-oriented psychotherapy with a variety of diverse populations for over 25 years. She operates from a strength based perspective and is especially committed to issues of sociocultural and racial identity. She has extensive experience in treating relationship issues, substance abuse and addiction, eating disorders, stress, depression, anxiety, and trauma; and her current practice focuses on the academic, social and emotional issues that face adult students.

Karen Bivona, has had a private practice for over 17 years in Northampton and has several years of experience in College Mental Health, on an inpatient dual-diagnosis unit and in a medical setting specializing in OB/GYN issues. She utilizes a strength- based psychodynamic relational approach integrating mindfulness techniques, yoga therapy and EFT. She is a graduate of Fordham University School for Social Work and holds a Certificate in Individual Psychotherapy from the Smith College School for Social Work.

Peter Gilford, Northampton, MA. Prior to moving to Western Massachusetts in 2002, Dr. Gilford was in private practice in San Francisco working with a range of individuals and couples from diverse populations and backgrounds. Currently, he maintains a private practice in Northampton and is a professor of clinical psychology at Hampshire College in Amherst. He has also taught at the Smith School for Social Work, University of San Francisco, National University, and the Institute for Transpersonal Psychology in the San Francisco Bay Area. Clinical specializations include mood and anxiety disorders, trauma, GLBTQ issues, developmental and family issues and college student mental health,. He has over 23 years of clinical experience and 11 years working with individuals training to enter the mental health field. Intellectual interests include critical psychology, the sociology of psychological knowledge, the mental health care delivery system, the evolution of psychological theories and methods in the post-modern era, and the moral, philosophical and political assumptions found in psychotherapeutic discourse as they relate to issues of social justice and cultural diversity.

Virginia Van Scoy, LICSW, has been in full time private practice since 2007 following 19 years working at the Smith College Counseling Service, where she supervised second years Smith SSW interns. She earned her MSW at Simmons College and later trained at the Cambridge Family Institute. Earlier in her career she worked on several sexual abuse treatment teams and in pediatric oncology. Her practice is grounded in a psychodynamic approach and informed by mindfulness. She is board certified by the American Board of Examiners in Clinical Social Work. Her clinical work is balanced by an interest in folk dancing, spending time in nature, and baking (Back in the summers of 1997/98 she and a colleague baked for and ran the DSM Cafe in the basement of Lilly Hall. She's been consulting with SSW students during the summer since then.)