A Look Inside Counseling & Psychological Services


The Counseling & Psychological Services office is open Mondays – Thursdays from 9 a.m. – 7 p.m. and Fridays from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. (ELIZABETH LANDRY/THE OBSERVER)


Fordham’s Counseling & Psychological Services (CPS) is among the many services offered to Fordham students. Located in room G02 of The 140 West building, CPS is a comprehensive mental health center, offering individual and group counseling, psychiatric services, crisis intervention and many more resources to Fordham students. CPS is committed to helping students through an array of hardships since college is a time of high stress and uneasiness.

According to the American College Health Association (ACHA), 10 percent of college students have been diagnosed with some level of depression and many more are struggling, but have yet to seek help. Students avoid seeking assistance for plenty of reasons, often because talking about mental health alone is a personal topic. Too often there is stigma and shame surrounding it, allowing people to view mental health concerns as weaknesses. But, mental health illnesses are just like physical illnesses and should be attended to as such, rather than working to define a person.

Mental health issues are especially difficult for students to manage because not only do they impact their emotions and thoughts, but their academic performance suffers accordingly. Georgetown University’s Student Health Services reports that 62 percent of students are academically impacted by stress, anxiety or depression. Being a college student is stressful in and of itself, so mental health difficulties only makes a student’s situation increasingly challenging.

Dr. Sophie Karp, Ph.D. and supervising psychologist and coordinator of outreach and prevention at Fordham’s CPS office, agreed that “University life can be stressful due to academic, financial, family and social pressures. These stressors can sometimes contribute to more significant psychological problems, such as depression, anxiety, substance abuse, trauma or difficulties with sleeping, eating or attention.”

In order to combat such hardships, “CPS offers private, confidential and free services to help students better understand their difficulties, develop more self-awareness and enhance their overall well-being,” Dr. Karp added. Thus, Counseling & Psychological Services plays a vital role at Fordham, as do counseling centers at any university.

Dr. Natasha Black, Ph.D. and Licensed Psychologist at Fordham University Counseling & Psychological Services, is one of the specialists of CPS’s Outreach Program, along with Dr. Karp. Not only does CPS provide for students in their office, but they work to promote their services to other parts of the university as well. “Outreach is a general term for anything we do outside of the office,” indicated Dr. Black, “ranging from tabling events, like handing out brochures or simply providing information and education on our services or on a particular mental health issue.”

Various Outreach events take place on the Lowenstein plaza, including the upcoming “Wellness Week,” which occurs during midterms and is also being integrated with a common outreach called “Love Your Body Week.” Dr. Black expressed that “[such events] are related to body-positive messaging and stress reduction for midterms. CPS also trains the RAs on suicide prevention and mental health.”

The counseling staff at CPS works diligently with commendable education and experience, but most importantly, with great passion. Dr. Karp emphasized, “I deeply value bearing witness to our students’ efforts to heal and grow. I’m honored to support students through challenging times in their lives, and am continually impressed by their strength and resilience.”