Counseling Services

Worcester Academy provides a comfortable environment with approachable counselors and advisors who listen and offer support to students anytime during their career at Worcester Academy.

But we don’t stop there. We work hard to make connections with our students and aim to empower them toward healthy and safe decisions throughout their middle and upper school years. Whether it’s individual counseling services, teaching our middle school Health and Wellness classes, or supporting our PILLARS Peer Education Program, we're committed to helping WA students develop their full potential in all areas of intellectual, social and emotional functioning.

Our counselors are available to students and parents for support and treatment, including referrals to outside providers. Although the Academy provides this service, we stress that our counseling is short-term and not intended to remedy learning disabilities, serious psychological disorders, or other problems requiring extensive or long-term attention. If such conditions are determined to exist, our counselors refer families to the appropriate service providers. We also retain a consulting psychologist and a consulting psychiatric nurse practitioner. Both work closely with our school counselors and Health Office.

List of 1 items.

  • Confidentiality Statement

    Seeing a counselor on campus is free, confidential, and does not become part of the student’s academic record. Unless we have very serious concerns about a student’s safety, anything students or parents communicate with us remains confidential. We will communicate with others if students and parents give us permission to do so. All psychological information shared between students, parents, and the Academy’s school counselors is private and is treated confidentially within the limits of the law.

    If a student seeks out the counseling office, we are likely to be in communication with a parent about this. However, since it can take time to build a trusting relationship, we may not contact parents after one visit. If students return for a second or third visit to the Counseling Office, we are likely to contact parents. We will inform parents about the overall emotional health of the student or goals or progress of counseling, but we will not disclose all of the details of the counseling session. This is a clear message to a student that he/she can have a private space to talk, but that the counseling office is working with parents to support his/her emotional health.

    Please feel free to contact us if you have further questions about confidentiality.


List of 8 frequently asked questions.

  • What services does the Counseling Office provide?

    • We work in individual and group forums to help students manage a variety of issues including academic concerns, emotional difficulties, etc.
    • We provide brief counseling and support but refer students to outside providers for long-term counseling. We help families connect with outside mental health resources, including psychiatrists and therapists. 
    • We offer consultation to faculty to support the emotional health of individual students and the WA community. We offer consultation to parents to help support the emotional health of their child. 
    • We offer preventative programming for students, parents, and faculty to encourage healthy lifestyles. 
    • With permission from the students and parents, we collaborate with the Center for Learning, Health Office, Advisors, Team Leaders, or other faculty as necessary in order to best support the emotional health of our students. 
    • Our Upper School counselors support the PILLARS Program in the Upper School.
  • Why would anyone want/need to talk to a counselor?

    For many reasons. Here are just a few:
    • Stress about academic demands/college 
    • Adjusting to a new situation 
    • Relationship problems 
    • Identity Issues 
    • Anxiety 
    • Depression 
    • Substance Use/Abuse 
    • Anger Management 
    • Stress Management 
    • Body image/eating issues 
    • Loss and bereavement 
    • Divorce, separation of parents 
    • Concerns about a family member or friend 
    • Stress about a medical illness 
    • Family conflict
  • How can I schedule an appointment?

    Please feel free to call or email us at any time. We are available for appointments during school hours. Refer to the Contact Us section of this page for details about how to reach us.
  • How long does it take to schedule an appointment with a counselor?

    Students are generally seen within one week of requesting an appointment. Ordinarily we schedule appointments for times when students do not have classes or other commitments.
  • Are students ever required to see a counselor?

    On rare occasions, when there is a concern about student’s health and safety, we may require that student to see a counselor. Also, there are times following discipline infractions when a student is asked to follow up with a counselor for further psycho-education and assessment.
  • Are parents contacted when a student meets with a counselor?

    We believe it is important to involve parents in the counseling process. With respect to the counseling relationship though, we may meet with a student a few times before contacting his/her parents. We encourage all students to inform their parents that they are receiving counseling services.
  • When are faculty and staff notified if a student seeks counseling?

    All counselors are bound ethically and legally to maintain the confidentiality of a student seen in a counseling relationship. Since mental health overlaps with physical health, the health office and counselors do maintain close communication regarding the health of our students. In instances where it would be helpful and more supportive for other adults in our community to be aware of the emotional health needs of a student, the counselor would discuss with the student what information might be passed on and receive his/her permission before speaking to anyone. However, from both an ethical and legal standpoint, confidentiality must be waived in those rare instances when a student’s health and safety is endangered.
  • Is there anything put in a student's academic record when he/she seeks counseling?

    Our counselors maintain separate clinical records for all students involved with Counseling Services. All counseling records are confidential and do not become a part of the student’s permanent academic record. In accordance with Massachusetts state guidelines, all counseling records are destroyed 7 years after a student graduates or leaves Worcester Academy.

Contact Us

List of 2 members.

  • Jennifer Griffith 

    Director of Counseling
    508-754-5302 Ext 102
  • Katharine Oikle 

    Middle School Counselor
    508-754-5302 Ext 241