Counseling Service

   Care for our Community During Times of Division

The University of Maryland Counseling Center staff wishes to convey their commitment to helping members of our campus community during this difficult time.

   Covid-19 Update

The Counseling Center is committed to ensuring that students are cared for during this time of uncertainty caused by COVID-19. In response to the pandemic, the Counseling Center successfully transitioned most of its services to an online format, and we will continue to offer these “teleservices” during the Fall 2020 semester. As with students who contact us by phone, students who walk in seeking services will be scheduled to speak with a counselor remotely by videoconferencing or by phone. Under certain circumstances, such as an immediate mental health emergency, an in-person appointment may be scheduled.

For more information about managing mental health and wellbeing during the COVID-19 crisis, please visit our COVID-19 Care and Support Resources page.

Please view for a list of frequently asked questions about Counseling Center services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Counseling Services
Business Hours: 8:30 a.m to 4:30 p.m. ( Monday through Friday)
After-Hours Crisis Support Phone Services: 4:30 pm to 8:30 am weekdays, 24 hours/day over the weekend
Phone Number: (301) 314-7651.

About the Counseling Service

Counseling Service Information Desk Area

The Counseling Service in the Counseling Center is the primary campus provider of free and confidential therapy to help UMD students manage personal, social, and academic challenges. Staffed primarily by licensed psychologists, the Counseling Service also conducts campus outreach presentations, provides emergency response services, and assists with referrals to off-campus mental health providers. Consultation with a therapist about students of concern is available to University faculty, staff, and parents on the Counseling Service warmline.

Make An Appointment

To schedule an initial appointment, also called an intake appointment, call (301) 314-7651 or stop by the Counseling Center reception desk on the main level of Shoemaker Building.

If you are experiencing an urgent crisis, you may go to the Counseling Center front desk and request to be seen for a same-day emergency visit.


The therapeutic relationship and what is discussed by a therapist and client are considered private and protected under the law. We adhere to professional, legal, and ethical guidelines established by the State of Maryland and the American Psychological Association. Information about any aspect of your counseling relationship, including your appointments and records, will not be disclosed to anyone outside of the Counseling Center’s professional staff without your written permission. Please note that clinical records are completely separate from educational records and cannot be accessed by parents, faculty, staff, administrators or others without your written permission or court order.

However, Maryland law establishes that in order to protect the client and/or the public, disclosures without the permission of the client may apply under the following circumstances:

  • You are considered at immediate risk for harming yourself
  • You are considered at immediate risk for harming others
  • Previous or current child abuse
  • Abuse of elderly persons or persons with disabilities
  • A court order

Scope of Our Clinical Services

As the primary campus provider of psychological and consultation services, the Counseling Center offers free and confidential counseling sessions to registered UMD undergraduate and graduate students.

The focus of the initial appointment, referred to as an intake appointment, is to determine the nature and impact of the presenting concerns and to identify options for addressing these issues. If additional treatment is indicated, the intake counselor will recommend the most effective method of treatment, which may include group counseling, career exploration, workshops, individual counseling, or referral to an off-campus mental health provider. In some cases, the intake appointment is sufficient for identifying ways to address the problems.

A Short-Term Model

The Counseling Center, which is staffed by licensed psychologists and counselors, applies a short-term model to individual counseling. In short-term counseling, issues are addressed over a few sessions in a solution-focused manner. The goal is to facilitate adjustment to college, reduce emotional distress, and foster resilience to help students continue attending college and pursue their academic, career, and personal goals. Therapists work to facilitate adjustment, healthy functioning, problem resolution, or symptom relief as quickly as possible. Clients who present with persistent and chronic psychological concerns and require continuous long term treatment are best served by community providers who can offer uninterrupted treatment and care.

Since therapy issues vary from person to person, the length of treatment also varies and is based on goals set by the therapist and client and on ongoing assessment of the effectiveness of treatment. While the Counseling Center provides a maximum of eight individual counseling sessions per 12-month period, most Center clients achieve their therapeutic goals and end counseling in six sessions.

The first step to determining if individual counseling could be helpful is to schedule an intake appointment by calling the Counseling Center at (301) 314-7651 or stopping by the reception desk in Shoemaker Building.

Severe or Chronic Mental Health Issues

Counseling Center therapists may assist clients in obtaining relief from some of the emotional discomfort that can accompany severe or chronic mental health problems. In such cases, the objective is to stabilize and improve coping while determining whether more intensive treatment is indicated. When long-term treatment or specialized services are needed, the therapist will recommend a referral to community resources.

Referrals are available through an appointment with our care manager. Students in need of psychiatric services, such as evaluation, prescribing and monitoring of psychiatric medication, also may be referred by the Counseling Center to a psychiatrist at the Mental Health Service in the University Health Center.


Chetan Joshi Chetan Joshi, Ph.D.
(301) 314-7651
Academic History: Ph.D. Counseling Psychology, University of Missouri- Kansas City 2008; M.S. Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Missouri- Kansas City 2003; B.S. Pharmacy, University of Pune, India
Professional Interests: Religion and Spirituality, Eastern psychological theories, Meaning Centered Therapy, Multicultural Issues, Training and Supervision, Working with Students of Color, Working with International Students
Personal Interests: Reading, Hiking, Badminton, Cricket, Gardening
Theoretical Orientation: Interpersonal Neurobiology, Jungian Psychoanalysis, Person Centered Therapy, Existential Therapy, Logotherapy

Theodore Pickett, Jr., Ph.D. Theodore Pickett, Jr., Ph.D.
Associate Director and Staff Psychologist
(301) 314-7667
Academic History: Ph.D., 2006, Counseling Psychology, University of Iowa; B.A., 2000, Psychology, Wittenberg University.
Professional Interests: training and supervision; multicultural issues and training; men and masculinity; working with students of color.
Personal Interests: Plants; electronics; sports.
Theoretical Orientation: Multicultural, Psychodynamic, CBT.

Allison Asarch Allison Asarch, Psy.D.
Coordinator for Outreach and Consultation Services and Staff Psychologist
(301) 314-7668
Academic History: Psy.D., 2015, Clinical Psychology, Roosevelt University; M.A., 2011, Clinical Psychology, Roosevelt University; B.A., 2009, Psychology, Emory University.
Professional Interests: Developmental and identity-related concerns, family-of-origin concerns, eating and body image concerns, perfectionism, group therapy, social justice and empowerment, outreach programming, training and supervision.
Personal Interests: Socializing and laughter, games of all kinds, yoga, tennis, traveling.
Theoretical Orientation: Interpersonal, relational-cultural, person-centered.

Shealyn Blanchard Shealyn J. Blanchard, Ph.D.
Staff Counselor
(301) 314-7691
Academic History:Academic History: Ph.D., 2018, Counseling Psychology, Western Michigan University; M.A., 2012, Psychology, The City College of New York; B.A., 2010, Psychology, Spelman College.
Professional Interests: Social Justice/multiculturalism, anxiety, adjustment concerns, grief/loss, graduate student concerns, relationship difficulties, identity development, students of color, outreach/consultation
Personal Interests: Family/friends, poetry, music, sports, museums, and exploring new foods
Theoretical Orientation: Interpersonal Process, CBT, Multicultural

Maria Luz Berbery, Ph.D. Maria Luz Berbery, Ph.D.
Training Director, Staff Psychologist
(301) 405-6060
Academic History: Ph.D., 2013, Counseling Psychology, University of Maryland; M.S., 2010, Counseling Psychology, University of Maryland; B.A., 2006, Psychology, University of Maryland.
Professional Interests: Multicultural counseling and identity-related concerns (race, ethnicity, gender, LGBT issues, etc), Latinx students' mental health, family and relational concerns, trauma and growth.
Personal Interests: Dance, music, travel, reading
Theoretical Orientation: psychodynamic, multicultural
Additional languages: Spanish

Kimberly Campbell, Ph.D. Kimberly Campbell, Ph.D.
Staff Psychologist; Staff Development Coordinator; ADHD Testing Coordinator
(301) 405-2077
Academic History: Ph.D., 1990, Clinical Psychology, Howard University; M.S., 1986, Clinical Psychology, Howard University; B.A., 1982, University of Virginia.
Professional Interests:mood disorders, anxiety, psychological testing; women’s issues, substance abuse, intimate partner violence, early childhood trauma, racial minorities, and pre-marital counseling.
Personal Interests: Film festivals, travel, dogs, music, hiking, walking
Theoretical Orientation: eclectic (psychodynamic, cognitive behavioral, systems)

Noah M. Collins, Ph.D. Noah M. Collins, Ph.D.
Staff Psychologist
(301) 314-7661
Academic History: Ph.D., 2007, Counseling Psychology, Teachers College, Columbia University; M.S., 1997, Counseling, California State University, Hayward; B.A., 1990, Psychology and Spanish Literature, University of California, Santa Cruz.
Professional Interests: multicultural counseling and training; racial and cultural competence; white racial experience; social justice
Personal Interests: Tennis; volleyball; bicycling; hiking/camping; cooking; jazz; international music
Theoretical Orientation: Contemporary psychodynamic, racial-cultural, interpersonal

Michelle Farrell, Ph.D. Michelle Farrell, Ph.D.
Staff Psychologist
(301) 314-7702
Academic History: Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology, The University of Missouri – Kansas City (2018); M.A. in Clinical Psychology (2012), Sam Houston State University; B.A. in Psychology (minor in criminology), The University of Texas at Arlington (2010)
Professional Interests:LGBTQIA+ concerns (e.g., identity development, resiliency, positive factors, and intersectionality), diversity and inclusion on college campuses, and empowerment of marginalized populations.
Personal Interests: Gardening, hiking, and challenging the status quo of power dynamics.
Theoretical Orientation: Interpersonal Process, Feminist Multicultural, Cognitive-Behavioral.

Nehal El Guindy Nehal El Guindy MS.,LCPC
Triage Counselor
(301) 314-7659
Academic History: M.S., 2009, Clinical Counseling, Johns Hopkins University; B.A.1990, Economics, American University in Cairo.
Professional Interests: Depression, anxiety, mood disorders, multicultural counseling, Arab American/Muslim minority issues, women's issues, relationship issues.
Personal Interests: hiking, photography, dancing, traveling and writing quotes on coffee cups.
Theoretical orientation: Cognitive Behavioral, Psychodynamic, Multicultural.

Lauren Levine, MSW Lauren Levine, MSW
Triage Counselor
(301) 314-7657
Academic History: MSW, 2015, Social Work, University of Maryland School of Social Work; B.S. 2013, Family and Human Services, Towson University.
Professional Interests: Anxiety disorders, mood disorders, adjustment concerns, family conflict, relationship issues Personal Interests: Traveling, spending time with friends and family, music and reading
Theoretical Orientation: CBT, Psychodynamic, Eclectic

Yi-Jiun Lin, Ph.D. Yi-Jiun Lin, Ph.D.
Assistant Director and Staff Psychologist
(301) 314-7662
Academic History: Ph.D., 2008, Counseling Psychology, University of Missouri-Columbia; M.Ed., 2003, School Counseling, University of Missouri-Columbia; B.S., 1998, Educational Psychology and Guidance, National Taiwan Normal University.
Professional Interests: cross-cultural counseling and training; supervision; trauma and grief issues; depression and anxiety; perfectionism; women’s issues; relationship issues.
Personal Interests: pottery; yoga; travelling; art appreciation.
Theoretical Orientation: eclectic, multicultural, and interpersonal process.

Kevin McGann, Ph.D. Kevin McGann, Ph.D.
Staff Counselor
Academic History: Ph.D. (2010) Counseling Psychology, University of Maryland, College Park.
Professional Interests: Adjustment concerns, relationship issues, career and vocational development, sexual and gender identity considerations, anxiety, depression.
Personal Interests: Creative writing, reading (fiction), singing, jogging, old movies, history.
Theoretical Orientation: Psychodynamic, Person-Centered, Feminist/Multicultural

Erica Shawn Merson, Ph.D. Erica Shawn Merson, Ph.D.
Staff Psychologist
(301) 314-7656
Academic History: Ph.D., 2012, Counseling Psychology, University of Maryland; M.S., 2009, Psychology, University of Maryland; B.A., 2004, Psychology, The George Washington University.
Professional Interests: work/family/life balance, body image, eating disorders, identity concerns, group therapy, relationship concerns.
Personal Interests: Sports and fitness, traveling, reading, socializing.
Theoretical Orientation: Eclectic, mindfulness and acceptance, positive psychology

David Petersen, Ph.D. David Petersen, Ph.D.
Staff Psychologist
(301) 314-9792
Academic History: Ph.D., 1998, Counseling Psychology, University of Maryland; B.A., 1983, Journalism, San Francisco State University.
Professional Interests: Individual and group therapy; supervision and training; international student issues
Theoretical Orientation: Interpersonal, psychodynamic, cultural

Pepper Ellen Phillips, Ph.D. Pepper Ellen Phillips, Ph.D.
Staff Psychologist
(301) 314-7672
Academic Rank: Assistant Professor of Counseling Psychology in the Education, Counseling, Higher Education, and Special Education Department.
Academic History: Ph.D., 1990, Counseling Psychology, Indiana State University; M.A., 1984, Agency Counseling, Indiana State University; B.A., 1982, Psychology, Hanover College.
Professional Interests: Positive psychology; supervision and training; LGBT issues; career development.
Theoretical Orientation: Client-centered, Adlerian, and positive psychology.

Chandni Shah Chandni Shah, Ph.D.
Staff Psychologist
(301) 314-7679
Academic History: Ph.D., 2016 Counseling Psychology, Purdue University; B.S., 2009, Psychology, University of Maryland, College Park (Minor in Public Health)
Professional Interests: Interpersonal violence, trauma recovery, Asian/South Asian American community concerns, communities of color experiences, intersectional identities, training, outreach, holistic healing.
Personal Interests: Dance, eating and exploring food, laughing.
Theoretical Orientation: Interpersonal Process, Systems, Multicultural.
Additional Languages: Gujarati and Hindi.

Kayi Hui-Spears Kayi Hui-Spears, Ph.D.
Staff Psychologist
Academic History: Ph.D., 2014, Counseling Psychology, University of Maryland, College Park; M.A., 2011, Counseling Psychology, University of Maryland, College Park; M.S. Ed., 2008, Counseling and Psychological Services, University of Pennsylvania; B.S., 2007, Psychology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Professional Interests: depression, anxiety, interpersonal concerns, identity development, post-traumatic growth, international student concerns, disordered eating and body image issues, career counseling, supervision and training, diversity and social justice issues
Personal Interests: hiking, cooking, baking, exploring the city, traveling, yoga, reading, watching movies
Theoretical Orientation: Integrative, interpersonal, multicultural, humanistic, mindfulness-based cognitive behavioral
Additional Languages: Mandarin, Cantonese

Tessa Wimberley, Ph.D. Tessa Wimberley, Ph.D.
Staff Psychologist
(301) 314-7671
Academic History: Ph.D., 2017, Counseling Psychology, University of Florida; M.S., 2014, Psychology, University of Florida; B.A., 2011, Psychology, University of Tampa.
Professional Interests:Anxiety disorders, trauma recovery, perfectionism, LGBTQ+ identity development, body image concerns, social justice, mindfulness, supervision and training.
Personal Interests: Sci-fi and fantasy, exploring nature, traveling, music and podcasts, and sharing amazing food with loved ones.
Theoretical Orientation: Interpersonal, multicultural-feminist, mindfulness-based

Randi Wortman, Ph.D. Randi Wortman, Ph.D.
Staff Psychologist (PT)
(301) 314-7651
Academic History: Ph.D. (1982) Clinical Psychology, California School of Professional Psychology-Berkeley, California.
Professional Interests: Mood disorders: depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, adult children of narcissistic parents and adult children of alcoholics, substance abuse, forensic psychology, LGBTQ issues, psychology of Millennials, multicultural counseling, eating disorders and positive body image counseling, dissertation coaching, ADHD coaching.
Personal Interests: Stand-up comedy, theater, portrait photography, sustainability and real food movement, Washington inside-the-Beltway politics.
Theoretical Orientation: Psychodynamic, brief therapy and coaching, Self-Psychology, Interpersonal and Therapeutic Alliance process psychotherapy.

Kseniya Zhuzha, Ph.D. Kseniya Zhuzha, Ph.D.
Staff Psychologist
(301) 314-7658
Academic History: Ph.D., 2018, Counseling Psychology, Auburn University; B.S., 2011, Psychology, Union College.
Professional Interests: Group therapy, trauma, anger management, multicultural issues, international students.
Personal Interests: Salsa dancing, biking, camping, traveling, spending time with friends.
Theoretical Orientation: Psychodynamic, Emotion Focused, Cognitive Behavioral.

Doctoral Psychology Interns

Marvyn Arévalo Avalos Marvyn Arévalo Avalos, M.A.
(301) 314-7665
Academic History: M.A., 2017, Counseling Psychology, Arizona State University; B.S., 2010, Human Development, University of California Davis.
Professional Interests: Multicultural counseling, working with students of color, family-of-origin concerns, supervision and training, Latinx health disparities intervention research, adolescent substance use prevention.s
Personal Interests: Integrative: Humanistic, Cognitive-Behavioral, and Multicultural Therapies
Theoretical Orientation: Psychodynamic, Emotion Focused, Cognitive Behavioral.
Additional Languages: Spanish

Victoria McNeil Victoria McNeil, M.S.
(301) 314-7069
Academic History: M.S. 2018, Counseling Psychology, University of Florida; B.S. 2014, Psychology and African American Studies, University of Florida.
Professional Interests: Liberation Psychology, multicultural counseling and identity related concerns (race, gender, ethnicity, sexuality etc.); Black students' mental health, trauma informed work.
Personal Interests: Film, Theater, Cooking, Hanging with Family.
Theoretical Orientation: Multicultural, Feminst, Relational-Cultural, CBT.

Collin Vernay Collin Vernay, M.A.
(301) 314-7664
Academic History: M.A. Counseling Psychology, University of Maryland, 2018; B.S. Psychology & B.A. Sociology, University of Florida, 2015.
Professional Interests: LGBTQ+ concerns, trauma recovery, family-of-origin concerns, self-compassion, social media & online dating, depression & anxiety.
Personal Interests: Socializing with friends, queer culture, plants, video games, dogs, amateur interior design.
Theoretical Orientation: Integrative primarily drawing from interpersonal, person-centered, & feminist therapies.

Nelson Zounlome Nelson Zounlome, M.S.Ed.
(301) 314-7118
Academic History: M.S.Ed. Learning Science-Educational Psychology Track, Indiana University; B.A. Psychology & Sociology, Indiana University.
Professional Interests: Mental Wellness, Academic Persistence, and Sexual Violence Prevention among Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC).
Personal Interests: Music, Reading, Traveling, Food.
Theoretical Orientation: Intersectional feminism, Acceptance & Commitment Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Interpersonal Process Approach.

Administrative Staff

Margaret M. Gibbs
(301) 314-7651

Shannon Quarles Shannon Quarles
(301) 314-7651

Graduate Assistant

Katherine Morales
(301) 314-7673

Hours & Location

Business Hours: 8:30 a.m to 4:30 p.m. ( Monday through Friday)
After-Hours Crisis Support Phone Services: 4:30 p.m. to 8:30 a.m. weekdays, 24 hours/day over the weekend
Phone Number: (301) 314-7651


We are located at
Shoemaker Building
4281 Chapel Lane
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742

Contact Us

If you have any questions or need additional assistance, please call us:

Counseling Center Main Number:  (301) 314-7651
After-Hours Crisis Support:  (301) 314-7651
Accessibility and Disability Services:  (301) 314-7682
Research Unit:  (301) 314-7660
Testing Office:  (301) 314-7688