Counseling Services

We support and educate through the provision of prevention-oriented programming, high quality treatment services, and referral for psychological difficulties that may adversely impact your capacity to fully benefit from your educational experience.

Our office strives to provide an inclusive space that honors the strengths, lived experience, and uniqueness of each individual. Our counselors provide services focused on wellness, growth, and self advocacy, in order to enhance your success at the university and in the larger community.

Getting Assistance

For the academic year, Counseling Services staff will continue to provide both in-person and virtual counseling sessions. Students are able to indicate their preference when they connect to make an appointment.  

Regular hours for the Counseling Services office during the academic year are as follows:

Monday: 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Tuesday: 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Wednesday: 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Thursday: 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Friday: 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

During the regular academic year, enrolled students may contact the Counseling Services office through any of the following means:
•    E-mailing
•    Calling 978.665.3152
•    Visiting Hammond 317

In partnership with Christie Campus Health we are now offering a 24/7/365 Mental Health Support Line staffed by qualified mental health professionals, it is accessible by calling 833.434.1217. You should identify yourself as a student at Fitchburg State; there will be no charge, nor any insurance billing, for calls to the helpline.   

An additional component of our relationship with Christie Campus Health is an online resource with information pertaining to wellness and mental health.  

In emergency situations, students should contact University Police at 978.665.3111, dial 911, or seek out emergency care at their local emergency room.

During the ongoing pandemic, Counseling Services staff assembled a number of resources that can be accessed remotely (e.g., self-care, mindfulness, relaxation, managing emotional balance during a pandemic).

Below are some additional resources that may be of benefit to you:

  • Call2Talk : 508.532.2255
  • Text2Talk : Text "C2T" to 741741
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800.799.7233
  • Pathways for Change (Rape Crisis Center of Central Massachusetts) Hotline: 1.800.870.5905
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1.800.273.TALK
  • Trans Lifeline 877.565.8860

More Information

Access these pages to learn more about our services and policies.

As a student receiving counseling services, you have a right to privacy and confidentiality, however:

  • A counselor may release confidential information if you have given written consent to do so.
  • A counselor may release confidential information if they have reason to believe that a client is a danger to themselves, or presents a danger to others.
  • A counselor must report any knowledge of abuse or neglect of a child, elderly person, or a person with a disability.
  • In rare circumstances, a court of law or judge may require a counselor to produce confidential information.

Counseling records never become a part of a student's transcript or Fitchburg State University record. All records are securely kept in the Counseling Services Office.

Email Policy

Counseling is conducted in real time, not through email.

The privacy and immediacy of email cannot be assured, therefore we encourage you not to communicate with our office using this method. Although we check our email often, we make no promise concerning when or how often email is read. You have no way of knowing whether the recipient is unavailable due to vacation, illness or other reason. Therefore, your message may not be received and read promptly. 

It is recommended that if you need to make contact with a Counseling Services staff member, you do so by calling the office at 978.665.3152. For general scheduling issues, the email may be used. 

During Business Hours

The Counseling Services Office offers an "Urgent Hour," weekdays from 2 to 3 p.m. The Office is located in the Hammond Building, Room 317. "Urgent Hour" appointments are intended to be brief, problem-focused discussions pertaining to emergency situations, when a student is unable to arrange an appointment. Whereas it's always preferable to make an appointment, Counseling Services staff will make efforts to connect with students during "Urgent Hours," as staff availability permits.

After Business Hours

If You Live On Campus

During the regular academic year, Counseling Services staff provide 24-hour crisis response to the University. Resident students may contact the University Police Department (978.665.3111), or a residential staff member (e.g., a Resident Assistant).

If You Live Off Campus

Contact your usual health care provider (e.g., HMO, clinic, primary care doctor, or therapist), call 911, or proceed to the nearest hospital Emergency Department. Please also refer to the Distance Learners page to learn more about mental health services in your area.

Hotline Numbers

  • Pathways for Change (Rape Crisis Center of Central Massachusetts) Hotline: 1.800.870.5905
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1.800.799.7233
  • National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1.800.273.TALK

For over 30 years, the Fitchburg State University Counseling Services Office has offered a graduate training experience dedicated to supporting the personal growth and development of future mental health professionals. 

The training program is open to graduate students currently enrolled in clinically-oriented psychology and counseling programs. The program takes place over the course of the academic year, beginning in late August and ending in the middle of May. Typically, trainees spend 20-22 hours per week in the Counseling Services Office; approximately 10-12 of those hours are spent providing direct clinical service to enrolled students at Fitchburg State University. Trainees will engage in both weekly individual and group supervision opportunities. Trainees are also invited to participate in outreach and prevention-oriented activities of the Counseling Services Office (i.e. suicide prevention, interpersonal violence prevention, etc.). 

Application Process 

We begin accepting applications in December for the following academic year. Interested applicants should please e-mail a cover letter, resume/CV, and two letters of reference to the attention of Amanda Sapienza at

The deadline for applications is February 1. Interviews typically take place in late January and early February, with offers extended to successful applicants in February/March. 

Meet Our Staff

Group photo of the counseling services staff on Fitchburg State sign in front of Hammond
  • Robert Hynes, Ph.D., LMHC, Director/Assistant Dean, Student Affairs
  • Lauren O'Brien, LMHC, Associate Director
  • Amanda Sapienza, LMHC, Assistant Director/Internship Coordinator
  • Nicolette Kolgraf, MA, Counselor
  • Tara Candelmo, MA Counselor
  • Christina DeMalia, MA Counselor
  • Julia Kempster, MA Counselor
  • Kelly Joyce, Administrative Assistant
  • Anna Murray, Graduate Intern
  • Brianna Buckley, Graduate Intern
  • Shannon Jacon, Graduate Intern

Get in Touch