Counseling & Wellness

Welcome to the Counseling & Wellness Center!


Challenge happens. Thrive on.

Being human and being in college means experiencing some challenge while you learn, grow, and live life. You can thrive – not just survive – through challenge and the CWC is here to help you understand your process, move toward your goals, connect with others, and be holistically well here at CCAD. You lead the way in taking risks and building on your strengths. We've got your back and partner with you while you try out new ways to think, do, and thrive.



CCAD Counseling & Wellness-Erin Vlach

Erin Vlach, MA, LPPC-S

Director of Counseling & Wellness

CCAD Counseling & Wellness-Lisa Hayes

Lisa Hayes, MSW, LISW-S

Full-Time Therapist & Community Wellness Specialist

CCAD Counseling & Wellness-Caleb Tipple

Caleb Tipple, MA, LPCC

Part-Time Therapist & Community Wellness Specialist

CCAD Counseling & Wellness-Darryl Brush

Darryl Brush, MD

Part-Time Psychiatrist



All currently enrolled, degree-seeking CCAD students are eligible for CWC counseling and psychiatry services. These services are free, but fees may be charged for no-shown or late-canceled appointments.

Group Counseling

Group counseling can be a fun and really impactful way to learn about yourself and make changes while connecting with others. There is no session number limit for group counseling. Check out some of the groups the CWC runs:

  • Creating Balance
    a four week learning group to help participants discover new ways of dealing with anxiety, depression, and stress; develop understanding of your own reactions to difficult situations; and design strategies for handling problems in the future. Creating balance is offered each semester and meets for 4 consecutive weeks for 90 minute sessions.
  • Inside Out:
    a group for exploring and understanding the way that anxiety impacts our views of ourselves, our work, and our relationship with others. Participants will develop a greater understanding of their own anxiety; learn ways that they are similar to or different from other participants in how they deal with anxiety; collaborate with other participants to develop meaningful ways of coping with anxiety; and explore thoughts and feelings about relationships through connecting with others. Inside Out is an ongoing therapy group and meets weekly for 90 minute sessions.
  • We Are Warriors:
    a group for exploring the impacts of trauma. In this space, we will cultivate a community of support and safety. We will identify symptoms and explore solutions. We will celebrate strength and survival. We will work to acknowledge that we are no longer victims, we are warriors. Together, we will explore and discuss trauma and healing in a safe place; uncover silence and invisibility; evaluate guilt and shame; and cultivate healing and community. We Are Warriors is an ongoing therapy group and meets weekly for 90 minute sessions.
  • HeartStrong:
    a group for learning about and cultivating a deeper sense of connection with others and with ourselves. Be curious. Be connected. Be strong. We explore fears and shame that can keep us feeling separate from or "less than" others; self-understanding and self-compassion; what it means to be authentic and radically human; and practicing vulnerability, connection and living heart-strong. HeartStrong is an ongoing therapy group and meets weekly for 90 minute sessions.
  • Rising Strong:
                  a group for learning how to understand and own our story in a way that helps us to “ rise strong” when we fall. We will focus on emotional awareness and explore how curiosity, creativity, and vulnerability help us to re-write our story and change the way we engage with others. We will explore how worthiness, courage and compassion help us to cultivate wholehearted lives. Rising Strong is a 10-week therapy group that meets for 90 minutes.              

Crisis Intervention

CWC therapists can collaborate with campus partners and emergency resources to intervene in crisis situations to support the safety of each student and our community as a whole. See the Emergency Resources & Crisis Response section for more details.

Sexual Assault Volunteer Program

Become a Helpline Advocate, Hospital Advocate, or Speakers' Bureau Preventionist with OhioHealth.

Click here for more information.

Wellness Programs & Outreach

The CWC offers a wide variety of wellness-oriented education, prevention, and stress-reduction programs.

CCAD Yoga Class

Head to the second floor of the Canzani Multipurpose Room on Mondays at 7 p.m. to get your "om" on. Yoga is offered every Monday of fall and spring semesters unless the college is closed for holidays or weather. The first class of fall semester, 2017 is scheduled for 09.11.2017. For questions, email


Yoga Instructor

Stacie Stormer, RYT 200

Individual Counseling

Students may receive up to 12 individual counseling sessions per academic year. Students with concerns needing greater than 12 sessions or needing the attention of a specialist are often referred to a community provider who is equipped to provide the level and kind of care that's the best fit.


Psychiatry is the evaluation for and prescription of medications for mental health reasons. All students using psychiatry at the CWC have to first meet with a CWC therapist and need to maintain an ongoing relationship with a therapist to get the full benefits of psychiatry. There is no session number limit for psychiatry appointments. The CWC is also able to provide help with referrals for external psychiatry.


Letting staff at CCAD know that a friend is having a hard time will not get you or your friend in trouble. The last thing we want is for you to feel like you have to handle a difficult or unsafe situation by yourself when these situations are exactly why we're here on campus. In many cases, consulting with a CWC therapist can be kept confidential and in cases where the therapist thinks more help is needed, the situation is handled as discretely and carefully as possible. We work with you to get the full picture and help everyone involved find the best next steps in caring for one another.

If you are worried about the safety of a friend of they are experiencing an emergency, please use the emergency resources listed.

Click here for more information on how you can help a friend.


Training and education for students, instructors, and staff is available upon request or may be periodically offered throughout the year. Some training topics include:

  • Suicide prevention gatekeeper training
  • Sexual assault response training
  • How to help a friend
  • The effects of trauma
  • Mental health at CCAD
  • Neuroscience of emotions and learning
  • Introduction to meditation
  • Stress reduction and self-care

Interested in getting trained or in a topic you don't see here? Email




The CWC is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Some evening hours are available.

The CWC is closed over the weekends. The CWC closes for clinical services during winter and spring breaks. Some services may be limited during the summer. The CWC observes all CCAD holidays and inclement weather days and is closed when the college is closed.

An Urgent Walk-In Hour is staffed from 11 a.m. - 12 p.m. each day we are open. Walk-ins are typically not able to be accommodated outside of this hour.

Location & Contact

The CWC is located on the first floor of the Loann Crane Center for Design.

CCAD Counseling & Wellness Center
112 Cleveland Avenue
Columbus, OH 43215

614.437.7240 fax



First Appointment

Even if you have been to the CWC before, you will be asked to arrive 30 minutes before your first appointment of each academic year to complete First Session Forms. First Session Forms are completed on the desktop computer kiosk in the CWC waiting area. If staff are not available when you arrive, you may start these forms yourself. They should only be completed immediately before your scheduled appointment. They are legally necessary and help us keep your information updated. If you do not arrive early to complete forms, this will cut into your appointment time or you may be asked to reschedule.

If you have never been to the CWC before or it has been multiple years since your last visit, your first appointment will be an intake session. Intake sessions last approximately 50-60 minutes which allows for you and the counselor to discuss your history and get a full picture of what is happening for you and what you'd like to work on in counseling. You and the therapist will talk together about options and decide on your best next step, which could include working with a CWC counselor for individual or group counseling; referral to community agency or provider; or deciding you don't need or want any further counseling.

On-Going Appointments

Counseling sessions following an intake are scheduled for 50 minutes. On-going counseling appointments are typically not able to be scheduled more frequently than once every two weeks and availability can change throughout the year.



Mental health emergencies or crises require immediate intervention, and for everyone's safety and well-being, you should never attempt to handle these situations by yourself. The following resources are available 24/7:

  • If on or near campus, call CCAD Safety & Security at 614.222.6165.
  • Call 911 or visit the nearest hospital emergency department.
  • Call the Netcare Access mental health crisis line at 614.276.CARE (2273).

Examples of mental health crisis or emergency include when a person is:

  • Threatening or immediately considering suicide or serious self-injury.
  • Threatening or immediately considering homicide or harming others.
  • Acting erratically or extremely differently from what is typical for the person.
  • Under the influence of a substance and behaving dangerously.


Professionally trained staff at CCAD are here to help when students are in crisis. We never want you to go through an emergency alone and there are ways we can help.

The Safety & Security Office can provide:

  • Access to a comfortable, private room where students in crisis can safely stay until the appropriate staff become available.
  • Transportation for students to local hospitals or crisis centers if a student requires assistance beyond the scope of the CWC. An officer will stay with the student until they are received by hospital staff.
  • The ability to reach and consult with CWC staff when an urgent need arises outside of normal business hours.

The Assistant Dean of Students, Learning Support Office, or CWC staff can assist students in crisis with the following:

  • Notifying family, friends, roommates, or instructors of the student's status – ONLY as is necessary or requested by the student.
  • Communicating and advocating with instructors to gain flexibility and support for academics, as needed.
  • Communicating with hospitals or other agencies to coordinate student discharge and access to CCAD and community resources and referrals, if applicable.
  • Meeting with students to discuss stressors, barriers, options for changes to academic plans and financial aid, support services, and wellness planning.


If you are considering suicide, worried about a friend and need advice, or you just need someone to talk to, there are many resources you can use. The majority are available 24/7. Click the links to visit websites for more information.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Call 1.800.273.TALK (8255)

En Espanol


Franklin County Ohio Suicide Prevention Hotline

Call 1.614.222.5445

Trans Lifeline

Especially for people identifying as trans

Call 1.877.565.8860

The Trevor Lifeline

Especially for people identifying as LGBTQ

Call 1.866.488.7386

Text "TREVOR" to 1.202.304.1200 (Text not available 24/7)

Online chat (Chat not available 24/7)

Crisis Text Line

Text "LISTEN" to 741741


Online crisis chat line



There may be times when the CWC is not able to accommodate all students requesting counseling, or times when you might prefer to see a therapist outside of CCAD.  Please contact the CWC with any questions about the resources listed.  Resources listed are not exhaustive, and you may want to start with your insurance company.

Tip:  Always check with your insurance company to know your in-network benefits, out-of-network benefits, and which providers are covered!

The Ohio State University Community Provider Database

This is a resource created by OSU, but can be used by CCAD students (or anyone) to find therapists who meet their specified needs.  It provides filters and searchable access to over 170 mental health providers in the Columbus area.

Mental Health of America Franklin County Pro Bono Counseling Program

The Pro Bono Counseling Program links volunteer mental health professionals in the community with those who need but cannot afford mental health counseling. The program’s volunteers are licensed and insured mental health professionals who provide short-term counseling (12 sessions or less) at no cost to the recipient.  Other MHAFC resources can be found here.

The Mental Health of America Franklin County Ombudsman

If you are receiving or seeking mental health or substance use treatment in Franklin County, you may contact the MHAFC Ombudsman for help.  The Ombudsman can:

  • Listen to concerns or complaints and help find a solution
  • Supply information about and referral to community resources
  • Help clients “get through the system”, especially if you are receiving services from multiple agencies
  • Coach and teach clients how to best work with services providers.

Psychology Today:  Find a Therapist

Search multiple provider types by state.

Lavender Listings

Referrals for mental health and other services from advertised LGBTQIA competent/friendly providers.



National Sexual Assault Hotline

Call 1.800.656.HOPE (4673)

Online Chat




Absolutely. Between 17-20% of the CCAD student body, or about 1 in 5 students, uses CWC services each academic year. So, if you think you don't know someone who's been to the CWC, you just aren't talking about it! CCAD prides itself on fostering a campus culture where we care about each other, pay attention to how others are doing, step-in when things don't seem right, and seek out support to take care of ourselves when things get hard. It's called being an up-stander, and it's the way we do things.



We can't make guarantees, but we can talk about what CCAD students say about CWC services and the changes they've seen through the process of working with us.

Our most recent surveys show:

95% of clients say that the CWC helped them make progress in their goals.

87% of clients having difficulty with academics say that the CWC helped them improve.

98% of clients say that they'd recommend CWC services to other CCAD students.

Real Talk from Real Students

"The CWC helped me understand that I have a lot of time ... I don't need to be a complete professional illustrator just yet. It helped me boost my confidence and deal with lower artistic self-esteem."

"I've always struggled with accepting help from counselors; like too many people, I suffered from the delusion that getting help was showing weakness and a step in the wrong direction. Support from CWC and CCAD staff helped me move past that. Of all the ways CWC has helped me to grow and heal, that's the gift I appreciate most."

"Group therapy through CWC was the best experience I have had at CCAD ever!"

"I want others to know that the CWC is here for a reason: to help people. No one gets judged, not a single person there is going to make you feel uncomfortable on purpose. The CWC is one of the most helpful things CCAD has to offer."

"The CWC was very helpful for me. I received advice that was truly helpful and beneficial – advice I couldn't get from even those closest to me. I've never been to counseling or any sessions in my life, but I realize how much I benefited from it and I would recommend anyone to go, even if they find their problems 'minimal'."

"The counselors were able to help me get through a variety of tough situations even when I thought it was hopeless. They even taught me how to take better care of myself so I can take control."



Counseling is the process of engaging in an active therapeutic relationship with a licensed mental health professional in order to gain support, information, and skills to help you meet your identified goals and to grow as a person. The CWC operates from the philosophy that clients are in charge of the process, which means:

  • You get to decide what you work on and how you work on it.
  • You decide what you will share and not share, talk about and not talk about.
  • Your therapist will need open, honest feedback from you on what approaches and styles do and do not work for you.
  • Your results in counseling will reflect the time, energy, and openness you put into the process.

CWC therapists often steer away from giving advice and telling you what you "should" do – this makes the process more about what the therapist thinks than what you think – but your therapist may suggest options or offer different perspectives to consider. Sometimes it's hard to not get "advice from experts" when we're struggling, and this sometimes comes from the idea that therapists are supposed to "fix" us or "fix" our problems. In the CWC, we believe that:

  • You are not broken.
  • You don't need "fixing".
  • You have more answers that you give yourself credit for.


Counseling works because of neuroplasticity, which means that our brains and nervous systems physically change and grow in different ways depending on our life experiences and patterns. Learning and practicing new strategies, points of view, relationship skills, and communication styles is common in counseling and these are all ways that we can actually "re-wire" our brains to have different thought patterns and emotional reactions. Counseling isn't "just talking about problems" – it's neuroscience at work, and everyone can make changes!


"Stigma" is a negative association that we attach to something. Even though we have an up-stander culture where help-seeking is common, CCAD students are still harder on themselves than on their friends. A recent survey showed that CCAd students are very open and accepting when it comes to getting mental health treatment, but they often think that others around them believe that it's a weakness or a failure. Worrying about being judged negatively by others (even when they aren't actually judging us!) can keep us from sharing our struggles and reaching out for help.



The fact that you are using CWC services and all details about your treatment are kept completely confidential in accordance with state and federal laws, as well as professional codes of ethics. CWC staff cannot share with anyone else that they are working with you or know you through counseling unless you give them express permission, usually in writing. This means that you are in control of your own information, and that others do not have to know you are using CWC services unless you tell them. Therapists in Ohio have a "duty to protect", and may break confidentially in some cases to keep you and others safe, or to comply with legal mandates. The primary exceptions to confidentiality include situations where:

  • You appear to be an imminent danger to yourself.
  • You appear to be an imminent danger to others.
  • You discuss situations involving child or elder abuse or neglect.
  • Disclosure is mandated by legal proceeding.

Counseling records are maintained and protected in the CWC's electronic record system, separate from any academic records, and no one but CWC staff and designated IT personnel (for system maintenance only) have access to the system.



The psychiatry provider in the CWC is here for only a few hours per week, so keeping appointments is important! To meet with the psychiatrist, you must first meet with a CWC therapist and should maintain an on-going relationship with a CWC therapist. Research shows that people see the most change when medications are combined with counseling! Meeting with the psychiatrist is free of charge, but you are responsible for filling the prescription and paying for it at the pharmacy.



We're the best help to you when we have the full picture, and knowing about any current or past treatment or other important history can be important. If you have received or are receiving mental health or substance use services elsewhere, please tell your CWC therapist, and they may ask you to sign a Release of Information. This will allow your therapist to contact your external providers to gather any helpful information and to make things easier for you.



For urgent concerns, the fastest way to talk with a CWC counselor without a previous appointment may be during the designated Urgent Walk-In Hour, from 11 a.m. - 12 p.m. If you are not a current client of the CWC, you will need to complete the electronic consent and information forms, just like a typical first appointment. Students are seen during the Urgent Walk-In Hour based on urgency of concern and time of arrival, and therapists on-duty do their best to accurately prioritize and accommodate everyone they're able. An Urgent session is typically 30 minutes or less and is used to help you de-escalate, problem-solve, and make an action plan to get you through the urgent situation.

If you feel your conerns are so urgent that you cannot wait to speak with CWC staff during the next business day or you are concerned about your own or others' safety, use resources listed in the Emergency Resources & Crisis Response section.



Just like most external mental health clinicians, the therapists in the CWC are qualified to provide documentation of psychiatric disabilities or support for accommodations based on disabilities. There are stipulations, and each therapist will use their clinical judgment about whether or not to provide documentation. At a minimum:

  • The mental health condition in question must fully qualify as a disability, per federal standards.
  • A full diagnostic assessment must be completed.
  • You must have an active, on-going relationship with a CWC therapist and demonstrate commitment to the therapeutic process.

See the CCAD Learning Support Office page for more information on CCAD's disability registration policies.



Professional staff at CCAD can help you get back into the swing of classes and campus life. CWC therapists, the Learning Support Office, and the VP for Student Affairs can all help you:

  • Talk about stressors and barriers that led to needing to step away.
  • Develop a wellness plan to help prevent future barriers.
  • Link with resources and help at CCAD and in the community to help you feel balanced and able to focus on school.
  • Plan for how to talk with friends, instructors, or supervisors about your absence.
  • Gain flexibility with deadlines or makes changes to class schedules.
  • Make changes to financial aid or scholarship allocations, if applicable.



If you know someone who is having a hard time, you have options for helping them.


If you are worried about the safety of a friend or they are experiencing an emergency, please use the emergency resources listed.

Consult with the CWC

For non-emergency concerns, you may contact the CWC staff to consult and get advice. You may also use the Urgent Walk-In Hour or schedule a consultation session to talk with a CWC therapist about a friend.

Consult with your RA or Residence Life Staff

Sometimes it's easier to talk with another student before going to a staff member. Resident Advisors are specially trained to assist with a wide range of problems our students might experience. Click here to contact a Residence Life staff member.

Tips on How to talk with your friend about:

Eating disorders

Suicidal thoughts

Other mental health concerns

Relationship abuse

Sexual violence

Drugs or alcohol