Our Department.

 

Counseling Staff

Counseling and Psychological Services is a division of Campus Life and Student Affairs. The division exists to help students function more effectively in the Drew University Community. Our mission is to help students define their personal and academic goals. Information and counseling are provided to help students to deal with their individual concerns by helping them to understand themselves better and explore alternatives, reach decisions, or feel better about coping with problems.

We offer a broad range of group programs and short-term individual counseling for undergraduate and graduate students. Our purpose is to assist students in their personal, social, and academic development, and the achievement of life goals. Services are provided free to all interested Drew students. Sometimes referrals are made to other, more appropriate, resources – either within the university community or outside the university.

Alumni/ae may consult a counselor for a brief consultation and/or referral. Staff and faculty will also be seen on a consulting basis. Referrals can be made for longer-term counseling. We are located on the South end of Drew University’s campus in Holloway Annex 21 in the same building as the Health Center just up the hill from the University Commons or the Forum.

Our Staff

Our staff consists of professional counselors whose education and interests prepare them to offer counseling and other programs relative to a variety of personal, social, and academic-related issues.  In addition, carefully selected graduate students frequently join us on a part-time basis as in-practicum students or volunteers and further enhance the variety and scope of services we offer.

James Mandala, PhD, Director of the James A. McClintock Center for Counseling and Psychological Services

NJ Licensed Psychologist #35S100275000

Holloway Annex 21 (in the same building as the Health Center up the hill from the University Commons)
973-408-3398
jmandala@drew.edu

My approach to college counseling starts with a commitment to community psychology. Students and their problems need to be understood in a context that includes not only their own individual selves but also the family and community systems that they are a part of. Clinically I practice individual, family, couple and group psychotherapy. Though rooted in an existential-phenomenological framework, my approach to therapy is integrative – informed by developmental, psychodynamic, interpersonal, experiential, cognitive-behavioral, and systems theories. I believe in treating people, not diagnoses or disorders. Special interests: cross-cultural issues; abuse and trauma survivors; eating disorders; depression; anxiety disorders; severe psychopathologies/crisis management;  family systems, including couples work; burnout prevention; religious and spiritual issues, therapist training; conflict resolution and mediation.

Audra J. Tonero, Assistant Director of Outreach and Education, MS Ed, LPC, LCADC

Coordinator of Substance Awareness and Educational Programs, NJ Licensed Professional

Holloway Annex 21 (in the same building as the Health Center up the hill from the University Commons)
973-408-3318
atonero@drew.edu

My primary function on campus is to assist students who believe they have a substance abuse issue. I provide assessment and education to students who self-identify or who are identified by other members of the Drew community. I offer education and training to staff, faculty, and administrators in the process of identifying substance abuse problems and raising awareness about the use of drugs and alcohol. I provide support to deal with direct use, or on how a person is affected by another’s use. Substance abuse is such a hot topic recently that students are feeling scrutinized. I provide a safe, judgment-free environment respecting each person’s individuality. My counseling style incorporates different theories. I employ the tenets of cognitive-behavioral theory, client-centered, and reality therapy. This provides a person the ability to start and run therapy at their own pace while using a factual approach to identify self-defeating behaviors and making necessary and appropriate changes.

George-Harold Jennings, MS, PhD

Clinical Psychologist

Sycamore Cottage 101
973-408-3392
gjenning@drew.edu
Personal Website: http://www.users.drew.edu/~gjenning/

My counseling is primarily based on the tenets of humanistic, existential and transpersonal (i.e., spiritual) psychologies. I embrace the idea of interacting with the client in a way that helps the individual self-actualize. My work with the client is aimed at promoting greater comfort with the inner sense of one’s self in relation to the wholeness of one’s being, and her or his place in the world. I am very aware of the spiritual dimension in human nature, and I encourage the interested client to explore this aspect of her or his being. I also employ techniques that serve to help the individual explore his or her values, particularly as these may relate to one’s sense of identity, one’s relationships and/or one’s interest in healthy and purposeful living. Dr. George-Harold Jennings is also a professor in the Department of Psychology at Drew University where he teaches the following courses: Theories of Personality, Abnormal Psychology, Small Group Dynamics, Introduction to Psychology, a College Seminar, and a Senior Seminar.  Dr. Jennings’ current research is in response to the following question, “Is there a difference between struggling with a spiritual crisis and having a mental illness?”.

Carol Gernat, PhD

Staff Counselor/Psychologist

Holloway Annex 21 (in the same building as the Health Center up the hill from the University Commons)
973-408-3984
cgernat@drew.edu

Something I remember from my early counseling training is that counseling psychologists “deal with the messy problems of living.”  The reason this has stayed with me, I think, is because so many factors (internal to the self and external in the environment) shape well-being, and I see a good part of my work as connecting non-judgmentally with students so they can tell their own stories, process thoughts and feelings, and heal. I consider myself a generalist, and I have worked with students who present to counseling with a range of concerns such as acute psychological crisis, panic, anxiety and depression, as well as the effects of trauma, and coping with loss. In the years that I have been at Drew (since 2004), I have become more interested and involved in sexual assault awareness, prevention, and support of survivors. I also have a strong interest in meditation and its use as a stress-reduction tool, and I have conducted open groups on campus focused on mindfulness skills.

Therese Zimmer-Farid, MSW, LCSW

Staff Counselor/Social Worker

Holloway Annex 21 (in the same building as the Health Center up the hill from the University Commons)
973-408-3398
tzimmerfarid@drew.edu

As exciting as this time is in one’s life, it can also be stressful and overwhelming. Today’s student is more attuned to the importance of understanding mental health and overall well-being in his or her life. Together, we can address depression, anxiety, life transitions, relationship or family dynamics, or trauma that may have been experienced and that may be affecting where you are in your life right now. My approach is integrative with attention to Solution-Focus and Cognitive Behavioral Therapies, along with a Mindful approach of how to manage your challenges and reclaim your strengths.

Michelle Taylor, MSW, LCSW

Staff Counselor/Social Worker

Holloway Annex 21 (in the same building as the Health Center up the hill from the University Commons)
973-408-3398
mtaylor3@drew.edu

I am an experienced mental health clinician dedicated to providing comprehensive treatment plans to students experiencing acute mental health issues with an overall aim of supporting individualized education goals, increasing social connectedness within the college community, and enhancing personal development. My therapy style is eclectic, bridging the tenets and techniques of multiple action-oriented theories. Through the use of a warm and playful environment, my goal is to help you develop and enhance skills so that you may achieve optimal greatness with confidence and maximize your college experience. Special interests include: severe psychopathology, disaster response crisis counseling, and the prevention of human trafficking.

Psychology Intern

Meredith Gondo, MA, Doctoral Intern, St. Elizabeth’s University

Holloway Annex 21 (in the same building as the Health Center up the hill from the University Commons)
973-408-3398

I have experience in a variety of mental health settings, including inpatient hospital and community-based outpatient programs. I utilize an integrative approach in therapy that takes into account the specific needs of each client. I believe that no treatment exists that works for all individuals, at all times, so my focus is on building a strong therapeutic relationship and tailoring my approach to the individual’s unique circumstances. I am interested in human development across the lifespan and in particular how life roles and transitions affect mental and physical well-being. During therapy, I strive to consider each client’s thoughts, behaviors, interpersonal relationships, as well as existential concerns in a warm and non-judgmental setting. My goal is to promote mindfulness, growth, and connection while focusing on the individual’s skills and strengths.

Psychology Practicum Trainees

Katherine Finkelstein, MA, Doctoral Extern, Seton Hall University

I am thrilled to be joining the Counseling Center as a doctoral extern for this academic year.  College life comes with many new twists, turns, transitions, and discoveries.  I aim to provide a welcoming, warm, non-judgmental space where we can work together to navigate the thoughts and emotions that emerge from these life experiences, explore your intersecting identities, heal, and grow.  Through an integrative approach, I seek to empower my clients. My academic research focuses on issues related to trauma and PTSD, supporting sexual assault survivors, cognitive fatigue, and family systems.  Some of my additional interests include anxiety and depression, mindfulness practices, and expressive arts therapies.

Alex Pinto, MA, LPC, Doctoral Extern, Felician University

I am a 3rd-year Doctoral Student of Felician University with 8 years of experience in counseling. My main areas of focus include cognitive, mindfulness-based stress reduction, and cognitive-behavioral therapies. Currently, I am highly interested in investigating the incorporation of coping mechanisms within specific psychological diagnoses. I am trilingual, speaking English,  Portuguese, and Spanish fluently. My main hobbies in life include watching the New York Jets and live music

All externs are in our office in Holloway Annex 21 (in the same building as the Health Center up the hill from the University Commons)
973-408-3398

Administrative Assistant

Rebecca Scotti

973-408-3398
rscotti@drew.edu