Staff Counselor - Racial Trauma Specialist

Massachusetts, United States
Salary Not specified
Oct 27, 2020
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time

Amherst College invites applications for the Staff Counselor-Racial Trauma Specialist position. The Staff Counselor-Racial Trauma Specialist is a full time, year round position, job group and level PT-5. Given Amherst's distinction as one of the most diverse liberal arts colleges in the country, the successful candidate will demonstrate the ways in which they bring value to and will work towards supporting a broadly diverse community.

The Staff Counselor-Racial Trauma Specialist is a 12-month full-time position that reports to the Director of the Counseling Center. The primary purpose of this position is to enhance success for students of color by providing clinical and educational services to help students address the mental health and developmental challenges they face in their personal and academic lives. Because of the Counseling Center's deep commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, this position provides a unique opportunity for the clinician to hone multicultural clinical skills and outreach skills related to social justice. Responsibilities will include conducting evidenced-based, culturally responsive intakes and clinical assessments, individual and group counseling, urgent care, on-call services 2-3 weeks/semester, and coordinating care with our psychiatric staff and case manager. This staff member will need excellent clinical skills as a generalist, as well as a specialty skill in working with adolescents and young adults of color, including the typical mental illnesses that emerge in this timeframe (e.g. bipolar disorder, psychotic disorders, personality disorders, and other major mental illnesses) and the developmental concerns our student body typically experiences (e.g. identity, relationships, and meaning and purpose). Additionally, this position will have expertise in working with individual who have experienced racial-based trauma, and will have skills in providing trauma-informed clinical care. Certification in EMDR, progressive counting, or other trauma treatment is desirable. In addition to clinical services, this position also provides preventative and educational outreach initiatives. This position will specifically work to engage marginalized communities and communities that typically under-utilize mental health care, with an emphasis on working with Black women. This requires building coalitions with our program directors for Mental Health Promotion, Health Education, and identity-based Resource Centers, as well as working collaboratively with a number of other departments across campus. We value wrap-around care, and candidates must be comfortable working across disciplines.

The Counseling Center provides a variety of services including individual and group counseling, psychiatry services, case management, mental health promotion and preventative services, consultation, and teaching. These services are designed to help students overcome mental illnesses or learn how to cope effectively with them, improve their academic performance and cognitive functioning, develop a deeper understanding of themselves and the intersections of their identities, create and maintain satisfying relationships, foster a sense of meaning and purpose, and make healthy life and career choices related to that.

The Staff Counselor-Racial Trauma Specialist, along with all the Counseling Center staff, works toward building and sustaining a center that meets the needs of both individual students and the College community as a whole. We recognize that all of our practitioners bring different gifts and try to assign work from a strengths-based perspective, thus allowing people to grow professionally in ways that best fit their talents and skills. Strong commitments to (1) holistic approaches to student development, (2) understanding current issues facing students of color in historically white institutions (2) interdisciplinary treatment models, (3) the development of on-going, personal and professional multicultural competence, (4) collaboration across the College community and (5) a strong work ethic are necessary to succeed in the position. The Counseling Center operates within a developmental philosophy and a brief therapy model, and candidates must demonstrate an ability to work with a diverse student body within these two frames. Amherst College is a highly selective, small liberal arts college with a very diverse body - 45% of our students are students of color from the US; 10% are international; 40% come from low-income families; 18% identify as LBGTQ+; and 25% have registered disabilities with 2/3's being mental health or learning disabilities. Consequently, this clinician must be able to provide culturally appropriate clinical interventions related to racial trauma and systemic forms of oppression that students face both historically and currently.

Summary of Principal Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Provide culturally appropriate individual, group, and couples counseling/psychotherapy to students including assessment, diagnosis, and brief treatment; provide urgent care and crisis intervention; maintain up-to-date files, written reports and job-related data commensurate with current standards of the profession. Must be trained in trauma-informed practices to serve our racially diverse student body. Will provide on-call services about two weeks per semester.

Mental Health Promotion
  • Design and implement mental health promotion activities, including workshops, outreach programs, and liaison relationships designed to foster student success. Place special emphasis in working with communities of color and Black women. Collaborate closely with Mental Health Promotion, Health Education, and Resource Centers, and other related departments.

  • Consult with members of the Amherst community - including faculty, administration, staff, parents and students -regarding mental health needs of students. Consult with on-and off-campus health care providers, including Student Health Services, hospitals, community mental health agencies, and private practitioners, Office of Student Affairs' case management, etc. to help coordinate care.

  • Provide training and supervision for Post-Doctoral Fellows, Pre-doctoral interns, and/or Practicum Students by co-leading psychotherapy groups, teaching seminars, providing rotation training in area of interest and/or providing individual clinical supervision.

  • Attend and participate in regular on-call rotations (about 2-3 weeks per semester) and case conferences; maintain and promote the highest ethical and professional standards commensurate with training and licensure; pursue professional development in service of the responsibilities of the position and the profession.



Earned doctorate in Counseling Psychology or Clinical Psychology or related field from an APA-accredited program and internship OR Masters in Social Work, Counseling or related field from an accredited program is required.

Currently licensed, or eligible for licensure in the state of MA as a Psychologist within 18 months of employment, OR as a LICSW, LMHC, LMFT, or related license in the state of MA within 6 months of employment

Minimum of 3 years of post-degree professional counseling experience

Able to work in a brief treatment model in a fast-paced environment

Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively

Demonstrated ability to work well with a diverse student body in culturally competent ways using trauma-informed practices

A demonstrated commitment to promoting and enhancing diversity

Demonstrated commitment to and experience with community development and/or mental health promotion

Outstanding communication, collaboration, interpersonal and relationship skills

Strong organizational and time-management skills

Occasional work on weekends and evenings


Work experience in college or university settings and/or in community mental health

Group therapy experience with women of color

Training in EMDR, Progressive Counting, or other type of psychotherapy specifically designed to treat traumatic memories

Interested candidates are asked to submit a cover letter, resume, and the names and contact information (email and/or telephone numbers) for three professional references. Review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled.
Amherst College, one of the premier liberal arts colleges in the nation, is located in Amherst, Massachusetts, a town of approximately 35,000 residents in the western part of the state. The college's community is composed of about 1,800 students from 48 states, plus Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and 54 countries around the world, and about 1,000 staff and faculty. The college's scenic 1,000-acre campus includes a 500-acre wildlife sanctuary and the Book & Plow Farm ; three museums: Emily Dickinson Museum , Beneski Museum of Natural History and Mead Art Museum ; and multiple educational and cultural venues and resources through the Five College Consortium. The town of Amherst offers an amazing variety of coffee shops, restaurants and entertainment, and a very active outdoor life. Our vibrant campus, diverse community and beautiful surrounding, makes Amherst College and the Town of Amherst the perfect place to work, learn and live!