PASTORAL COUNSELING AT BOSTON COLLEGE
Rick Rossi, a licensed clinical social worker and a campus minister, offers confidential, clinical support to any students in need.
This role adds another way for any student access counseling services, with respect to BC’s Jesuit mission as well as each person’s unique spirituality, faith tradition, or other ways of meaning-making. It offers conversations on life conflicts and struggles with the benefit of a clinical as well as spiritual perspective.
What Does This Look Like?
Students are welcome to meet for one-time conversations as well as short- or long-term ongoing conversations. Meetings can take the form of open discussions about personal questions and issues, or of consulting on supporting friends, roommates, or family members.
Anyone seeking traditional counseling/therapy is welcome, as well as those who aren’t sure, or simply want to sort some questions out. Rick is also able to make on- or off-campus referrals.
Anyone interested in setting up a time to meet with Rick for an appointment or wishing to refer someone to Rick for any reason may contact him via email, phone, or in person, or invite the person to be referred to do the same (see contact info below).
Rick has been in Campus Ministry at BC since 2002. Over the years, he has worked with various Campus Ministry programs including Kairos, 4Boston, the Ignatian Society, the Manresa Retreat and various other retreat programs. Rick is a trained spiritual director and has also been a BC SANet Advocate since 2005. Rick completed his degree and licensure for clinical social work in 2015. Rick also coordinates BC’s grief support, including HOPE meetings. For more information, visit the HOPE page here.
Rick’s office is McElroy 227.
Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity
As part of Boston College’s commitment to the Ignatian principle of cura personalis (“care of the whole person”), the Office of Campus Ministry has established the role of Campus Minister for Pastoral Counseling to provide BC students with another means to access counseling services. Rick Rossi, a licensed social worker, and a campus minister at BC since 2002, fills this role.
While distinct from University Counseling Services, the Pastoral Counseling position works in collaboration and mutual referral with University Counseling Services as well as other offices including the Office of Residential Life and the Office of Dean of Students.
What is “Pastoral Counseling”?
“Pastoral” in this case refers to a spiritual perspective, as in spiritual care. Pastoral counseling recognizes an intimate link between spiritual and emotional well-being.
The practice of pastoral counseling can fit within a range of categories within the paradigm of “mental health care”, as with various forms of psychotherapy and the general terms “counseling” and “therapy”.
As such, pastoral counseling brings particular attentiveness - to the degree the person wishes - to the role of faith, spirituality, religion, or, more broadly, “meaning-making” relative to whatever issues the person wishes to address. In practice, this plays out in a range of ways, from merely the occasional mention of faith, spiritual, or religion-related thoughts, to more in-depth exploration of them.
Often the process identifies connections between life choices and spiritual beliefs, at times uncovering unrealized assumptions that have been both helpful and unhelpful. This allows the person to discern life choices with greater freedom and intention.
Pastoral Counseling at BC can take the form of one, several, or indefinite number of conversations based on the person’s need or interest.