Counseling and Psychological Services

About Counseling and Psychological Services

Emerson College Counseling and Psychological Services (ECAPS) is an integral part of the Emerson community, providing services to both undergraduate and graduate students. It is accredited by the International Association of Counseling Services.

Senior staff members consult regularly with the Residence Life staff and other College personnel regarding their questions and concerns about student behavior. Senior staff and trainees also provide outreach programming for students and staff members on a variety of topics (e.g., stress management, relationships, and computer addiction).We offer brief individual psychotherapy, crisis intervention, and the option of group therapy. When appropriate, we also provide referrals to outside agencies/clinicians for longer term therapy and/or psychiatric evaluation.

Mission and Philosophy

Our primary goal is to help students fully develop their intellectual, emotional, and social potential. We believe that your psychological development is affected by your personal history and the larger social, cultural, and physical environment. Our work is focused on helping students prevent, reduce, or eliminate emotional and psychological barriers that may interfere with this developmental process. It is a sign of strength to explore personal concerns and feelings in therapy, and we regard your concerns with respect, curiosity, and interest.

Our Services

At ECAPS, we provide brief psychotherapy for students as individuals, couples, and groups, as well as consultation to faculty, staff, and concerned friends and family as needed. We provide training and outreach to the campus community to contribute to the creation of a healthy campus environment in which students can thrive. ECAPS is committed to creating and maintaining an open and accepting environment in which all clients feel welcomed and valued.


At ECAPS, we care about protecting your privacy, and believe that counseling is most effective when students feel comfortable speaking openly with their counselor. Under ordinary circumstances, no one outside ECAPS is given any information—even the fact that you have been seen here—without your written consent. There are a few exceptions to confidentiality that your counselor will discuss with you in your initial session. These typically refer to situations in which safety is a concern.

Counseling and Psychological Services Staff

All staff members are committed to using a developmental framework that validates the academic, social, emotional, behavioral, cognitive, and spiritual aspects of undergraduate and graduate students.

Elise Z. Harrison, Ph.D, LMFT

Elise HarrisonElise Harrison is the Director of Counseling and Psychological Services. Elise is a licensed Marriage & Family Therapist. She received her MS and 6th year degree in Marriage & Family Therapy from Southern Connecticut State University. In addition, she earned a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from University of Connecticut. Elise has 17 years of experience in college counseling and recently joined Emerson from her previous position at Fairfield University in Fairfield Connecticut. Elise works from a Strength-based approach incorporating mindfulness and Brief Solution-focused therapy. She has worked extensively with eating disorders, substance issues, relationship issues, grief, and adjustment to life transitions. Elise majored in Anthropology in undergraduate school and continues to love experiencing different cultures, particularly world music and folk dance. She loves spending time growing food and flowers and getting out onto the water kayaking. Since arriving at Emerson, she is having a great time exploring Boston.

Patricia Challan, PsyD

Patricia ChallanDr. Patricia A. Challan is the Associate Director of Counseling and Psychological Services. She also serves as the Director of Training. Patty received her PsyD in Clinical Psychology from the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology and her MA in Clinical Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Patty has 15 years of experience in college counseling, as well as specific training in child and adolescent psychotherapy. Patty’s clinical interests include mindfulness, expressive art therapy, play therapy, and the personal and professional development of mental health trainees. Patty has been at Emerson since October 2003, and she is inspired by the creativity, passion, and talent of Emerson students. A native of New Jersey, Patty is a writer who enjoys reading, entertaining her energetic cats, being at the ocean as much as possible, and listening to music.

Kerri Murphy, PhD

Kerri MurphyDr. Kerri Murphy is a staff psychologist at Counseling and Psychological Services. She earned a master’s degree in mental health counseling and a PhD in counseling psychology from Boston College. Kerri has worked in various college mental health settings and acute residential and partial hospital programs, where she has enjoyed combining relational approaches with more mindfulness and behaviorally based therapies. Kerri also enjoys teaching and is an adjunct faculty member at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and Boston College. Her research focuses on the intersections of student engagement, career development, and mental health of underserved adolescents and young adults. In her spare time, she loves to spend time with family and friends, who bravely let her try out new recipes on them; to spend time outdooors hiking and swimming; and traveling to visit family living overseas.

Annelle Kallman, LICSW

Annelle Kallman, LICSW, joined the ECAPS team in September 2013. She received her MSW and Certificate in Substance Abuse Counseling from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Annelle has worked with young adults in both mental health and substance abuse services since 2009, first at the UNC College Counseling Center and most recently at MGH in an outpatient dual diagnosis treatment program. Annelle integrates mindfulness and relational approaches into her work, helping clients enhance their internal motivations for change. Her clinical interests include harm reduction approaches to substance use, anxiety and stress management, and working with couples.  In her spare time, Annelle loves exploring Maine’s beaches and wildlife, cooking and eating Italian food in the North End, running with her dog, and traveling to interesting places in Asia and Africa.

Stacy Taylor, MD

Dr. Stacy Taylor is a consulting psychiatrist at Counseling and Psychological Services. She earned her B.A. at Cornell University and her MD at University of Massachusetts Worcester. She began her residency at Harvard Longwood in Boston and completed it at University of Maryland. She has an interest in treating mood and anxiety disorders and working to optimize the use of medication in conjunction with psychotherapy as indicated. She has thoroughly enjoyed getting to know the gifted students of Emerson and is invested in working with students to find workable treatment plans.