Telemental Health for Psychological Services
Psychological Services through Virtual Telemental Health:
We know that you're doing your best to succeed and we understand that there are often times when students struggle. You are not alone and we can help!
Sign up for an appointment TODAY in the Patient Portal below!
Psychological Services at El Camino College are provided through short-term Telemental Health psychotherapy visits.
In short-term psychotherapy, our psychologists help students address their emotional distress in a safe, nonjudgmental environment where you can explore possible solutions to your presenting concerns and develop more effective coping strategies.
Our services are confidential; include short-term individual psychotherapy, group workshops, off-campus resources and referrals, as well as short-term crisis intervention (for example, sudden job loss, relationship issues, grief). Students and their psychologists will work together to identify current needs and develop a plan for care which typically begin with our short-term Telemental Health visits.
Psychological Services at El Camino College are not intended to provide long-term therapy. If you are interested in long-term therapy, or need more intensive treatment, please make an appointment with us and we will help you find off-campus services that have the resources necessary for your specific situation.
Virtual Telemental Health Summer Hours
Dr. Maria Nazarian – 9 am to 1 pm
Dr. Kenneth Spears – 9 am to 2 pm
Dr. La Faune Gordon – 9 am to 1 pm
Dr. Vianey Midgette – 9 am to 4 pm
**In an effort to cut down on Missed Appointments, appointment times are released and made available to all students for the current week and the next week only. Thank you in advance for being responsible and courteous to your fellow students by canceling your appointment if unable to keep it.**
After completing the necessary form(s) and self-scheduling your appointment in the secure Patient Portal, you will receive your appointment confirmation immediately.
Your personalized Zoom Meeting invitation will be sent to you 15 minutes prior to your appointment via Secure Messaging in your Patient Portal.
***There are no night/weekend services and Student Health Services is closed on weekends, holidays, and school breaks. If you are experiencing a physical or mental health emergency, please call 911 immediately or visit your nearest emergency room.***
Alann D. Dingle, Ph.D.
Dr. Dingle is a licensed psychologist who has been in clinical practice since 1989. She has been on the staff of the Health Center since 2013.
La Faune Gordon, Ph.D.
Dr. Gordon received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology in 1993 and a post-graduate Masters of Science in Clinical Psychopharmacology in 2001. Her areas of specialty and interest are providing therapeutic intervention to young children, adults, and families who have experienced trauma.
Victoria Kwon, Ph.D.
Dr. Kwon earned her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University in 2010 and completed her post doc in college mental health at the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2012. She has been working with undergraduate and graduate students by teaching in the classroom and providing psychological services in campus health centers since 2006. Her areas of clinical interest/specialty include: relationships, diversity and inclusion, and grief and loss.
Vianey Midgette, Ph.D.
Dr. Vianey Midgette received her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2008. She completed her MA at Humboldt State University and her undergraduate studies at the University of California, Irvine in Psychology. Moreover, she is an El Camino College Alumni. She has training in multiple settings including community mental health clinics, psychiatric hospitals, student counseling centers, and private practice. Dr. Midgette specializes in trauma, relationships, family dynamics, depression, anxiety, anger management and daily stressors. She works extensively with diverse clientele and is sensitive to diversity and multiculturalism.
Maria Nazarian, Ph.D.
Dr. Nazarian is a clinical psychologist with a Ph.D. from the University of Arizona. She specializes in treating anxiety and depression and has worked with college students both as an instructor in the classroom and as a therapist at the student health center. Her intervention combines cognitive-behavioral therapy with mindfulness techniques and she takes a mind-body-spirit approach in her work.
Kenneth Spears, Psy.D.
Dr. Spears earned his Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology from The California School of Professional Psychology (Alliant International University). A former middle and high school teacher and counselor, a significant amount of his clinical work has focused on improving the lives of adolescents and young adults struggling with anxiety, depression, self-criticism and poor anger management. Dr. Spears’ clinical interests/specialty also includes issues related to sexual orientation and gender identity, men’s issues, race-based trauma, and working with the formerly incarcerated.
Ruth Taylor, Ph.D.
Dr. Taylor received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from UCLA in 1975. She has been on the staff of the Health Center since 1983.
Psychological Counseling FAQ
1) What psychological services does the Student Health Center offer?
Student Health Services offers the following psychological services for currently enrolled ECC students who have paid their health fee for the current term and are currently attending a for-credit class.
- Short-term, Individual Therapy – Counseling for a concern you would like help with.
- Consultation – Counseling if you are helping someone else who has a concern and would like support and/or guidance as you do so.
- Referrals – Assistance with referrals when you have a concern that requires a specialist or would benefit from longer term counseling.
- Crisis Assessment – Immediate assistance if you are an an acute crisis such as considering harming yourself or others or experiencing hallucinations
- Workshops/Presentations –Workshops about every day psychological topics (e.g. stress management, healthy relationships) in a more casual, discussion-based setting.
2) What is therapy all about?
Therapy is a confidential relationship with a professional who works with you to understand your current situation and who joins with you to establish and reach your goals. This therapeutic counseling entails sharing your thoughts and feelings with a non-judgmental, objective listener who works with you to clarify and organize your thoughts, consider new angles, discuss the pros and cons of different options, and create a plan for your progress. It is NOT a person telling you what to do, but instead, it is a joint endeavor of discussion, exploration, and striving for your best self.
3) What kinds of problems are appropriate for counseling?
Students are encouraged to discuss any problems or issues which are causing them emotional distress or interfering with their lives in some way. Frequent topics include school difficulties, relationships with a partner or family, and feelings of anxiety or depression. Problems can involve feelings or events in the present and/or feelings or events from the past.
4) How long is counseling?
Student Health Services offers short-term counseling limited to six sessions each academic year (e.g. August 2020 – August 2021). Some students may use one, a few, or all six sessions depending on their current concern. If students wish to engage in longer-term counseling immediately or if students need help accessing ongoing counseling after the six sessions, the psychologist will provide referrals in the community or guidance in accessing services through their insurance.
5) Will anyone find out about my counseling appointment?
The short answer is “no”. The staff Student Health Services does not disclose that you have come to see a psychologist unless you provide a written/verbal request and authorization for us to do so.
However, there are exceptions to this confidentiality that pertain to life threatening emergencies and abuse as required by law. For example, if you tell the psychologist that you intend to seriously harm yourself or someone else, or that you or someone you know is abusing a child, a disabled person or an elderly individual, the psychologist must act to protect your safety and the safety of others. In addition, in very rare cases, if you are involved in a legal case and a judge subpoenas your records, the Health Center may be required to release them to the court.
6) How do I make an appointment? What happens in the first meeting?
Please make an appointment on the Patient Portal on our homepage. You will fill out some basic information and be given options for counseling appointments.
During the first meeting with the psychologist, you will have the opportunity to share the concerns that prompted you to schedule the appointment. There is usually, although not always, an event that occurs that contributes to the decision to see someone professionally. However, there may not always be a triggering event but an accumulation of issues that you have finally decided to talk about and try to figure out how to manage. The psychologist will ask about the issues that have piled, some history, questions about safety, and sometimes about family, friends, and classes. It is important to keep in mind that you do not have to answer any questions that make you uncomfortable. You can also ask the psychologist questions in the first session or during future sessions. Goals for treatment and a summary of your concerns will be discussed.
7) Who will my psychologist be?
Your psychologist will be one of the seven licensed psychologists on staff at Student Health Services. Each is seasoned in the field of clinical psychology and has vast experience in working with culturally diverse adolescents and adults.
8) Will I be put on medication?
Students receiving mental health services are not prescribed psychotropic or any type of medication by our staff. However, if there is a need, the psychologist may consult with medical staff and/or assist in linking the student to a psychiatrist in the student's community or from a referral list of providers.
9) Isn’t counseling a sign of weakness?
It is common to feel apprehensive or nervous about seeking counseling. Sometimes students feel vulnerable or fear being judged. Students often believe that their problems are too serious, too trivial, or too embarrassing to talk about with a stranger. Actually, seeking counseling is a sign of strength. Counseling helps students better understand their thoughts and feelings as well as clarify their choices.
10) How much does counseling cost?
All services at Student Health Services are included in the student health fee that students pay at the beginning of each semester. The short-term counseling we provide (6 sessions each academic year: e.g. August 2020 – August 2021) is available at no further cost to currently enrolled students who are taking a for-credit class and have paid the health fee.
11) What should I do in a crisis (e.g. feeling suicidal, violent, having hallucinations)
- Access information on our Crisis Resource Page
- Utilize the following hotlines
- Suicide Prevention Lifeline:1-800-273-8255
- Community Helpline: 1-877-541-2525 (crisis and referral hotline)
- Warmline: 1-855-952-9276 (emotional support and resources hotline)
- Domestic Sexual Assault and Crisis Resource: 1-310-392-8381
- Call 911 or visit your nearest emergency room
- Call the Access Center: 1-800-273-8255
- Call or visit El Camino's Campus Police 1-310-660-3100
12) Can I request a particular psychologist?
Yes, you may request an intake with a particular psychologist. However, please be aware that availability may be limited so you may be given the option to wait for an opening or see another psychologist sooner.