As Director of Counseling and Psychological Services, David Ramirez's primary focus is to provide counseling and psychotherapy for Swarthmore students. "There's no set number of sessions, which is rare these days, but seems to work out best for everybody."
Ramirez and his clinical staff also provide testing for learning and cognitive disabilities, consultation services to faculty and staff, and training for all members of the college community. The latter can include psychoeducational training for resident assistants, student academic mentors, sexual health counselors - essentially, for any office that is doing facilitating work.
"By the time they reach graduation," David says, "many students will have been seen by me or my staff at some point in their four years here. It's worth noting that there is an even distribution among majors and academic performance."
David attended San Antonio College in his hometown before completing his undergraduate and graduate doctoral studies at the University of Texas at Austin. Active in the American Psychological Association's (APA) Division of Psychoanalysis, a major focus for David was advocating multicultural education for psychologists.
His work for the APA , he says, feeds directly into his work on campus. "Being recognized nationally as a scholar/practitioner helps attract a high caliber of pre-doctoral interns and psychiatric residents and others who complete their training here," he says.
In a 1999 Bulletin article, David wrote, "As counselors, we try to get students to study themselves just as they might study a text or another culture. Our job is to help them find the most effective ways to become nonjudgmental observers of themselves."