Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) provides a range of mental health services to help RISD students improve emotional, interpersonal, and academic functioning, including:

  • individual and group counseling, at no additional cost, to any matriculated undergraduate or graduate student.
  • recommendations to off-campus providers.
  • consultation to faculty, staff, and parents who may have concerns about a student.
  • outreach events, and training, related to educating and improving mental health within the college community.
  • a counselor on call (for after-hours mental health emergencies).
  • psychiatric services (upon recommendation from a CAPS counselor).

Emotional well being is essential to personal development and integral to the creative process. Counseling provides a space to address issues that may be interfering with your work. Seeing a counselor helps you respond to the situation before it escalates.


All appointments with CAPS can be in person or through telecounseling. Students are encouraged to call CAPS directly at 401 454-6637.

Students must be escorted to the CAPS office. Please call the office when you arrive in the lobby.

For non-crisis referrals: Please encourage students to contact us directly to schedule a needs assessment appointment. Offer to let the student call from your office; calls made outside of office hours will be connected with our after-hours support.

CAPS Provider Info

last updated: 4/13/23

Director, Deborah Levans, LICSW
Pronouns: She/Her
Education: BSW, St. Thomas University, MSW, Boston College
Clinical interest/specializations: Identity (Including racial, gender) International Students, First Generation Students, (Traumatic) Grief, Trauma, Eating Disorders
Languages spoken: English, French, Spanish

Associate Director, Nicole Nelson, LICSW
Pronouns: she/her
Education: BA Roger Williams University; MSW Smith College
Clinical interests/specializations: LGBTQIA identity exploration, grief, trauma, supporting folks with history of domestic violence and sexual assault, and anxiety disorders
Languages Spoken: English

Staff Counselor, Damion Vania, LMHC
Pronouns: He/Him
Education: BA Boston University, MA Lesley College
Clinical Interests/specializations: Creatives, international students, grad students.
Languages Spoken: English

Staff Counselor, Connor Curtis, LCSW
Pronouns: She/Her
Education: B.S., University of Rhode Island, MSW, Boston University
Clinical interests/specializations; LGBTQIA+ concerns; transitions; family/interpersonal conflict; attachment; anxiety disorders; trauma
Languages Spoken: English

Psychiatrist, Dr. Harold Woodcome, MD
Pronouns: He/Him
Education: Brown University, Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons
Psychiatry Residency: Brown University/Butler Hospital
Areas of Interest: Young Adult Psychiatry
Languages Spoken: English

Psychiatry Resident, Dr. Amy Johnson, MD
Pronouns: She/Her
Education: Middlebury College, SUNY Downstate
Psychiatry Residency: Brown University/Butler Hospital
Areas of Interest: Child & Adolescent /Young Adult Psychiatry
Languages Spoken: English

Part-Time Counselor, Brooke Darelius, LCSW
Pronouns: She/Her
Education: BA, Rhode Island College, MSW, Rhode Island College
Clinical Interests/specializations: anxiety, depression, adjustment to adulthood
Languages Spoken: English

Part Time Counselor, Mike Petrarca, LMHC
Pronouns: He/Him
Education: BA, Suffolk University, MA/CAGS, Rhode Island College.
Clinical Interests/specializations: OCD/anxiety disorders, depressive disorders, ADHD, existential issues, autism spectrum disorders.
Languages Spoken: English

Part-Time Counselor, Yatyee Lee, LMHC
Pronouns: She/Her
Education: BSSc, the Chinese University of Hong Kong,MA, Rhode Island College
CAGS, Rhode Island College
Areas of clinical interest/specialization: Adjustment, acculturation, relationship, depression, anxiety
Languages Spoken: English, Mandarin, Cantonese

Intern, Aisha Farra
Pronouns: Aisha Farra
Education: BSc, University of Toronto; MA, York University; MSc, Oklahoma State University, PhD Candidate, UMass Boston
Languages: English
Clinical interest/specialization: international students, grief, school-to-work transition, anxiety, family challenges, graduate students, muslim and/or Arab-identified students, Latinx-identified students
Languages Spoken, English

Intern, Sara Palomo
Education: BA, Brown University, MsC, University of Edinburg, MSW Candidate, Smith College
Clinical Interests/Specializations: working with young queer and trans people, centering joy, healing from trauma, exploring issues of identity, and weaving relational, narrative, multicultural feminist, internal family systems, and somatic approaches to therapy.
Languages Spoken: English