Counseling Services

Rita Chang, PhD
Conservatory Counselor
Office C-22
(We request that students call 415.503.6325 for an appointment; email is not necessarily a secure form of communication.)

At the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, short-term counseling services are available to help students achieve and maintain a sense of well-being. In counseling, the student and counselor work together to define goals and explore strategies for issues such as stress, relationship difficulties, and depression or anxiety. Counseling can often lead to better interpersonal relationships, improved academic performance, solutions to specific problems, reductions in the student’s feelings of distress, and an overall expansion of the student’s potential.

Counseling services are sensitive to issues of ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender, physical capacities, and learning differences.

Counseling services are included in the health services fee that full-time students pay.


A counseling relationship requires trust and confidence between student and counselor, therefore all counseling sessions are kept confidential under ordinary circumstances. No information about the student, including his/her participation in counseling, will be revealed to any person or agency (including parents and teachers) without his/her written consent. However, if a student is judged to be a danger to self and/or others or if there is risk of harm to a minor, a dependent adult, or an elder, we reserve the right to inform family, emergency providers, law enforcement, or appropriate college personnel.

A detailed notice of privacy practices and other limits to confidentiality is available in the counseling offices.

Counseling Services Offered

Brief Individual Counseling
Brief individual counseling allows students to meet one-on-one with the counselor to discuss any personal concerns. Students work with the counselor to determine the appropriate course of treatment. In certain cases, a referral will be made to an off-campus counselor.

Group Counseling
Group counseling can be a great way to help students manage or address specific mental health issues while helping them build a support network here at the conservatory. The appropriateness of group counseling is determined by the student and his/her counselor. Future group topics include performance anxiety, stress reduction, and support for cultural adjustment issues and will be posted as the start dates approach.

Education Materials
Education materials on various mental health and wellness topics are available to students to help them empower themselves with information and coping tools. Pamphlets are available to students free of charge, and self-help books can be borrowed for limited periods of time.

The counseling service regularly presents workshops on various wellness topics, including stress reduction, time management, and healthy living. Workshop schedules will be posted as they become available.

Consultation for Staff and Faculty
Consultation is available by appointment for staff and faculty members to help them support student wellness, or if they are experiencing issues related to student mental health in the classroom. The counselor will help define the problem, offer potential strategies, and determine if further intervention may be necessary.