Counsellors in Residence

Student talking with Gryphon

Book an appointment to see one of U of G's Counsellors in Residence to explore, understand, and work through personal issues.

Counsellors in Residence are mental health therapists that provide free, short-term, and goal-oriented counselling for any student living in residence. Our counsellors operate directly within our residence buildings, allowing for more collaborative and accessible support. 


Why See a Counsellor in Residence? 

The adjustment to living in residence can be tricky to navigate. Students can book an appointment for a variety of reasons, including: 

  • Homesickness
  • Relationships
  • Academic Stress
  • Coping Skills

Counsellors are able to help students connect with other groups and off-campus supports as appropriate. 


Meet our Counsellors



Erin Lipsitt

Counsellor in Residence

Erin (she/her) is a Registered Social Worker and has been working as a Counsellor in Residence since the program began 5 years ago.  She is very passionate about supporting students, particularly first year students who are exploring independence and coming to know themselves differently. 

Erin recognizes that with this independence can also bring confusion and feelings of overwhelmed.  Erin’s thrives on supporting students to make sense of their feelings and move towards change based on what is truly important to them. 

When Erin takes her therapist hat off, you will find her running, at yoga or spin classes as she appreciates the value of physical activity in managing strong emotional experiences.  When she is not moving, Erin enjoys spending time with her adorable pup Theo who loves to remind her of the value of staying present.



Estera Lawrance

Counsellor in Residence

Estera (she/her) is a Registered Social Worker and one of our Counsellors in Residence. She loves the energy that comes with fostering connections with first year students and building stronger communities across campus. As a former Gryphon that once too lived in Prairie residence, she remembers the different challenges that come with adjusting to first year and navigating academic and social stressors. 

Estera implements her work through a lens of intersectionality and has spent much of her career advocating for inclusive trauma-informed care. She has spent many years working within the harm reduction community and is a strong advocate for social justice issues. Practicing from an anti-racist/anti-oppressive framework, her work is grounded in trust to engender change. She believes relationships can be a powerful instrument of transformation when you hold space and welcome curiosity. 

When she's not at work, Estera can be found chasing her kids and wandering around in the garden. 



Rachel Keenan

Counsellor in Residence

Rachel (she/her) is a Registered Social Worker and one of our Counsellors in Residence. She is excited to make connections with first year students and the student community at large. Rachel is a Gryphon alumni that started her journey living in Mountain residence, and she can relate to the challenges of first year and managing different stressors. Rachel approaches therapy from an anti-oppressive, harm reduction, and trauma-informed lens, and she believes that you are the expert of your life and she is here to support you move towards your hopes and goals.

Outside of campus, Rachel enjoys creative pursuits such as music and art, and spending time in nature hiking and camping.

What to Expect

Initial appointments with a counsellor are 50 minutes, on average. They listen to your needs and collaborate on goal setting together. Our counsellors are committed to creating a safe and inclusive space to share your thoughts and ideas. We are here to listen. 


Commitment to Confidentiality

All counsellors at the University of Guelph are committed to keeping your visit private and confidential. Counsellors in Residence will discuss openly with you the limits of confidentiality and when they apply. 


To Get Started

Students can call (519) 824-4120 ext. 53244 to speak with a Wellness Navigator and set up an appointment with a Counsellor in Residence. These services are available at no cost to students living in residence. 


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