The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

Community services united

The Psychological Center, the Speech and Hearing Center and the Reading and Writing Center, whose offices were previously located in different places around the Queens campus, are now available at a central location, the new St. John’s Center for Community Services.

The center is located on the first floor of the Seton Complex, located at 152-11 Union Turnpike.

The Rev. Donald J. Harrington, C.M., President of St. John’s, presided over the ribbon cutting ceremony, calling the facility a “dwelling place for unity and peace,” according to a St. John’s press release on the event.

The relocation is part of a strategic plan put in place by St. John’s to make community services more easily accessible.

“What the university did was a very smart thing,” said Dr. Richard Morrisey, Director of the Center of Psychological Services.

St. John’s, Morrisey said, took over a newly constructed building, converted the top floor into graduate dorms and moved the three clinics to the bottom floor.

“It makes the service much more accessible,” Morrisey said.

Not only are the Psychological, the Speech and Hearing and the Reading and Writing centers consolidated into one location outside the campus, but the three can also refer to each other much more easily when patients need multiple services.

The center works primarily with members of the Queens community.

Students looking for services similar to those provided by the center can visit the counseling center on campus, Morrisey said.

What makes it a “more doable situation,” Morrisey stressed, is the fact that the fees are based on the ability of the patient to pay.

“Our fees are based on a sliding scale,” Morrisey said of the Psychological Center. “In contrast with some places that say, ‘This is what we charge, you either do it or you don’t,’ we will work with people, depending on their income level.

“It actually works pretty well,” he said.

Dr. Richard Sinatra, Director of the Reading and Writing Education Center, as well as a professor and chairperson of the School of Education’s Department of Human Services and Counseling, said, “We help young children and youth with their reading and writing problems so that they can perform better at school.”

The reading counseling helps patients identify words, increase vocabulary and better understand what they read, Sinatra said. The writing counseling works primarily on making the patients more organized writers.

The Reading and Writing Education Center works on an hourly fee. Packages include 12 sessions, 9 sessions or a minimum of 6 sessions, at a rate of $45 per hour.

“You can’t have only one session because you can’t have improvements in one session,” Sinatra said.

If a patient wants a diagnosis, he said, then he should be willing to pay up to $300.

For more information and appointments, the center can be reached at (718) 990-1900.a

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