Our staff includes psychologists, licensed social workers, and counselors who approach the students and their concerns with respect, compassion, and encouragement. A counseling psychiatrist is available to provide medication evaluation in select situations, and the Center works collaboratively with Health Center physicians. In addition to individual and group counseling approaches, the Center provides a biofeedback and relaxation program that is particularly helpful for the treatment of stress and anxiety, and offers some pet-assisted therapy services.
Student communication is protected under state law a confidential unless a student provides written permission to share information and in those rare instances of safety covered under the legal and ethical requirements of the counseling profession. Counseling information is not kept in the student's educational record. Confidentiality allows students to be open and honest in explaining their concerns.
||Renee Patton, Ph.D.
Licensed Professional Counselor
Dr. Patton received her PhD in Counseling Psychology from Gannon University, and completed her MS in Educational Psychology from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale. Dr. Patton is the liaison between the Counseling Center and the Athletic Department, and the Advisor for the Peer Educator Program. Her focus is on empowering students to make healthy choices.
||Judy Smith, Ph.D.
Dr. Smith is a licensed psychologist and Director of the Counseling Center. She completed her Ph.D. in clinical psychology at Michigan State University, and MA in clinical psychology from George Mason University. Dr. Smith’s focus is helping students develop their strengths in a manner that allows them to define their direction and overcome obstacles. In addition to directing the Counseling Center, Dr. Smith is the administrator of the Cohen Student Health Center and the wellness initiative.
||Michelle Tobin, MPS, LCSW
Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Michelle Tobin, LCSW is a full-time therapist and adjunct professor in Human Growth and Development at Mercyhurst. She holds a B.A. in history from the University of Michigan, and two masters degrees from Loyola University, Chicago in pastoral studies and social work. Michelle’s focus is helping young adults discern and choose healthy choices for mind, body, and spirit throughout her career in both ministry and social work.
In addition to the licensed clinicians listed above, Counseling Center staff includes a consulting psychiatrist available select hours.