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Counseling Center

Counseling Services

The Counseling Center provides confidential, professional counseling to Mercyhurst University students at no direct charge to the student. Our staff recognizes the challenges that university students face as they transition from home to the campus, and are experienced in assisting students address a number of concerns including adjustment to college, peer or family relationships, depression, anxiety/stress, alcohol or other substances, eating disorders, anger management, grief, loss, or trauma.

To make an appointment, students call (814) 824-3650. Students experiencing urgent or crisis concerns can walk-in at the Center during an open hour advertised each term. After-hour and weekend emergency cover is provided by an on-call counselor. Students who believe they may need this service contact campus Police and Safety or their Resident Assistant.

Our Mission

Mercyhurst Counseling Center promotes the balance of mind, body and spirit necessary for the achievement of full student potential. Mindful that young adulthood is a time of profound development and change, the Counseling Center strives to respond compassionately and professionally to the psychological, relational, emotional, and spiritual issues of students. The counseling process helps students engage in compassionate self-reflection acquiring the skills and knowledge necessary to transform personal difficulties into healthier ways of relating to self and others.

We respect the dignity and worth of all students as maturing individuals with unique perspectives and contributions, and value the diverse backgrounds, abilities, and orientations of each member of our student body. The Center upholds the confidentiality of the individual student in a manner respectful of privacy and consistent with professional ethics and community laws. We collaborate with faculty, administration, students and others on initiatives and events that work toward our collective goal of maintaining a safe and healthy campus. The Center supports the development of emotional resilience, healthy lifestyles, and respect for self and others as we seek to empower students to flourish in the Mercyhurst community and in the world.

Cohen Health Center
Location: 4118 Briggs Avenue
Phone: (814) 824-3650
Hours of Operation: Mon – Fri 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Some evening hours available.

Our Staff

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
824-3996

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.
Licensed Psychologist
824-2037

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
824-2165

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.