Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) provides services that empower students
to engage in and be successful in a full range of academic, social and cultural endeavors
through fostering psychological wellness.
CAPS provides consultations and psychological counseling to students on a short-term
basis at no cost. If, following your initial appointment, CAPS staff determines that
your needs do not match the services available, or if longer-term counseling is recommended,
you will be referred to other resources (e.g. specialized treatment, academic advising, career counseling). Our CAPS case manager can provide assistance in linking with
these resources, if desired. CAPS also offers after-hours on-campus emergency coverage for trauma and life-threatening situations such as suicide
and sexual assault. To activate the system, call the Campus Police Department at 828.227.8911
and ask for the crisis clinician.
Short-Term Goal Oriented Counseling Services
We provide several forms of brief counseling services including individual and group.
Individual counseling involves meeting with a counselor for approximately 50 minutes.
You and your counselor determine how frequently both of you will meet. It is common
for students to meet with a counselor weekly, but as therapy progresses you will likely
meet every other week or even once a month. Due to high demand and limited resources,
you’ll work together with your counselor to try to achieve limited goals in a short
period of time. If long-term or specialized services are most appropriate, we may
refer you to a more appropriate service off-campus.
Group counseling involves meeting with approximately 5-8 other students on a weekly
basis. Groups are an recommended treatment for students who have concerns with shyness,
fear of rejection, assertively expressing themselves, feeling anxious around others,
and have difficulty communicating. As a result, this is an opportunity for a student
to experiment with different ways of expressing her/himself, receive feedback from
others on how they perceive her/him, receive support and encouragement, and offer
support to the other group members. Groups address a variety of student needs: women's
experiences, men's experiences, body image & eating disorders, enhancing relationships,
trauma and abuse recovery, self-esteem, stress management, LGBT support and substance
abuse among others.
Short-term referral services are offered to WCU students needing referrals to community
resources and/or intensive follow up following a crisis or psychiatric hospitalization.
If you or someone you know needs referral services, call Counseling and Psychological
Services to request an appointment with the Referral Coordinator.
Sometimes psychiatric consultation is recommended in addition to ongoing counseling
at Counseling & Psychological Services. When a student comes to Counseling Services
with signs indicating that medication may be useful in their treatment, the CAPS counselor
may request a medication consultation from either our part-time consulting psychiatric
service provider or one of the physicians within Health Services. If your counseling
provider (clinical social worker, psychologist, or professional counselor) suspects
that medical factors may be contributing to your problem or that medications might
be helpful in alleviating distressing symptoms, you may utilize this medical consultation
to identify these factors, including the benefits and possible risks or side effects
of medication or other physical health-related contributing factors.
Our staff will talk with you about your concerns, offer you our professional view
of the situation, and make recommendations when appropriate. In addition to consultation
with individuals, our staff regularly consults with faculty, staff and their departments,
and student organizations about issues affecting the learning environment.
Consultation Services are aimed at achieving the following goals:
- To promote a healthy campus environment and enhance the quality of life for all members
of the campus community
- To assist others (e.g., parents, faculty, staff, organizations, etc.) in preventing
and/or addressing the psychological problems of students
- To make the Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) more accessible for all students
- To provide positive visibility and public relations within the campus and greater
Services for biltmore park students
Counseling services are offered in room 341 at Biltmore Park by CAPS staff Mondays
and every other Tuesday when classes are in session. Biltmore Park students can also
access services on the Cullowhee campus. For an appointment at either location, call
We represent the fields of psychology, counseling, social work, and psychiatry. We
train interns in counseling, clinical psychology, and related counseling programs.
Our primary commitment is to enhance the psychological growth, emotional well being,
and learning potential of students. Our permanent staff are licensed and/or certified
mental health professionals. However, all members of our counseling team (including
graduate interns) are trained to address a wide range of presenting concerns. We each
have our own unique interests and have developed counseling styles that best enable
us to connect with students in a personalized way that aims to be most helpful.
kimberly s. gorman, ph.d, hsp-p, director / psychologist
Dr. Gorman is a licensed psychologist and earned her Master's and Ph.D. in Counseling
Psychology from the University of Kentucky. Kim has a special interest in working
with women's issues and, specifically, eating disorders, however has experience working
with clients with a variety of mental health issues. Additionally, she has experience working in behavioral medicine. She works from a
feminist, interpersonal approach in therapy. Another interest for her is in the area
of training and professional development. She has been involved in training of masters
and doctoral level students for nearly two decades. Personally, she enjoys spending
time with her husband sitting on their porch, reading a book and looking at the mountains.
She also enjoys being active and watching her beloved basketball team in action.
m. Jay Manalo, ph.d, hsp-p, ncc, ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR / Training director / psychologist
Dr. Manalo is a licensed psychologist and obtained his M.Ed. in School Counseling
and his Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology, both from The University of Georgia. He conducted
his doctoral internship at WCU’s CAPS and his postdoctoral training and subsequent
work experiences in private practice settings in Georgia prior to returning to WCU.
His counseling interests include depression, anxiety, stress, life transitions, AD/HD,
LGBT issues, multicultural psychology, social skills issues, and developmental disabilities.
His approach to counseling is primarily Person-Centered integrated with aspects of
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy. He also enjoys providing
supervision and training for emerging mental health professionals. He completed Safe
Space/Safe Zone training at UGA and WCU and is also a National Certified Counselor.
Outside of work, Jay enjoys whitewater kayaking and is a Wilderness First Responder.
He also enjoys spending time with his family, his dogs, and other loved ones.
betsy aspinwall, psy.d, hsp-p, assistant Director / psychologist
Dr. Aspinwall is a licensed psychologist, earned her Master's and Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Indianapolis.
She completed her pre-doctoral internship at Appalachian State University prior to
coming to WCU. Betsy is experienced in working with individuals, couples, and groups,
and enjoys working with diverse students and presenting concerns. She works with a
variety of therapeutic issues including; eating disorders, depression, identity concerns,
grief, alcohol and substance use, suicide, LGBT issues, anxiety, trauma, and adjustment/transitions.
Betsy utilizes a collaborative person-centered approach to therapy while allowing
the client to guide the therapeutic process. Outside of the office she enjoys cooking
and baking, spending time with loved ones, and exploring the mountains with her dogs.
carnice s. covert, ma, psy.d, psychologist
Dr. Covert earned her doctorate in Clinical Psychology (Psy.D.) from Marshall University
in Huntington, WV. She completed her doctoral internship here at Western Carolina
University CAPS. In continuing her work at CAPS she looks forward to working with
students and campus partners in continuing to build an inclusive campus. Carnice
has worked with both traditional and non-traditional students from diverse backgrounds
providing individual and group therapy, consultation, and campus outreach. As a generalist,
she has worked with a variety of concerns including depression, anxiety, academic
problems, adjustment, identity and trauma-related issues. Carnice integrates a client-centered
approach with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) techniques to collaboratively address
concerns with students. In her spare time, Carnice enjoys attending campus events,
listening to music, watching documentaries, and spending time with her dog Isabel
arika morrison, ms, lpcs, counselor / sexual & interpersonal violence care coordinator
Ms. Morrison is a licensed professional counselor and completed her Master's Degree
in Counseling with a specialty in College Student Personnel from Shippensburg University
in 2002. She completed her counseling license in 2004. Arika has experience working
with a variety of counseling issues including: Relationships, Sexual Abuse, Trauma,
Disordered Eating, Body Image, Self-Esteem and Women’s Issues. Arika uses a humanistic
approach blended with cognitive behavioral therapy techniques. She also really enjoys
working with SoulCollage®. Outside of the office, Arika cherishes her time with her
husband and their dog traveling through the mountains or to the coast.
christy newell wyatt, msw, lcsw, lcas, csi, Counselor / substance use specialist
Ms. Wyatt is our Substance Use Specialist and completed her Master's Degree in Social
Work from Walla Walla College and then earned her Social Work licensure in 2007.
She has also gained her license as a Clinical Addictions Specialist in 2012. Christy
has experience working with diverse populations with a variety of issues from: depression,
Bipolar, anxiety, substance abuse/addiction, adjustment, suicide, sexual abuse and
trauma. She uses therapies such as Person Centered Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral
Therapy, and Motivational Interviewing. When not counseling, Christy enjoys spending
time with her husband reading, traveling, run/walking ½ marathons as well as enjoying
the outdoors with their 2 dogs and horse.
Paula A. Demonet, LPC, NCC, counselor
Paula has worked with individuals and groups in a variety of settings. She utilizes
a person centered approach to counseling with the goal of improving the lives of those
she serves. She uses therapies such as Person Centered Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral
Therapy, and Motivational Interviewing. She holds a B.S. degree in Recreational Therapy
and a M.S. degree in Community Counseling from Western Carolina University. She is
currently a Licensed Professional Counselor in the State of North Carolina and Certificated
by the National Board of Certified Counselors. Paula has worked as mental health therapist
and supervisor for local not for profit and state agencies gaining experience working
with clients with a variety of mental health issues. Paula has a talent for utilizing
experiential modalities to bring about learning opportunities for clients. When not
working Paula enjoys volunteering her time to work with youth in her community. She
enjoys taking care of her four children and sharing the wonders of the outdoors with
them and her husband.
Susannah Kuppers, LCSW, LCAS-A, social worker
Ms. Kuppers completed her Master’s Degree in Social Work from Western Carolina University
in 2014. She will earn her full social work licensure this September, and is currently
working towards licensure as a Clinical Addictions Specialist. Through work with local
community mental health and victim advocacy organizations, she has experience working
with a variety of issues include interpersonal violence, substance abuse, depression,
anxiety, and trauma. Susannah uses a person centered approach to counseling, incorporating
therapies including Motivational Interviewing and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Outside
of work, Susannah enjoys time outdoors, gardening, cooking and spending time with
Alyssa Frye, M.A., Psychology Intern
Ms. Frye earned her Master’s degree in psychology from Marshall University in Huntington,
WV. She is currently finishing her doctorate from Marshall University in Clinical
Psychology and will be working towards licensure upon the completion of the 2016-2017
academic year. Alyssa has experience in working with rural and underserved populations
with a variety of presenting therapeutic concerns, and has particular interests in
anxiety/stress management, depression, adjustment, and women’s issues. Alyssa’s counseling
approach can be best described as client-centered, while also utilizing cognitive-behavioral
interventions. Outside of the office, Alyssa enjoys learning how to cook, traveling,
spending time with loved ones, including her dog Frank.
Adisa Haznadar, M.Sc., Psychology Intern
Ms. Haznadar is a doctoral candidate in Psy.D. program in Counseling Psychology, with
an athletic counseling concentration, at Springfield College, MA. Adisa earned her
M.S. in Sport and Exercise Psychology (European Master in Sport and Exercise Psychology)
from the University of Thessaly, Greece and Leipzig University, Germany. Through her
practica experiences, Adisa has worked with individuals from diverse backgrounds providing
individual and group therapy, facilitating experiential learning activities, and campus
outreach. Her counseling interests include depression, anxiety, working with athletes,
identity concerns, trauma, multiculturalism and diversity. Her approach to counseling
is primarily client-centered integrated with aspects of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy,
Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy, and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy. However,
in her work, multicultural theory is always present. In her spare time, Adisa enjoys
hiking and related outdoor activities, photography, and spending time with family
joshua L. matthews, M.A., Psychology intern
Joshua Lee Matthews, M.A., Psychology Intern. Joshua received his Bachelor's degree
in Psychology and Sociology from the Olivet College in 2011. He received his Master's
degree and is currently pursuing his Doctor of Psychology degrees (Psy. D) at the
Florida School of Professional Psychology, at Argosy University, in Tampa. He has
worked in community mental health treatment settings, at Directions for Living in
Clearwater, also with college students at Eckerd College and at Florida Southern College
Counseling Centers, and he has worked in a private practice setting at Hammond Psychology
& Associates. These settings have provided Joshua the opportunity to provide individual
and group therapy, consultation, psychological and disability testing, and campus
outreach. Joshua’s approach to counseling is one of a Time Limited Dynamic approach,
which also incorporates aspects of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Reality
Therapy. His areas of clinical interest include interpersonal difficulties, adjustment
concerns, stress management, and mood related difficulties. In his free time he enjoys
reading graphic novels, exercising, and watching movies.
freya B. Kinner, M.A., Social Work Trainee
Ms. Kinner earned her Master’s degree in educational psychology from the University
of Colorado at Boulder. She is currently finishing her Master’s of Social Work at
Western Carolina University and is looking to complete her degree in May 2017. Freya
has particular interest in anxiety and stress management, adjustment, depression,
and integrated healthcare. Her counseling approach is strengths-based and client-centered.
When she isn’t in the office or attending class, Freya enjoys spending time with her
family, reading, hiking, skiing, volunteering in the local community, and providing
a lap for her cats Milo and Duma.
Gabby Weierbach, B.A., Clinical psychology trainee
Gabby is currently in her final year of Western Carolina University’s Master’s in
Clinical Psychology program and is hoping to attend a doctorate program next fall.
She has interest in working with a variety of presenting concerns such as anxiety
and stress management, depression, adjustment, and others. Gabby’s approach to counseling
is client-centered while also integrating components of cognitive-behavioral and mindfulness
interventions. Outside of classes and the office she enjoys cooking, running, hiking,
and spending time with her family and friends.
meredith willis, b.s., clinical mental health counseling trainee
Meredith Willis is a Master’s level counseling trainee, in her last year of the Clinical
Mental Health Counseling program here at Western Carolina University. She is working
towards becoming a Licensed Professional Counselor and a Licensed Clinical Addiction
Specialist upon the completion of the 2016-2017 academic year. She obtained her Bachelor’s
degree from Western Carolina University in Psychology and Emergency Medicine in 2013.
Her counseling interest include multicultural counseling, LGBTQ, and mindfulness/meditation
based counseling. Personally, she enjoys nature, outdoor sports and activities, theater,
music and traveling. She is excited to be a part of the CAPS team here at Western
as she develops her skills and works on becoming a licensed professional.
lisa m. carter, ab, office manager
Ms. Carter has an Associate's Degree in General Business. She specializes in providing
excellent customer service, computer knowledge and a positive attitude. Lisa really
enjoys working in the university environment and has been a part CAPS for 10 years.
Lisa is originally from Athens, Georgia. She has two wonderful daughters, Jessica
and Anna who both enjoy playing volleyball, golf and softball. Lisa loves being with
family and friends, enjoying the outdoors, playing and watching sports (especially
football), and listening to music. She is thrilled to be a part of the Western Carolina
University community and CAPS team.
debbye mcgee, administrative assistant
Ms. McGee is originally from Grand Junction, Colorado. She has lived in the area
for 20 years. She has two daughters Crystal and Lavender Sky. Debbye also has two
granddaughters Jazmine and Jewell Sky who are both nine years old. She loves photography,
traveling and making jewelry. In her spare time she enjoys being one with nature,
meditation, aromatherapy and practicing Mindful Living.