Counseling & Psychological Services

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CAPS Services

 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.

counseling services

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

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.


Referral Services

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.   

psychiatric services

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. 

consultation services

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 community                               

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 828.227.7469.

Workshops & Resources

CAPS’ outreach programs are designed to promote prevention, awareness and skill development among the Catamount community. Through our outreach programming, CAPS connects to students, faculty and staff as they partner with us in reducing stigma around mental health concerns. Our goal with outreach is that participants will develop new knowledge and tools to help them remove barriers to their success at WCU.

For more information about our outreach programs, please contact Dr. Kim Gorman.


At Western Carolina University, no one is alone. We care about each other and we care about helping people in distress. CATS Care is a suicide prevention program that will give you information on suicide warning signs as well as how to approach a student in distress and connect them to a caring network of helpers. This training is available for students, faculty and staff - everyone has a role in preventing suicide on campus.

To schedule a training call 828.227.7469 or email Dr. Betsy Aspinwall.

Catamounts for Recovery (CFR)  encourages students in recovery to take ownership of their personal and intellectual development and be accountable to themselves, each other and the larger community.  CFR provides resources to help students strengthen life skills including effective communication, appreciation and respect for diversity, wellness, creative problem solving and critical thinking.  In addition, students learn how to use their personal experiences to talk with their peers about what recovery means to them.  CFR offers trainings, seminars, resources and fun sober activities that support both ongoing recovery and academic achievement.  





Meet our Staff

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

Kim Gorman


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

Jay Manalo


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

Betsy Aspinwall Photo


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

Carnice Covert Photo

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 (Izzy).

arika morrison, ms, lpcs, counselor / sexual & interpersonal violence care coordinator

 Arika Morrison Photo

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

Christy Newell Wyatt

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 Demonet

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

Susannah Kuppers


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 family.  

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

Adisa Haznadar

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 and friends. 

joshua L. matthews, M.A., Psychology intern

Josh Matthews


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

Lisa Carter


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

Debbye McGee


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.

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