The Counseling Center offers year-round psychological health care to our students and campus community.

The Counseling Center at Otterbein University

Location: 146 W. Home St.
Hours: Monday – Friday (8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.)
Phone: 614-823-1333

Welcome to the Counseling Center

Students come to counseling when something is not quite right in their world. They may not be sure what is wrong, or they may lack the energy, skills, confidence, or motivation to change. Otterbein counselors meet with students to understand their current situations and develop plans to move forward in more healthy and satisfying ways.

Meet Our Staff

Licensed mental health professionals, with varied educational backgrounds and treatment styles, staff our Center. All have experience in working with college-age students and understand the unique developmental needs of students at this age and stage of growth.

Kathleen Ryan, Ph.D.
Clinical Psychologist
As the Director of the Counseling Center at Otterbein University, Dr. Kathy Ryan provides vision and leadership regarding campus mental health planning and initiatives, strategic direction and clinical/administrative oversight of staff, and maintains a limited caseload, along with crisis response availability. Kathy loves the culture of respect, vitality, and inquisitive spirit among students and staff alike. 

Previously, Kathy was part of a busy private practice, Northeast Psychology Associates, in Westerville. She enjoys collaborating with community partners on many service projects, and currently serves on the Board of Directors of Concord Counseling Center. In her free time, Kathy enjoys watching sporting events and programs (go Steelers!), walking her beagle, LucyLu, and being active outdoors, especially enjoying the sunshine. 

Maria Piersall, ATR, LPCC-S 
Maria Piersall was educated at the College of Wooster, Lesley University, and The Ohio State University. Maria joins the Otterbein University Counseling Staff from OSU where she served as a senior staff clinician. Maria’s clinical approach is relational, and strengths based. She incorporates Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Motivational Interviewing (MI), and holistic strategies into her therapeutic work. It is important to Maria to create an environment that is empathic and healing, where students feel safe and empowered to reach their goals. 
Maria enjoys spending time with loved ones, being outdoors, music, art, and travel. 

Bob Crawford, MA, LPCC-S MA 
Bob obtained his counseling degree from Ashland Theological Seminary after completing his undergraduate degree in chemistry and a Master’s degree in music performance. He has worked for over 25 years (yikes!) with clients of all ages utilizing a variety of counseling modalities to help his clients make sought out changes in their lives. In his free time, you might find him reading or watching a movie, whittling or knitting, or simply sitting and dreaming about his next project. 

Dr. Doug Bennett, PhD., MBA 
Dr. Bennett was educated at the Ohio State University and received additional clinical training at Purdue University. Dr. Bennett’s interventions are client-informed, and he will work collaboratively with you to establish therapeutic goals. He utilizes cognitive behavioral, person-centered, and multicultural approaches among others to alleviate symptoms and assist in achieving change. In his spare time, he enjoys running, spending time with his children, and attending sporting events.

Terri Jones, Administrative Assistant
Terri is an Otterbein alumnus and graduated with a degree in Business Management. Terri’s employment history includes country club and athletic club management, an executive assistant and most recently an office manager for a printing company. Terri serves on the Board of Trustees for both the Greater Columbus Tennis Association and the Otterbein “O” Club. In her free time, she enjoys promoting youth tennis, watching college football, gardening and spending time with her family at the lake.

Our Services

Our counselors work from a short-term therapy model, and tailor the number of individual sessions to the individual students’ specific clinical needs. There is no charge for appointments. We have professional relationships with Otterbein’s Health Center and with mental health providers in the local community.  We refer students for adjunctive therapy, medication evaluation, specialized care, or longer-term therapy, as needed.

When students first come to Otterbein, if they have been in ongoing counseling or under the care of a medical professional for mental health medications management, we invite them to come meet our Counseling Center staff and discuss continuing care options.

The types of services we provide include:

  • Short-term counseling
  • Single session counseling 
  • Urgent walk-in times at 11:00 or 11:30 am, Monday-Friday 
  • Consultations for Individuals or Groups 
  • Spring 2022 Counseling Workshop Schedule (requires active Otterbein network account)  
  • Referrals to community providers for more specialized or long-term services
  • Otterbein Reach Out; Suicide Prevention App
    (Visit your Apple App or Google Play Store) 

During the academic year, appointments are available daily from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm. Urgent triage appointments are available daily at11:00 or 11:30 a.m. on a walk-in basis.  During academic breaks and throughout the summer, appointments are available, with reduced availability dependent upon demand.

Our Mission

Our Counseling Center will provide a supportive, therapeutic relationship and safe space for students to address and work through challenging situations, grow in their relationships, and realize their potential as active members of their communities. The Counseling Center will positively affect not only the health of individual students, but also the culture of campus wellness through outreach, advocacy, and healthy relationships with the Otterbein community.

We are more alike than we are unalike.

Maya Angelou