Campus Psychology Clinic provides services


Jesten Richardson

Mikayla Larzo, a grad student, works with the psychology department as a clinician.

Marshall University’s Campus Psychology Clinic gives graduate students the opportunity to utilize what they have learned in the past and practice skills they will need in the future while helping members of the Marshall family, Huntington community and larger tri-state area. 

Some of the services the clinic offers include free individual and group therapy for Marshall students and reduced rates of psychological evaluations for university students, staff and faculty and family of staff and faculty, said Dr. Penny Koontz, clinic director and a professor in Marshall’s psychology department. She said these clinic services are provided by students in Marshall’s doctorate in clinical psychology program and that they serve as a training opportunity for the graduate students, where they can apply knowledge they have learned in their classes and work in a clinical setting while under the supervision of doctoral-level psychologists who are faculty in the psychology department. 

“It provides them [the graduate students] the opportunity to see people who are seeking help for mental health concerns in a professional practice setting,” Koontz said. “But it also provides that opportunity in a setting that is structured, where they receive a lot of support and supervision so that they aren’t receiving training just put in like in a work setting on their own. They receive a tremendous amount of support from the faculty and from their supervisors. They’re able for the first time to apply the information that they’ve been learning in their graduate classes in a real life clinical setting, which is invaluable.”

Mikayla Larzo, a second-year graduate student in Marshall’s PsyD Program, said she has worked in the psychology field before, but being a clinician at the Campus Psychology Clinic is her first experience doing individual therapy with clients. She said it has been an “eye-opening” experience “getting to talk with people in that manner and being able to form those close relationships.”

“This is obviously an experience I’ll never forget,” Larzo said. “It’s been truly touching to me to be able to work with people, patients, who come to the clinic. It’s kind of like, you know, again we learn these foundations we learn theories, but this is a way of really applying what we learn in books, so stepping outside of our comfort zone, really building our skills, and I would say that my supervisor, Dr. Koontz, she is so much of the foundation of the psychologist that I hope to be one day. She’s kind of built this foundation for me, and just being able to experience all different types of people in the clinic, with all different types of presenting problems has helped create a very well-rounded experience for me.”

Koontz said being a clinician in the Campus Psychology Clinic is just the first step for the psychology graduate students. She said this experience helps to prepare them for their next practicum opportunity, when they practice in a community setting in their third year, followed by a rural setting in their fourth year and an internship with full-time training and clinical practice in their fifth year. 

Koontz said she thinks it is important for people to know that the graduate students working in the clinic are well-trained, pursuing a career in psychology and warm and caring individuals with a desire to help others, deliver services in a way that is very non-judgmental and accepting. She also said the clinic is open to people of all ages and with a wide range of mental health concerns.

“I think that it [the clinic] provides a setting where people can come and talk about concerns in a safe and supportive environment, where they can receive evidence-based treatment,” Koontz said. “And I think it benefits the students. One way that I think it benefits the students certainly is that therapy services are free for students, so it makes mental health care very accessible and affordable for students.”

The Campus Psychology Clinic is located on the fourth floor of Harris Hall on Marshall’s main campus. Its hours of operation are 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, excepting on days when the university is officially closed, such as holidays. More information about the clinic can be accessed by calling the clinic at (304) 696-2772 or visiting its website, 

Jesten Richardson can be contacted at [email protected]