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Helping students

You can make your initial appointment at counseling services Online or by calling 715-836-5521. The primary goal of Counseling Services is to help students develop the personal awareness and skills necessary to overcome problems, and grow and develop in ways that will allow them to maximize their total educational experience at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. This service is devoted in its counseling and consultation roles to aid in the emotional, social, and intellectual development of those we serve.

It is our greatest hope that our work will not only benefit those we interact with today, but that it will also create lifelong changes that will help those we serve fulfill their hopes, dreams, and potentials in the future. We are devoted each day to alleviating suffering and to increasing the happiness and knowledge base of the individuals who utilize our service. We hope this Web site contributes to your knowledge base. More than 1,000 individuals use our service each year.

Counseling Services staff are available to present on a wide variety of topics to classes, organizations, and residence halls. In addition, counseling staff members are often willing to work with students on student research topics and class projects.

Counseling staff

Here are our qualified professionals who want to help you.

  • Riley McGrath
    Riley McGrath, Ph.D. (he/him/his)
    Counseling Services

    Director, Counseling Services | Psychologist

    Riley is a licensed psychologist and Director of Counseling Services. Riley utilizes a strength-based approach to counseling that draws from Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, Positive Psychology, and Client-Centered frameworks. He has experience working with a variety of different presenting issues including identity related concerns, relationship difficulties, mood and anxiety disorders, adjustment concerns, substance abuse, career uncertainty, and disordered eating.

  • Stefanie Benesh
    Stefanie Benesh, M.A., LMFT (she/her/hers)
    Counseling Services

    Clinical Counselor | Group Coordinator

    Stefanie Benesh, M.A. LMFT

    Stefanie is a Licensed Marriage (Couples) & Family Therapist. She focuses on how systems and context influence your current experience and helps connect you to resources to feel engaged in your life. She works from a Narrative, Experiential, Solutions-Focused lens centered around you as the expert on your life. Her objective is to empower you to develop your own goals and support you to make them happen.

  • Paula Chiara Headshot
    Paula Chiara, M.S., LPC (she/her/hers)
    Counseling Services

    Clinical Counselor | Outreach Coordinator

    Paula is a Licensed Professional Counselor and outreach coordinator.  Paula’s goal is to provide a safe space for students to feel comfortable in the counseling relationship. She works with clients with a variety of presenting challenges. Her work with clients is guided by Person-Centered and Existential frameworks as well as Attachment, Psychodynamic and Cognitive Behavioral theories.

  • Professional portrait of Erin Gumm
    Erin Gumm, M.A., LPC (she/her/hers)
    Counseling Services

    Clinical Counselor

    Erin Gumm, MA, LPC brings over a decade of experience to her role at UWEC. Her expertise includes adjustment concerns, anxiety and mood disorders, co-occurring diagnoses, substance abuse, ADHD, family and relationship concerns, trauma and abuse, and attachment concerns. Her approach is client-centered and strengths-based. She is certified in Dialectical Behavior Therapy.

  • Professional portrait of Elizabeth Halama
    Elizabeth Halama, MS, LPC-IT (she/her/hers)
    Counseling Services

    Clinical Counselor

    Betsy is a Licensed Professional Counselor-in-Training at Counseling Services.  She works with clients with a variety of presenting challenges including depression and anxiety, adjustment to college, grief, relationship concerns and identity development. Her work with clients is guided by Person-Centered, Psychodynamic and Cognitive Behavioral frameworks.

  • Stacey Jackson
    Stacey Jackson, Ph.D. (she/her/hers)
    Psychology | Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies | Counseling Services

    Assistant Professor | Counselor

    Dr. Stacey Jackson is an Assistant Professor of Psychology. She also serves as a Clinician at the University Counseling Center where she sees students for individual, couples, group, and crisis counseling, along with providing psychoeducation and outreach services. Dr. Jackson serves on several committees on campus, within the Eau Claire community, and within her field devoted to Equity, Diversity and Inclusion efforts.

  • Professional portrait of Annemarie Schwery
    Annemarie Schwery, M.S., LPC-IT (she/her/hers)
    Counseling Services

    Post Master Fellow Counselor

    Annemarie is a Licensed Professional Counselor-In-Training. She obtained her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from UW - Green Bay and her Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling from Viterbo University. She has experience working on a college campus and with student athletes. Annemarie works from a person-centered, solutions-focused, motivational, and cognitive behavioral approach. 

  • Headshot
    Ashley Walton-Beal, M.S., LPC (she/her/hers)
    Counseling Services

    Clinical Counselor | AODA Coordinator

    Ashley is a Counselor at UWEC Counseling Services and the AODA coordinator. She obtained her Master's Degree in Mental Health Counseling at the University of Wisconsin - Stout. Ashley's areas of clinical interest include depression, anxiety, trauma, adjustment to college, stress management, identity development, intersectionality, and concerns related to gender identity and sexual orientation.

  • Melissa Will
    Melissa Will, Ph.D. (she/her/hers)
    Counseling Services

    Psychologist | Training Coordinator

    Melissa has her doctorate from the University of Georgia. As a feminist clinician, she strives to acknowledge the balance of power within relationships, intersecting identities, and the value in honoring diverse cultural experiences. She has experience addressing a variety of clinical concerns including: anxiety, depression, identity development, LGBTQIA+ concerns, eating disorders, relational difficulties, and relational/sexual violence.

  • Nancy Xiong
    Nancy Xiong, MS, LPC, ATR (she/her/hers)
    Counseling Services

    Clinical Counselor

    Nancy is a licensed professional counselor and credentialed Art Therapist. Nancy received her Master’s Degree in Art Therapy from Mount Mary University. Nancy is passionate about mental health wellness and prevention. Nancy enjoys supporting young people in developing the skills and tools they need to successfully confront challenges and manage their emotions. Nancy also believes in equity and accessibility of mental health support for individuals from all backgrounds.

  • Professional portrait of Cindy Yang
    Cindy Yang, M.S., LPC (she/her/hers)
    Counseling Services

    Clinical Counselor | Social Media Coordinator

    Cindy is one of the counselors and the Social Media Coordinator at Counseling Services. She also co-facilitates the Students of Color Support Group. She works from a humanistic, cognitive behavioral, and solution focused with an emphasis on client empowerment. She has experience working a wide range of presenting concerns for individuals of all ages. She works closely with Multicultural Support Services to help advocate and amplify students of color voices.

  • Marissa Yenter
    Marissa Yenter, MSW, APSW (She/Her/Hers)
    Counseling Services

    Clinical Counselor

    Marissa is a Clinical Counselor and Case Manager at Counseling Services. She obtained her Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) from UWEC and then her Master of Social Work (MSW) from Capella University. Marissa has worked with individuals of all ages that experience anxiety, mood disorders, and suicidal tendencies. She also has experience in crisis intervention. Marissa works from a strengths based, solution focused, and cognitive behavioral approach.

  • Headshot
    Lindsey Laube (she/her/hers)
    Counseling Services

    Masters Level Intern

    Lindsey is an intern with Counseling Services. She is currently a master’s student in the clinical mental health counseling program at the University of Wisconsin–Stout. She has concentrations in alcohol and other drug abuse counseling, eating disorders, and crisis and trauma counseling. She takes a holistic, intersectional, approach to therapy and utilizes Person-Centered, Gestalt, Cognitive-Behavioral, and Relational Cultural Therapy (among others).

  • Professional portrait of Danielle Toman
    Danielle Toman (she/her/hers)
    Counseling Services

    Masters Level Intern

    Dani is an intern with Counseling Services and currently a master's student in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program at the University of Wisconsin - Stout. She has a concentration in crisis and trauma counseling but enjoys working with individuals of any background. Her approach to therapy utilizes Cognitive Behavioral, Narrative, and Existential and she strives to aid individuals in gaining more insight into their lives.

  • Victoria Weiser head shot
    Victoria Weiser (she/her, they/them)
    Counseling Services

    Department Assistant

  • Michaela Tessling
    Michaela Tessling (she/her/hers)
    Counseling Services

    University Services Program Associate

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