Erica Pearson, Ph.D., LPC, NCC
Director of Counseling, Health and Wellness
Erica Pearson, Ph.D., LPC, NCC, serves as the director of counseling, health and wellness at Olivet College. Her areas of expertise include collegiate counseling, trauma counseling and crisis intervention, mental health and wellness outreach, animal-assisted therapy and more.
Dr. Pearson is a fully licensed professional counselor (LPC) in Michigan and Oregon, as well as a National Certified Counselor (NCC). She is also certified in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) and is a Certified Human-Animal Intervention Specialist (CHAIS). Animal-assisted therapy is a clinical and research interest of Dr. Pearson’s, and she has worked with her trained and registered therapy dog, Noodles, for four years.
Dr. Pearson uses a humanistic approach to therapy, meaning that she believes the potential for growth and healing lies within every person. She sees her role as a therapist as serving as a companion and guide on a student’s path to personal development. She actively strives to establish a safe and supportive environment to allow for honest discussion, self-awareness and collaboration toward identified goals. Dr. Pearson is trained to work with a variety of presenting issues, including life transitions, anxiety, depression, trauma, relationship stress, body image, chronic pain and substance use. She is affirming of the LGBTQIA+ community and welcoming of all genders, sexualities, races, ethnicities, religions and abilities.
Dr. Pearson previously served on the senior clinical staff at a university in Oregon, providing brief, solution-focused therapy to college students. She also worked as a personal counseling doctoral assistant while studying at Western Michigan University. There, she provided therapy to college students and the community, and prepared master’s and doctoral students to work in the counseling clinic. Further, Dr. Pearson has worked with justice-involved individuals as a licensed professional counselor at three county jails in Michigan and Oregon. Her role included providing therapy to underserved and historically oppressed populations, including Black, Indigenous and People of Color, and individuals with severe mental illness.
Dr. Pearson has been selected to present her research at the American Counseling Association National Conference and at the Association for Counselor Education and Supervision National Conference. She has even received four grants for conducting research, and her research has been published by the American Counseling Association’s nationally refereed journal. She also won several awards as a doctoral student, including the Outstanding Doctoral Student Award from Chi Sigma Iota, the international honor society for counseling students.
“I love working with college students and fostering their development. Being in college is a unique experience that is both exciting and challenging. College students are transitioning into independence, discovering who they truly are and who they are working to become. I enjoy empowering college students to embrace a culture of wellness that encourages personal and academic success. By working to destigmatize and normalize mental health, I strive to support students in their wellness journeys and foster a community of care.” — Dr. Pearson