University Counseling Center

University Counseling Center
Myrtle Hall
Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

  • Open during fall and spring semesters; limited availability in the summer
  • Limited evening hours by appointment
  • Closings and limited scheduling based on JU’s academic calendar

The University Counseling Center is dedicated to training professional therapists as they serve Johnson University and the surrounding communities. The Counseling Center exists to offer a broad range of preventative, remedial, and developmental counseling services. Our primary goal is to offer accessible quality care to clients that is respectful of that person’s family and loved ones, language, culture, ethnicity, gender, spirituality, and identity as a sexual being.

Whether you are concerned with time management, an interpersonal conflict, or planning your future, life transitions can be difficult to navigate alone. The University Counseling Center (UCC), located in Myrtle Hall, offers personal counseling at no charge to students while ensuring utmost confidentiality in all matters. Counseling services are provided by licensed counselors, pre-licensed counselors, and graduate students in training who are under the careful supervision of licensed clinical supervisors. Counselors at the UCC are trained to ethically integrate faith into the helping process and welcome opportunities to explore this area with all clients who desire to do so.


Services Offered

The UCC will continue to provide remote services to students via videoconferencing throughout the semester. Telehealth services are provided through a HIPAA-secure version of Zoom. Group services & opportunities will be provided in a face-to-face, socially distanced setting, similar to academic classes.

  • Brief individual therapy–the number of sessions is determined individually based on clinical needs and your counselor’s assessment
  • Group therapy–provides small group environments to address specific topics and build wellness, resiliency, and coping skills
  • Couples, premarital, and family therapy–counselors are trained in PREPARE/ENRICH for premarital and marital enrichment.
  • Students in need of ongoing treatment or treatment beyond the scope of what the UCC can provide will receive assistance in coordinating resources off-campus in the community. The UCC clinical staff retains the right to refer clients or potential clients to other service providers when necessary.
  • Click here for information regarding crisis services.

The UCC works with community clients on a limited basis; call 865-251-2217 to inquire about current openings.

Why Try Counseling?

Getting Started

To make an appointment, please come to Myrtle Hall between 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Monday – Friday. You will be asked to provide general contact information and complete an intake form.  The intake form must be completed in full before we can assign you a counselor.

If you are unable to come to the UCC due to illness or COVID-19 quarantine/isolation, please call 865-251-2217 to enroll in services. If we are unable to answer your call right away, please leave a message with your name and a phone number where we can reach you.

  • Please expect to spend 10-15 minutes to complete the process in the office.
  • After leaving, you will receive an email with instructions to log in to the Client Portal and complete your intake form. Check your junk mail/spam folders if the email does not display right away.
  • Your information remains confidential; the front desk will assist in enrolling you in services but does not have access to your private information.
  • A counselor will reach out to you within 7 days to schedule an initial assessment. Look for an email or a phone call.  Your intake form must be completed in full in order to schedule an appointment.
  • Feel free to check out our FAQs before your appointment.


Telehealth Services

The process for telehealth services follows the same process as in-person services. During your first appointment,  your counselor will assess the appropriateness of telehealth for your sessions and discuss any of your questions or concerns. Telehealth sessions will be held via a HIPAA secure version of Zoom. Your counselor will send your access link to the session through the Client Portal. In order to participate in telehealth session, you will need:

  • A device that can connect to the internet; the device should have a camera, microphone, and speakers.
  • Connection to a secure network (password protected, not a public network)
  • A private location without interruptions

While there can be an initial adjustment to telehealth, most clients find the experience as effective as in-person services. Telehealth has been established and used in multiple professions for many years and has a demonstrated ability to reach underserved populations effectively. Research shows there are generally no differences in outcomes between in-person and remote services in mental health. All counselors at the UCC receive training in telehealth before offering services; our clinical supervisors have received or are currently pursuing credentialing as Board Certified–TeleMental Health providers (BC-TMH).

Telehealth rooms are available in each dorm for clients needing a private location to hold their session. Ask your counselor for information during your first appointment.

Check out these helpful guides:
Client Portal Registration
Technology Disruption Tips
Tips to Enhance Your Telehealth Services

Royal Check-In

Check-in provides an informal, confidential meeting with a UCC counselor to find support, problem-solving, and resources for a specific issue or situation in your current life. Check-in appointments can be helpful when you have a specific concern or problem and would like to get the perspective of a counselor. These appointments can also be helpful if you are unsure about the counseling process.

What to expect:  Meetings are meant to be brief and time-limited (1-2 appointments).  Check-in appointments do not constitute mental health treatment or take the place of traditional counseling.  During the appointment, the counselor will help you determine if additional resources or counseling would be beneficial.

Counselors will seek to provide perspective and problem-solving strategies for a current issue you would like support in addressing.  Counselors will work collaboratively with you to determine appropriate resources, and may offer a follow-up appointment.

Scheduling:  Appointments are first-come, first-serve. Book an appointment here.

Confidentiality:  Appointments are confidential; however, when there is a serious intention of self-harm or harm toward others, our counselors are required by law to report this information.  Confidentiality is also limited when there is evidence or reasonable suspicion of negligence or abuse of minors, elders, or dependent adults. The UCC keeps a brief record of the appointment for follow-up appointments and attendance tracking.  If you have any additional questions, please ask the counselor at your appointment, or call the UCC.

Crisis Services

At times students may experience more urgent distress and need to talk with someone more immediately. Situations may include the inability to keep yourself physically safe, threatening to hurt yourself or others, recent sexual or physical assault, the recent loss of a loved one, seeing or hearing things that are not there, or uncontrollable panic with the inability to calm oneself.

If you are experiencing a crisis:

  • During regular business hours, Monday-Friday from 8:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m., please come to the UCC for assistance.
  • Evenings & Weekends:
    • Established UCC clients should access crisis resources provided by their counselor at the beginning of counseling.
    • Clients and Johnson students should reach out to their RA or resident director.

If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts or feel you are incapable of maintaining your own safety, call Helen Ross McNabb’s Mobile Crisis Hotline at 865-539-2409.

Additional resources include:

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Sexual Assault Center of East Tennessee Hotline

National Sexual Assault Hotline
1-800-868-4673, Live Chat:
24/7 call and chat about past and present sexual trauma.

Trevor Lifeline for LGBTQ+
Text TREVOR to 678678
Live Chat

Interpersonal /Domestic Violence
Live Chat



Emily Eisenhart, M.A., LPC-MHSP, LMFT, ACS, BC-TMH
Director of Clinical Services & Clinical Supervisor

Ashley Bergman, M.A., LMFT, BC-TMH
Staff Therapist & Clinical Supervisor

Kindal Akers, M.A.
Staff Therapist

Donald Bohannon, Ph.D.
Clinical Supervisor

Pete Cummins, Ed.D., LMFT, BC-TMH
AAMFT Approved Clinical Supervisor

Kristel Headley, Ph.D., LPC-MHSP, ACS, RPT-S, BC-TMH
Clinical Supervisor

Carletta Smelcer, Ed.D., LPC-MHSP
Staff Therapist & Clinical Supervisor

Jody Miller, M.Ed.
Office Manager


Laura Branson, B.A.
Brooke Carlson, B.A.
Emily Chadwick, B.S.
Michael Charnley, B.S.
Meghan Griffin, B.A.
Luke Lanzoni, B.A.
Baylie Lawhon, B.A.
Mike McTaggert, B.S.
Hunter Powers, B.S.
Sara Ramos, B.S.
Heather Willard, B.A.

LPC-MHSP – Licensed Professional Counselor-Mental Health Service Provider
LMFT – Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
ACS – Approved Clinical Supervisor
BC-TMH – Board Certified-TeleMental Health
RPT-S – Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor
AAMFT – American Association for Marriage and Family Therapists



National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Sexual Assault Center of East Tennessee Hotline

National Sexual Assault Hotline
Live Chat:

Trevor Lifeline for LGBTQ+
Text TREVOR to 678678
Live Chat: The Trevor Project

Interpersonal/Domestic Violence
Live Chat: The Hotline

Campus Resources

General Mental Health Resources

Starting the Conversation: College and Your Mental Health
HelpYourselfHelpOthers: Free, confidental online screening
Mental Health in College
ULifeline Online Resource for College Mental Health
Jed Foundation: suicide prevention resources
MY3 App: helps identify, suppport and prepare for times of suicidal thinking
Calm Harm App: helps resist the urge to self-harm
GriefShare: small group environment for support in navigating the loss of a loved one
Celebrate Recovery: discipleship for anyone needing support for a hurt, hang-up, or addiction
Samson Society: sexual purity groups for men
Fortify: app to help reduce porn use information on substance misuse and local treatment and support groups information on addiction and treatment options
Academic Tips
Eating Disorders
Emotional and Psychological Trauma
MindShift CBT: app with interactive tools to help relieve mental health distress

Relaxation and Mindfulness

Guided Meditations
Simply Being: guided meditation for relaxation and presence
Calm: app for sleep, meditation, and relaxation to reduce stress
Headspace: app for meditation
Breathe: app to help you relax and focus on your breathing
Relax Melodies: app to assist with improving sleep
Stop, Breathe, Think: app with short mindfulness activities

Faculty/Staff Resources

The college years are an important and unique time in a student’s life that can lead to tremendous growth and development, as well as significant stress. This is even more true among Johnson’s community of traditional and non-traditional students, comprised of varying intercultural experiences and stages of life. Often faculty and staff are the “front lines” in observing the initial signs of distress and may have a unique opportunity to connect students to the appropriate resources.

Satisfaction Survey

Your feedback is important to us! Please take a few moments to complete the UCC Satisfaction Survey.

You may also send your feedback and/or concerns to:
Emily Eisenhart, LPC-MHSP, LMFT, Director of Clinical Services