After earning her undergraduate degree from the University of Iowa, Dr. Mercer completed
her master’s degree in couple and family counseling at Governors State University.
She continued on at Governors State University in their doctoral program in counselor
education and supervision. During this time, she worked as a full-time university
instructor teaching undergraduate psychology courses and graduate counseling courses.
She is a National Certified Counselor, Florida Licensed Mental Health Counselor, a
qualified supervisor, and has conducted the majority of her counseling work with couples,
children, adolescents, and families.
During her time as a doctoral student she continued research in her primary area of interest: sexuality and comfort with sexual behaviors. She developed a scale called the Comfort with Sexual Behaviors Scale (CSBS) as her dissertation project. This scale can be used with counselors-in-training, licensed counselors, educators, supervisors, and even clients. It measures one’s overall comfort with a spectrum of sexual behaviors, which can assist one in identifying areas where additional training, education, and/or supervision may be needed. The scale also predicts one’s level of sex positivity, which is an additional area of study Dr. Mercer has spent time researching, presenting on, and publishing on. During her time at Governors State University, she also co-created a course on sex that is taken by those at the undergraduate and graduate level. This course helps students explore sexual topics, and how the area of sexuality relates to human behavior and relationships.
In addition to sexuality studies and sexuality education, Dr. Mercer has research interests in solution-focused counseling and supervision and play therapy techniques. She is an author in and the co-editor of The Therapist’s Notebook for Children and Adolescents: Homework, Handouts, and Activities for Use in Psychotherapy (2nd Ed.).
Dr. Mercer is active in the counseling community as a member of local, state, and national counseling organizations. This includes the American Counseling Association; American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists; Florida Counseling Association; Association of Family Law Professionals; Collaborative Divorce and Family Law Association; Southern Association for Counselor Education and Supervision; and Association for Counselor Education and Supervision. She has presented at the local, state, national, and international level on the topics of sexuality, comfort with sexual behaviors and topics, sexuality education among children and adolescents, views of sexuality among different religions, and the use of play therapy techniques with children, adolescents, couples, and families. She also has served as the Chair of the Marieb College of Health & Human Services Faculty Council.
- Dr. Mercer operates a private practice in Naples where she serves children, adolescents, adults, couples, and families as a licensed clinical mental health counselor.