Rhea A. Merck, PhD, Licensed Psychologist, Clinical Sport Psychologist: Dr. Rhea Ann Merck has been a University of South Carolina Gamecock since her freshman year in college. After earning her BS in psychology from USC, Rhea has worked in the field of mental health since 1984. She earned her PhD in Psychology from the University of North Texas in Counseling Psychology and has maintained a private practice in Columbia, SC, since 1996. Rhea has worked in a variety of clinical and academic settings with adults, emerging adults, teens, couples, and families. In 2019-2020, in her role as a Senior Instructor in Psychology, she was honored with the University of South Carolina College of Arts and Sciences Undergraduate Teaching Award and was invited to deliver a Last Lecture in 2020, entitled, How Will You COPE?
Dr. Merck has been working with athletes at USC since January 2015 and became full time in Athletics in 2021. She is trained in systemic therapy and utilizes an eclectic approach in meeting her clients where they are in the moment, including mindfulness, CBT, and more in-depth approaches to facilitate long-term change they seek. At USC, she works with mental health, wellness, and performance with student athletes, consultation for teams and coaches, group interventions and team building, and training interns. Rhea has co-authored 2 books, LAUNCH: A Guide to Adulting and LOVE: A Guide to Life Partnering and a blog, Life is Messy, Life is Marvelous, on life skills. In her free time, Rhea enjoys live music, painting, writing, entertaining, travel, and anything that brings her together with friends and family.