PsyD Student Embraces A Comprehensive Approach to Mental Health

Feb 21, 2019
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KCU PsyD Student Marla Moss

Marla Moss, a first-year doctoral student in the clinical psychology program, has thought carefully about improving health care for everyone, and that was one of the big reasons she decided to come to KCU to study psychology.

“I began realizing the importance of holistic health,” she said. “My plan is to open up my own clinic and offer integrated health care, a kind of a one-stop shop for taking care of the physical, mental and spiritual needs of my patients.” she said.

If it seems that Moss speaks with the wisdom of experience, it’s because she does. Prior to enrolling at KCU to pursue her doctorate, she worked for more than a decade as an occupational therapist, during which time she cultivated an acute sense of what was needed in community health care, and what she could do about it.

“While working in occupational therapy, and working with my clients, I realized how important the role of mental health is in the overall well-being of the patient.” Moss said.

“Unfortunately, sometimes people who need help don’t seek it out, especially in the African-American community. That is another reason I want to work in the mental health field. You need to establish a rapport with your patient, and some patients will think, ‘This person looks like me, and will understand what I am going through.’ Also, if patients are comfortable, they are more likely to rely on your clinical expertise.”

Teachers in the PsyD program have already taken note of Moss. “I’m often asked by applicants what makes a good graduate student,” said Sarah Getch, PhD, program director for Health Service Psychology.

“Of course, what goes in to being a good graduate student is multifactorial—hardworking, resilient, inquisitive and smart are just a few characteristics. The thing about Marla is that she is all of those things, but to the extreme. As a student, she is downright irrepressible and I love that about her. The PsyD faculty see her immense potential and cannot wait to see the positive impact she will have on our field and the communities we serve.”

Moss is already well on her way, with clear ideas about her future clinic. “I want to have the best clinical expertise available for patients, so we can address all the patients needs in one place.” she said. “I feel that you will have much better impact on patients that way.”

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