Licensed Clinical Psychologist with Long-standing Ties to PVM Joins Counseling and Wellness Services

Friday, July 28, 2023

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Susan Prieto-Welch, PhD, HSPP will join Purdue Veterinary Medicine’s Counseling and Wellness Services as lead therapist next month. Dr. Prieto-Welch is no stranger to PVM, having had a long-standing connection with the college both professionally, while serving students and the campus community in various roles at Purdue’s Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), and personally, as a grateful client of the Purdue University Veterinary Hospital.

After a 32 year post-graduate career as a licensed clinical psychologist in a variety of different roles in university counseling centers, including nearly 28 years at CAPS, Dr. Prieto-Welch retired for a little over two years. She says the time to rest, rejuvenate, spend extended time with family, and do some traveling as COVID lifted was wonderful and fulfilling, but then an unexpected opportunity arose for her to serve the College of Veterinary Medicine this past spring as a part-time, temporary therapist, and her passion for clinical work and for college student mental health returned with intensity. “I again experienced the joy that had fueled my career previously,” Dr. Prieto-Welch said. “I’m delighted with the opportunity to continue serving the college and the students on a full-time basis, and look forward to contributing whatever I can to further growth and success in the process.”

To understand people and their experiences as fully as possible, Dr. Prieto-Welch says she values approaching life and others with humility, curiosity, and compassion, and mindfully tries to engage in lifelong learning. Developing collaborative relationships and fostering communication and conversation are key to her work as a clinician. She explains that, in the context of a safe, respectful working relationship, she works with students from a strengths-based perspective, encouraging growth, change and development, and healing.

Dr. Prieto-Welch also is able to offer services in Spanish, her native language. Born and raised in Bogotá, Colombia, her life experience includes being a member of an intercultural family. After graduating Bachillerato (high school) in Bogotá, she left home for the United States in order to pursue undergraduate studies at Kalamazoo College, followed by graduate school at the University of Notre Dame du Lac. She then did an internship at Duke University before beginning her career in higher education in the U.S., which became her new home.

Dr. Prieto-Welch served in various roles throughout her tenure in college student mental health, including working as staff therapist, assistant director for career services, assistant director for outreach and consultation, assistant director for clinical services, interim training director, and serving as director of CAPS for almost 20 years. “The unifying thread always was my passion as a clinician/therapist, and serving students, whether as a therapist or in administrative capacities, by continually endeavoring to provide a safe space in which students could be seen and heard fully, be respected and supported for all of who they are, and be encouraged to explore, learn about themselves, heal and grow in service of developing themselves holistically while achieving academic success,” Dr. Prieto-Welch said.

Areas of particular interest and experience clinically for Dr. Prieto-Welch include identity development (defined broadly, to include all possible dimensions of identity); grief; trauma; multiculturalism and diversity (to include multicultural development); anxiety; depression; relationship issues; and working with international students. 

Please help extend a warm welcome to Dr. Prieto-Welch as the college’s new lead therapist!

Writer(s): Kevin Doerr |

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