Denise Ayo is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor Associate who provides individual therapy to adults and adolescents at Recore Counseling in Mishawaka, IN.
After graduating with her Ph.D. in 2013, her academic publishing included "Do You Want to Build a Childhood Trauma: Parental Agency and Authority in Disney's Frozen," a chapter in Social Order and Authority in Disney and Pixar Films. She also worked in university administration and advising at Notre Dame while teaching. She is particularly proud of her course on video games and gender. That work informed her more recent specialization in working with gamers and incorporating video games into therapy. She returned to graduate school in 2019 to pursue an M.S.Ed. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling.
When asked about the value of the English program in her life and career, Denise writes:
I like to say that a Ph.D. in English is essentially a Ph.D. in Empathy. Literature asks us to experience, in deep and profound ways, the thoughts and feelings of others. The work of finding patterns, exploring new perspectives, staying curious, and striving towards understanding is as relevant to a therapist as it is to a literary scholar. Not to mention, I read the majority of Freud's work for my comp exams, which shaped my theoretical approach to counseling and informs my work with clients on a daily basis. Likewise, delving into gender studies as a Ph.D. candidate inspired my passion for supporting members of the LGBTQ+ community, and my experience as an academic has made me uniquely qualified to work with university students, faculty, and staff.