Counseling office

Heidi Mercer

Heidi Mercer

Licensed social worker and Bluffton University assistant professor of social work:

Expertise: LGBTQ+, stress, time management, self-care

Deanna Barthlow-Potkanowicz

Deanna Barthlow-Potkanowicz

Licensed psychologist and associate professor of psychology

Expertise: worry, anxiety, panic, body image, disordered eating

Danielle Finch

Licensed independent social worker

Expertise: anxiety, depression, substance abuse/dependence, PTSD, relationship problems, ADHD, ODD, phase of life transitions, trauma

Sarah Lindabury


Expertise: addictions, corrections, family therapy


Laurel Neufeld Weaver

Clinical director of Creating Hope Counseling, Bluffton

Expertise: depression or anxiety. Eclectic therapeutic style utilizing cognitive behavioral therapy, trauma-focused care, narrative therapy, solution-focused therapy and creative arts.

Counseling services are free to students.

Appointments may be made by calling the student life office at 419-358-3247 or by email at

Assistance is available in coping with issues, problems and concerns, including:
  • Family problems
  • Dating concerns
  • Grief/loss issues
  • Relationship issues, questions, concerns
  • Emotional problems, including depression, anxiety, stress, loneliness, anger, etc.
  • Suicidal thoughts and feelings
  • Eating disorders
  • Concerns associated with violence, sexual assault or rape
  • Childhood abuse
  • Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual issues or concerns
  • Alcohol/drug use, abuse or addiction
  • Anything that causes tension, conflict, worry, concern, pre-occupation, etc.

Counseling sessions are strictly confidential and no information is shared with any other person (including faculty, administration, staff, other students, your parents or any other family members) except in situations deemed to be life threatening.

If you are unsure about whether or not you need counseling or if counseling could be helpful to you, please give it a try, if only to evaluate what you need and to plan for how your needs can be satisfactorily met. A phone call is all it takes...the choice is always your own.