Certification

Licensed Psychologist, Minnesota Board of Psychology

Education

Psy.D. in Counseling Psychology – Saint Mary’s University
MA in Counseling and Psychological Services – Saint Mary’s University
BA in Psychology – St. Thomas

Dr. Ben Merkling

Sport Psychologist, Executive Clinical Director

Ben Merkling, Psy.D, is a Licensed Psychologist who specializes in sport and performance psychology.  Ben aims to help athletes enhance motivation, increase present-moment awareness, and manage the many mental health concerns common in athletic populations, such as self-defeating thoughts and behaviors, anxiety, depression, relationship issues, and body dysmorphia.

Ben came into the field comparatively late in his academic career, having accumulated professional mental healthcare experience in college counseling centers and the Courage Kenny Rehab institute, and completed his master’s and doctoral degrees in Counseling Psychology, before finding a home in his work with the student-athletes at Saint Mary’s University, and later, St. Thomas and the University of Wisconsin, Lacrosse.  A varsity basketball player in high school and competitive golfer from a young age, Ben’s approach to mental health and mental skills training—from mindfulness to leadership to values-based goal setting—is a natural fit in performance environments, where his aims are to use the skills that enhance performance to improve overall wellness and sport/life enjoyment.

He still enjoys playing golf, shooting hoops, and introducing his son to the joys of sport and competition.

Specializations

Trauma therapy, anxiety, depression, injury rehabilitation, mindfulness, goal setting, mental blocks

Work Experience

Ben’s work with student-athletes has continued in his time with Premier, having worked with athletic departments at Macalester College and the University of Minnesota, and consulted directly with both coaches and athletes at St. Thomas through their complicated and historic transition from a Division III to a Division I designation. His work extends into the professional ranks, where he serves as a consultant to the Minnesota Timberwolves, and is heavily involved in draft profiling projects for both NBA and NFL clients.

Ben also serves as the Executive Clinical Director and Clinical Training Director for Premier, which has him overseeing day-to-day clinical operations of Premier staff, and directing the mental health and mental performance training for pre-licensed consultants and post-doctoral residents pursuing state licensure. 

More of the team

Sport Psychologist

Sport Psychology Consultant

Postdoctoral Resident

Athletic Counselor, Mental Performance Consultant, Youth Sport Coordinator

Mental Performance Consultant, Director of Innovation

Mental Performance Consultant

Vice President of Operations

Executive Director of Client Relations

Athletic Counselor, Mental Performance Consultant, Leadership Coach

Project Specialist, Human Resources Coordinator

Project Specialist

Athletic Counselor, Mental Performance Consultant

Project Specialist

President, Executive Coach

Sport Psychologist, Director of Research, Development, and Assessment

Sport Psychologist, Assistant Training Director

Sport Psychologist

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