Certifications

Licensed Psychologist, Minnesota Board of Psychology
Certified Mental Performance Consultant

Education

Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology – University at Albany
BA in Psychology – St. Catherine University

Dr. Erin Ayala

Sport Psychologist, Director of Research, Development, and Assessment

Erin Ayala, PhD, LP, CMPC (she/her) is a Licensed Psychologist who specializes in health and sport psychology. She is a Certified Mental Performance Consultant through the Association of Applied Sport Psychology and is listed as a licensed mental health provider on the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee’s Mental Health Registry. Erin approaches her work with clients in a holistic manner, recognizing that daily life, health, and athletic performance are often intertwined.

Erin grew up near Green Bay, WI.  She completed her undergraduate degree in Psychology and Women’s Studies from St. Catherine University, followed by her doctoral degree in Counseling Psychology from the University at Albany in Albany, New York.  She has worked with athletes in college counseling, career counseling, medical centers, inpatient psychiatry, and community mental health over the past several years.  She is a former faculty member and uses this experience to inform her work with community outreach and workshops.

As a high school student, Erin participated in track, cross country, basketball, and volleyball as a high school student.  She continued running in graduate school, which led to her participation in triathlon and other endurance sports.  She has completed nine marathons, seven half-distance triathlons (70.3 miles), and one full-distance triathlon (140.6 miles).  She is the co-founder of a women’s cycling team in Minneapolis and regularly races in events throughout the Midwest.  She claimed a top 10 finish in the DK100-mile gravel race in 2017 and completed the DK200 mile endurance event in 2018 and 2019.  Erin has previously volunteered for a couch-to-5k program for domestic violence survivors in New York.  She now volunteers as a mentor for Little Bellas, a non-profit mountain bike organization for 7-13 year old girls.

Specializations

Acceptance-Commitment Therapy, Injury Recovery, Depression, Anxiety, Confidence, Letting Go of Negative Self-Talk, Self-Care, Female Athletes, LGBTQ+, including Transgender and Non-Binary Athletes

Publications

Ayala, E. E., Waniger, K. J., Faulkner, K. P. A., & Riley-Schmida, A. (2020). Experiences that Affect Participation for Women and Gender Diverse Athletes in Competitive Cycling. Journal of Outdoor Recreation, Education and Leadership, 12, 10-26. Doi: 10.18666/JOREL-2020-V12-I1-9912

Ayala, E., & Taylor, J. (2019). Mental Training- Process. In J. Taylor (Ed.), Comprehensive Applied Sport Psychology: From Attitude to Athletic Success and Everything In Between. Routledge.

Hage, S., Ayala, E. E., & Schwartz, J. (2019). The experience of doctoral students at program-affiliated practicum training clinics. Training and Education in Professional Psychology. doi: 10.1037/tep0000264

Work Experience

In addition to her current work with individual and organizational clients, and her experiences as an educator, Erin serves as both the Director of Psychological Testing for the University of Minnesota Athletic Department and in that same capacity for all other Premier clients, marshalling the administration and analysis of all of Premier’s assessment instruments, with a particular emphasis on ADHD testing. She also conducts and shepherds research projects through Premier’s Research & Analytics division, using staff experiences and insights to organize original research studies to further our understanding of mental performance and our ability to meet the ever-changing demands of contemporary performers.

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, Assistant Training Director

Sport Psychologist, Executive Clinical Director

Sport Psychologist

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