Jessie Goicoechea

Director, Rita M. McGinley Psychology Clinic, Director of Clinical Training, and Associate Professor
McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts

223 Rockwell Hall
Phone: 412.396.1785


Ph.D., Clinical Psychology, Duquesne University, 2002
M.A., Psychology, Duquesne University, 1996
B.A., Psychology, University of Dallas, 1995
Bioand Expertise


Jessie Goicoechea is the current Director of Training of the doctoral program in clinical psychology. She joined the faculty in 2003 as Director of the Psychology Clinic, the primary training facility for the doctoral students, a position in which she continues to serve. She brings a background in community mental health, having completed her pre-doctoral internship at Clinton-Eaton-Ingham CMH in Lansing, Michigan and having worked for six years as a psychotherapist at Persad Center in Pittsburgh, the nation's second oldest community mental health center specifically for the LGBT community. She enjoys the combination of overseeing the community clinic and contributing to the students' training, including teaching graduate courses on assessment, child and couples therapy, ethics, and supervision.

Dr. Goicoechea received a B.A. in psychology from the University of Dallas, a program which fostered in her a deep interest in phenomenology and led her to Duquesne. She received her M.A. and Ph.D. in clinical psychology from this program. She has conducted qualitative research on psychiatric, diagnostic discourse in patient-staff interactions from phenomenological, discursive, and feminist perspectives. Other research interests include clients' experiences of collaborative assessment, and group psychotherapy training. Dr. Goicoechea is a licensed psychologist with a private practice; clinical interests include child-centered play therapy, therapy with sexual minorities, and couples therapy from an integrative approach that draws on object-relations.

Recent Publications


Goicoechea, J., & Fitzpatrick, T. (2019). To know or not to know: Empathic use of client background information in Child-Centered play therapy. International Journal of Play Therapy, 28(1), 22-33.

Goicoechea, J., & Kessler, L. E. (2018). Competency-based training in interpersonal, process-
oriented group therapy: An innovative university partnership. Training and Education in Professional Psychology, 12(1), 46-53.

Goicoechea, J., Wagner, K., Yahalom, J., & Medina, T. (2014). Group Counseling for At-risk, African American Youth: A Collaboration between Therapists and Artists. Journal of Creativity in Mental Health, 9, 69-82.

Goicoechea, J. (2013). Invoking and inscribing mental illness: A discursive analysis of diagnostic terminology in inpatient treatment planning meetings. Feminism & Psychology, 23 (1), 107-118.


Goicoechea, J. & Kessler, L. (2018, May). Thinking Critically about Critical Incident Methodology in the Context of Group Therapy Training. Paper presented at the Society for Qualitative Inquiry in Psychology, Pittsburgh, PA. 

Goicoechea, J. (2018, May). CHAAT: Children's Art And Talk Groups as Co-inquiry. Paper presented at the Society for Qualitative Inquiry in Psychology, Pittsburgh, PA.

Goicoechea, J. (2016, March). How diagnostic discourse disempowers women. Paper presented at the Association for Women in Psychology Conference, Pittsburgh, PA.

Goicoechea, J., Fitzpatrick, T. & Gregson, J. (2012). Case formulation and child-centered play therapy: An oxymoron? Presentation given at the 2012 Annual Conference of the Society for Humanistic Psychology in Pittsburgh, PA.

Goicoechea, J. (2012). Drawing inspiration from Richard Avedon's portrait photography: Implications for Inidvidualized, Collaborative Assessment. Presentation given at the 2012 Annual Conference of the Society for Humanistic Psychology in Pittsburgh, PA.

Goicoechea, J. (2010). First semester life-world assessments. Panel presentation given at the 2010 Society for Personality Assessment Conference in San Jose, CA.




  • Introduction to Psychological Assessment
  • Couples and Child Therapy
  • Seminar in Consultation and Supervision