Dr. Renee Koval has worked in the mental health field for most of her life.  First as a psychiatric nurse, and then as a psychiatric nurse practitioner, capable of working with clients across the lifespan.  In 2014, Dr. Koval was the first nurse in the nation to complete a psychiatric nurse practitioner residency program in a Veterans Affairs Medical Center.  Dr. Koval received her Doctor of Nursing Practice in 2015 from the Medical University of South Carolina.  She enjoys clinical work and teaching and has held academic positions and is currently the director of an academic program for psychiatric nurse practitioners. 

Dr. Koval’s love for horses could be seen as she rode bareback on her great uncle’s horse when she was a child.  As a teen she took riding lessons, then her focus turned to academics.  It wasn’t until she became an empty nester that she pursued her passion for horses and recognized the benefits of the relationship with these animals on her own mental well-being.  She volunteered at a therapeutic riding center in Pennsylvania for 2 years, and in November 2020 she became certified as an Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning through the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International.  Dr. Koval takes riding lessons in dressage with her chestnut mare named Venus.


Working with older adolescents and female adults, Dr. Koval feels it is vital to utilize the recovery practice principles guided by the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) in her clinical work, specializing in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).  Dr. Koval’s overarching goal is to meet her clients wherever they are in their journey and to help them achieve the success and personal growth that they desire. 


To contact Dr. Koval, email Renee@TakeHeartCounseling.com


hope. healing. horses.

Dr. renee koval, DNP, RN, PMHNP-BC