Dr. Desaree Festa is a Sport & Performance Psychologist who specializes working with professional, international, collegiate, and elite amateur athletes. In addition to UNC Charlotte Athletics, she works with the Charlotte Hornets (NBA), Roush Fenway Racing (NASCAR), and Charlotte Checkers (AHL). She is also an approved Treating Clinician for the NFL and has helps many members of Team USA or individuals training for the Olympic Trials. Dr. Desaree consults with athletes throughout the nation as well as international competitors. She is the Director of Mind Over Body at Southeast Psych and is the Sport Psychologist for Ultimate Performance Sports in Charlotte.
Dr. Desaree is a 2 for 1! She is both licensed as a psychologist and certified as a Mental Performance Consultant. She possesses the highest level and most comprehensive training in order to provide the best assistance for her athletes and teams. She earned her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology & School Psychology and received an additional master’s degree in Sport & Performance Psychology. She received both graduate degrees from Florida State University and was a doctoral intern at The College of William & Mary where she worked with athletes and college students. She is trained in biofeedback technology, both in Heart Rate Variability and the comprehensive multimodality system, which provides insights into an athlete’s psychophysiological response to stressors and training.
Dr. Desaree is passionate about maximizing the whole person, both in mental performance and personal wellbeing, and does this by utilizing the latest research, evidence based approaches, and technology. She has published empirical research and contributes to news/media programs on various mental performance and mental health issues for athletes. Her aspiration to be a Sport & Performance Psychologist started way back in high school when she discovered her two loves: sports and helping others.