Though the term “counseling” is often associated with mental health treatment and therapy, there are a wide range of fields where professional counselors can be of great help to their clients or patients. The principles of counseling are applied in education, career development, marriage and family therapy, addiction recovery, community healing, and classical psychotherapy, and as more research confirms that counselors can help individuals and groups make positive change in any area of their lives, the demand for higher education in counseling is rising. These are some of the best professors working in counseling, psychology, therapy, and similar interdisciplinary fields today.
While counseling is a global field, this list focuses primarily on professors based in the U.S., and it is not intended as an ordered ranking, but as a collection of individuals doing outstanding work in their respective fields. Some of those listed are not currently working as professors, but are still highly involved with research and promoting learning in their field of expertise.
Susan Johnson-Douglas is a professor at the University of Ottawa and has been awarded numerous accolades for her work, including an Outstanding Contribution to the Field of Couple and Family Therapy Award from the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. She’s the Director of the highly acclaimed International Center for Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy and is also a Fellow of the American Psychological Association.
Dr. Sharon Horne is an Associate Professor of Counseling and School Psychology and also the Graduate Program Director of the Counseling Psychology Ph.D. program at the University of Massachusetts Boston. Dr. Horne has made significant contributions to LGBT research and has led numerous research projects on improving the quality of life for LGBT individuals.
Dr. Dae Sheridan is a professor at the University of South Florida where she studies Human Sexuality. As a highly recognized figure concerning cognitive behavioral therapy, Dr. Sheridan uses her experience to facilitate a higher quality relationship between students and sexuality education.
Chris Brown is a professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Her coursework prepares students in a variety of ways for a successful career in counseling, with her personal research interests in domestic violence and cultural issues.
Elena Flores is a professor in counseling psychology at the University of San Francisco and has extensive experience with mental health and human services. Her impressive resume and particular interests pertaining to counseling make her a great professor.
Dr. Francine P. Conway is an Associate Professor at the Derner Institute at Adelphi University and has extensive training in clinical psychology. Her research interests primarily focus on the health of adults and children, physically and psychologically.
Douglas C Breunlin works at The Family Institute at Northwestern University and does fantastic work pertaining to family therapy and counseling associated with it.
Dr. Donna Rockwell is a Clinical Psychologist who is also a professor at the Michigan School of Professional Psychology. She teaches Mindfulness and Psychotherapy and Community Outreach in Psychology and has a column in Ambassador Magazine, “Being & Becoming.”
Dr. Dawn Syzmanski is an Associate Professor at The University of Tennessee Knoxville with focuses on multicultural-feminist issues. She’s been awarded numerous accolades, including the Woman of the Year Award for 2012 by the American Psychological Association in the section for the Advancement of Women, and Outstanding Major Contribution Award in The Counseling Psychologist for Sexual Objectification of Women for 2012.
Dr. Mollie Marti is an Adjunct Professor at University of Iowa and has published numerous books on mentoring and counseling. She has also received international recognition as a performance psychologist in business and sports, and she is the CEO of the community resiliency project.
Dr. Julie M. Koch is part of the Counseling and Counseling Psychology Program in the School of Applied Health and Educational Psychology at Oklahoma State University. Her primary focuses are school counseling, international counseling, LGBT and multicultural issues in counseling and schools, among others.
Dr. Rachel Goodman is an Assistant Professor at George Mason University where she works in the Counseling and Development Program. She focuses on social justice issues in counseling, specifically trauma counseling, which includes historical/transgenerational trauma, systemic oppression/marginalization, immigrants and refugees, and numerous other areas pertinent to the counseling field.
Dr. Todd Kashdan is the director of the Laboratory for the Study of Social Anxiety, Character Strengths, and Related Phenomena. The laboratory uses the information they gather for application to bettering the lives of those they work for. He’s an associate professor in the Department of Psychology at George Mason University as well.
Dr. Lynn O’Connor is a professor at The Wright Institute and has worked extensively in brief and long-term psychotherapy.
Dr. Myrna L. Friedlander is a Professor at the University of Albany as a member of the Counseling Psychology program. Having been there since 1981, she’s currently the Director of Doctoral Training and has received many distinguished awards relevant to psychology and psychotherapy.
Dr. Christy D. Hofsess is the Clinical Training Director for the innovative, dual degree program, Masters of Science in Nutrition and Clinical Health Psychology, at Bastyr University. She is also a supervisor at the Bastyr Center for Natural Health and a volunteer supervisor with the Fremont Community Therapy Project. Dr. Hofsess maintains a private practice in Seattle and is co-founder of Interconnections Consulting, PLLC.
As the Senior Lecturer in Counseling and School Psychology at the University of Boston, Dr. Esmaeil Mahdavi is a well-known figure for his work with counseling. He is also the Online Graduate Program Director of the Mental Health Program and has made strides in the field.
Judith S. Beck is the distinguished President of Beck Institute for Cognitive Behavior Therapy. Aside from being selected as a consultant for numerous National Institute of Mental Health studies, she also has published close to 100 articles that underline her breadth of knowledge in counseling and social psychology.
Dr. Hugh C. Crethar is an associate professor at Oklahoma State University and is the Counseling Program Coordinator in the School of Applied Health and Educational Psychology. His focuses are on counseling in the areas of multicultural, social justice, gender and sexual/affectional orientation, and school counseling, among others.
Doris Bersing is a professor at Saybrook University and has led counseling initiatives across the globe. More recently, she has worked on research pertaining to feminism and how it overlaps with ageism in society. Dr. Bersing is highly accredited and is a regular lecturer on a number of issues.
C. Gary Barnes is the professor of Biblical Counseling at Dallas Theological Seminary and specializes in marriage and family research, counseling, and training. He’s worked largely with students to advance the quality of pastoral counseling programs, along with psychology and theological issues.
Adrian Blow is a professor at Michigan State who has a strong focus on counseling issues pertinent to military families, breast cancer, HIV/AIDS in South Africa, infidelity, among many other areas. He’s currently the director of the Couple and Family Therapy Program and is an integral part of Michigan State’s Human Development and Family Studies Department.
Ruth Chao is a professor at the University of Denver and contributes to comprehensive research on a variety of issues, with her interests being mostly in multicultural counseling, racism and mental health, social justice, among many others. She’s received numerous grants to advance the areas of study and has contributed largely to the field over the past decade.
Deborah Coolhart is an Assistant Professor at Syracuse University in the David B. Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics. Dr. Coolhart’s experience with gender studies and family therapy pertaining to LGBTQ relationships has reinforced her as an expert on mediation and counseling and she also works as a marriage and family therapist.
Dr. Charles J. Gelso is a Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Maryland and has released numerous publications relating to counseling over the past decade. Dr. Gelso’s fantastic resume and his refined focus on psychotherapy and counseling have made him a recognizable figure in the counseling community with substantive contributions.
University of Georgia Associate Professor Dr. Jerry Gale has an impressive list of work and interests concerning counseling. His research on families with adopted children, meditation, and HIV/AID in black churches is particularly engaging. Dr. Gale was featured as a keynote speaker at the Utah State Conference on Family Therapy in 2000 as well.
Karen Caplovitz Barrett is a Professor at Colorado State University and is also the Assistant Department Head of Human Development and Family Studies. She is a psychologist who analyzes the development of emotional processes over the span of a life and different factors that contribute to altering them. She has primary areas of focus that generally look at early childhood development, emotional development, as well as regulating.
Lynette Bassman is a professor at Alliant International University and has a focus on clinical psychology. Her refined interests pertaining to counseling and wide range of publications contribute to her fantastic qualifications.
Mark Butler is a professor in the Department of Family Life at Brigham Young University. He’s published numerous articles over the past decade pertaining to marriage and family therapy and the best counseling approaches.
Sue Ammen is a Professor at Alliant International University and focuses on developmental psychology and the counseling that pertains to it. She teaches courses on parent-child relationships, biopsychosocial factors in small children, as well as lifespan developmental psychology. Dr. Ammen is a great professor for counseling and gaining a more comprehensive understanding of the field.
Sarah Schoppe-Sullivan was selected as an Alumni Distinguished Teacher for 2012 at The Ohio State University and has an impressive list of projects within her research interests. Dr. Schoppe-Sullivan’s contributions to counseling have not gone unrecognized, evident by her recent accolades, which more thoroughly solidifies her as a reputable figure in the field.
Stephanie Brooks is the Department Chair and the Director of PhD/MFT/PMC Programs at Drexel University. Dr. Brooks’ primary focuses have been in couple, family, and sex therapy, but has also worked on research pertaining to forensic family therapy, racism and stress disorders, and more.
Dr. Tina Schermer Sellers is the Director of Medical Family Therapy Program, as well as an Instructor of Marriage and Family Therapy at Seattle Pacific University. Dr. Schermer Sellers has focused extensively on Medical Family Therapy and Sexual Health throughout her career in counseling and psychology, but also has taught on a number of other subjects pertinent to the field.
Department Chair and Associate Professor Virginia Quinonez works at The Chicago School of Psychology with a strong emphasis on clinical psychology and a wealth of experience in counseling.
As a professor and Program Director for Marriage & Family Therapy at Florida State University, Wayne Denton has an impressive resume of the work he has done pertaining to counseling and family issues. He’s done large studies on couple therapy, depression, and others focused on counseling and psychological issues.
Audrey Ervin is a highly accredited psychologist with a specialization in diversity issues and mindfulness-based interventions in therapy. Dr. Ervin has been awarded many prestigious honors and has attended conferences around the world to present her work. Through high regards for her work, she was also selected to be the national spokesperson for the Association for Women in Psychology.
Dr. Anabel Bejarano is the Clinical Assistant Professor and Director of the Master’s Programs in Counseling at the University of Miami. Dr. Bejarano has an impressive breadth of knowledge with a focus on Latino mental health and the most effective counseling techniques. Dr. Bejarano is an integral piece of the University of Miami’s Department of Educational and Psychological Studies.
Dr. Ben Beitin is an Associate Professor of Marriage and Family Therapy at Seton Hall University and focuses on relationships, specifically between immigrants and innovative counseling techniques to help stabilize communities. The articles he has written over the latter half of the past decade are particularly engaging and fantastic analysis pieces.
Dr. Bita Ghafoori is a professor focusing on Advanced Studies in Education and Counseling at California State University Long Beach. Dr. Ghafoori has an impressively extensive list of counseling work she has done and her primary research focus has been identifying causal factors pertinent to violence-induced and traumatic stress and treatment. Notably, she also is a faculty fellow in the Research Infrastructure in Minority Institutions.
Dr. Curtis A. Fox is a Professor in the Department of Counseling and Family Sciences at Loma Linda University in their School of Behavioral Health. Dr. Fox’s focus on marriage enrichment, premarital relations, and parenting issues underlines his commitment to promoting psychological counseling through intuitive teaching techniques.
Dr. Michael Block is a Professor of School Counseling and School Psychology at Azusa Pacific University. Over his impressive career of over 25 years, Dr. Block has worked extensively to promote stronger educational models in a multitude of areas, specifically school counseling, career development, and curriculum planning.
Dr. Michael Ellis is a professor in the Division of Counseling Psychology at the University of Albany has been published in many of the most notable academic journals and periodicals. Dr. Ellis’ work underlines his commitment to bettering counseling psychology and he received the Distinguished Professional Achievement Award from the Society of Counseling Psychology.
Dr. Paul H. Alexander is the Vice President for Academic Affairs and a Professor of Psychology & Counseling at Hope International University. Dr. Alexander is well published and has won Faculty of the Year twice thus far at Hope International.
Dr. David J. Palmiter is teaches at Marywood University as a Professor of Psychology and is an extremely accomplished individual. With an almost endless list of publications authored and presentations given, Dr. Palmiter has contributed extensively to counseling psychology.
Dr. Charlene Alexander is a Professor of Counseling Psychology and Guidance Services and has also previously served as the President of the Indiana School Counselor Association. Dr. Alexander has won numerous awards for her counseling contributions, most notably the Exemplary Counselor Educator Award from the Indiana School Counselor Association. Dr. Alexander’s commitment to improving counseling techniques and educational models has had a profound impact on Indiana and she continues to exhibit excellence in her field.
Dr. Charles Alexander works as a member of The Wright Institute where he’s an expert on substance abuse and chemical dependency treatment. Dr. Alexander’s resume includes an impressive tenure as the Director of Chemical Dependency Services for Kaiser Hospitals. Dr. Alexander’s career includes numerous presentations, including the prestigious honor of keynote speaker at the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists.
Dr. Cirecie A. West-Olatunji is the Academic Program Director of the Counseling Program at the University of Cincinnati and has made impressive contributions to Counseling Psychology and Education. Dr. West-Olatunji has a number of accolades as signifiers of her work in the field, from a multitude of journal entries to book chapters and more.
Dr. Chadwick Royal is an Associate Professor at North Carolina Central University and has contributed to the school’s Counselor Education Program through a high level of teaching and quality publications published over the past decade.
Carmen Valdez is a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she works on Counseling Psychology. Dr. Valdez has accomplished a great deal and was named to serve on the American Psychological Association Committee on Children, Touch, and Families.
Dr. Daniel Lustig’s great work at The University of Memphis covers Counselor Education and Psychology Research. Impressively, Dr. Lustig’s research has been awarded a total of over a million dollars in training grants. These have helped promote counseling psychology practice across the world.
Dr. Gonzalo Bacigalupe is an extremely well accomplished professor, holding positions at numerous universities, either practicing or adjunct. Dr. Bacigalupe’s dense resume highlights his ability to incite change and progress in the field of counseling and school psychology.
Dr. Hsiu-Lan Cheng is committed to helping with the advancement of research pertinent to particular areas of counseling and educational psychology and has a number of recent publications demonstrating her ability to drive research forward. Additionally, Dr. Cheng’s work previously earned her the honor of “Principal Reviewer” by the Editorial Board of Journal of Counseling Psychology in 2009.
Dr. Jonathan Schwartz is the Department Head for Counseling and Psychology and New Mexico State University and has a dense list of publications his work has been featured in. Dr. Schwartz has been integral to promoting higher quality education of counseling at the university since his inception as department head.
Dr. Jerrold Lee Shapiro works at Santa Clara University and has been crucial to leading the Counseling Psychology Department as the Chair. Dr. Shapiro’s nine books have made substantive inferences on counseling psychology and is very active in contributing to the media.
As a professor at University of California, Santa Barbara, Dr. Robert Koegel has made significant advancements concerning childhood autism through psychological counseling, all while the Director of the UCSB Koegel Autism Center. He’s been awarded fantastic fellowships with some of the leading psychological associations in the country.
Dr. Lee Bach works at the Michigan School of Professional Psychology where she has served as Program Director since 2008. Dr. Bach’s innovative research has helped strengthen Psychological Counseling, specifically pertinent to eating disorders and women’s issues.
Dr. Perry N. Halkitis is a Professor as well as Associate Dean at NYU’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. Dr. Halkitis’ incredible work on the psychosocial burdens of AIDS, and drug abuse have not gone without notice and he has been able to make siginifcant research breakthroughs since brought on board at the university.
Dr. Parrish L. Paul is Director of the Counseling Psychology at the University of Wisconsin and has been integral to the advancement of the Department of Counseling Psychology at the school since brought on board.
Dr. Kelli Saginak’s work as Assistant Professor at University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh has made fantastic strides concerning gender issues and counseling psychology. She’s been a consultant on a variety of projects and works significantly on upper-level counseling work at the university.
Dr. Susan Hastings of Hope International University is the Chair and Program Director for the Marriage & Family Therapy Program where impressive advancements have been made recently concerning counseling psychology and the state of contemporary marriage.
Associate Professor of Counseling Psychology Stefania Aegisdottir has published very intruiging work on cross-cultural counseling and research methods and has done great work internationally, being a co-author of a book on the subject as well.
Dr. Todd Edwards is the Program Director of Marital and Family Therapy at the University of San Diego. His impressive publications from 2010 and 2011 were well received and has contributed to large progress in counseling psychology through his work as a professor.
Dr. Eric Dahlen is the Clinic Director and Associate Professor at the University of Southern Mississippi. His primary research focuses have produced a higher level of quality from the Counseling Psychology Program at the university since Dr. Dahlen was brought on board.
Dr. Thomas Sexton teaches at Indiana University and is also the Director of the Center for Adolescent and Family Studies. His research on Functional Family Therapy has made large strides in the psychologial community domestically and internationally as well. Dr. Sexton’s large background in presenting at workshops, well over 300, has continued to enable his effective research to be shared among a wide range of colleagues.
Y. Barry Chung is the Program Director of Counseling Psychology at Indiana University and his focus on multicultural and LGBT issues has made him a prominent figure pertinent to counseling psychology, along with his numerous Psychological Association involvements.
Dr. Leslie S. Greenberg teaches at York University in Toronto and his focus on individual and marital therapy have been crucial to the furthering of the university’s counseling psychology program.
Dr. Lisa M. Hooper has been a great addition since coming on board with The University of Alabama and has further enhanced the quality of the Counselor Education and School Psychology Program. Dr. Hooper has a strong focus on Community and Cultural Counseling and it’s with this experience that the program has flourished.
Dr. Catherine Horn is an associate professor at the University of Houston and does research on educational psychology and also has a strong focus on inhibiting factors for students who typically are underrepresented.
J. Dale Alden is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Lipscomb University and is a great professor to get more information on an array of psychology subjects and behavioral studies.
Dr. Anthony Chambers is an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychology at Northwestern University with strong interests in premarital counseling. He’s published several publications and won numerous awards.
Dr. David Fenell is a Professor of Counseling and Human Services at the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs and has previously been the chair of the Department of Counseling and Human Services. His high-quality writings on counseling and family therapy have made him a distinguishable figure in counseling work.
Edward G. Fierros is an Associate Professor at Villanova University where he’s focused extensively on educational and counseling issues. His esteemed work in the field, along with many publications, contribute to his impressive resume.
Stephen S. Feit is a Professor of Counseling at Idaho State University and has done fantastic work in the Counseling Education field. He’s also been a team member on the Counsel for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs.
Monmouth University is where George M. Kalpalka is a Professor and works extensively with students with interests including mental health, psychology, human development, and prevention.
Dr. Arpana G. Inman focuses on multicultural issues, South Asian – Asian American Concerns, and multicultural competence in addition to her counseling psychology work. Her position as the Program Director at Lehigh University has allowed her to enhance the Counseling Psychology program with increased class offerings, among other great initiatives.
Joan Avis is a Counseling Psychology Professor at the University of San Francisco and focuses on Counseling Psychology, Adult Development, Life Transitions Counseling, and other areas pertinent to the field. Additionally, she co-authored a fantastic book that looks at the cultural implications women had on contemporary society.
Idaho state Professor Nicole Hill has an impressive array of experience working in Counselor Education and designing programs to implement initiatives to provide better resources for children and equip communities with higher quality mental health and drug-free counseling.
Dr. Steven Danish is a Professor of Psychology as well as Social and Behavioral Health in the Counseling Psychology Department at Virginia Commonwealth University and his numerous publications in accredited journals underlines his increasing value to the counseling psychology field.
Stephanie Budge is an Assistant Professor at the University of Louisville and focuses on Counseling Psychology. She’s very interested in progressing the field, specifically with transgender individuals and the emotional stresses and processes involved. She’s been heavily involved in LGBTQ research and has been integral in advancing research on the subject.
Shari Tarver Behring is a Professor of Educational Psychology at California State University Northridge and has largely done work on school counseling and psychology. With primary focuses on counselors’ roles in interventions for at-risk youth, she has been a significant contributor to the field.
Bruce P. Keuhl is a Professor and Program Director at the University of Wisconsin STOUT and has largely contributed to advancing marriage and family therapy.
Mark Leach is a Professor at the University of Louisville and is also the Program Director of Clinical Training for Educational & Counseling Psychology. He’s received a large array of awards, most notably receiving many chairs and keynote speaking opportunities over the past decade.
Dr. Kathleen Ingram is an Associate Professor at Virginia Commonwealth University and focuses on Counseling Psychology and particularly how interactions with others influence health and well-being. She’s written many different publications over the last decade and teaches many graduate-level courses for counseling.
Patrick Hardesty is an Associate Professor in the Counseling Psychology department at the University of Louisville and has worked on numerous volunteer programs to promote counseling psychology and further develop the field.
Russel Crane is a Professor at Brigham Young University and has extensively worked in marriage and family therapy to help contribute to the field. His list of publications over the last few years highlights his increasing notoriety among counseling psychology.
John Blando is an Associate Professor at San Francisco State University and works on Counseling, specifically in gerontological counseling. His work in that area, along with sexuality research have contributed to his rise as a more respected figure in the counseling community.
Kami Schwerdtfeger is an Assistant Professor in the College of Human Sciences at Oklahoma State University and her work on Marriage and Family Therapy in rural settings has helped advance an area less focused on.
Leslie Moore is a Professor at The University of Texas at Austin and is the Area Chair of the Counselor Education master’s degree program. She’s developed extensive research models contributing to quality in the field and has further worked in counseling to promote a higher quality of teaching.
Dr. Anita E. Kelly is a Professor at the University of Notre Dame and studies secrecy, self-disclosure, and self-presentation in psychotherapy and everyday interactions.
Dr. David Van Dyke is an Associate Professor at Wheaton College and is the Marriage and Family Therapy Program Director since 2012. He teaches courses on Individual and Family Development, Family Therapy and Theory, Couples Therapy, and many others.
Dr. Sherwin Davidson is the Counseling Psychology Chair in the Department of Psychology at Portland State University and teaches courses on work psychology, gender in organizations, with a strong focus on women and leadership. She also founded and was Director of The Center for Adult Learning and Career Change while at the University of Utah.
Dr. Deborah Serani is an Adjunct Professor at Adelphi University and runs the popular and highly-awarded blog Dr. Deb: Psychological Perspective. Serani herself is diagnosed with depression and majored in psychology to better focus on treatment for those with mental illness.
Dr. James Bartee is the Teaching Assistant Professor and the Training Director of Counseling Psychology at West Virginia University. He also was the founder of the Pacific University Counseling Center while a tenured associate professor.
Dr. Jeff Logue is an Assistant Professor at Southwestern Assemblies of God University, working as the Program Coordinator for Counseling Ministries.
Associate Professor and Chair of the Counselor Education Department Dr. J. Barry Mascari works for Kean University’s Nathan Weiss Graduate College. He has over thirty years of counseling-related experience in school, as well as outpatient treatment and also serves as a district director of counseling and student services.
Dr. Anne P. DePrince is an Associate Professor at the University of Denver in the Department of Psychology. She works on the relationship between trauma, emotion, cognition, and posttraumatic distress. She looks at how they’re connected and the counseling techniques associated with them.
Dr. Ann Garland is a professor at the University of San Diego where she is the Founding Chair of the Department of School, Family, and Mental Health Professions. She aims to improve mental health care through counseling for children and families, as well as address how to bring work in science closer to community practice.
Dr. Angela McDonald is an Assistant Professor at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke where she is the Director of Clinical Mental Health Counseling.
Dr. David Matsumoto is a Professor of Psychology at San Francisco State University and studies emotion and facial expressions to understand how facial expressions are innate and how emotion incites hostility in ideologically-based groups.
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