Department of Counselor Education

Faculty Profiles

 

Clinical Mental Health Counseling


COE Dr. Paul R. Peluso is Department Chair and Professor of Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Florida Atlantic University. He received his doctorate in Counselor Education and Human Development and Ed.S. in Professional Counseling from Georgia State University. Dr. Peluso is a licensed mental health counselor and marriage and family therapist, a national certified counselor, as well as a qualified supervisor in MHC, MFT, and AAMFT in the State of Florida. In addition, he currently serves as the editor-in-chief of Measurement and Evaluation in Counseling and Development, as well as acts as President of the International Association for Marriage and Family Counselors (IAMFC), a division of the American Counseling Association (ACA).

Dr. Peluso has authored several books, including Advanced Principles of Counseling and Psychotherapy: Learning, Integrating, and Consolidating the Nonlinear Thinking of Master Practitioners.  An award-winning researcher, he has received recognitions from organizations such as IAMFC, ACA, and the Association for Assessment in Counseling and Education (AACE). Dr. Peluso has lectured both nationally and internationally, and has also been featured in several media outlets including The Wall Street Journal and Counseling Today.

Visit Dr. Peluso's faculty page or personal website.

  Research Interests:

  • Adlerian counseling and crisis intervention
  • Couples counseling and infidelity
  • Individual psychology
  • Evidence-based psychological practices and therapist training
  •  Mathematical modeling of the counseling relationship:  i.e. studying the impact of affect and emotional behavior of counselor and/or client on the therapeutic relationship

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

COE Dr. Len Sperry, M.D., Ph.D., is Professor of Mental Health Counseling and Director of Clinical Training at Florida Atlantic University. He has taught, practiced, researched, and written about mental health counseling for more than 30 years. He is the editor of two major clinical journals and is on the editorial boards of 12 others. Among his 1000+ professional publications are 80 professional books, including titles such as Mental Health and Mental Disorders: An Encyclopedia of Conditions, Treatments and Psychopathology and Psychotherapy: DSM-5 Diagnosis, Case Conceptualization and Treatment.

 

 

 

  Research Interests:

  • Case conceptualization: research effective methods of increasing the competency of trainees and practicing counselors how to conceptualize cases. Case conceptualization is known as the “heart of evidence-based practice” and is considered the most important counseling skill and competency.
  • Pattern-focused counseling and psychotherapy: research various elements of counseling interventions that effect client change by replacing maladaptive patterns with more adaptive patterns of thinking, feeling, and behaving.
  • Spiritually-oriented counseling and psychotherapy: research counseling interventions that are sensitive to the religious and spiritual needs of clients.
  • Integrated health care counseling: develop training programs and research the emerging role of counselors in primary care medical settings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

COE Dr. Brian S. Canfield is Professor of Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Florida Atlantic University. He received his B.A. in psychology and M.A. in counseling from Louisiana Tech University, and his doctorate in Counseling and Guidance from Texas A&M University at Commerce. Dr. Canfield is a licensed marriage and family therapist (FL and LA,) a licensed professional counselor (LA,) a licensed psychologist (AR,) a certified master addiction counselor, and a clinical fellow and approved supervisor of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy.

Dr. Canfield’s research and scholarly contributions are widely cited in the professional literature and his co-authored book Group Work: Cybernetic, Constructivist and Social Constructionist Perspectives is used in a number of clinical training programs throughout the USA and abroad. He is regularly invited as a keynote speaker and presenter at state, national, and international conferences. His international activities in the field of counseling have included presenting workshops and consulting with professional groups in Mexico, Rwanda, Australia, Malaysia, Cyprus, Bahamas, Italy, Germany, the United Kingdom, and Turkey.

Throughout his career, Dr. Canfield has been active in professional association leadership. He is a past president of the International Association of Marriage and Family Counselors (IAMFC) and currently serves as IAMFC Director of International Education and Development. For the past 15 years, he has organized and directed the IAMFC summer Family Counseling Institute, currently held at St. Hilda’s College, Oxford University. Dr. Canfield is a Fellow and served as the 56th President of the American Counseling Association (ACA.)

 

  Research Interests:

  • Marriage counseling and dyadic relationship therapy
  • Professional practice issues
  • Intercultural counseling
  • Applied Cybernetics in counseling
  • Family of Origin and intergeneration transmission theory

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

COE Dr. Carman Gill is Associate Professor of Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Florida Atlantic University. She has extensive counseling and related experience including crisis services manager, inpatient unit counselor, crisis services clinician (covering three hospital emergency departments), and UNC-G university clinic counselor. Dr. Gill has presented locally, nationally, and internationally on a variety of theoretical and research based topics, with her primary area of research being spirituality and counseling. She is a co-author of DSM-5: Learning Companion for Counselors, a textbook published by the American Counseling Association (ACA). Dr. Gill is a member of ACA, the Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (ACES), and the Association for Spiritual, Ethical, and Religious Values in Counseling (ASERVIC). She has worked for ASERVIC as newsletter editor, secretary, board member, membership committee co-chair, conference committee co-chair and is a past president of that organization.

 

Research Interests:

  • Wellness theory for counselors
  • Ethical issues and distance supervision in counseling
  • Spirituality and religion in counseling
  • Substance use disorders
  • Spiritual Competency Scale (SCS)

 

 

 

 

 




COE Dr. Kelly Emelianchik-Key is Assistant Professor in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program and serves as the practicum coordinator. She received her Bachelor of Science degree from Florida Atlantic University, her Master's and Educational Specialist degrees in Mental Health Counseling from the University of Florida, and her Doctorate in Counselor Education and Supervision from Old Dominion University.  As a licensed mental health counselor and nationally certified counselor, Dr. Emelianchik-Key has experience working with diverse populations, such as children, teens, couples, college students, and families. She has worked in a variety of capacities and settings, including but not limited to: inpatient facilities, community agencies, and private practices.

Dr. Emelianchik-Key is an engaged member of the counseling community via her work with clients, teaching, research, providing clinical supervision, and serving on editorial boards.  She is an active member of several national and state professional organizations, in addition to having several peer reviewed journal publications, book contributions, and national presentations.

 

  Research Interests:

  • Gender issues
  • Dating and intimate partner violence
  •  Self-injurious behavior
  •  Clinical supervision and ethics
  •  Career development with marginalized populations

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling

 

COE Dr. Michael Frain is Professor of Rehabilitation Counseling and a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC). He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin - Madison. He is a published leader within the field of Rehabilitation Psychology, and has produced over 50 peer reviewed journal articles.

Visit Dr. Frain's faculty page.

Research Interests:

  • Vocational evaluation and rehabilitation
  • Developmental disabilities, assessment, and claims
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Disability discrimination and the workplace
  • Life care planning and personal injury consulting

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

School Counseling

 

COE Dr. Greg Brigman is Professor of Counseling at Florida Atlantic University and has been a counselor educator and researcher for 20 years. Dr. Brigman has extensive experience as a classroom teacher, school counselor, staff development trainer, and curriculum researcher. He consults with school districts to evaluate the impact of school counselor and teacher led evidence-based programs to improve student performance. Dr. Brigman has trained over 5,000 teachers and school counselors in the Student Success Skills curriculum he co-authored and has published extensively in major professional journals on his work evaluating the impact of teaching students critical cognitive, social and self-management skills on achievement and behavior. Over three million students have used his SSS program to improve math, reading, and pro-social behavior. He has received numerous research awards and was the CO-PI on a recent 4 year, 2.7 million dollar U.S. Department of Education IES grant. The Student Success Skills curriculum is one of only six top rated evidence-based programs cited in the recent CASEL Guideline for Evidence-based SEL programs. Descriptions of Dr. Brigman’s K-12 SSS model can be found at www.studentsuccessskills.com.

Visit Dr. Brigman's faculty page.

Research Interests:

  • Outcome research on school counseling interventions
  • Improving social/emotional skills
  • Enhancing academic achievement
  • Healthy aging and wellness
  • Impact of positive psychology on academic, social and emotional performance

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

COE

Dr. Melissa Mariani is Assistant Professor in the Department of Counselor Education at Florida Atlantic University, where she also received her Ph.D. in Counseling. She has a wealth of experience in the field of school counseling, having worked as a school counselor and guidance program/testing coordinator for close to a decade. Currently, she is on the editorial board of a number of peer-reviewed journals, including Journal for Counselor Preparation and Supervision, Journal of Employment Counseling, and Journal of School Counseling.

Recently, Dr. Mariani was recognized by Florida Atlantic University and the FAU College of Education as the 2016 Scholar of the Year (Assistant Professor level). She has presented regionally, nationally, and internationally on the subjects of student success skills, school counseling interventions and outcome research, evidence-based guidance programs,  higher education and K-12 collaboration, and cultural sensitivity in school counselor education.

 

Research Interests:

  • Evidence-based and data-driven school counseling practices
  • College and career readiness skills
  • Effects of student success skills on pro-social and bullying behavior
  • School district-university research partnerships
  • Cultural sensitivity in school counselor education

COE Dr. Elizabeth Villares is Associate Professor and Ph.D. Coordinator of the Department of Counselor Education at Florida Atlantic University. She has worked as a teacher, school counselor, and guidance director at the secondary level. Her area of specialization includes counseling children and adolescents, integrating technology in school counseling programs to improve data driven practices, and collaborating with school counselors to develop action research, outcome research, and program evaluation projects. Dr. Villares is also interested in the implementation of school counselor led evidence-based programs that  lead to an improvement in student achievement.

Visit Dr. Villares's faculty page.

Research Interests:

  • Counseling children and adolescents
  • Improving social/emotional skills
  • Improving school counseling action and outcome research
  • Evidence-based programs that improve student achievement
  • Impact of positive psychology on academic, social and emotional performance

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

COE

Dr. Hannah Bowers is Assistant Professor of School Counseling at Florida Atlantic University. Dr. Bowers has been working with children and families for the past seven years, both as a marriage and family therapist and a school counselor. Her research thus far has focused on investigating school counseling programs and interventions that are aligned with the ASCA National Model, and which advocate for the school counseling profession, and engage the entirety of the school system. Dr. Bowers was recently selected as an Emerging Leader for the Association of Humanistic Counseling and promoted to Associate Editor of the Journal of Humanistic Counseling. She is excited for her recent return to South Florida and looks forward to further engaging with the local and regional counseling community.

 

Research Interests:

  • Evidence-based and data-driven school counseling practices
  • School, family, and community collaboration
  • Interventions that improve social and emotional learning and cognitive functions.