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International Institute for the Advancement of Counseling Theory

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Advancing the Understanding of Counseling Theory Globally

Developed by Dr. Ed Neukrug, the Batten Endowed Chair of Counseling in the Darden College of Education and Professional Studies (DCEPS), the International Institute for the Advancement of Counseling Theory's (IIACT) main goals are to:

  • Further research to advance the understanding of counseling theory.
  • Provide access to major sites that discuss a wide variety of counseling theory.
  • Examine cross-cultural issues related to the use, and abuse, of counseling theory.
  • Provide theoretical surveys and open-access websites to increase the understanding of theory.
  • Offer mini-grants for research that supports the understanding and advancement of counseling theory.
  • Provide resources, such as books, videos, and artifacts that highlight classic theories, emerging theories, and lesser-known international theories.


Research Subdivision

Directors: Drs. Mike Kalkbrenner and Chris Sink

The directors of research are charged with overseeing the research advisory board and conducting research related to counseling theory. The research advisory board's main role is to develop research projects that advanced counseling theory and provide a mechanism for developing competitive proposals for mini grants related to the research of counseling theory.

Research Advisory Board

Current members include:

  • Dr. Eric Brown, Assistant Professor of Counseling, DePaul University
  • Dr. T Airra Belcher, Assistant Profess of Counseling, Loyola University
  • Dr. Yuleinys A. Castillo, Assistant Professor of Counselor Education and Rehabilitation, Fresno State University
  • Dr. Jungeun "Jay" Lee, LPC, LPC-S, Clinical Associate Professor, Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program, Department of Psychological, Health, & Learning Science, University of Houston
    • My research interest has been focused on underserved and socially marginalized populations including ethnic and linguistic minorities and immigrants and applying counseling theory to multicultural populations. I am also interested in the therapeutic benefits of ACT and CBT on depression, self-theories, growth mindset, and counselor developments.
  • Dr. Meredith A Rausch, Bachelor of Arts: Public Speaking, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater | Masters of Science: Community Counseling, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater | Doctor of Philosophy: Counselor Education and Supervision, University of Iowa | Current University: Augusta University, Department of Advanced Studies and Innovation
    • Research Interests: Mentoring, Social Justice Advocacy, Prevention and Intervention for marginalized populations


Our research advisory board will be developing a process to apply for three $2,000 grants.

We hope to have this process developed during the Spring of 2022. Check back at this site for further information.

Current Research Being Conducted

"Validation of Scores on the View of Human Nature and Conceptual Orientation Scale"

Factors That Make Counseling Work: Client Factors, Evidence-Based Practice, and Common Factors

  • Client Factors:
    Client factors such as readiness for change, psychological resources, and social supports may affect how well a client does in counseling.
  • Evidenced-Based Counseling (EBP):
    EBP suggests that counseling and psychotherapy is best when the counselor (1) is familiar with the best research-based treatments, (2) understands the client's unique situation and can choose the most effective treatments for it, and (3) takes into account client's preferences, values, and cultural background when choosing a treatment.
  • Common Factors Research:
    Common factors include characteristics of the counselor that help in the development of a working alliance, such as counselor empathy, acceptance, genuineness, embracing a wellness perspective, cultural competence, and something Neukrug (2022) calls the "it factor"; as well as those factors that are critical to delivering one's theoretical approach, such as one's belief in one's theory, competence, and cognitive complexity.

Global Issues Subdivision

Directors: Drs. Courtland Lee & Barbara Herlihy

The directors of global issues are charged with overseeing the global issues advisory board, examining issues related counseling theory from a global perspective, and developing resources that describe international approaches to counseling theory.

Co-director: Dr. Courtland Lee (Contact: cclee226@gmail.com)

Dr. Courtland Lee is a Past President of the International Association for Counselling. He is also a Fellow of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, the only American to receive this honor. Dr. Lee is also a Fellow and Past President of the American Counseling Association. He is an internationally renowned scholar having published six books on multicultural counseling and three books on counseling and social justice. In addition, he has published numerous book chapters and articles on counseling across cultures and issues of social justice. Dr. Lee is the former editor of the Journal of Multicultural Counseling and Development. He currently serves on the editorial board of the International Journal for the Advancement of Counselling. Dr. Lee is a retired Professor of Counselor Education who has held faculty positions at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the University of Virginia, the University of Maryland at College Park, and the University of Malta.

Co-director: Dr. Barbara Herlihy (Contact: bherlihy@uno.edu)

Dr. Barbara Herlihy is a Past President of Chi Sigma Iota-International, and she serves as the Chair of the Ethics Roundtable of the International Association for Counselling. A prolific scholar, she is co-author or co-editor of four current textbooks, as well as over 100 refereed journal articles and book chapters. She serves as Associate Editor for Ethics for Counseling and Values and has served as an Editorial Board member for the Journal for Counseling & Development and The School Counselor. Although she is best known for her long-term focus on counseling ethics, she has developed a more recent passion for contributing to the globalization of counseling. She has traveled extensively and has taught at universities in Mexico, Venezuela, and Malta. Dr. Herlihy is Professor Emeritus, Counselor Education Program, College of Education & Human Development at the University of New Orleans. She has held faculty positions at University of Wisconsin- Whitewater, University of Houston- Clear Lake, Loyola University New Orleans, and the University of Texas at San Antonio.

Global Issues Advisory Board

  • Dr. Anabel Mifusd, Assistant Professor of Professional Practice-Counselor Education
  • Madelyn Duffey, M.S., M.A., NCC, LPC-Associate: Dr. Duffey is a doctoral candidate in the Counselor Education and Supervision program at the University of Texas at San Antonio. Madelyn received an M.A. in Southern Studies from the University of Mississippi and an M.S. in Clinical Mental Health counseling from UTSA. A Mellon Foundation Democratizing Racial Justice Fellow through the Department of Race, Ethnicity, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at UTSA, Madelyn teaches Introduction to Women's and Gender Studies to undergraduate students and serves as a Teaching Assistant in the Department of Counseling. Madelyn is Co-Chair of the American Counseling Association's Graduate Student and New Professional Committee, a Graduate Student Editorial Board Member for Teaching and Supervision in Counseling, and a SACES Emerging Leader. Madelyn's research interests include intersectional identity development, multicultural and international counselor education, historical trauma and trauma sites, global and regional studies within counseling, feminist career counseling, and the mental health impact of political polarization.

Multicultural Issues Subdivision

Director: Dr. Sylvia Nassar

The directors of multicultural issues are charged with overseeing the multicultural issues advisory board and examine issues related to the use, and abuse, of counseling theory with diverse populations.

Multicultural Perspectives to Counseling Theory Advisory Board

We are in the process of developing our perspectives to counseling theory advisory board. Please contact Dr. Ed Neukrug if you are interested in becoming a member.

Additional Information


Grants, Awards, and Scholarships

Call for Research Mini-Grant Proposals: Click here for guidelines and submission form. The deadline is November 1, 2022.

Questions or Thoughts?