Sonya Lorelle, PhD, LCPC, RPT-S, NCC

Clinical Training Director

Sonya Lorelle received her PhD in Counselor Education from Old Dominion University and her MS in Community Agency Counseling from Missouri State University. She is a licensed professional counselor in Virginia. Clinically she has worked at a university counseling center counseling undergraduate students. She was also the children’s counselor at an agency that provided services to homeless families, counseling children ages 3-18 and their parents. She also developed and implemented adult education programs on parenting. She is a registered play therapist supervisor. Her interests include play therapy, supervision, neurocounseling, and grief.

Lorelle also has an interest in international counseling and has volunteered to train counselors and provide counseling overseas. She is a Master Trainer of the Mental Health Facilitator (MHF) program through the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC). During four trips to Bhutan, she provided counseling services and training at an alternative high school and elementary school. She provided a week-long workshop on MHF to lay helpers in the country. She also provided inpatient and outpatient counseling in the psychiatric hospital, and provided a play therapy training to counselors at a domestic violence shelter. She is involved with the International Association for Counseling as well.

She received the Counselor Educator of the Year Award for the doctoral program from the Association of Child and Adolescent Counseling in Illinois (2018) and the North Central Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (NCACES) Outstanding Professional Teaching Award (2018).

Recent Presentations and Publications:


Atkins, K., & Lorelle, S. (2022). Cultural Humility: Lessons Learned through a Counseling Cultural Immersion. Journal of Counselor Preparation and Supervision, 15(1).

Byrd, R., Lorelle, S., & Donald, E. (2021). Transgender and gender-expansive affirming child-centered play therapy. International Journal of Play Therapy, 30(2), 146–156.

Lorelle, S., Atkins, K., & Michel, R. (2021). Enhancing Social Justice and Multicultural Counseling Competence through Cultural Immersion: A Guide for Faculty. The Journal of Counselor Preparation and Supervision, 14(1).

Yehudah, S. B. & Lorelle, S. (2020). Black birth outcomes and implications for counseling, Journal of Professional Counseling: Practice, Theory & Research, 47(2), 46-60 (Student co-author.)

Michel, R., Lorelle, S., & Atkins, K. M., (2018). LEAD with data: A training approach for school counselors. The Professional School Counselor, 21, 32-38.

Lorelle, S. & Michel, R. E. (2017). Neurocounseling: Promoting human growth and development throughout the lifespan. Adultspan Journal, 16(2), 106-119. (Won article of the year for Adultspan)

Lorelle, S. & Byrd, R. (2021). Sand tray therapy. In R. Byrd & C. Luke (Eds.). Counseling children and adolescents: Cultivating empathic connection. Routledge.


Byrd, R., Lorelle, S., & Donald, E. (2022, February). Counseling Children and Adolescents: Legal and Ethical Issues in Competency and Training. Presentation at the Annual Law and Ethics in Counseling Conference, New Orleans, LA.

Byrd, R. Donald, E. & Lorelle, S. (2021, April). Supporting Children and Adolescents through the Complexities of Grief and Loss. Presented at the American Counseling Association (ACA) virtual conference.

Lorelle, S. (2021, October). Cultural Humility: Lessons Learned through a Counseling Cultural Immersion. Poster presented Association for Counselor Education and Supervision. Atlanta, GA

Dermer, S., Lorelle, S., & Mason, M. (2018, September). An integrated care approach to training professionals on trauma and resilience. Paper presented for the International Association for Counseling, Rome, Italy.

Michel, R., Lorelle, S. &, Wix, K. M. (2017, October). Where in the world? Planning transformative counseling study abroad experiences. Paper presented for the Association for Counselor Education and Supervision, Chicago, IL.

Lorelle, S. &, Wix, K. M. (2017, October). Transformative international counselor education: Preparing for training in global settings. Paper presented for the Association for Counselor Education and Supervision. Chicago, IL.

Wix, K., Michel, R., & Lorelle, S. (2017, July). Leading with data: Straightforward strategies for student success. Paper presented for the American School Counseling Association conference, Denver, CO.

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