Faculty and Supervisors

Core MFT Faculty

Kristen Benson, LMFT, AAMFT Approved Supervisor

Program DirectorKristen Benson


Dr. Kristen Benson is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Human Development and Psychological Counseling and core faculty in the Marriage and Family Therapy Program. She holds an LMFT in North Carolina. She is a Clinical Fellow and Approved Supervisor in the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, and a member of the National Council on Family Relations where she chairs the Social Justice Network Focus Group. Dr. Benson's professional interests include social justice-informed training and practice, with focus on LGBTQ inclusive and anti-racist work.


Degrees

B.S., Family and Child Sciences, Florida State University
M.A., Marriage and Family Therapy, Appalachian State University
Ph.D., Human Development,  emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy, Virginia Tech

Research Interests

Marginalization and inclusion in families
Transgender and gender expansive identity inclusion in family therapy
Social justice frameworks for family therapy research, teaching, learning, and practice

Contact Information

Email: bensonke@appstate.edu
Office Phone: 828-262-8884
314D College of Education

Boone, North Carolina 28608-2037

Laura Gambrel, LMFT, AAMFT Approved Supervisor

Laura GambrelInternship Coordinator


"Infusing relationships with awareness and acceptance - towards self and other - leads to transformation."

Laura Gambrel is an Assistant Professor in the Marriage and Family Therapy program. She is a licensed marriage and family therapist in Pennsylvania, and licensed professional counselor in Colorado. She holds certification as a registered play therapist. She is also a Clinical Fellow and Approved Supervisor in the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. Laura spent her pre-doctoral internship with the Human Development and Psychological Counseling Department.

Degrees

PhD, Marriage and Family Therapy, Virginia Tech
MA, Contemplative Psychotherapy, Naropa University
Bachelor of Arts, Psychology and Philosophy. Goucher College

Research Interests

Clinical applications of mindfulness for couples and families
Interventions to enhance the couple relationship for new parents

Contact Information

Email: gambrell@appstate.edu
Office Phone: 828-262-2231
336C College of Education
Boone, North Carolina 28608-2037

N. Jordan, Ph.D.

Nickolas Jordan

"Training the next generation of marriage and family therapists to take up the mantle of Social Justice is the most important work I do."

Dr. Nickolas A. Jordan is an Associate Professor of Marriage and Family Therapy within the Department of Human Development and Psychological Counseling at Appalachian State University. Dr. Jordan specializes in work with low socio-economic status individuals, couples and families of color. His professional interests include Inclusion, Social Justice and relationships created, maintained and terminated through online video games and other Social Media.  

Degrees

PhD, Marriage and Family Therapy, Syracuse University
MA, Marriage and Family Therapy, Syracuse University
BS, Psychology, Virginia Tech
BA, Interdisciplinary Studies, Virginia Tech 

Research Interests

Inclusion
Social Justice
Relationships created, maintained and terminated through online video games and other Social Media 

Contact Information

Email: jordanna@appstate.edu
Office Phone: 828-262-6049
405J College of Education
Boone, North Carolina 28608-2037

Jon Winek, LMFT, AAMFT Approved Supervisor

Jon Winek

"Nothing is the only thing you always get when you ask for it."

Jon Winek is a Professor in the Department of Human Development and Psychological Counseling at Appalachian State University. Dr. Winek received his PhD from the University of Southern California in Sociology. He is a licensed as both a marriage and family therapist and professional counselor in North Carolina. He is a Clinical Fellow and Approved Supervisor in the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.

Degrees

PhD, Sociology, University of Southern California
MA, Sociology, University of Southern California
Master of Marital and Family Therapy. University of Southern California
Bachelor of General Studies. University of Michigan

Research Interests

Theory and practice of family therapy
Philosophy of science and the development of research methodology

Contact Information

Email: winekjl@appstate.edu
Office Phone: 828-262-4890
334D College of Education
Boone, North Carolina 28608-2037

Affiliate Clinical Faculty 

Melissa ParlierMelissa Parlier, LMFT, AAMFT Approved Supervisor

Melissa R. Parlier has a Bachelor of Science in Sociology and a Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy, both from Appalachian State University. She is a LMFT in NC with 15+ years of experience working with individuals, families, and couples and has been an AAMFT Approved Supervisor since 2013. She is a senior member of the Clinical Services team at The Crossnore School and has a part-time private practice in Boone, NC. She is rostered by the NC Child Treatment Program as a TF-CBT provider and is EAGALA certified. Areas of interest include trauma-informed care and families involved in the foster care system.