Bethany Russell

Visiting Assistant Professor of Counselor Education

Bethany Russell, PhD, earned her doctorate from the University of Central Florida. Most recently, she has served as the Clinical Coordinator for the Community Counseling and Research Center and the Assistant Director of Research for the UCF Center for Play Therapy Research and Training. She has experience working with a range of clinical populations including community mental health, college students, and play therapy in Title 1 schools.

  • PhD, University of Central Florida
  • MA, University of Central Florida
  • MA, University of Missouri
  • BA, University of Missouri


Bethany Russell


Bethany Russell, PhD, focuses on creating and enhancing developmentally responsive interventions for children and adolescents, who have endured trauma. Her expertise includes working in pediatric hospitals for ten years. During her time in healthcare, Russell focused on supporting the psychosocial/emotional needs of children and adolescents, encountering trauma secondary to treatment of a chronic illness. Additionally, Russell has five years of clinical and research experience, focused on supporting children and adolescents seeking mental health support in the Orlando community and abroad.

More About Bethany Russell

Areas of Expertise

  • Pediatric Chronic Illness
  • Play Therapy
  • Sensitivity in Children
  • International Partnerships in Counseling

Course Sampling

  • Foundations of Play Therapy and Expressive Arts
  • Group Procedures and Theories of Counseling
  • Family I
  • Human Development
  • Multicultural Counseling
  • Counseling Theories

  • Change Mechanisms in Play Therapy
  • Integrated Behavioral Health in Pediatrics
  • Sensory Processing Sensitivity in Children

  • Dillman Taylor, D., Thompson, K., Russell, B. R., & Meany-Walen, K. K. (2021). Utilizing play therapy in schools: Lessons learned. International Journal of Play Therapy.
  • Russell, B. R., Oh, S., Dillman Taylor, D. (2019). Integration of Adlerian play therapy in pediatric hospitals. Journal of Child and Adolescent Development. 5(1), 61-72. doi: 10.1080/23727810.2018.1556987 1.
  • Russell, B. R., Morales, A., & Russell, D. R. (2015). Using children as informal interpreters in pediatric consultations. I'Tnl Jrnl Human Rights Health, 8(3), 132-143.

Book Chapters

  • Shillingford, M. A., Gonzalez, T., & Russell, B. R. (2020). Major Depressive Disorder. In M. A. Shillingford & T. Gonzalez Eds), Demystifying the DSM: A tool for school counselors and practitioners (p. 47- 58). Cognella Pub: San Diego, CA.