About the Author(s)
Rick Balkin, Ph.D., LPC, NCC, is a Professor in the Department of Leadership and Counselor Education, and Coordinator of Educational Research and Design in the School of Education at the University of Mississippi. He is the author of Practicing Forgiveness: A Path Toward Healing, published by Oxford University Press and currently serves as Editor-in-Chief for the International Journal for the Advancement of Counselling. Rick is a Fellow of the American Counseling Association; past-president for the Association for Assessment and Research in Counseling; and former editor of the Journal of Counseling & Development, the flagship journal of the American Counseling Association.
Amanda Winburn, Ph.D., LPC, RPT, NCC, NCSC, is currently serving as an Associate
Professor at the University of Mississippi within the Department of Leadership and Counselor Education. Dr. Winburn has over a decade of experience working with children in various settings. Dr. Winburn is a licensed educator, counselor, and administrator. She currently serves as the Program Coordinator for the Ed.S. in Counselor Education (Play Therapy Specialization Track) and teaches courses within the School Counseling and Play Therapy specialty areas. Dr. Winburn also has a strong interest in School Based Play Therapy. Over the last 10 years, she has been actively involved in play therapy at the University of Mississippi both at the clinical setting as well as actively conducting research within the field. Other research interest include school counseling, bullying, and advocacy. Her
research has been published in journals such as Professional School Counseling and the International Journal of Play Therapy.
Erika L. Schmit, PhD, LPC, is currently an associate professor in the Department of Counseling at Texas A&M University- Commerce. In addition, she serves as the doctoral coordinator of the counseling program and teach courses related to research, teaching, and clinical mental health counseling. Her experiences include working with children and adolescents in numerous settings including schools, agencies, and inpatient hospitals. In the past 5 years as a counselor educator, Dr. Schmit published 12 peer reviewed articles and presented 39 times at counseling conferences. Her research agenda has a specific focus on working with youth in crisis and admitted
into acute care hospital settings, specifically experiencing suicidal ideations, behaviors, and attempts. She has also published articles related to counseling outcomes and research methodology.
Samantha Marie Mendoza, Ph.D, .serves as a Federal Field Specialist, employed through the Office of Refugee Resettlement, and is an adjunct professor in the Counselor Education Department at the University of St. Thomas and the University of the Southwest. Since 2008, Dr. Mendoza has worked with vulnerable populations, particularly children and individuals with intellectual disabilities or mental health needs.