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 Dr. Mary Frances Russo 




Dr. Mary Frances Russo obtained her Ph.D. in Psychology with an emphasis in clinical, child, and adolescent psychology from the University of Georgia.  She also received her M.S. in psychology from the University of Georgia as well.  Dr. Russo earned her B.S. in Psychology from Mary Washington College.

Teaching Emphasis

  • Intro Community Counseling
  • Techniques of Counseling
  • Models of Adaptive Behavior
  • Foundations of Youth
  •  Youth Counseling
  • Practicum in Counselor Supervision
  • Practicum & Internship in Youth

Research Interests and Practitioner Experience

Dr. Russo’s current research is focused on counselor training and the use of play therapy within a social constructivist framework. She frequently presents her work at professional conferences, often co-presenting with students.

Dr. Russo is the Coordinator for the Youth Counseling specialization in the Community Counseling Program. She teaches coursework in child and adolescent counseling and adaptive behavior, as well as introductory courses in community counseling and counseling techniques. Dr. Russo supervises practicum and internship in youth counseling with a focus on play therapy, reality therapy, and cognitive-behavioral therapy.

Licensure and Certification

  • Pennsylvania Licensed Psychologist
  • National Board Certified Counselor

Professional Association Membership

  • American Counseling Association (ACA)
  • Pennsylvania Counseling Association (PCA)

Selected Publications

Russo, M.F., Coogan, T., Harrison, A., Tubo, K., Jones, M., Anderson, A. (2006). Counselors at play: The use of social constructivism as a theoretical framework for play therapy. Journal of the Pennsylvania Counseling Association, 8(1), 43-51.

Russo, M.F., & Kemmerer, A.H. (2006). The paradigm shift to postmodern theory in counseling and psychotherapy: Are we throwing out the babies with the bathwater? Journal of Evolutionary Psychology, 28(3&4), 34-40.

Russo, M.F., Vernam, J., & Wolbert, A. (2006). Sandplay and storytelling: Social constructivism and cognitive development in child counseling. The Arts in Psychotherapy, 33(3), 229-237.

Russo, M.F. (2005). Play therapy and social constructivism: Seeing the world through a young person’s eyes.  Journal of Evolutionary Psychology, 27(3&4), 24-29.

Selected Conference (National) Presentations

Russo, M.F., Kemmerer, A., Brahler, T., Collinger, K., Motonis, S., Renwick, D., Rzomp, D., Scott, R., & Timko, E. (2007, January). Using A Post-Modern Framework for Training Counselors in the Use of Traditional Counseling Theories. Presentation to the 5th Annual Hawaii International Conference on Education, Honolulu, Hawaii.

Russo, M.F., Kemmerer, A., Motonis, S., Timko, E., & Collinger, K. (2006, October). What Were You Thinking? Strategies for CBT and Social Constructivism. Presentation to the North Atlantic Region of the Association for Counselor Education and Supervision Annual Conference, Lake George, NY. State Presentations

Russo, M.F., & Bishop, J.R. (2012, October). Transitions and transformations from learning basic counseling skills to mentoring. Presentation to the Pennsylvania Counseling Association, State College, PA

Russo, M.F., LaRue, D.J., & Sindlinger, J. (2011, October). Creating an Integrative Case Analysis Format in Preparation for Community Counseling Fieldwork. Presentation to the Pennsylvania Counseling Association, State College, PA

Russo, M.F., & Tkacik, A. (2010, October). Encouraging Students to Thrive! In A Community Counseling Introductory Course. Presentation to the Pennsylvania Counseling Association, State College, PA.

Russo, M.F., Renwick, D., Motonis, S., Flinner, A., Ober, C., Nebel, C. (2007, October). Constructing Client Realities: The Use of Constructivist Counseling Techniques in Reality Therapy. Presentation to the Pennsylvania Counseling Association, State College, PA.

Russo, M.F., Bunney, A., Coogan, T., Harrison, A., Jones, M., & Tubo, K. (2005, October). Social constructivism in child counseling: Training counselors to play. Presentation to the Association for Counselor Education and Supervision National Conference, Pittsburgh, PA.

Dr. Mary Frances Russo
Associate Professor
Coordinator of the Community Counseling Youth Program
Office Location:
020 Carruth Rizza Hall
Slippery Rock University
Slippery Rock, PA 16057
Phone: (724) 738-2417

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