Sondra Smith-Adcock 

Associate Professor

Sondra Smith-Adcock





PO Box 117046
Gainesville, FL 32611


I am an associate professor in Counselor Education in the School of Human Development and Organizational Studies in Education. My research agenda is focused on K-12 effective school counseling and school counselor preparation. Broadly, my scholarship centers on promoting child and adolescent mental health through systemic prevention and targeted relational intervention strategies in school settings. I am particularly committed to examining how the parent-child relationship affects educational and social-emotional childhood outcomes, and how schools work to facilitate effective family-school relationships. In my research activities, I examine school-based, play-based, and family-centered models for counseling youth placed at-risk. I have studied parent-child relationships as part of a social-ecological model to predict youths' outcomes, including behavioral, social-emotional, and academic achievement outcomes. My recent works include exploring the use of Theraplay® Groups with adolescents, bullying prevention in middle schools, and school counselors' role in bullying prevention.


  • School of Human Development and Organizational Studies in Education
  • University of Florida- School of Human Development and Organizational Studies in Education

Research Interests

Child and Adolescent, Counseling Issues, Individual Mental Health


  • Ph.D. - The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Counseling and Counselor Education
  • M.Ed. - Clemson University, School Guidance and Counseling
  • B.A. - Clemson University, Elementary and Special Education

Professional Appointments

  • Associate Professor, School of Human Development and Organizational Studies in Education
  • Assistant Professor, University of Florida, Counselor Education
  • Assistant Professor, Louisiana State University

Activities and Honors

  • University of Florida Term Professorship, 2017-2019.
  • Outstanding Adultspan Journal Article Award AADA (Association for Adult Development and Aging), 2018.
  • Swank, J., Smith-Adcock, S., & Puig, A. (2017). Finding beauty in everyday life: A photo elicitation study of play across the lifespan, Adultspan Journal, 16, 3-17.
  • Journal of Child and Family Studies, Invited manuscript review, 2016-present.
  • Journal of Child and Adolescent Counseling, Editorial Review Board, 2014-present.
  • The Journal of Humanistic Counseling, Distinguished Reviewer Award, Association for Humanistic Counseling, 2012.
  • The Clinical Supervisor, Ad Hoc Manuscript Review, 2012-present.
  • Youth & Society, Ad Hoc Manuscript Review, 2010-present.
  • Asian Pacific Review, Ad Hoc Manuscript Review, 2008-present.

Selected Grants

Project counselors A2SPIRE: Addictions attitudes, screening, prevention, intervention, referral, and empathy

  • Co-PI
Funding Agency
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration: Expansion of Practitioner Education
Project Period
  • 2020-2022
Award Amount
  • $199,795

The impact of a dialogic reading intervention on low income preschool children's emotional vocabulary and emotion causes

  • Co-PI
Funding Agency
  • Caplan Foundation for Early Childhood
Project Period
  • 2019
Award Amount
  • $37,552

Trauma-focused group theraplay with adolescents.

  • PI
Funding Agency
  • School of Human Development and Organizational Studies in Education
Project Period
  • 2018
Award Amount
  • $7,032

Playing for a change in elementary schools

Funding Agency
  • Action Grant from the U.S. Play Coalition
Project Period
  • 2016
Award Amount
  • $1000

Standing up or standing by? Responding to bullying and peer victimization

Funding Agency
  • School of Human Development and Organizational Studies in Education
Project Period
  • 2016
Award Amount
  • $10,400

Selected Publications

  • *Seon, Y., Swank, J., & Smith-Adcock, S. (in press). A social interest-activity typology of bystander behavior in school bullying. The Journal of Individual Psychology (22 pp.).
  • *Weaver, J. L., Medyk, N. V., Swank, J., Daniels, P., & Smith-Adcock, S. (in press). A phenomenological study of theraplay groups within a middle school. International Journal of Play Therapy (20 pp.).
  • *Lenes, E., Swank, J. M., Hart, K. A., *Machado, M. M., *Darilus, S., Ardelt, M., Smith-Adcock, S., Rockwood Lane, M., & Puig, A. (2020). Color-conscious multicultural mindfulness training in the counseling field. Journal of Counseling and Development, 98(2), 147-158.
  • Peace, P., & Smith-Adcock, S. (2020). A phenomenological study of felt sense among beginning counselors. Teaching and Supervision in Counseling, 2(1).
  • Davis, E., Smith-Adcock, S., & *Towns, L. (2019). Reality art therapy and counseling children with chronic illness. Professional School Counseling,
  • Smith-Adcock, S., & Pereira, J. (2019). Getting creative: Using play and expressive arts. In C. Tucker (Ed.), Counseling at the Beginning: Interventions and Issues in Infancy and Early Childhood. Routledge.
  • Smith-Adcock, S., Leite, W., Kaya, Y., & Amatea, E. S., (2019). Parenting protective and risk factors influencing school readiness in kindergarteners from low-income families: A structural equation model. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 28(3), 2826-2841.
  • Swank, J., Smith-Adcock, S., & *Weaver, J. L. (2019). School counselors' roles and responsibilities in bullying prevention: A national survey. Professional School Counseling,
  • Dixon, A. L., & Smith-Adcock, S. (2018). Wellness in adolescence. In R. J. Levesque (Ed.), Encyclopedia of adolescence, (2nd ed., pp. 1-10). New York, NY: Springer. ISBN: 9783319332277
  • *Jahn, S. A., & Smith-Adcock, S. (2018). A phenomenological study of counseling students' experiences with ambiguity. The Journal of Counselor Preparation and Supervision, 10(1). Retrieved from
  • *Peace, P., & Smith-Adcock, S. (2018). A conceptual framework for felt sense awareness and counselor use of self. Journal of Humanistic Counseling, 57(3), 208-222.
  • Smith-Adcock, S., Swank, J., *Greenidge, T., & *Henesy, R. (2018). Standing up or standing by? Middle School Students and Teachers Respond to Bullying (23 pp.). Counseling outcome research and evaluation.
  • Swank, J. M., & Smith-Adcock, S. (2018). On-task behavior of children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: Examining treatment effectiveness of play therapy interventions. International Journal of Play Therapy, 27(4), 187-197.
  • Tucker, M. C., & Smith-Adcock, S. (2018). Using play to enhance growth in traumatized children: Theraplay groups as early intervention. In C. Corr & D. Miller (Eds.), Young exceptional children monograph series no. 17: Maltreatment and toxic stress. Division for Early Childhood of the Council for Exceptional Children. ISBN: 9780990512837
  • Viviani, A., Smith-Adcock, S., & Rivera, L.M. (2018). Leadership: "Please help me, but don't tell me how to raise my child!" In C. Wood, T. Portman, & L. Tyson, Critical incidents in school counseling, 3rd ed. American Counseling Association: Alexandria, VA.
  • Pereira, J., & Smith-Adcock, S. (2017). The emotion of touch: Healing reactive attachment disorder through child-centered play therapy. In J. A. Courtney & R. D. Nolan (Eds.), Touch in child counseling and play therapy: An ethical and clinical guide (pp. 149-161). New York, NY: Taylor & Francis. ISBN: 9781138638525
  • Swank, J., Smith-Adcock, S., & Puig, A. (2017). Finding beauty in everyday life: A photo elicitation study of play across the lifespan, Adultspan Journal, 16, 3-17.
  • Tucker, M. C., & Smith-Adcock, S. (2017). Theraplay: The evidence for trauma-focused treatment for children and families. In R. L. Steen (Ed.), Emerging research in play therapy, child counseling, and consultation (pp. 42-59). Hershey, PA: IGI Global. ISBN: 9781522522249
  • Porter, J. R., & Smith-Adcock, S. (2016). Children's tendency to defend victims of school bullying. Professional School Counseling, 20, 1-13.
  • Smith-Adcock, S., & Tucker, M. C. (Eds.). (2016). Counseling children and adolescents: Connecting theory, development, and diversity. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE. ISBN: 9781483347745
  • *Hope, K. J., & Smith-Adcock, S. (2015). A reason to live: Can understanding close friendships in college prevent suicide? College Student Affairs Journal, 33(1), 85-104.
  • Smith-Adcock, S., *Shin, S. M., & Pereira, J. L. (2015). Critical incidents in learning child-centered play therapy: Implications for teaching and supervision. International Journal of Play Therapy, 24(2), 78-91.
  • Smith-Bonahue, T. M., Smith-Adcock, S., & Harman, J. (2015). "I won't be your friend if you don't!" Preventing and responding to relational aggression in preschool classrooms. Young Children, 70(1), 76-83.
  • *Socarras, K., Smith-Adcock, S., & *Shin, S. M. (2015). A qualitative study of an intensive filial intervention using child-parent relationship therapy (CPRT). The Family Journal, 23(4), 381-391.