Megan Speciale, Ph.D., LMHC, NCC

Email Address: 

Assistant Professor

Faculty Program(s): 

M.A. Counseling

Teaching and/or Research Emphasis and Interest Areas: 

Feminist and queer perspectives of counseling and counselor education; sexuality counseling and education; issues related to LGBTQQIA populations; culture and intersectionality in mental health; qualitative research methodologies; and community-based and participatory action research.

Ph.D., Counselor Education (CACREP), University of New Mexico (2015)
M.S., Counseling (CACREP), Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi (2011)
B.S., Psychology, Texas State University (2008)


Dr. Megan Speciale is an Assistant Professor in the Master’s in Counseling Program at Palo Alto University. She received her Ph.D. in Counselor Education (CACREP) from the University of New Mexico, where she served as the Clinical Coordinator at the UNM Manzanita Counseling and Training Center and co-founded the LGBTQ Counseling Center at the UNM LGBTQ Resource Center.

Megan has worked as a professional counselor and advocate in a variety of community settings, focusing primarily on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, and asexual (LGBTQQIA) populations and sexuality wellness with children, adolescents, adults, and families. As a counselor educator, she draws from social justice and equity-centered pedagogies in her teaching of Sexuality in Counseling, Group Counseling, Substance Abuse Counseling, Multicultural Counseling, and others.

She is the current Treasurer of the Western Association of Counselor Education and Supervision (WACES) and the founding Co-President of the New Mexico Association for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Issues in Counseling (NM-ALGBTIC). She currently serves on the Editorial Boards of the Journal of LGBT Issues in Counseling, Journal for Counseling Sexology and Sexual Wellness, Women & Language, and Journal of Humanistic Counseling. She is also the Co-Chapter Faculty Advisor for the PAU Chapter of Chi Sigma Iota Counseling Honor Society.

Selected Publications: 

Speciale, M. & Scholl, M. (In press). LGBTQ affirmative career counseling: An intersectional perspective. Career Planning and Adult Development.

Snow, W., Lamar, M., Hinkle, S., & Speciale, M. (2018). Current practices in online counselor education. The Professional Counselor, 8(2), 131-145.

Speciale, M. & Lemberger, M. (2017). Sexuality counseling: A dialectical humanist approach. In J. Hansen & M. Scholl (Eds.), Postmodern Perspectives of Counseling. Oxford University Press.

Speciale, M., Gess, J., and Speedlin, S. (2015). “You don’t look like a lesbian:” A co-autoethnography of intersectional identities in counselor education. Journal of LGBT Issues in Counseling, 9(4), 256-272.

Hansen, J., Speciale, M., & Lemberger, M. (2014). Humanism: The foundation and future of professional counseling. Journal of Humanistic Counseling, 54, 170-190.

Lenz, A., Speciale, M., & Aguilar, J. (2012). Relational-cultural therapy intervention with incarcerated adolescents: A single-case effectiveness design. Counseling Outcome Research and Evaluation, 3(1), 17-29.

You can follow her research at: