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Susan Branco, PhD, LPC (VA), LCPC (MD), NCC, ACS, BC-TMH


Associate Professor

Contact Information:

Other Positions:

Student Support Coordinator




  • PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
  • MA Ed in Rehabilitation Counseling, The George Washington University
  • BA in Human Services, The George Washington University


Susan Branco, PhD, LPC (VA), LCPC (MD), NCC, ACS, BC-TMH, (she/her/ella), is a transracial and transnational adoptee from Colombia, South America. She is an advocate for increased adoption related research and training within counselor education and is passionate about improving mental health outcomes for transracially adopted persons. For fourteen years she maintained an independent clinical practice specializing in working with adults, children, and families connected to adoption and foster care. In addition, she has professional experience working in community mental health, pre-natal care clinics, and with immigrant populations.

Dr. Branco utilizes attachment theory, family systems, and trauma informed approaches in her clinical practice. She held core faculty positions in both on ground and online CACREP accredited counselor education programs. Currently, Dr. Branco is a practicing counselor, clinical supervisor, and an Associate Professor in the Counseling Department at Palo Alto University. Her research interests include transracial adoption and mental health, Colombian adoption policy, and clinical training and supervision practices for BIPOC counselors. In addition, she has multiple peer-reviewed publications related to her research interests and frequently presents at regional, national, and international counseling related conferences.

Areas of Interest:

Transracial Adoption, BIPOC Clinical Training and Supervision Practices, Counseling Latine/x Populations

Selected Publications:

Branco, S. F., Kim, J. R., Newton, G., Cooper-Lewter, K., & O’Loughlin, P. (2023). The Adoptee Consciousness Model: Moving beyond the fog. International Body Psychotherapy Journal. 22(3), 53-66.

Branco, S. F., & Scherer, R. G. (2023). Grief counseling skills: Supporting students in a virtual residency. Journal of Technology in Counselor Education and Supervision. 3(1), Article 8.

Branco, S. F. (2023). Actionable Advocacy: Applying the Socially Just and Culturally Responsive Counseling Leadership Model. Journal of Counselor Preparation and Supervision. 17(2).

Cloonan, V., Hatfield, T., Branco, S. F., & Dean, L. (2023). The Racial and Ethnic Identity Development Process for Adult Colombian Adoptees. Geneaology, 7(2), 35. *

Branco, S. F. (2023). Transracial adoption-informed genograms: Beyond the broken line. The Association of Counselor Education and Supervision Teaching Practice Briefs: Anti-racism and Fostering Inclusive Classrooms,1(1), 19-32.

Branco, S. F., Stella, S., Langkusch, A. (2023). Liberating our ancestors and finding ourselves: Colombian transnational adoptee first family reunion experiences. Adoption Quarterly. Advanced Online Publication.*+

Branco, S. F., Kargess, S., Swann, W., & O’Leary, E. (2022). Moving towards an anti-racist curriculum: Student and counselor educator advocacy. Journal of Technology in Counselor Education and Supervision, 12(2), 46–49. + (students)

Branco, S. F., & Cloonan, V. (2022). False narratives: Illicit Colombian transnational adoption practices. Genealogy, 6(4), 80.*

Branco, S. F., Stella, S., & Langkusch, A. (2022). The reclamation of self: Kinship and identity in transnational Colombian adoptee first family reunions. The Family Journal: Counseling and Therapy for Couples and Families, 30(4), 514–522. +(students)

Meade, N., Branco, S. F., Isaacs, B., White, R., & Hanks, E. (2022). Cultural appropriation, appreciation, and adaption: A rejoinder to “Effects of a Rite of Passage ceremony on veteran’s behavior”. Journal of Counseling and Development, 100 (1), 96–103.

denotes empirical research; + denotes student collaboration

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