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Szu-Yu (Darlene) Chen, PhD, LPCC, NCC, RPT


Associate Professor

Contact Information:

Other Positions:

Associate Department Chair of MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program




PhD in Counseling, University of North Texas, CACREP Accredited
M.Ed. in Counseling, University of North Texas, CACREP Accredited


Dr. Szu-Yu Chen is an Associate Professor in the Counseling Department at Palo Alto University. She is a bilingual (English and Mandarin) licensed professional clinical counselor in California and Texas, national certified counselor (NCC), registered play therapist (RPT), certified child-centered play therapy supervisor, and certified child-parent relationship therapy supervisor. With a specialization in clinical mental health counseling and play therapy, she has worked with diverse populations in private practice, community agency, psychiatric hospital, and school settings. In addition to her clinical experience, she has provided clinical supervision to master’s level students and clinicians.

Her research interests include humanistic play therapy, family play therapy, play-based teacher intervention, immigrants’ mental health issues, multicultural issues in counseling and supervision, and online counselor education. She has received recognition from professional counseling organizations, including North Central Association for Counselor Education and Supervision Outstanding Supervisor Award, Western Association for Counselor Education and Supervision Emerging Leaders Award, and Association for Multicultural Counseling and Development Advocacy Award.

Areas of Interest:

Play Therapy, Child and Adolescent Counseling, Asian Immigrants, Mental Health Training for Teachers

Selected Publications:

Pietrantoni, Z., Chitiyo, J., Chen, S.-Y., McDaniel, S., Bhuptani, M. (2023). Maltreatment in schools: A consultation framework for school personnel. International Journal on Child Maltreatment.

Vaishnav, S., Basma D., Chen, S.-Y., & Farrell, I. (2023). An autoethnographic inquiry of the experiences of foreign-born women of color in higher education. The International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education.

Hyun, J., Chen, S.-Y., Hurt-Avila, K., O’Hara, C. (2023). Professional identity development of foreign-born counselor educators. Journal of Counselor Leadership, 10(1), 37-51.

Ritzi, R., Cheng, Y.-J., Yurkovich, C. V., & Chen, S.-Y. (2022). Child parent relationship therapy: Reunification with children and parents with substance use disorders. Journal of Child and Adolescent Counseling, 8(3), 144-155.

Basma, D., & Chen, S.-Y. (2022). Global students' counselling self-efficacy and experiences of a United States-based counselling training programme. Counselling and Psychotherapy Research, 22(1), 55–63.

McDaniel, S., Pietrantoni, Z., & Chen, S.-Y. (2022). Supporting students with disabilities in transition: Collaboration between school counselors and special educators. In L. Meda, & J. Chitiyo (Eds.). Inclusive pedagogical practices amidst a global pandemic: Issues and perspectives around the globe. Inclusive Learning and Educational Equity, vol 7 Springer.

Chen, S.-Y., & Cheng, Y.-J. (2021). Effects of kinder training on preschool children’s externalizing behavior: A single-case design. Journal of Child and Adolescent Counseling, 7(3), 176-192.

Chen, S.-Y., Chang, T.-F., & Shih, K. Y. (2021). Model minority stereotype: Addressing impacts of racism and inequities on Asian American adolescents development. Journal of Child and Adolescent Counseling, 7(2), 118-131.

Chen, S.-Y., Coker, K., Wathen, C., & Sheperis, D. (2021). Effects of clinical skills training: Technology and pedagogy for the quality virtual classroom. Journal of Technology in Counselor Education and Supervision, 1(1), 49-52.

Wathen, C., Speciale, M., Chen, S.-Y., & Sheperis, D. (2021). Effective online synchronous group counselor training: Challenges, strengths, and solutions. Journal of Technology in Counselor Education and Supervision, 1(1), 53-56.

Chen, S.-Y., Lindo, N. A., Blalock, S., Yousef, D., Smith, L., & Hurt-Avila, K. (2021). Teachers’ perceptions of teacher-child relationships, student behavior, and classroom management. Journal of Educational Research and Practice, 11(1), 153–167.

Chen, S.-Y., Roller, K., & Kottman, T. (2021). Adlerian family play therapy: Healing the attachment trauma of divorce. International Journal of Play Therapy, 30(1), 28–39.

Chen, S.-Y., Wathen, C., & Speciale, M. (2020). Online clinical training in the virtual remote environment: Challenges, opportunities, and solutions. The Professional Counselor, 10(1), 78-91.

Chen, S.-Y., Basma, D., Ju, J., & Ng, K. (2020). Opportunities and challenges of multicultural and international online education. The Professional Counselor, 10(1), 120-132. https://doi/org/10.15241/syc.10.1.120

Chen, S.-Y., *Sundaram, S., & Schulte, T. (2020). Fostering compassion for children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders through neuroeducation. In Miller, R., & Beeson, E. T. (Eds.). The Neuroeducation toolbox: Practical translations of neuroscience in counseling and psychotherapy. San Diego, CA: Cognella.

Shih, K. Y., Chang, T.-F., & Chen, S.-Y. (2019) Impacts of the model minority myth on Asian American individuals and families: Social justice and critical race feminist perspectives. Journal of Family Theory and Review, 11(2), 412-428.

Chen, S. (2019). Healing Alex’s wound: Application of MSJCC in Adlerian play therapy. In King, B. C., & Stewart, T. A. (Eds). Cases on cross-cultural counseling strategies. Hershey, PA: IGI Global.

Chen, S., & Lindo, N. A. (2018). The impact of kinder training on early elementary school children’s on-task behavior: A single case design. International Journal of Play Therapy 27(2), 78-91.


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