Dr. LaKaavia Taylor is joining the SMU full-time faculty as Clinical Associate Professor effective Fall 2023. Dr. Taylor earned her Ph.D. in counseling with a specialty in play therapy and psychoeducational assessment at the University of North Texas. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor-Supervisor, National Certified Counselor, Registered Play Therapist, Certified Child-Centered Play Therapy Supervisor, and Certified Child-Parent Relationship Therapy Supervisor.
For over a decade, Dr. Taylor has provided counseling services to children, adolescents, adults, and families in various settings including community agencies, public schools, private practice, and university clinics. Her specialty is multicultural counseling and trauma-informed practices.
Dr. Taylor’s lifelong commitment is to reduce mental health barriers for individuals and families from marginalized and underserved populations. She has delivered numerous presentations at professional conferences, published chapters and research on play therapy, and engaged in social justice advocacy in her leadership positions in national counseling organizations. She is a former 2020 American Counseling Association (ACA) anti-racist task force member. On the task force, she worked with social justice counseling leaders in the field to develop an anti-racist action plan for dissemination to ACA’s membership. Dr. Taylor is a Counselor Educator Trustee for the Association for Child and Adolescent Counseling (ACAC). She is the 2022 recipient of the Rho Kappa Chapter of Chi Sigma Iota Outstanding Research Award. She also received the College of Education Outstanding Lecturer Award in 2022 for her teaching excellence.
Dr. Denise M. Walker is joining the SMU full-time faculty as Clinical Assistant Professor effective Fall 2023. Dr. Walker is a Licensed Professional Counselor in Texas and Louisiana, and also a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Louisiana. Dr. Walker earned her B.S. and M.A. in Marriage and Family Therapy from the University of Louisiana at Monroe. Dr. Walker completed her Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision at Texas A&M University-Commerce with a specialization in Student Affairs.
Dr. Walker has clinical experience working with adolescents, adults, couples, and families with varying levels of psychological and relational concerns in numerous settings including higher education, community-based counseling centers, home-based services, juvenile detention centers, and private practice. Dr. Walker is also trained in EMDR (Eye-Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) and Level 1 – Gottman Method Couples Therapy.
Dr. Walker has published research on the delivery of clinical mental health services in home based settings and has provided professional presentations on numerous topics including narrative family counseling, stress management, domestic violence, and supporting Black students at predominately White institutions.