College of Education professor earns American Counseling Association awards

Wednesday, March 27, 2013 - 20:54

DENTON (UNT), Texas — Sue Bratton, professor of counseling and higher education and director of the Center for Play Therapy at the University of North Texas, was presented with two awards at the 2013 American Counseling Association  (ACA) conference in March.

“I am honored and humbled to receive these awards,” said Bratton. “Knowing the nominations came from current and former students means more than the award itself. The best part about being a professor is the opportunity to form such lasting and meaningful relationships.” 

The purpose of ACA’s Best Practices Award is to recognize faculty members whose research projects have furthered the evidence-base for a particular practice or approach to counseling.

Bratton's project was titled “A Preliminary Investigation of the Effects of an Early Mental Health Intervention on Disruptive Behaviors of At-Risk Pre-Kindergarten Children Enrolled in Head Start,” recently published in the International Journal of Play Therapy. This study adds to Bratton's impressive record of research providing evidence for the effectiveness of play therapy and play therapy principles in a variety of counseling settings.

One of her nomination letters stated: "Although the Best Practices Award appears to focus on the merits of a single research project, it is difficult to ignore the body of [Dr. Bratton's] scholarly work . . . [O]f her 15 data-based publications, eight are based on original, experimental research. She is lead-author on a meta-analysis of 93 play therapy outcome studies. In addition, her most recent books have made important contributions to the field of child counseling research.”

Bratton received the Humanistic Educator/Supervisor Award from the Association for Humanistic Counseling (AHC), which was established to recognize an association member who demonstrates a humanistic philosophy of teaching or supervision, resulting in a significant impact on the development of students and new professionals through teaching, advising, supervising and/or mentoring.

Bratton was nominated for this award by four former and current doctoral students. The lead nominator was Kara Carnes-Holt, who worked as a graduate assistant at the Center for Play Therapy and graduated with her doctorate degree in counseling under Bratton at UNT in May 2010. 

“She is an innovative educator who is creative and always thinks outside the box to help facilitate growth and support each person's goals,” said Carnes-Holt, now an assistant professor of counselor education at the University of Wyoming. “I am honored to call her a mentor, colleague, and most importantly friend.”

The 2013 AHC national awards recipients will be recognized at the AHC Awards and Business meeting at the 2013 ACA Conference in March. In addition, award recipients and their accomplishments will be featured in Counseling Today and eNewsletter.


More information on the 2013 ACA Conference can be found online or on the Association for Humanistic Counseling website


About the American Counseling Association

The American Counseling Association is a not-for-profit, professional and educational organization that is dedicated to the growth and enhancement of the counseling profession. Founded in 1952, ACA is the world's largest association exclusively representing professional counselors in various practice settings.

About the Association for Humanistic Counseling

The Association for Humanistic Counseling is one of the four founding divisions of the American Counseling Association. It is made up of counseling professionals who work in a variety of settings whose bond is a philosophy rather than a work setting, and who use their skills and expertise to empower, advocate and make a difference.


About UNT’s College of Education

UNT’s College of Education prepares students to contribute to the advancement of education, health and human development. Founded in 1890 as a teacher’s training college, UNT now enrolls more than 4,000 students in the College of Education, which consists of four departments — counseling and higher education; educational psychology; kinesiology, health promotion and recreation; and teacher education and administration. UNT’s College of Education certifies about 1,000 teachers a year — making it the largest producer of new teachers in the north Texas region. Students are also prepared for careers as researchers, counselors, leaders, physical activity and health promotion specialists, child development and family studies specialists and more.


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