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Elsie Jones-Smith Diplomate in Counseling Psychology, American Board of Professional Psychology

Dr. Elsie Jones-Smith  is a licensed psychologist, a certified school psychologist, and the President of the Strengths-Based Institute. She holds two Ph.D. degrees, one in clinical psychology from Michigan State University and the other in counselor education from the University at Buffalo.  She is a Fellow in two divisions of the American Psychological Association, Division 17, the Society of Counseling Psychology, and Division 45, the Society for the Psychological Study of Culture, Ethnicity, and Race. She is a Diplomate in counseling psychology (ABPP), a Fellow of the Academy of Counseling Psychology, and a prior Distinguished Visitor for the American Psychological Association.

Dr. Jones-Smith has extensive experience in strengths-based therapy, graduate level teaching, program evaluation (Head Start, Title –Chapter 1), tests construction, and psychological consultation with schools. Her clinical orientation is strengths-based. She has currently expanded her clinical work to include cultural neuroscience.

She is the author of six books, including the recently published Culturally Diverse Counseling: Theories and Practice (Sage, 2019). Second Edition of Theories of Counseling and Psychotherapy: An Integrative Approach (2016) with Sage Publications (which presents a chapter on Neuroscience and describes it as the Fifth Force in psychology); Spotlighting the Strengths of Every Single Student: Why U.S. Schools Need a New, Strengths-Based Approach (2011, ABC-CLIO (2011); and Nurturing Nonviolent Children: A Guide for Parents, Educators, and Counselors (Praeger, 2008).

Two of her articles (“The Strengths-Based Counseling Model” (which was nominated as the outstanding article in TCP for 2006) and “Ethnic Minorities: Life Stress, Social Support and Mental Health Issues” (1985) have been cited by The Counseling Psychologist as major contributions to the field of psychology. She has served on numerous editorial boards, including The Counseling Psychologist (TCP), The Journal of Counseling Psychology, and Counselor Education and Supervision.

Dr. Jones-Smith has developed and published two theories in psychology: Strengths-Based Therapy and Ethnic Identity Development. In addition, she has developed a strengths-based educational approach for working with youth in schools and several instruments that measure ethnic identity development, students’ strengths, and teachers’ strengths.