About Marianna Branch

As a socially just humanistic counseling professional, my teaching, scholarship, and advocacy efforts are focused on eliminating the disparities and magnifying the voices of historically marginalized individuals. I am passionate about equity, inclusion, cross-cultural mentorship, and multicultural issues in counseling. As a counselor educator and counseling professional, I strive to promote personal growth, increased self-awareness, and self-empowerment for emerging counselors, clients, and mentees.

My philosophy of teaching is grounded in transformative learning theory and influenced by critical pedagogy. I firmly believe that teaching provides an opportunity to cultivate students’ personal and professional identities and help them identify their strengths and areas of growth. I value a dynamic, interactive, and growth-inducing learning environment that facilitates critical self-reflection, continual self-awareness, and ethical behavior. I am committed to creating a safe and genuine learning atmosphere for students that nurtures critical thought, active dialogue, and informed and reflective decisions.

As a counselor educator, I am committed to modeling cultural sensitivity, humility, curiosity, and social accountability. I work to build strong and trusted relationships with my students by utilizing unconditional positive regard, empathy, and modeling authenticity. My goal is to help emerging counselors expand their awareness, knowledge, and skills within a multicultural and social justice framework. Through encouragement, motivation, and experiential learning, I endeavor to help facilitate students’ development of cultural humility, empathy, and the core competencies, knowledge, and skills fundamental to becoming culturally and ethically competent counselors.


What inspired you to join the counseling profession?
After earning my bachelor’s degree in psychology, I found myself working in human resources and commercial property management. After 10 years in the workforce, I met a Licenced Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) and learned all about her career. Within 20 minutes of our conversation, I felt certain about a career as a professional counselor. 

How did you become interested in counseling education?
I wanted to pay forward the mentorship, support, and encouragement I received throughout my journey. In addition to my work as an educator, I am continuing to pursue dual licenses in California (AMFT, APCC), Texas (LPC Intern, LMFT Associate), and New Jersey. 

What is so special about the culture at AGS?
The sense of community, interconnectedness, and social interest. I also innately value equity, inclusion, and diverse perspectives, all of which are celebrated and encouraged values at AGS. 

What are you most passionate about as an educator?
I recognize and appreciate the sacrifice, dedication, and perseverance needed for graduate school, especially as a working adult. I am passionate about mentorship, as well as providing an encouraging and supportive learning environment for emerging counselors. Being able to do so in our community is an incredible opportunity!

Recent Courses Taught

  • 500 Principles of Research and Program Evaluation
  • 505 Developmental Psychology
  • 516 Foundations of Addictions and Co-Occurring Disorders
  • 532 Group Psychotherapy and Counseling
  • 541 Theories of Family Therapy
  • 542 Couples Counseling

Research Interests and Specialties

Diversity and Inclusion
Multicultural Issues in Counseling
Cross-cultural Mentorship
Leadership Development
Professional Identity Development

Distinctions & Associations

  • 2019 Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (ACES) Research Grant
  • 2019-2020 Emerging Leader, Association for Humanistic Counseling
  • 2019 ACES Diversity Conference Scholarship
  • 2019 TCA Education Endowment Fund Recipient, Texas Counseling Association
  • 2019 TACES Graduate Student Scholarship
  • 2018-2019 Outstanding Service to Chapter, Chi Sigma Iota, Rho Kappa Chapter
  • 2017 Academic Excellence – Top of MS Class (CSUF)
  • American Counseling Association (ACA)
  • Association of Humanistic Counseling (AHC)
  • Association for Multicultural Counseling & Development (AMCD)
  • Association of Counselor Education and Supervision (ACES)
  • Association for Assessment and Research in Counseling (AARC)
  • Counselors for Social Justice (CSJ)
  • Chi Sigma Iota, International Honor Society in Counseling (CSI)
  • Association for Counselor Education and Supervision – Southern (SACES)
  • Association for Counselor Education and Supervision – Western (WACES)
Adler Graduate School promotes multicultural and social justice issues, diversity, community, and service in thought and action.

Marianna Branch, PhD, LPC, NCC

Selected Publications and Presentations

Oller, M. L., & Teeling, S. (In press). Cross-cultural mentoring in counselor education: A call for action. Teaching and Supervision in Counseling.

Schmit, M. K., Oller, M. L., Tapia-Fuselier, J. L. Jr., & Schmit, E. L. (2020). A holistic client functioning profile comparison of persons with serious mental illness. Journal of Counseling & Development.

Daniels, J. A., Dollarhide, C. T., Griggs, A., Leigh, K. T., Litam, S., Oller, M. L., . . . & Vereen, L. (2019, November). Humanism as the foundation of culturally informed and inclusive practice. INFOCHANGE: Association for Humanistic Counseling Newsletter.

Teeling, S., & Oller, M. L. (2019, October). Multicultural Competence: Helping Counselors in Training Embrace their Cultural/Racial Identities and Understand the Impact on Professional Development. Session presented at the Association for Counselor Education and Supervision Conference, Seattle, Washington.

Teeling, S., & Oller, M. L. (2019, March). The Integration of Professional Identity and Multicultural Identity, and Implication for Practical Applications. Chi Sigma Iota International Honor Society sponsored poster presentation at the American Counseling Association Annual Conference, New Orleans, Louisiana.

Oller, M. L., & Teeling, S. (2019, February). Addressing Multicultural Concepts with Counselors in Training: Taking it Beyond the ClassroomSession presented at the Texas Association for Counselor Education and Supervision’s Annual Mid-Winter Conference, Dallas, Texas.

Schmit, M. K., Silveus, S. A., Schmit, E. L.,Oller, M. L., & Garcia, M. (2018, November). What does it all mean?: Demystifying research findings for counselors. Session presented at Texas Counseling Association 62nd Professional Growth Conference, Dallas, Texas. Oller, M. L., & Teeling, S. (2018, April). Cross-cultural mentoring in counselor education: A call for action. Chi Sigma Iota International Honor Society sponsored poster presentation at the American Counseling Association Annual Conference, Atlanta, Georgia.

Oller, M. L.,& Teeling, S. (2018, March). Creatively addressing supervisory and mentoring relationships within counselor education. Session presented at the Texas Association for Counselor Education and Supervision’s Annual Conference, Austin, Texas.

Educational Background

California State University, Fullerton, Fullerton, CA
Masters in Counseling (Marriage and Family Therapy)
University of North Texas, Denton, TX
Doctor of Philosophy, Counseling