Immaculata News

Rachel Vannatta, Ph.D.

Rachel Vannatta, Ph.D.

Title: Assistant Professor

Department: Psychology and Counseling

Office: Loyola Hall 341

Phone: (610) 647-4400 Ext: 3293

Education:Ph.D. in Counseling, The George Washington University (CACREP accredited)
M.S.Ed. in Community Counseling, Southern Illinois University Carbondale (CACREP accredited)
B.A. in Psychology, Northwestern University
National Certified Counselor (NCC)
Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) Maryland


Dr. Vannatta received her master’s degree in community counseling in 2010, and her Ph.D. in counseling in 2016. She has worked in a variety of clinical settings, including community mental health agencies, as a crisis counselor, in a clinic specializing in eating disorders, and most recently, as a counselor in a university counseling center.

Dr. Vannatta decided to obtain her Ph.D. and pursue a career as a counselor educator because of her love for teaching. She has taught undergraduate and graduate classes in counseling and psychology, including Educational Psychology, Introduction to Helping Relationships, Group Counseling, and Techniques of Counseling.

Teaching Philosophy:

As an instructor, I firmly believe that my role is not to stand in front of the class reciting information for students to memorize. Rather, my role is to facilitate an environment that encourages students to ask questions, take risks, and take ownership of their own learning. Ultimately, my hope is to develop effective and ethical counselors. In order for this to occur, counseling students must be curious and open to learning long after they receive their degrees. As an instructor, I work to demonstrate openness to feedback, to show genuine care for students’ development as counselors, to strive constantly to meet students where they are developmentally, and to model the empathy I hope that they will show their clients.

Courses Taught: 

  • Counseling 604 Group Counseling
  • Counseling 617 Ethical and Professional Issues
  • Counseling 668 Counseling Theories & Techniques I

Research Interests: 

  • Group Counseling
  • Pedagogy in Counselor Education
  • Identity Development of Counselor Educators


Okech, J.E., Pimpleton-Gray, A.M., Vannatta, R., & Champe, J. (2016). Intercultural conflict in groups. The Journal for Specialists in Group Work, 41(4), 350-369.

Steen, S., Vannatta, R., & Liu, X. (2016). Cultural considerations for group work. In C.Haen & S. Aronson (Eds.). Handbook of child and adolescent group therapy: A practitioner’s reference (pp. 255-265). New York, NY: Routlege.

Okech, J.E., Pimpleton, A.M., Vannatta, R., & Champe, J. (2015). Intercultural communication: An application to group work. The Journal for Specialists in Group Work, 40(3), 268-293.

Steen, S., & Vannatta, R. (2015). Addressing setting and population specific issues in group supervision of groups. In M. Luke & K.M. Goodrich (Eds.). Group work experts share their favorite activities for supervision (pp. 174-180). Alexandria, VA: Association for Specialists in Group Work.

Steen, S., Vasserman-Stokes, E., & Vannatta, R. (2014).  Group cohesion in experiential growth groups.  The Journal for Specialists in Group Work, 39(3), 236-256.


Vannatta, R. (February, 2016). Pedagogical practices in graduate level group counseling classes. The Association for Specialists in Group Work Conference, Washington DC.

Okech, J.E., Pimpleton, A., Vannatta, R., & Champe, J. (February, 2016). Intercultural communication: An application to group work. Poster presented at the Association for Specialists in Group Work Conference, Washington DC

Steen, S., & Vannatta, R. (March, 2013). Does sharing personal reflections on group process improve group cohesion in a culturally diverse group?  Poster presented at the American Counseling Association conference, Cincinnati, Ohio.

Asner-Self, K.K., & Vannatta, R. (October, 2010) Today’s college students: On-line counseling or face-to-face?  Poster presented at the North Central ACES convention, Itasca, Illinois.

Professional Memberships: 

  • American Counseling Association (ACA)
  • Association for Specialists in Group Work (ASGW)
  • Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (ACES)


  • Outstanding Article, The Journal for Specialists in Group Work (2016)
  • Presidential Award, the Association for Specialists in Group Work (2015)
  • Outstanding Article, The Journal for Specialists in Group Work (2015)


“Pedagogical practices and the infusion of multiculturalism in group counseling courses: A content analysis”

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