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Dr. Portia Allie-Turco

Assistant Professor 
Director, Ward Hall Counseling Clinic
Program Coordinator, Clinical Mental Health Counseling Master’s

Dr. Portia Allie-Turco is an assistant professor, program coordinator, and clinic director at SUNY Plattsburgh. She has over 20 years of mental health counseling experience in non-profit management, community mental health counseling, private practice, and university counseling. Her clinical experience fuels her passion to train and prepare students to make an impact in the world through their strong counselor identity and by embodying a commitment to social justice advocacy.

Dr. Allie-Turco’s teaching approach focuses on supporting students in developing critical self-awareness and harnessing their professional power to make a meaningful impact to change lives. She believes in shared learning and often engages students in research projects and professional conference presentations. Her teaching philosophy draws from the principles of existential and African-centered theory as reflected in community building, meaning-making, and storytelling which are integrated into the learning process.

Dr. Allie-Turco uses a strength-based developmental model of supervision to enhance students’ self-efficacy by creating a bridge between counseling theory, interpersonal process, and emerging counseling skills. She strengthens students’ clinical decision-making in diagnosis, treatment planning, and intervention by cultivating hands-on learning and critical skill development during fieldwork experiences. 

Being born during the segregation period of Apartheid South Africa, Dr. Allie-Turco believes that education should be accessible to all and is invested in disrupting racial and social inequity to ensure that others succeed despite systemic barriers. Her research focus centers on generational, historical racial, and complex trauma and healing in counseling. 

Dr. Allie-Turco believes that rest is restoration and healing therefore she has developed an extensive bucket list of adventurous travel to tropical countries. When not traveling, she enjoys hiking, camping, skiing, or spending time with her family on their Adirondack organic farm. 

  • Education & Certifications
    • Ph.D. — University of the Cumberlands
    • M.S. — State University of New York Plattsburgh
    • B.A. — Hons., University of South Africa
    • B.A. — University of South Africa


    • Licensed mental health counselor 
    • Nationally certified counselor
    • Certified clinical trauma professional 
    • Gottman Method couple therapy
    • Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR)
    • Critical incident stress debriefing 
    • New York state certified rape crisis counselor
    • New York court system certified parent educator
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