Dr. Paul J. Deal
Chair & Associate Professor of Counselor Education
Dr. Deal is a nationally certified counselor with experience working with a diverse demographic of clients with a variety of presenting problems. His work as a clinician includes a college counseling center, outpatient addictions, and religious/spiritual communities. He also has extensive experience working with the families of struggling adolescents as a wilderness guide and therapist. In addition to his experience as a clinician, Dr. Deal is active in scholarship, having contributed peer-reviewed publications, a co-authored book, grant-funded projects, invited chapters, and presentations at the state and national level. His primary research interests focus on integrating the existential and psychospiritual dynamics of human flourishing in mental health counseling, particularly in the areas of meaning-making in emerging adulthood, lived experiences of sacredness in environmental justice activism, spiritual and religious cultural competency, nature-based therapy and counselor competency with psychedelics.
As a trauma and diversity-informed certified mindfulness meditation teacher and spiritually integrated therapist, he especially enjoys inviting his students into a holistic process of contemplative education, which draws on compassion and wisdom practices to educate the whole person and foster community. Those interested in how mindfulness can support resilience and wellness as a student and clinical professional are welcome to join his six-week Introduction to Mindfulness course on a voluntary basis. Outside the classroom, he enjoys dabbling in the rich cultural practices of life in the Adirondacks with his family, such as canoeing, backpacking, farming and building projects.