Dr. Debra H. Atchison

Dr. Debra H. Atchison

Adjunct Instructor

Office Phone: 205-956-7283
Email: atchisond@tntemple.edu



  • (EdD) Doctor of Education, l998; University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa. GPA 4.0. Major in Counselor Education; minor concentrations in marriage and family therapy and play therapy. Named “Most Outstanding Student in Counselor Education. CACREP. Dissertation research: Effects on the social skills of using trained paraprofessionals to conduct group play therapy sessions with three-five-year-old preschool children.
  • (MA) Master's in Agency Counseling, l992; University of Alabama in Birmingham. GPA 4.0.
  • (MS) Master's in Family Life, l973; University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa. GPA 3.9. Thesis: Role identification in children's literature and the effects of sex role stereotyping on children’s self concepts.
  • (BS) Bachelor's in Child Development, l972; University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa. GPA 3.8.
  • University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) 6/2010 completed 9 hours in Special Education/Psychometry.

Academic Experience

  • Adjunct Teaching
    • University of Alabama
    • Samford University
    • UAB
  • 2001-2009 - University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa: Medical Play Therapy (graduate level course)
  • 2000-2002 - Samford University: Theories of Play Therapy
  • 1999-Present - Samford University: Instructor for Case Studies in counseling, Group Process, Introduction to Helping Professions, Children and Youth. Personal Growth and Development. Coordinator for field placements.
    Promoted January, 2010 to Coordinator for Counseling Foundations and Human Services Department and continue as an adjunct instructor.

Teaching Specialization

  • Theories and Techniques
  • Play Therapy
  • Human Development
  • Children and Youth

Ministry & Professional Experience

  • Member of St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Crestline
  • Member of Daughters of the King service guild; President 2011-2012, Vice President, treasurer Member of the altar guild
  • Experience: Counseling Experience
    • June 1995-Present Self-employed in private practice. Specialties include physical and sexual abuse, ADHD, grief, divorce and attachment disorders in children, adolescents, and related family concerns.
    • Expert witness in children cases in both Family and Circuit court.
  • I have also tested for Social Security and DHR using the WISC, WAIS, MMPI-2 and MMPI-A
  • As requested I assist managed care companies with Critical Incident Stress Debriefing (CISD) using the Mitchell model of trauma interventions. Most incidents are bank robberies or grief related. I also conduct training sessions for mangaed care.
  • Supervise master's level therapist for Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and Registered Play Therapist
  • Experience with third party billing; on the provider panel for DHR, TriCare, Magellan, Behavioral Health Systems, and American Behavioral Health Care

Denominational & Community Service

  • Member of St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Crestline
  • Member of Daughters of the King service guild; President 2011-2012, Vice President, treasurer Member of the flower guild
  • Professional Memberships
    • American Association of Marriage and Family Therapist, Clinical Member
    • National Play Therapy Association
    • Alabama Counseling Association-Board of Directors for ALAMCHA (Mental Health Counselors, 1999)
    • Alabama Play Therapy Association, Executive Board and President Elect (2002), President 2004-2005

Publications & Presentations

  • Presentations
    • Mountain View Hospital, 2010. Treating Children with Attachment Disorders.
    • State Social Workers Annual Convention, Tuscaloosa, 2005, Weaving the Attachment Between Parent and Child.
    • Jefferson County Nurses' Association, 2004 Kids Playing their Way to Mental Health.
    • Jefferson County Foster Parent Association, 2004 Attachment and Bonding
    • Hill Crest Hospital, 2000, Filial Family Therapy
    • Alabama Association for Play Therapy, State convention in Birmingham Alabama, 1999, Play Therapy in the Classroom.
    • National Association for Young Children, State convention in Birmingham, Alabama, 1999. Play Therapy in the Classroom.
    • Alabama Counseling Association, State Convention, Mobile, Alabama 1998, Play Therapy in the Classroom.
  • Other
    • Created and Published Attachment and Bonding Game, a therapeautic game for 5-10 year olds and their caregiver designed to enhance the attachment between child and adult