Curriculum Vitae (PDF)

Photo of John Galassi

Galassi, John

Professor of School Counseling
Chair, Graduate and Undergraduate Research and Policy

T: 919.962.9196
F: 919.843.2614
105C Peabody Hall
CB 3500

“The primary mission of counselors and educators is to promote the optimal development ─ academic, personal/social and vocational ─ of all students.”

- John Galassi


College experiences of positive human development attracted John Paul Galassi Jr., to school counseling. Galassi was initially trained as a psychologist using a humanistic approach. In graduate school, he developed the research skills that led him to UNC Chapel Hill where he trains psychologists and counselors.

Galassi’s experiences with Dr. Joseph Wolpe, one of the founders of behavior therapy, kindled his interest in researching the role of assertion and social skills in interpersonal relationships and the factors impacting test and mathematics anxiety. Subsequent research interests included psycho-social aspects of cancer and professional development schools.

The American Psychological Association, American Psychological Society, and the American Association of Applied and Preventive Psychology awarded Galassi Fellow Status for his scholarly contributions. Based on his productivity from 1974-1991, Galassi was listed nationally among top psychologists.

His current scholarship focuses on a strengths-based framework for school counseling. Historically, the models influencing school counseling and counseling/psychotherapy have focused primarily on problem reduction, secondarily on prevention, and almost exclusively on the individual rather than the environment. A strengths-based approach involves all members of the school community for an environment nurturing academic and personal/social competence while appreciating diversity. Although remediation and removal of barriers plays an important role in counseling, a strengths-based framework emphasizes proactive approaches to help students build assets and enhance the asset-building capacity of their environment. Galassi’s current scholarship focuses on researching and extending the application of this new framework to school counseling.

Educational Background

  • Ph.D. 1971 - University of California, Berkeley, Counseling Psychology
  • Ed.M. 1967 - Harvard University, Guidance and Counseling
  • A.B. 1966 - Middlebury College, Psychology

Research Interests

  • Strength-Based Approaches to School Counseling

Teaching Areas

  • Theories of Counseling
  • Practicum in Counseling
  • Internship in Counseling and Consultation
  • Promoting Academic Development


  • EDUC 250: Risk and Resiliency: Challenges and Opportunities in Education
  • EDUC 606: Theories of Counseling
  • EDUC 611: Practicum in School Counseling
  • EDUC 705: Internship in School Counseling
  • EDUC 709: Seminar in Applied Investigations
  • EDUC 711: Promoting Academic Development
  • EDUC 811: Problems in School Counseling
  • EDUC 814: Supervision and Teaching in School Counseling
  • EDUC 815: Doctoral Seminar in School Counseling
  • EDUC 844: Advanced Seminar and Supervised Internship in Educational Administration

Honors & Awards

  • Awarded Fellow Status by American Psychological Association Division of Counseling Psychology
  • Chaired and directed the doctoral dissertation research, Men who batter women: The identification of a typology using cluster analysis, by William Metcalfe, recipient of the 1995 Barbara A. Kirk award for outstanding student research.
  • Cited as in the top 2% for scholarly productivity of Division 17 (Counseling Psychology - 2,897 members) of the American Psychological Association for the period, 1974-1991

Funded Research

  • National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education Professional Development School Standards Field-Test Project Grant. (with William I. Burke), 1998.
  • Psychosocial and medical responses of melanoma patients to a telephone peer-support intervention (with Lawrence B. Rosenfeld). University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Institute for Research in Social Science Summer Faculty Research Stipend, 1995.

Selected Professional Affiliations

  • American Counseling Association
  • American Educational Research Association
  • North Carolina Counseling Association

Selected Publications

Akos, P., & Galassi, J. P. (2008). Strength-based school counseling: Introduction to the special issue. Professional School Counseling, 12, 66-67.

Galassi, J. P., & Akos, P. (2007). Strengths-based school counseling: Promoting student development and achievement. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Ware, W. B., & Galassi, J. P. (2006). Using correlational and prediction data to enhance student achievement in K-12 schools: A practical application for school counselors. Professional School Counseling, 9, 334-356 .

Akos, P., & Galassi, J. P. (2004).  Gender and race as factors in psychosocial adjustment to middle and high school.  Journal of Educational Research, 98, 102-108.

Akos, P., & Galassi, J. P. (2004).  Training school counselors as developmental advocates. Counselor Education and Supervision, 43, 192-206.

Brown, D., Galassi, J. P., & Akos, P. (2004).  School counselors’ perceptions of the impact of high-stakes testing.  Professional School Counseling, 8, 31-39.

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