Dr. Kendra A. Surmitis


Kendra A. Surmitis, Ph.D.

I provide a compassionate and research-informed approach to supporting individuals who desire a more fulfilling, understood, and meaningful life. I understand the importance of the whole person in the counseling relationship – mind, body, and spirit. Because I believe that each client brings a unique story and perspective, I work from a place of empathy, acceptance, and appreciation of diversity in gender, race, faith, and sexual orientation. My relational approach to psychotherapy invites each client to feel understood and respected during the counseling process. While I work across a variety of ages and client issues, I have experience with the following, however not limited to: anxiety, depression, grief/loss, acculturation, relationship concerns, professional women’s issues, personal growth, adolescent and college-student concerns, young women’s issues, crisis intervention, narrative therapy, self-authorship, psychoanalytically-oriented psychotherapy, career change, aging, yoga for mental health, and mindfulness.

I am a practicing Licensed Professional Counselor in Virginia and North Carolina, and trained in clinical mental health counseling, counselor education, supervision, and the diagnosis and treatment of mental health related issues. I have held academic appointments as a professor of counselor education, and have published a number of academic articles on topics including self injury, mindfulness, and inclusivity. Additionally, I have given a number of professional talks regionally, nationally, and internationally.

To schedule your first session, or to contact me, please click here.


  • Psychoanalytic Candidate, Psychoanalytic Center of the Carolinas
  • Post-Graduate Certificate, University of Edinburgh
  • Doctorate of Philosophy, College of William & Mary
  • Masters of Arts, Xavier University
  • Bachelor of Science, Xavier University


  • Owner, Carolina Counseling and Wellness, PLLC
  • Clinical Professor, Marquette University
  • Associate Faculty, Prescott College
  • Adjunct Professor of Counseling, Lindsey Wilson College
  • Adjunct Professor of Counseling, Thomas University
  • Owner, Alexandria Counseling and Wellness, LLC
  • Co-Editor of Counseling and Wellness Journal
  • Visiting Assistant Professor of Counseling, Winthrop University
  • Guest Faculty, Diversity and Counseling Summer Institute, Old Dominion University/Trinity College
  • Assistant Clinical Professor of Counseling, Northern Arizona University
  • Staff Counselor, Christopher Newport University
  • New Leaf Clinic Counselor, College of William & Mary
  • Interning Counselor and Adjunct Professor, Miami University
  • Resident Advocate and Counselor, Women’s Crisis Center of Northern Kentucky
  • Interning Counselor, Talbert House Pathways for Women

Professional Memberships

  • American Counseling Association
  • Association for Counselor Educators and Supervisors
  • National Board for Certified Counselors
  • American Psychoanalytic Association
  • Psychoanalytic Center of the Carolinas

Professional Licensure / Certification

  • Nationally Certified Counselor by the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC)
  • Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC, Virginia) No. 0701006298
  • Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor (LCMHC, North Carolina) No. 12791

Selected works:

Surmitis, K. A. (February, 2019). Ethics and psychoanalytically-informed counseling. Presented at the Law and Ethics in Counseling conference in New Orleans, LA

Surmitis, K. A. (February, 2019). Ethical considerations of counselor self-disclosure. Presented at the Law and Ethics in Counseling conference in New Orleans, LA

Surmitis, K. A., Fox, J., & Gutierrez, D. (2018). Mindfulness and appropriation. Counseling & Values, 63, 4 – 16.

Stone, B. A. & Surmitis, K. A. (2018). Educator perceptions of student ownership and self-authorship. International Journal of the Whole Child, 3(2), 19 -24.

Surmitis, K. A. (February, 2017). Ethics and Interpersonal Boundaries in Supervision. Invited, pre-conference workshop. Presented at the South Carolina Counseling Association in Isle of Palms, SC

Surmitis, K. A. (August, 2016). Culture and displaced persons: The clinical significance of home. Presented at the Diversity and Counseling Summer Institute, hosted at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland

DeVoss, J. A. & Surmitis, K. A. (2016). Partners in justice: School counselors and teachers creating classrooms for social justice. In Papa, R., Eadens, D. & Eadens, D. (Eds.), Empowerment on the Chalkboard. New York, NY: Springer.

Richardson, B. G. & Surmitis, K. A. (2014, November). Responding to the rise in self injury among youth. Counseling Today.

Surmitis, K. A. (2014). Choosing mental health: An investigation into the relationship between college student help seeking and self-authorship (Doctoral dissertation). College of William & Mary, Williamsburg, VA.

Surmitis, K. A. & Honeycutt, D. (October, 2014). Cultivating the voice within: Mindfulness for empowerment of emerging adults. Presented at the American College Counseling Association Conference in San Antonio, TX

Surmitis, K. A. & Honderich, E. M. (February, 2013). Cognitive development: A meta-theoretical approach to eclecticism. Presented at the Virginia Association for Counselor Education and Supervision in Harrisonburg, VA

Surmitis, K. A. (June, 2012). Silence, serenity, and schizophrenia: Introducing meditation and mindfulness to individuals with severe mental illness. Presented at the Association for Spiritual, Ethical, and Religious Values in Counseling in Santa Fe, NM

Surmitis, K. A. & Hall, N. (May, 2012). Thriving and surviving in higher education: Women’s perspectives on success in scholarship. Presented at the Counseling & Psychotherapy Postgraduate Conference at the University of Edinburgh in Edinburgh, Scotland

Surmitis, K. A. & Sweers, A. (April, 2012). Career discussions in the workplace: Enhancing individual growth through developmentally focused dialogue. Presented at the Virginia Career Development Association/Virginia Association for Multi-Cultural Counseling and Development conference in Fredericksburg, VA

Richardson, B. G., Surmitis, K. A., & Hyldahl, R. S. (2012). Minimizing social contagion in adolescents who self-injure: Treatment considerations for group work, residential treatment, and the internet. Journal of Mental Health Counseling, 34(2), 121-132.

Nelson, M. & Surmitis, K. A. (February, 2009). MCMI-III usage in child custody evaluation. Presented at the Southeastern Psychological Association Conference in New Orleans, LA

To schedule your first appointment, or to contact me with an inquiry, please submit a request below. All messages will be responded to as soon as possible during normal business hours. I look forward to hearing from you.