Laura Jones, Ph.D., M.S.

Assistant Professor of Health & Wellness

Contact Information

  • ljones3@unca.edu
  • 828-251-6123
  • 457 Sherrill Center

Laura K. Jones, Ph.D., M.S., has a background in mental health, health promotion, and cognitive neuroscience, having received her Ph.D. in Counseling and Counselor Education (with an emphasis in Public Health) from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, M.A. in Community Agency Counseling from East Tennessee State University, and M.S. in Psychology-Cognitive Neuroscience from the University of Oregon. She has experience in numerous sectors of health promotion and public health policy, including clinical mental health counseling, mental health parity, the prevention of interpersonal violence, trauma informed practices, comprehensive sexuality education, harm reduction around substance use, and the prevention of secondhand smoke exposure. She is an outspoken advocate for promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion at the classroom, university and community levels, including cultivating an awareness of the influence of oppression and discrimination on physiological functioning and overall wellness. Her primary areas of research include: the integration of neurophysiology into conceptualizations of mental health, clinical mental health training programs, and best-practice approaches to mental health; the prevention of interpersonal violence and the holistic recovery and empowerment of survivors; and the reciprocal influence of mental and physical wellbeing. As the Director of the Peak Performance Biofeedback Lab, she furthermore devotes considerable time to better understanding how mental health impacts peak performance, particularly among athletes.

In addition to her position in Health and Wellness, she serves as faculty for Women, Gender, & Sexuality Studies and the Neuroscience Minor, a member of the Athletics Mental Health Task Force, and an Academic Success Coach.  She also actively engages in community initiatives around her areas of expertise, including serving as a: Patient Advisory Council member for WNC’s Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic ; regular guest speaker for MAHEC’s Primary Care Sports Medicine Fellowship program and Lenoir-Rhyne’s graduate program in Clinical Mental Health Counseling; research and program evaluation consultant for HelpMate; and member of various community coalitions around interpersonal violence. Furthermore, Dr. Jones serves as an editorial board member for a national peer-reviewed journal and a guest reviewer for multiple national and international journals. She also served as the founding co-editor of a monthly column in Counseling Today titled Neurocounseling: Bridging Brain and Behavior, and the founder and inaugural chair of the first Neuroscience Interest Network within the Counseling field.

Education

  • Ph.D. in Counseling and Counselor Education from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro with a concentration in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Cognate/Emphasis in Public Health
  • M.A. in Counseling from East Tennessee State University with a concentration in Community Agency Counseling (Clinical Mental Health Counseling)
  • M.S. in Psychology from University of Oregon with a concentration in Cognitive Neuroscience

HWP Courses Taught

  • HWP 153: Health Promotion and Wellness
  • HWP 190: Introduction to Health Promotion
  • HWP 224: Mental and Emotional Health
  • HWP 315: The Science of Stress, Stress Management, and Biofeedback
  • HWP 345: Research Methods in HWP
  • HWP 353: Sexual Health and Sexuality
  • HWP 356: The Science and Practice of Health Coaching
  • HWP 365: Addiction, Drugs, and Health
  • HWP 459: Senior Seminar in HWP
  • HWP 499: Undergraduate Research in HWP
  • NEUR 480: Seminar in Neuroscience
  • NEUR 372: Special Topics in Neuroscience
  • NEUR 499: Undergraduate Research in Neuroscience

Equity and Inclusion Trainings/Workshops/Continuing Education

My involvement in the following reflect my commitment to continually enhancing my own awareness and work toward creating equity (racial, gender, etc.).

  • Health and Wellness Equity Commitment Committee
  • Racial Healing Group Facilitator Training
  • Summer Institute on Education, Equity, and Justice: Uplifting Women & Girls of Color Through Antiracist Pedagogy, Practice, & Policy
  • 21-Day Racial Equity Habit Building Challenge
  • Center for Teaching and Learning First Thursday Workshop on Inclusive Teaching
  • UNCA Diversity Advocate Training
  • Intersectional Feminist Pedagogies Faculty Learning Community
  • Diversity Teaching Ideas Exchange

Research Interests

  • Integration of neurophysiology into conceptualizations of mental health, clinical mental health training programs, and best-practice approaches to addressing mental health struggles
  • Neurophysiology of trauma and recovery as it relates to perceptions of safety and best practices for empowering survivors
  • Reciprocal influence of mental and physical health (including the relationship between mental health and the immune, endocrine, and gastrointestinal systems)
  • The influence of mental health on the peak performance of athletes

Select Peer-Reviewed Publications

  • Jones, L. K. (In progress). Pathways of Iterative Violence across the Lifespan: Public Health and Clinical Mental Health Implications
  • Sheesley, A. P., & Jones, L. K. (In progress). The Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence: Insights for Counselors from the Field of Psychoneuroimmunology.
  • Russo, GM, Schauss, E, Naik, S, Banerjee, R, Ghoston, M, Jones, LK, Zalaquett, CP, Beeson, ET, & Field, TA. (in press). Extent of Counselor Training in Neuroscience-Informed Counseling Competencies. Journal of Mental Health Counseling
  • Luke, C., Beeson, E. T., Miller, R., Field, T. A., & Jones, L. K. (2020). Counselors' Perceptions of Ethical Considerations for Integrating Neuroscience with Counseling. Professional Counselor, 10(2), 204-219.
  • Beeson, E. T., Field, T. A., Reckner, J. L., Luke, C., & Jones, L. K. (2019). Neuroscience research, training, and practice: adding to or subtracting from counselor identity?. Journal of Counselor Leadership and Advocacy, 6(2), 97-113.
  • Wagener, A. E., Jones, L. K., & Hinkle, J. S. (2019). The Mental Health Facilitator Program: A Multi-Country Evaluation of Knowledge and Skills Acquisition. The Professional Counselor, 9(4), 324-333.
  • Luke, C., Redekep, F. & Jones, L. K. (2018). Addiction, stress, and relational disorder: A neuro-informed approach to intervention. Journal of Mental Health Counseling, 40(2), 172-186.
  • Field, T. A., Beeson, E. T., & Jones, L. K. (2015). The new ABCs: A practitioner's guide to neuroscience-informed cognitive-behavior therapy. Journal of Mental Health Counseling, 37(3), 206-220.
  • Jones, L. K., & Cureton, J. L. (2014). Trauma redefined in the DSM-5: Rationale and implications for counseling practice. The Professional Counselor, 4, 257–271. doi:10.15241/lkj.4.3.257
  • Sanders, A. E., Slade, G. D., Ranney, L. M., Goldstein, A. O., & Jones, L. K. (2012). Economic valuation of public preferences for tobacco control policy outcomes. North Carolina Medical Journal, 73(6), 439-447.
  • Lee, K., Hahn, E. , Jones, L.  K., Whitten, L., Robertson, H., & Zahn, B. (2010). Air quality in and around airport enclosed smoking rooms. Nicotine & Tobacco Research, 12(6), 665-668.
  • Bailey, B. A., & Jones, L. K. (2009). Are obstetricians following best-practice guidelines for addressing pregnancy smoking: Results from Northeast Tennessee. Southern Medical Journal, 102(9), 894-899.

Books

Field, T., Jones, L. K., & Russell-Chapin, L. (Eds). (In press). Neurocounseling: Brain-Based Clinical Approaches. American Counseling Association.

Book Chapters

  • Jones, L. K. (2017). Anatomy and brain development. In T. A. Field, L. K. Jones & L. A. Russell-Chapin (Eds.), Neurocounseling: Brain-Based Clinical Approaches. American Counseling Association.
  • Jones, L. K. (2017). Neurophysiological development across the lifespan. In T. A. Field, L. K. Jones & L. A. Russell-Chapin (Eds.), Neurocounseling: Brain-Based Clinical Approaches. American Counseling Association.
  • Jones, L. K., Rybak, C., & Russell-Chapin, L. A. (2017). The neurophysiology of traumatic stress. In T. A. Field, L. K. Jones & L. A. Russell-Chapin (Eds.), Neurocounseling: Brain-Based Clinical Approaches. American Counseling Association.
  • Jones, L. K. (2016). Basic Statistical Concepts. In C. J. Sheperis, J. S. Young & M. H. Daniels (Eds.), Counseling Research: Quantitative, Qualitative, and Mixed Methods (2nd ed.). Pearson.
  • Myers, J., & Jones, L. K. (2016). The applications of neuroscience to clinical mental health counseling: It’s all in your head. In J. S. Young & C. Cashwell (Eds.), Clinical Mental Health Counseling: Elements of Effective Practice. Pearson.
  • O'Halloran, M. S., Sones, J. R., & Jones, L. K. (2015). Crisis Intervention with Early Adolescents who Suffered a Significant Loss. In A. R. Roberts (Ed.), Crisis Intervention Handbook: Assessment, Treatment, and Research (4th ed.). Oxford University Press.

Select Regional/National/International Presentations

  • Jones, L. K., Field, T. A., Miller, R., & Beeson, E. T. (2019, March). Neuroscience Informed Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: Expanding the Application of CBT. Presented at the American Counseling Association Conference. New Orleans, LA. Oral Presentation
  • Field, T. A., Jones, L. K., & Russell-Chapin, L. A. (2018, April). Neurocounseling and Trauma Work: Empirical Research Supporting its Efficacy. Presented at the American Counseling Association Conference. Atlanta, GA. Oral Presentation.
  • Jones, L. K. (2018, April). Beyond Mental Toughness: The Impact of Mental Health on Resilience, Recovery, and Peak Performance. Presented at the Big South Health Summit. Asheville, NC.
  • Jones, L. K. (2018, April). The Role of Mental Health in Health, Healing and Performance. Presented at the Mountain Orthopaedic Update: Focus on Sports Medicine Conference. Asheville, NC.
  • Beeson, E. T. & Jones, L. K. (2016, October). The New ABCs: Neuroscience-Informed Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Accepted for presentation at the 57th Annual European-Branch of the American Counseling Association Conference. Geneva, Switzerland. Oral Presentation
  • Jones, L. K., Beeson, E. T., & Field, T. A., (2016, July). Enhancing resilience through biologically based counseling. Presented at the American Mental Health Counseling Association Annual Conference. New Orleans, LA. Oral Presentation.
  • Jones, L. K. (2016, April). Sex Specific Psychotherapy? Not so fast… The Influence of Sex and Sex Hormones on Neurophysiological Functioning and Mental Health. 2016 International Super Brain Summit. Center for Collaborative Brain Research. Bradley University.
  • Schmidt, M., & Jones, L. K. (2016, April). The Neuroscience of Traumatic Brain Injury: Implications for Clinical Practice. Presented at the American Counseling Association Conference & Expo. Montréal, QC, Canada. Oral Presentation
  • Jones, L. K. (2015, October). Modern Day Sexual Slavery: Training Counselors to Recognize and Support Survivors of Sex-Trafficking. Presented at the Association for Counselor Education and Supervision Conference. Philadelphia, PA. Oral Presentation.
  • Jones, L. K. (2015, March). Beyond Brain Basics: Exploring Advanced Research in Trauma Neurophysiology. Presented at the American Counseling Association Conference & Expo. Orlando, FL.  Oral Presentation.
  • Jones, L. K. (2014, July). Thriving in a New Era of Neuroscience: Using Principles of Brain Science to Inform Clinical Practice. Presented at the American Mental Health Counselors Association Annual Conference. Seattle, WA. Extended Oral Presentation.