Kristie Opiola

Kristie Opiola

Associate Professor, Director of PhD in Counselor Education & Supervision
COED 247


Kristie Opiola, Ph. D., LPC (Texas), RPT is an assistant professor in the Department of Counseling at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She began her professional career as a certified child life specialist working with acutely and terminally ill children in hospital settings for 13 years. She switched careers and is currently teaching play therapy courses at UNC Charlotte. Her areas of teaching interest include play therapy, filial therapy, skill development, expressive arts. Research interests include play therapy and filial therapy with children who have experienced a variety of traumas (medical, relationship, adoption), community based play therapy interventions, and counselor-in-training skill development. Kristie is active in the Association for Play Therapy and Association of Humanistic Counseling.


Ph. D.- University of North Texas, August 2016, Counselor Education
M. Ed.- University of North Texas, May 2012, Mental Health Counseling, specialization Play Therapy
M. S.- Wheelock College, August 2001, Child Life
B. S.- University of Pittsburgh, May 1998, Child Development and Family Centered Care

Area(s) of Interest and Research

Play Therapy
Filial Therapy
Community based interventions