Rebecca Cowan

Core Faculty
College of Social and Behavioral Health
School of Counseling
M.S. Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Dr. Cowan is a counselor educator with formal training in clinical mental health counseling and forensic psychology/terrorism. She has worked in the mental health field since 2004 and is a Licensed Professional Counselor, National Certified Counselor, Board Certified Telemental Health provider, Certified Mental Health Integrative Medicine Provider, Certified Forensic Behavioral Analyst, and Certified Forensic Mental Health Evaluator. She is the owner of Anchor Counseling and Wellness, LLC, in Virginia Beach, VA. Clinically, Dr. Cowan has experience working in inpatient psychiatric, private practice, residential treatment, integrated care (family medicine), forensic, and foster care/child protective services settings. She has numerous professional publications and has made several national and regional presentations. Additionally, she serves as a peer reviewer for several professional journals and as an associate editor for Trauma Counseling and Resilience journal. Dr. Cowan volunteers as a Disaster Mental Health (DMH) supervisor with the American Red Cross and regularly deploys to national disaster response operations. When in steady-state, Dr. Cowan provides DMH coverage across Virginia, where she works with individuals who have been displaced from their homes due to fires or other disasters. At Walden, Dr. Cowan teaches in the School of Counseling and Human Services. She has served on 40 doctoral student dissertation committees across several universities.

Courses Taught

COUN 6336 - Crisis, Trauma, and Response

COUN 6720 - Diagnosis and Assessment

RSCH 8310-S - Qualitative Reasoning and Analysis

COUN 6626 - Research Methodology and Program Evaluation


PhD, Old Dominion University

MA, Regent University

Public Service

The American Red Cross, Volunteer -

The Independent State Commission to Investigate the May 31, 2019, Virginia Beach Mass Shooting, Committee Member -

Awards / Honors

Gilbert and Kathleen Wrenn Award for a Humanitarian and Caring Person, American Counseling Association, 2020

Top Forty Under 40, Inside Business, 2019

Diplomate and Clinical Mental Health Specialist, American Mental Health Counseling Association (AMHCA), 2019

Association for Adult Development and Aging-Outstanding Journal Award, AADA, 2013

National Organization of Human Services President’s Award, National Organization of Human Services, 2010

Top 40 Under 40, Old Dominion University Alumni Association, 2021

Women in Business Award, Inside Business, 2021


Cowan, R. G. (2022). The Parkland mass shooting and the path to intended violence: A case study of missed opportunities for future prevention. Homicide Studies

Cowan, R. G., Cole, R., Tedeschi, P., Corbin, M. (2022). A mixed-methods analysis of averted mass violence in schools: Implications for professional school counselors.

Cole, R. F., Cowan, R. G. (2021). A Strengths-Based Approach for School Counselors Working with Military Children. Journal of Military and Government Counseling

Cowan, R. G., Cole, R. (2021). The pathway to violence and public mass shooters who have received mental health treatment prior to attacks. Safer Communities

Cowan, R. G., Cole, R., Gilette, C. (2021). Trends in ethical violations and resulting disciplinary Actions by the Virginia Board of Counseling, 1999-2019. Virginia Counselors Journal

Cowan, R. G., Alston, L., Neal, C., Mahon, M. (2021). The experiences of licensed clinicians counseling Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and queer survivors of intimate partner violence. Journal of LGBT Issues in Counseling

Cole, R. F., Cowan, R. G., Dunn, H., Lincoln, T. (2021). Military spouses' perceptions of suicide in the military spouse community. The Professional Counselor

Lankford, A., Cowan, R. G. (2021). Has the Role of Mental Health Problems in Mass Shootings Been Significantly Underestimated? . Journal of Threat Assessment and Management

Cowan, R. G., Blum, C. R., Szirony, G. M., Cicchetti, R. J. (2020). Supporting Survivors of Public Mass Shootings. Journal of Social, Behavioral, & Health Sciences

Cowan, R. G., Cole, R. (2020). Understudied and underfunded: mass shooting research and implications for the field. Journal of Social Change

Frazier, D., Cowan, R. (2020). The correlation between attachment style, self-esteem, and psychological well-being of fatherless women ages 25-55. . Adultspan Journal

Cole, R., Cowan, R. (2019). Military reintegration: The professional school counselor’s role in helping military families successfully reunite after deployment. The Journal of Military and Government Counseling

Cowan, R., Cole, R., Craigen, L. (2019). School based sexual abuse prevention: Implications for professional school counselors. The Professional Counselor

Margolies, S. O., Cowan, R., Rehfuss, M. C., Britton, B. (2018). The Patient Centered Medical Home and medical school education: An innovative interprofessional education model. Journal of Interprofessional Education & Practice

Cole, R., Cowan, R., Craigen, L. (2015). Building partnerships with low-income families of students with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: Implications for professional school counselors. Journal of Children and Poverty

Cowan, R., Cole , R. (2014). Awareness, recognition, and action: Meeting the needs of geriatric clients. The Journal of Human Services

Cole , R., Craigen , L., Cowan, R. (2014). Compassion fatigue in human service practitioners. The Journal of Human Services

Craigen , L., Cole , R., McBride-Cowan , R. (2013). The college counseling experiences of young women who self-injure: A qualitative study. Human Services Today

Craigen , L., Cole , R., Cowan, R. (2013). Online relationships and the role of the human service practitioner. Journal of Human Services

McBride, R., Hays, D. G. (2012). Counselor demographics, ageism attitudes, and multicultural counseling competence among counselors and counselor trainees. ADULTSPAN Journal

McBride, R. (2012). Survival on the streets: Experiences of the homeless population and constructive suggestions to assist this population. Journal of Multicultural Counseling and Development

Hays , D., McBride , R., Cole , R., Emelianchik , K., Forman , J., Lorelle , S., Sikes , A. (2011). A phenomenological investigation of adolescent dating relationships and dating violence counseling interventions. The Professional Counselor Journal

Sikes , A., Walley , C., McBride, R., Fusco , A., Fariss, R., Lauka, J. (2011). Inhalant and prescription medication abuse among adolescents: An inexpensive, accessible, and misperceived trend. Journal of Child and Adolescent Substance Abuse

Forman, J., McBride , R. (2010). Counselors’ role in preventing abuse of older adults: Clinical, ethical, and legal considerations. ADULTSPAN Journal

Sikes , A., Cole , R., McBride , R., Fusco , A., Lauka, J. (2009). Addressing the needs of substance abusing adolescents: A guide for professional school counselors. Journal of School Counseling


Cowan, R., Tedeschi, P. (2021). Lessons from Las Vegas and Parkland: The Experiences of Two Responders.

Cowan, R., Baumgarten, M. (2014). Working Together as Interdisciplinary Leaders: MD and Phd Program Directors In a Family Medicine Residency.

Britton , B., O'Keefe , A., Cowan, R., Das, P. (2013). Enhancing Patient Communication: Structuring Simulated Patient Feedback and Evaluation of Family Medicine Clerkship Students .

Early , M., Cowan, R. (2013). Senior Care Clinic: A Success Story for Integrated Care.

Cowan, R., Bluestein , D. (2013). Teamwork in Geriatrics: Making it Happen in the Real World.

McBride, R., Neuer , A. (2010). Resilience and Community Needs of the Homeless Population.

Neukrug , E., McBride, R., Neuer, A. (2010). Perceptions by ACA Members of Ethically Correct Behaviors.

McBride, R., Lauka, J. (2009). Positive and Negative Aspects of Doctoral Students Supervising master’s Students in Counselor Education and Supervision Programs.

Remley , T., McBride, R., Knight , J., Neuer , A., Richeson, B. (2009). Are Counselor Educators Over-Zealous in their Role as Gatekeepers for the Counseling Profession? .

McBride, R., Forman, J. (2009). Survival on the Streets: Experiences of the Homeless Population and Constructive Suggestion for Assistance.

Neukrug , E., Wisinger, S., McBride, R., Forman, J. (2009). A Content Analysis of CESNET-L.

McBride, R., Forman, J. (2009). Perceptions of Ethical Behaviors of Counselors.