Laurie M. Craigen, PhD

Laurie CraigenCore Faculty and Associate Professor

72 East Concord Street
Robinson Bldg Suite B-212
Boston, MA 02118


I received my BA in psychology from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts. Additionally, I attained my EdS in School Psychology and my PhD in Counselor Education at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia.


I am currently an Associate Professor in the Mental Health Counseling and Behavioral Medicine Program here at Boston University. Most recently, I was an Associate Professor in the Department of Counseling and Human Services at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. For the past ten years, I have worked in a private practice setting. My client base consisted largely of adolescents and young adults presenting with a variety of mental health concerns, particularly self-injurious behavior. My research interests include self-injurious behavior, suicide, trauma, secondary traumatic stress, and the unique needs of military-connected children and their families. In addition to my research endeavors, I am committed to international learning experiences. I recently co-developed an international service-learning program in San Jose, Costa Rica, assisted a colleague in a study abroad program in Dublin, Ireland, and participated in a trauma-healing program for children in South Africa. In addition to international programming, I also developed online courses in human methods and family guidance.

Questions and Answers

Q: Please describe your theoretical orientation and teaching philosophy

A: My theoretical orientation is categorized as “technical eclectism”. This approach incorporates a variety of empirically supported treatment strategies that are based on the unique needs of each client. Many of the strategies that I employ in a clinical setting rely on client-centered, cognitive-behavioral, narrative, attachment, and feminist therapeutic approaches. When working with clients, I believe that it is of primary importance to build rapport and develop a secure base with clients. Once a firm relationship is established, clinical progress can occur.

My teaching philosophy is student-centered and collaboratively based. With me in the position of instructor, I also expect to be taught by my students; we will learn together in many endeavors. With my focus on collaboration, I also emphasize the importance of students working together in groups. In my eyes, some of the best learning results from students working together, sharing perspectives, and challenging one another to think in new and different ways. As an instructor, I also believe that there must be an appropriate balance between challenge and support to facilitate learning. So, while my expectations for all students are extremely high, I also make it a point to consistently validate and praise my students for their efforts. Of greatest importance to me is not that my students will memorize a particular set of theories or important dates. My primary learning objective for all students is that they will grow both personally and professionally from each learning experience. At the conclusion of a course, I also hope that my students will learn to think critically, understand and appreciate new and different perspectives, and learn to apply their newfound knowledge to their professional lives. My approach to teaching also focuses on the preparation of students for professional roles in the community, i.e., the provision of the skills and contextual knowledge necessary to meet the complex ethical and clinical challenges of human service. A commitment to social justice and multicultural awareness and competency is central to my goals in teaching.

Q: Why did you choose to be a faculty member in the Mental Health Counseling and Behavioral Medicine Program?

I was drawn to the program at Boston University’s Mental Health Counseling and Behavioral Medicine Program for a number of reasons. First, I wanted to be a part of a CACREP Mental Health Counseling program. I graduated from a CACREP program and I wanted to joinprogram that was committed to counselor education accreditation standards. I also was impressed with the program’s student-centered focus. As a counselor educator, I am passionate about working with, mentoring, and developing the professional identities of future mental health counselors. Thus, I am excited to be a part of a program that values a focus on working directly with students. Also, in addition to the stellar reputation of Boston University, I was eager to join the already impressive faculty in the Mental Health Counseling Program. Each faculty member has a unique focus and they are all involved in cutting-edge research projects, clinical practice, grant work, and community outreach.

Q: What do you enjoy most about teaching in the Mental Health Counseling and Behavioral Medicine Program?

In addition to being a part of a program faculty that values teaching, I also enjoy interacting with students in a classroom setting. The students in the program are extremely intelligent and there were all quite successful in their undergraduate careers. It is also wonderful to work with students from diverse backgrounds. The students in the program arrive in Boston from all over the country and the world.

In addition to the classroom teaching experience, I really enjoy sitting one on one with students. I enjoy the mentoring experience and I truly love watching students grow into their professional identity. I have been struck with the students’ passionate curiosity for working with others and their genuine passion for wanting to learn. It is this passion and excitement that also fuels my continued love for the field.