Skip to content Skip to main navigation Report an accessibility issue
Laura Wheat

Laura S. Wheat, PhD, LPC (GA), NCC

Assistant Professor, Graduate Certificate Coordinator, GOI Coordinator


I grew up in an Air Force family, but I claim Rock Hill, South Carolina, as home, and that is where I’ve lived the longest. My paternal relations are all from the towns surrounding Knoxville, though, and I grew up singing “Rocky Top.” My outside interests include hiking, going to the movies, UT football, and doing all the voices when I read fiction out loud.


  • Loss and Life Transitions across the Lifespan
  • Grieving Children and Adolescents, particularly Youth of Color
  • Losses Experienced by LGBTQ Individuals
  • Counseling Children & Adolescents from Highly Mobile Families, including Military and Third Culture Kids (TCKs)


  • PhD, Counselor Education, University of Virginia, 2011
  • MEd, Counseling & Development, Winthrop University, 2007
  • BA, Psychology, Winthrop University, 1999
  • Download CV


*Indicates Student

West, N. B., Diambra, J. F., & Wheat, L. S. (in press). Developmental networks andinterpersonal support of beginning counselors. Journal of Counselor Preparation& Supervision.

Pollard, B. L., Varga, M. A., Wheat, L. S., McClam, T., & Balentyne, P. J. (2020)Characteristics of graduate counseling student grief experiences. Illness, Crisis,& Loss, 28(3), 255-274.

Wheat, L. S., *Szepe, A., West, N. B., *Riley, K. B., & Gibbons, M. G. (2019). Graduateand undergraduate student development as a result of participation in a griefeducation service learning course. Journal of Community Engagement & HigherEducation, 11(2), 31-45.

Wheat, L. S., & *Thacker, N. E. (2019). LGBTQ+ loss experiences and the use ofmeaning reconstruction with clients. Journal of LGBT Issues in Counseling, 13,232-251.

Gibbons, M. G., Taylor, A. L., Wheat, L. S., & *Szepe, A. (2018). Transformativelearning for peer mentors connected to a postsecondary education program forstudents with intellectual and developmental disabilities. International Journal ofResearch on Service-Learning & Community Engagement, 6(1), Article 10.Retrieved from

Wheat, L. S. (2018). Review of the book, Handbook of social justice in loss and grief:Exploring diversity, equity, and inclusion, edited by D. L. Harris & T. C. Bordere.Omega, 77, 415-419.

Wheat, L. S., & Whiting, P. P. (2018). Sacred privilege: Using narrative reconstructionas a postmodern approach with grieving children and adolescents. In M. B.Scholl & J. T. Hansen (Eds.), Postmodern perspectives on contemporarycounseling issues (pp. 93-120)Oxford University Press.

DeDiego, A. C., Wheat, L. S., & Fletcher, T. B. (2017). Overcoming obstacles:Exploring the use of adventure based counseling in youth grief camps. Journal ofCreativity in Mental Health, 12(2), 230-241.

Lopez-Baez, S. I., & Wheat, L. S. (2017). Older LGBTQ adults: Family and socialdevelopment. In C. B. Roland & L. D. Burlew (Eds.), Counseling LGBTQ adultsthroughout the life span (pp. 80-84). American Counseling Association.

*Pollard, B., & Wheat, L. S. (2015, May). Students helping students: The Grief OutreachInitiative. ADEC Forum: The Quarterly Publication of the Association for DeathEducation and Counseling, 41(2), 12-13.

Wheat, L. S., & Whiting, P. P. (2015). The forget-me-not book of reminders duringdeployment. In S. Degges-White & B. Colon (Eds.), Expressive arts interventionsfor school counselors (pp. 239-243)Sage.

Blueford, J. B., Diambra, J. F., & Wheat, L. S. (n.d.). Counselor preparedness tocounsel grieving clients: Insights and implications. Manuscript revision inpreparation for resubmission to Death Studies.

Wheat, L. S., Matthews, J. J., & Whiting, P. P. (n.d.). Grief content inclusion inCACREP-accredited counselor education programs. Manuscript revision inpreparation for resubmission to Journal of Counselor Preparation & Supervision.

Recent Presentations (*indicates student)

Wheat, L. S. (2020, April). Death & non-death loss in the lives of LGBTQ+ people.Accepted for presentation at the Association for Death Education & Counselingconference, Columbus, OH. Conference canceled due to COVID-19 stateclosure. Presentation moved to April 2021 virtual conference.

Wheat, L. S., & *Hightower, J. (2019, November). Loving, living, & losing: Loss inLGBTQ+ lives. Breakout session presented at the Tennessee CounselingAssociation conference, Nashville, TN.

Diambra, J. D., Gibbons, M. M., Spurgeon, S. L., Wheat, L. S., Brott, P. E., *Adams, C.,& *Blueford, J. M. (2019, October). Assessment in counselor education: Usingprogram dispositions as a gatekeeping tool. Education session presented at theAssociation for Counselor Education & Supervision conference, Seattle, WA.

Wheat, L. S., Matthews, J. J., & Whiting, P. P. (2019, April). Grief content inclusion inaccredited counselor education programs. Presented at the Association forDeath Education & Counseling conference, Atlanta, GA.

Cupit, I. N., Servaty-Seib, H. L., Varga, M. A., & Wheat, L. S. (2018, April). Teachingthat matters: Balancing the academic and personal. Panel discussion presentedat the Association for Death Education & Counseling conference, Pittsburgh, PA.

Wheat, L. S. (2017, November). Loss, belongingness, & identity: What counselorsshould know about Third Culture Kids. Content session presented at theTennessee Counseling Association conference, Nashville, TN.

Wheat, L. S. (2017, June). Loss in the lives of LGBTQ+ People. Invited webinarsponsored by the Association for Death Education & Counseling.

*Clark, J. M., & Wheat, L. S. (2017, June). Religion and the rainbow: A counselortrainee’s journey to help clients reconcile conflicting identities. Education sessionpresented at the American Counseling Association ILLUMINATE symposium,Washington, DC.

Varga, M. A., Wheat, L. S., & Pollard, B. L. (2017, April). The grief experiences ofGraduate counseling students. Education session presented at the Associationfor Death Education & Counseling conference, Portland, OR.

Wheat, L. S., & *Farrell, I. C. (2016, September). Bringing bereavement out of thecloset: Partner/spousal bereavement among LGBTQ+ individuals. Educationsession presented at the Association for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, & TransgenderIssues in Counseling conference, San Antonio, TX

Laura Wheat

Contact Information

  • 443 Claxton Education Building, 1122 Volunteer Blvd.
  • Phone: 865-974-3845
  • E-mail: