James Madison University

Anne Stewart, Ph.D.


PHOTO: Anne Stewart
  • Office:Johnston Hall 117
  • Phone: 540-908-8288
  • Email: stewaral@jmu.edu
  • Mailing Address:
    MSC 7401
    800 S. Main St.
    Harrisonburg, Virginia 22807

Education and Credentials

  • Ph. D. University of Virginia, Institute of Clinical Psychology,
    Concentration in Clinical Child and School Psychology (APA Accredited)
  • Internship, Judge Baker Child Guidance Center-Boston Children's Hospital
    Harvard Medical School (APA Accredited)
  • M. A. T. DePauw University – Concentration in Reading
  • B. A. Elementary Education and Special Education
  • Licensed Clinical Psychologist (VA)
  • Registered Play Therapist – Supervisor


Anne Stewart is a Professor of Graduate Psychology at James Madison University. Dr. Stewart is a member of the inaugural JMU "Be the Change" Hall of Fame. This initiative honors JMU faculty, students, and alumni living Gandhi's counsel to be the change you want to see in the world a belief which is manifested in Dr. Stewart's accomplishments in teaching, discovery, knowledge integration, and service.

PHOTO: Anne Stewart

Dr. Stewart invites students to use the community as their textbook, extending the classroom's boundaries across the campus, the surrounding community, and internationally. She teaches systems and family theory, play therapy, interprofessional ethics and practice and clinical supervision. Her research examines the quality of parent-child interactions and attachment-based interventions. Her expectation to think deliberately about how course knowledge can impact the world has helped students develop professional identities that are theoretically grounded yet relevant to practical needs. She challenges students to cultivate an ethic of personal and social responsibility as practitioners, scholars, and global citizens.

PHOTO: Anne Stewart

Dr. Stewart promotes resilience and attachment in children through projects around the world, including Sri Lanka and India following the tsunami. Dr. Stewart designed and implemented intervention and research programs addressing psychosocial problems resulting from landmines in Lebanon, Jordan, Bosnia, Vietnam, and Mozambique. She served as a consultant following Hurricane Katrina, the 9/11 attacks, the Virginia Tech shootings, and central Virginia earthquake. Along with colleagues and students, she provided play-based therapeutic services to children of deployed Virginia National Guard soldiers. Her writings include Play Therapy: A comprehensive guide to theory and practice, Creative Crisis Intervention Techniques with Children and Families and Suddenly Military: Play-based Interventions for Deployed National Guard and Reserve Families.

She is the founder and president of the Virginia Association for Play Therapy and recipient of the national play therapy Distinguished Service Award, the JMU "All Together One" Award, the College Award for Distinguished Service, the Virginia Counselor's Association "Humanitarian and Caring Person" Award, and the Virginia State Council of Higher Education Outstanding Faculty Award.

Scholarly Interests/Research Topics

  • Parent-child interactions and attachment-based interventions
  • Interprofessional international education and collaboration
  • Crisis intervention and social resilience
  • Military-connected families
  • Mine risk education and humanitarian demining

Current Projects

Military Connected Families Research Team
The focus of this collaboration is to contribute to the knowledge base regarding resilience and attachment constructs and military connected families. The team has completed activities to support the validation of Same Sky Sharing, a curriculum for use with children with a deployed family member and continues to develop and disseminate information about the Pathways to Resilience intervention model. The team supports doctoral dissertations and opportunities for state or federal grants for training and interventions with military families.

Parent-Child Interaction Research and Attachment-based Interventions
This interest group is engaged in examining clinical interventions and supervision with the director of the Virginia Child and Family Attachment Center, Dr. Bill Whelan. Our goal is to create additional clinical and research projects. Dr. Whelan, students and I collaborate on conducting an attachment-informed parenting program and creating a data-base of play-based parent-child interactions.

Interprofessional Education and Collaboration (IPEC) Teams
These teams include a variety of activities including team-teaching and IPEC facilitation, providing integrated behavioral health service, conducting research in interprofessional education and collaboration and establishing international IPEC activities (India and Costa Rica). Through the JMU Department of Nursing, a HRSA grant was awarded to offer interprofessional course activities with students in clinical psychology, communication and speech disorders and nursing. The focus of the grant is to learn and practice IPEC competencies with clients with cardiac disease and other complex chronic conditions.

Center for International Stabilization and Recovery and Eco Kosovo
Scholarship partners also include the Center for International Stabilization and Recovery and Eco Kosovo, both JMU centered groups engaged in efforts to reduce social unrest and enhance positive outcomes for children, families and communities impacted by violence.

Selected Publications

  • Stewart, A. L. & Whelan, W. (in press). Disruption and dissolution in adoption and foster care. In N. Boyd-Webb, Play therapy with children in crisis, 4th edition. New York, NY: Guilford Press.
  • Crenshaw, D. & Stewart, A. L. (2015). Play therapy: A comprehensive guide to theory and practice. New York, New York: Guilford Press.
  • Echterling, L. G., & Stewart, A. L. (2015). Resiliency in early childhood. In T. Gullotta, & M. Bloom (Eds.)Encyclopedia of primary prevention and health promotion(2nd ed.) (pp. 877-886). New York, NY: Springer.
  • Stewart, A. L., & Echterling, L. G. (2014). Play and the therapeutic relationship. In C. Schaefer and A. Drewes (Eds.) The therapeutic powers of play (2nd edition), (pp. 157-169). New York, NY: Wiley & Sons.
  • Stewart, A. L., Whelan, W. F., & Pendleton, C. (2013). Attachment and play therapy. In D. Crenshaw and C. Malchiodi (Eds.) Attachment and play therapy. New York: Guilford Press.
  • Echterling, L. G., & Stewart, A. L. (2010). Pathways to resilience at Virginia Tech. In J. Webber, D. D. Bass, & R. Yep (Eds.) Terrorism, trauma and tragedies: A counselor's guide to preparing and responding. (3rd ed.) Washington: American Counseling Association.
  • Akerson, E., Stewart, A. L., Baldwin, J., Gloeckner, J., Bryson, B., & Cockley, D.(2013). Got Ethics? Exploring the value of interprofessional collaboration through a comparison of discipline specific codes of ethics. American Association of Medical Colleges www.mededportal.org/publication/9331
  • Echterling, L. G., & Stewart, A. L. (2011). Safe Haven Saturdays: A community-based program 
    for promoting resilience and attachment in deployed military families. VISTAS 2011
  • Johnson, C, Stewart, A. L., Brabeck, M., Huber, V., & Rubin, H. (2004). Interprofessional collaboration: Implications for combined-integrated doctoral training in professional psychology. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 60, 995-1001.