Image of Dr. Thomas Killian

Contact Information

Academic School

School of Social and Behavioral Sciences


Dyson 344



845-575-3000 ext. 2080

Dr. Thomas Killian

Assistant Professor of Psychology


Prior to coming to Marist, Dr. Killian worked in a variety of settings with clinical work and academic training in individual and group counseling, play therapy, and career and academic counseling in the following areas: a university counseling center and the university psychological services clinic, a university athletic department, a play therapy institute, and various K-12 settings. Dr. Killian’s broad research interest focuses on advancing multiculturalism in mental health counseling training and practice, while his primary research interest focuses on the pedagogical practices that best promote multicultural competency and social justice advocacy for counselors-in-training. He also focuses on culturally responsive counseling for diverse populations and on adapting often-inadequate traditional approaches to meet these populations’ unique needs. In his free time, he enjoys hiking, cooking, reading, and trying out new breweries.


PhD, Counselor Education and Supervision, University of Northern Colorado
MEd, Counseling, The University of Mississippi
BA, Psychology, The University of Mississippi

Research Interests / Areas of Focus

LGBTQ Issues, Intersection of Religious/Spiritual and LGBTQ Identities, Multicultural Counselor Education, Refugee Mental Health, Play Therapy and School Mental Health

Selected Publications

Killian, T., Levering, K., & Brottem, L. J. (accepted). Understanding conflict between religious/spiritual and queer identities: A framework for counselors. Journal of Counseling and Values.

Rivas, M., Killian, T., Rinke, C., & Cole, R. (in press). Female offenders under community supervision: A phenomenological analysis. Journal of Addictions and Offender Counseling.

Killian, T. & Floren, M. (2020). Exploring the relationship between pedagogy and counselor-trainees’ multicultural and social justice competence. Journal of Counseling and Development, 98(3), 295-307. doi:10.1002/jcad.12324

Peters, H., Killian, T., & Rivas, M. (2020). Queer male couples’ ecological and relational third space. Journal of LGBT Issues in Counseling, 14(2). 134-152. doi: 10.1080/15538605.2020.1753626

Killian, T., Farago, R., & Peters, H. C. (2019). Promoting queer competency through an experiential framework. The Journal of Counselor Preparation and Supervision, 12(4). Retrieved from

Killian, T., Peters, H., & Brottem, L. J. (2019). Religious and spiritual values conflicts in queer partnerships: Implications for couples and family counselors. The Family Journal, 27(3), 250–256. doi: 10.1177/1066480719853012

Killian, T., Cardona, B., & Brottem, L. J. (2018). Refugee children acculturation: Group process in schools as cultural microcosms. Journal of School Counseling, 16 (10), 1-42. Retrieved from

Killian, T., Cardona, B., & Hudspeth, F. (2017). Culturally responsive play therapy with Somali refugees. International Journal of Play Therapy, 26(1), 23-32.

Branson, A., Cardona, B., Ng, K.-M, & Killian, T. (2016). Internationalized intersectional experiential learning environments that go beyond U.S. contexts: Malaysia as a case example. The Family Journal, 24(3), 1-10.

Snow, M., Winburn, A., Crumrine, L., Jackson, E., & Killian, T. (2012). The Ipad playroom: A therapeutic technique. Play Therapy Magazine, 7(3), 16-19.

Selected Presentations

Gatins, K. & Killian, T. (2020). Clinical implications towards intersecting religious/spiritual and queer identities. Virtual Presentation at New York Mental Health Counseling Association. Albany, NY.

Martillotti, R. & Killian, T. (2020). Openness to experience: Investigating personality and cultural awareness differences among study abroad students. Virtual Poster presented at the National Collegiate Honors Council Conference. Dallas, TX.

Killian, T. & Camero, J. (2019). LGBTQ+ affinity group. Round Table Session at Explorations in Social Justice Conference. Poughkeepsie, NY.

Rinke, C., Garcia, M., Killian, T., Merenda, F., Stone, M., & Smallwood, K. (2019). The winding path to developing an Engaged Research Institute: Marist’s Center for Social Justice Research (MCSJR). Presented at Siena College Engage for Change Conference. Albany, NY.

Rivas, M., Killian, T., del Rosario, P. (2018). Multicultural and social justice frameworks in clinical supervision: A ten year review. Roundtable Session at North Atlantic Region Association of Counselor Education and Supervision. Burlington, VT.

Cannelli, K., Harnen, W., & Killian, T. (2018). The Implications of Spiritual Abuse on LGBTQI+ Persons. Presentation at New York Mental Health Counseling Association. Albany, NY.

Killian, T. (2017). Culturally Sensitive Practices with Refugees: A Group Work Approach. Roundtable Session at Association of Counselor Education and Supervision. Chicago, IL.

Fargo, R. & Killian, T. (2017). Experiential Pedagogy to Increase Multicultural Competency When Working With LGBTQIA Persons. Roundtable Session at Association of Counselor Education and Supervision. Chicago, IL.