Penn State Harrisburg

Senel Poyrazli, Ph.D.

· Associate Professor of Counseling Psychology; Behavioral Sciences and Education


Senel Poyrazli received her Ph.D. in counseling psychology from University of Houston. Her clinical background includes working with adolescents, college students, adults, married/unmarried couples, and war veterans, and dealing with issues primarily related to relationships, psychosocial adjustment, decision making, depression, and trauma. Her research primarily involves college students’ and immigrants’ psychosocial adjustment processes; with cross-cultural competency being an additional research interest. Currently, she is exploring the reasons that cause international students to fail academically. She is also starting a new research project related to immigrant parents, their involvement with their child’s school, and immigrant child school outcomes. Dr. Poyrazli teaches counseling skills, interviewing and counseling, small groups counseling, theories of counseling, family therapy, internship, research methods, and multicultural competency. She was awarded a Teaching Excellence Award by Penn State Harrisburg in 2007.

Dr. Poyrazli is a fellow of the American Psychological Association (APA) and is actively involved within the organization. Within APA Division 52 (International Psychology), she just completed her 5-year term as the editor of the division’s official publication International Psychology Bulletin. She currently chairs the division’s Long-Range Planning Committee and co-chairs the division’s APA conference program for 2010 to be held in San Diego, CA. For APA Division 17 (Society of Counseling Psychology), she currently chairs the International Student Mentoring and Orientation Committee (IMOC) and serves as a reviewer for the division's APA 2010 conference program. Within Division 1 (General Psychology), Dr. Poyrazli serves as an associate editor for the division’s newsletter, The General Psychologist.

Dr. Poyrazli also serves as an editor of the Eurasian Journal of Educational Research. Her research has been published in well-known journals such as Journal of College Student Development, Psychological Reports, Journal of College Counseling, Journal of Humanistic Counseling Education and Development, International Journal of Stress Management, Adolescence, and Journal of Counseling and Development.

Dr. Poyrazli is also connected well with the immigrant community around Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. She serves as the vice-president of Pennsylvania Immigrant and Refugee Women's Network (PAIRWN) and organizes an annual women's health conference that is sponsored by PAIRWN, American Cancer Society, Highmark, and Harrisburg Area Community College.

Research Interests

  • Psychological and environmental factors that impact immigrant student achievement
  • Acculturative Stress
  • College Adjustment Process
  • International Students
  • Multicultural Competency

Publications and Research


  • Poyrazli, S., & Thompson, C. E. (Eds). (in press). International case studies in mental health: An international perspective on counseling and psychotherapy. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. Target publication date: May 2012.
  • Sommers-Flanagan, R., Elander, C., Sommers-Flanagan, J., & Poyrazli, S. (2009). Bizi bosamayin: Bosanma surecini yasayan cocuklarin anne-babalara onerileri [Don’t divorce us: Kids’ advice to divorcing parents]. Ankara, Turkey: Ani Publishing (A prominent academic publisher in Turkey).

Peer-Reviewed Research Publications

  • Shigemoto, Y., & Poyrazli, S. (in press). Factors Contributing to Posttraumatic Growth in U.S. and Japanese College Students. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice and Policy.
  • Duru, E., & Poyrazli, S. (2011). The role of demographics, English language competency, perceived discrimination and social connectedness in predicting level of adjustment difficulties among Turkish international students in the U.S. The International Journal of Psychology, 46, 446-454.
  • Poyrazli, S., & Hand, D. B. (2011). Using drawings as a pedagogical method to facilitate multicultural competency development. Journal of Instructional Psychology, 38, 93-104
  • Poyrazli, S., Thukral, R. K., & Duru, E. (2010) International students’ race-ethnicity, personality, and acculturative stress. International Journal of Psychology and Counseling, 2(2), 25-32.
  • Poyrazli, S., & Sahin, A. E. (2009). Suggestions regarding the process of writing and publishing manuscripts in English for international journals. Education & Science, 34, 117-131.
  • Grahame, K. M., Grahame, P. R., Ferrer-Wreder, L., Coatsworth, D., Meister, D., Poyrazli, S., & Forthun, L. (2008). Left behind?  Charter schooling in a low-income community.  Education and Society, 26, 25-45.
  • Gomleksiz, M., Poyrazli, S., & Vural, R. A. (2008). Discriminatory attitudes: A scale development in Turkish. Psychological Reports, 103, 921-930.
  • Poyrazli, S., Ferrer-Wreder, L., Meister, D. G., Forthun, L., Coatsworth, J.D., & Grahame, K. M. (2008). Academic achievement, employment, age, and gender and students’ experience of alternative school. Adolescence, 43, 547-556.
  • Sumer, S., Poyrazli, S., & Grahame, K. (2008). Predictors of depression and anxiety among international students. Journal of Counseling and Development, 86, 429 - 437.
  • Ferrer-Wreder, L., Palchuk, A., Poyrazli, S., Small, M. L., & Domitrovich, C. E. (2008). Identity and adolescent adjustment. Identity: An International Journal of Theory and Research, 8 (2), 95-105.
  • Poyrazli, S., & Lopez, M. D. (2007). An exploratory study on perceived discrimination and homesickness: A comparison of international students to the U.S. students. The Journal of Psychology, 141, 263-280.
  • Ferrer-Wreder, L., Poyrazli, S., Bedard, B., Coatsworth, J. D., Meister, D., Forthun, L., & Grahame, K. M. (2007). Alternative school students' normative beliefs about aggression. Journal of Educational Alternatives, 3 (2), 66-87.
  • Poyrazli, S. & Grahame, K. (2007).  Barriers to adjustment: Needs of international students within a semi-urban campus community. Journal of Instructional Psychology, 34, 28-45.
  • Duru, E., & Poyrazli, S. (2007). Personality dimensions, psychosocial-demographic variables, and English language competency in predicting level of acculturative stress among Turkish international students in the USA. International Journal of Stress Management, 14, 99-110.
  • Poyrazli, S., & Kavanaugh, P. (2006).  Marital Status, Ethnicity, Academic Achievement, and Adjustment Strains: The Case of Graduate International Students. College Student Journal, 40, 767-780.
  • Connor, J., Poyrazli, S., Ferrer-Wreder, L., Grahame, K. (2004). The relation of age, gender, ethnicity, and risk behaviors to self-esteem among students in nonmainstream schools. Adolescence, 39, 457-473.
  • Poyrazli, S., Kavanaugh, P., Baker, A., & Al-Timimi, N. (2004).  Social support and demographic correlates of acculturative stress in international students, Journal of College Counseling, 7, 73-82.
  • Poyrazli, S. (2003).  Ethnic identity and psychosocial adjustment among international students. Psychological Reports, 92, 512-514. 
  • Poyrazli, S. (2003). Validity of Rogerian therapy in Turkish culture: A cross- cultural perspective. Journal of Humanistic Counseling Education and Development, 42, 107-115. 
  • Poyrazli, S., Arbona, C., Nora, A., McPherson, B., & Pisecco, S. (2002).  Relation between assertiveness, academic self-efficacy, and psychosocial adjustment among international graduate students. Journal of College Student Development, 43, 632-642.
  • Poyrazli, S., Arbona, C., Bullington, R., & Pisecco, S. (2001).  Adjustment issues of Turkish college students in the United States. College Student Journal, 35(1), 52-62.

Contributions to Books – Book Chapters

  • Poyrazli, S., Dogan, S., & Eskin, M. (in press). Counseling and psychotherapy in Turkey: Influence of western theories, unique challenges, and the need to develop culturally-inclusive methods. In: R. Moodley, U. Gielen, & R. Wu. Handbook of counseling and psychotherapy in an international context. New York, NY: Routledge.
  • Poyrazli, S., & Eskin, M. (in press). Bisexual identity in a traditional culture: A case study from Turkey. In S. Poyrazli & C. E. Thompson (Eds.). International case studies in mental health: An international perspective on counseling and psychotherapy. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. Accepted September 2011.
  • Poyrazli, S., & Thompson, C. E. (in press). Towards an inclusive international psychology. In S. Poyrazli & C. E. Thompson (Eds.). International case studies in mental health: An international perspective on counseling and psychotherapy. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. Accepted October 2011.
  • Thompson, C. E., & Poyrazli, S. (in press). What Can We Learn From Mental Health Practitioners Around the World? In S. Poyrazli & C. E. Thompson (Eds.). International case studies in mental health: An international perspective on counseling and psychotherapy. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. Accepted October 2011.
  • Poyrazli, S. (2010). Only Rogers, everywhere and all the time? No. In: Trotter-Mathison, M., Koch, J. M., Sanger, S. & Skovholt, T. M. (Eds.) Voices from the field: Defining moments in counselor and therapist development. (pp.77-81). New York, NY: Routledge.
  • Poyrazli, S. (2009).Considerations when interviewing immigrants. In John Sommers-Flanagan & Rita Sommers-Flanagan (Eds.), Clinical Interviewing (4th edition, pp. 418-419). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

Editor-Reviewed Articles

  • Stevens, M. J., Poyrazli, S., &, Takooshian, H. (2009). Are you an international psychologist? Would you like to become one? The General Psychologist, 44 (2), 9-11.
  • Poyrazli, S. (2005). International students at US universities. Eye on Psi Chi, 9 (2),


  • Poyrazli, S., Stevens, M. J. (2009). Bridging the research divide between counseling and related fields. Eurasian Journal of Educational Research, 9(36), 1-7.

Other Publications

  • Erskine, J., & Poyrazli, S. (2011). Family influences on the career choices of international undergraduate college students. International Psychology Bulletin, 15(2), 42-45.
  • Poyrazli, S. (2011). Yeni süreli yayınlar: Nasıl oluşturulur ve nasıl başarılı hale getirilir? [New academic journals: How to establish them and make sure of their success], TSE Standard: Ekonomik ve Teknik Dergi, 50, 80-81.
  • Poyrazli, S. (September, 2004). Immigrants: Mental health and resources. Our Voice, 2(2), 3.
  • Poyrazli, S. (June, 2004). Turkish culture and suggestions for immigrants. Our Voice, 2(3), 3.