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Anita Kuhnley, Ph.D.
Associate ProfessorMore about Anita Kuhnley, Ph.D.

Anita Kuhnley, Ph.D.

Regent University’s adjunct professors are rigorously selected so that they help students grow in knowledge and faith. These professors, who teach on a contractual basis, must be dedicated to Christ-centered teaching and learning; have a record of or potential for academic scholarship; possess the ability to teach undergraduate-level and/or graduate-level courses, and embrace Regent’s Identity and Mission statements and subscribe to a statement of Christian faith.


Dr. Anita Knight Kuhnley is a licensed professional counselor (LPC) in the state of Virginia. Before joining the faculty at Regent University, Kuhnley served as a professor in the School of Behavioral Sciences at Liberty University for over a decade, where she served in a variety of academic and administrative roles. Among her favorites, were time spent in the classroom teaching and mentoring a research team co-investigating the topics of attachment (God attachment and adult attachment) and emotional intelligence with colleagues and students. Her research interests have converged to reveal strategies to protect counselors from burnout and facilitate emotional intelligence, emotion regulation and growth despite the demands of clinical work. The outcome of this research has provided services in the form of short-term workshops, books, and group curriculums.

Many of Kuhnley's publications, presentations and workshops have been co-presented and developed with students. She enjoys mentoring students through this process of becoming contributors to the profession and knows first-hand the difference a mentor can make. She enjoys teaching and mentoring students and was awarded the Chancellor's Award for Teaching Excellence (first place at Liberty).

In her post-doctoral studies, Kuhnley has researched and written on the topic of adult attachment and is certified as a highly reliable coder of the Adult Attachment Interview (AAI) through Mary Main and Eric Hesse's UC Berkeley AAI coder certification program. In short, the AAI is a gold standard instrument in part due to the predictive validity it provides in being able to predict the attachment style of a pregnant mother's future child. The AAI reveals an individual's primary relational style (or attachment style) and state of mind.

Along with her colleague, Dr. Gary A. Sibcy, Kuhnley co-authored the text, Redeeming Attachment: A Counselor's Guide to Facilitating Attachment to God and Earned Security. Her researched has focused on the topics of counseling skills development (including empathy development), emotion regulation, and attachment security (including both God attachment and adult attachment). Most recently she has worked with a team of researchers to examine the impact of short-term online workshops on enhancing counselor development in the areas of: God attachment, emotional intelligence, and empathy development.

Kuhnley is the author, editor or co-author of nine books, more than a dozen peer-reviewed articles and encyclopedia chapters and serves as a blogger for the American Counseling Association, and a contributing author to the Popular Encyclopedia of Christian Counseling. Her most recent book discusses the therapeutic psychological effect Mister Fred Rogers had through his work and ministry, and is entitled, The Mister Rogers Effect: 7 Secrets to bringing out the best in yourself and others from America's beloved neighbor.


Knight, A. M., & West, L. (2019). Mastering Test Anxiety. The American School Counseling Association.

Kuhnley, K. A. (2020). The Mister Rogers Effect: 7 Secrets to bringing out the best in yourself and others from America’s beloved neighbor. Baker Books.

Knight, A.M., & Sibcy, G. A. (2017). Redeeming Attachment: A Counselor’s Guide to Facilitating Attachment to God and Earned Security. Kendall Hunt Publishing.

Hawkins, R., Kuhnley, A. K., Sibcy, G. A., Silvey, R. J., & Warren, S. (2019). Research-based Counseling Skills: The Art and Science of Therapeutic Empathy. Kendall Hunt Publishing.

Selected Journal Publications:

Harrichand, J., Knight, A., Captari, D. (2017). The Impact of Emotional Intelligence on Counselor Burnout. Virginia’s Counselors Journal. Virginia Counselors Association. Vol. 35. P. 40-47.


Christian Association of Psychological Studies (CAPS) outstanding graduate award, presented by Mark Yarhouse, Regent University

Liberty University, Chancellor's Award for Teaching Excellence, First Place presented by Jerry Falwell Jr.