Ali Plocha

Academic Title

Assistant Professor, Clinical Mental Health Counseling

  • Bereavement
  • Counseling
  • Emerging Adulthood
  • Trauma

My primary research area has focused on the intersection of three domains that are salient to college students: the developmental period of emerging adulthood, bereavement among college students and resilience. I am interested in examining how current operationalized definitions of resilience and available grief discourse impact the bereavement process, with the goal of better supporting students who have experienced the death of a loved one. My other research interests include female adolescent sexuality, ethical considerations of sex education for vulnerable populations, health psychology and post-crisis community resilience. The common themes in my research are a commitment to adopting a critical and multicultural lens, a strengths-oriented perspective of the individuals and groups I study, and genuine curiosity about the human experience.

  • Ph.D., Counseling Psychology, UMass Boston
  • M.S., Mental Health Counseling, UMass Boston
  • B.A., Psychology, Boston College

  • Bereavement
  • Emerging Adulthood
  • Resilience
  • Trauma
  • Complex Trauma

Plocha, A., Modrak, S., Hoopes, M., Priest, A., & Donahoe, A. (under review). A grounded theory of resilience among bereaved college students. (Submitted to Journal of Counseling & Development)

Plocha, A., Modrak, S., Hoopes, M., Priest, A., & Donahoe, A. (under review). Resilience among bereaved college students: Indicators, facilitators, and barriers. (Submitted to Death Studies)

Plocha, A., & Bacigalupe, G. (2020). How do parentally bereaved emerging adults define resilience? It’s a process. Journal of College Counseling, 23(3), 247-261. doi:

Lamb, S., and Plocha, A. (2017). “Treating Sexual Problems in Children and Adolescents.” In Peterson, Z. D. (Ed.). The Wiley-Blackwell Handbook of Sex Therapy. Oxford, England: Wiley-Blackwell.

Lamb, S., Roberts, T., and Plocha, A. (2016). “Girls of Color, Ssexuality and Sex Education.” Palgrave/Macmillan.

Bacigalupe, G., and Plocha, A. (2015). “Celiac Is a Social Disease: Family Challenges and Strategies. Family Systems and Health,” 1-9. doi: 10.1037/fsh0000099

Licensed Psychologist, Massachusetts (License #: 10911)