Dr Mark Pearson - University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

Accessibility links

Staff profile

Dr Mark Pearson

PhD Notre Dame Aust., MEd(BEM) Qld.UT, DipT William Balmain CAE

  • Senior Lecturer, Counselling
+61 7 5459 4804
Office location
Sunshine Coast
Dr Mark Pearson


Mark is a senior lecturer, Counselling, in the School of Law and Society.

Mark is a teaching-focused academic. He brings a combination—rare in the discipline of counselling education—of extensive clinical experience (27 years), 10 years in university teaching and 30 years teaching counselling around Australia, in Europe and in S. E. Asia. He holds undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications in education, behaviour management, psychotherapy, and his Ph.D. research was in the field of counselling. As well, he has over 23 years of small business management experience, being the Director of the Expressive Therapies Institute of Australia.

Mark keeps up-to-date and maintains strong connections within the counselling profession through frequent conference presentations and particupation, professional development, and participation with a number of professional associations. His research profile is growing and he publishes in the fields of counselling, counselling education, and personal development (16 peer-reviewed articles and 8 books), with a number of research projects currently underway.

He has a particular area of expertise in counselling with children and adolescents, using creative arts-based activities, as well as teaching expressive therapies, mindfulness-based approaches and advanced counselling skills. Over the last two decades he has provided in-service training for over 55 NGOs, government agencies, and tertiary training institutions; in addition he has delivered 30 peer-reviewed conference presentations.

Professional memberships

  • Australian Counselling Association – Academic member
  • Member: National Heads of Counselling Educators


  • Postgraduate Teacher of the Year, School of Public Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Adelaide, 2014
  • Award Recipient: Vice Chancellor’s Postgraduate Medal, University of Notre Dame Australia, 2010 

Potential research projects for HDR and Honours students

  • Expressive therapies
  • Multiple intelligences
  • Sand play therapy
  • Creative arts in therapy
  • HDR student experience

Research grants

 Grant / Project name Investigators  Funding body and A$ value  Year(s)  Focus of research 
International student experiences of differing cultural perspectives while studying counselling in Australia Dr Mark Pearson (lead), Dr Peta Callaghan

University of Adelaide 


 2015–2016 Investigating the experiences of international students who come to Australia to study counselling

Enhancing USC Learning and Teaching Through Interdisciplinary Community Engagement

Assoc Prof Phil Crane; Dr Mark Pearson, Mr Gerard Jefferies, Ms Anna Spencer, Dr Kate Jonathan, Mr Liam Mayo

DVC Commissioned L & T Grant - USC


2017 - 2019 Multi-disciplinary education in human services and counselling
Towards Developing Inclusive High School Student Leadership programs Dr Mark Pearson (lead), Ms Sue Evans, Mr Luke Ferdinands

Pine Rivers State High School


USC School of Social Sciences


2016 - 2017 Research with high school students to develop an evidence base for leadership program development
Designing a Graduate ePortfolio: exploring the expectations of industry. Dr Anita Hamilton (Lead), Dr Andrew Wood, Dr Anthony Villani, Dr Mark Pearson, Dr Sarah Burkhart, Miss Michelle Small, Mr Benjamin Lucas, Mrs Terri Downer, Ms Belinda Flanagan, Prof Amanda Henderson, Prof Cindy Davis

DVC Commissioned L & T Grant - USC

2016 - 2017  

Research areas

  • multiple intelligences in counselling
  • mindfulness for counsellors
  • counselling supervision
  • international student experiences

Teaching areas

  • Counselling
  • Counselling Skills
  • Counselling Children and Young People
  • Relationships

Dr Mark Pearson's specialist areas of knowledge include counselling, counsellor education, multiple intelligences in counselling, psychotherapy, counselling children, creative arts therapies, sandplay therapy, supervision in counselling, transpersonal psychotherapy, positive psychology and mindfulness, integrative psychotherapy

More USC experts...