Dr. Esther McCartney

Assistant Professor
Clinical Mental Health Counseling


  • Ph.D. University of South Carolina, 2021
  • M.Ed. College of William and Mary, 2015
  • B.S. North Greenville University, 2012


Esther McCartney is part of the faculty team for the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program. Esther is a child & adolescent counselor and has worked as a behavioral specialist and a crisis counselor in the rural Northern Neck region of Virginia. She has mainly worked with children with emotional/behavioral disorders, and her research interests focus on expanding mental health services to children and adolescents within school settings. She earned her master’s degree at the College of William & Mary in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with an Addictions Specialty in 2015 and her doctorate in Counselor Education from the University of South Carolina in 2021. In 2019, Esther was granted the ACES Research Grant to fund her dissertation on the experiences of elementary school counselors working with children with emotional/behavioral disorders.

Esther enjoys exploring and making new discoveries by trying new coffee shops, wandering city streets or mountain trails, and traveling to new places through stories (books or film). She has traveled to over 20 countries, and her favorite place is the city of Oxford in the United Kingdom where she studied abroad in college.


  • American Counseling Association
  • Association for Counselor Education and Supervision

Recent Publications

Carlson, R. G., Hock, R., George, M., Kumpiene, G., Yell, M., McCartney, E. D., Riddle, D., & Weist, M. D. (2020). Relational Factors Influencing Parents’ Engagement in Special Education for High School Youth with Emotional/Behavioral Problems. Behavioral Disorders, 45(2), 103–116.