Counseling Graduate Studies

Photo of Jenifer Ware Balch, Ph.D.

Jenifer Balch

Adjunct Instructor



Ph.D., University of North Texas
SMU - East Campus
6116 N. Central Expressway, Suite 300
Dallas, TX 75206
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Dr. Balch is a Licensed Professional Counselor-Supervisor in the state of Texas and a Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor. She earned her Master’s degree in Educational Psychology from Baylor University with an emphasis in community counseling and her Ph.D. in Counseling from the University of North Texas, where she specialized in play therapy.  Dr. Balch has counseling experience with individuals, couples, families, and groups in a variety of settings, including community agencies, schools, and private practice. Her passion is working with children and families, utilizing play therapy and parent training. Dr. Balch is a Certified Child-Parent Relationship Therapist - Supervisor and Child-Centered Play Therapist - Supervisor. Additionally, she has received specialized training in the administration and interpretation of psychoeducational assessments and currently provides a variety of psychological and educational assessments to children, adolescents, and adults. 

Dr. Balch is also a Certified Autism Specialist and has extensive training and experience working with individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Her dissertation study examined the effectiveness of play therapy with children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. This was the first study to be considered an evidence-based design to explore autism and play therapy. As a result of this study, Dr. Balch was awarded Best Practices by the American Counseling Association for contributing to the evidence-base for counseling.

Dr. Balch is the Chief Clinical Officer at her private practice, University Park Counseling & Testing Center, PLLC. She also teaches as an Adjunct Professor at Southern Methodist University. Dr. Balch has additional teaching experience at the University of North Texas, both as a Senior Lecturer and an Adjunct Professor. Dr. Balch stays active in the counseling field by serving in leadership roles in various organizations. She has also published book chapters and articles in professional journals and presents at both state and national conferences.