Counseling and Psychological Services Directors


Jon Brunner

Jon Brunner, PhD

Senior Director, Counseling and Wellness Services

Dr. Jon Brunner is a Florida licensed psychologist. He is the Senior Director of Counseling and Wellness Services at Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers, Florida. He is a founding staff member of FGCU beginning his employment in the summer of 1996. Dr. Brunner completed his Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology and PhD in Counseling Psychology at Kent State University and worked at Baldwin Wallace College prior to coming to FGCU. He is a member of several national and state professional organizations along with holding officer positions, including the American Psychological Association (APA), Divisions 17 and 47 within APA, Association for University and College Counseling Center Directors (AUCCCD), Florida Counseling Center Directors, American Association of College Counseling (ACCA), and Florida Psychological Association. Dr. Brunner has worked in variety of clinical settings with over 35 years of college and university counseling center experience. He has extensive knowledge of college student mental and behavioral health issues and has conducted research on therapist effectiveness, treatment efficacy, and counseling center services and functions. He is has presented at numerous national conferences on findings regarding college student health and well-being and counseling center services and functions.

His philosophy for creating balance in life: Stay physically active and exercise, never stop learning, be your own landscape care-taker (dig in the dirt), and stay connected to family.



Brian Bakalar

Brian Bakalar, EdD, LMHC, NCC

Director, Consultation and Case Management

Dr. Brian Bakalar earned his Doctoral degree in Educational Leadership, focusing on mental health and violent behavior from FGCU.  Dr. Bakalar is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC), National Certified Counselor (NCC), and Higher Education Case Managers Association (HECMA) member.  Since 2008, Dr. Bakalar has worked in higher education at four different institutions: Harvard University, City Colleges of Chicago, Argosy University, and Florida Gulf Coast University.


Dr. Bakalar’s areas of interest include anxiety, depression, stress management, and crisis intervention.  In addition, he uses cognitive-behavioral, motivational interviewing, and solution-focused approaches to therapy.  Dr. Bakalar also has a history of working with individuals with problem gambling and body image/eating concerns.  Additionally, Dr. Bakalar aims to assist students in developing skills related to autonomy and resiliency that can be transferrable to their college experience and beyond.


Outside of CAPS, Dr. Bakalar enjoys spending time with his family and friends, playing guitar, exercising, playing sports, and relaxing on the beach. 


Photo of Allison

Allison Jedinak, PsyD

Director, Clinical Services

Dr. Allie Jedinak earned her Psy.D. in Counseling Psychology from Chatham University in Pittsburgh, PA in 2015. She completed her Doctoral Internship at Florida Gulf Coast University. Dr. Jedinak is a licensed psychologist in Florida and recently completed a certificate in Positive Psychology-Based Health and Well-Being Coaching from the College of Executive Coaching.

Dr. Jedinak utilizes an integrative approach to treatment, tailoring her approach to best meet each student’s needs. Dr. Jedinak incorporates techniques from person-centered, cognitive-behavioral, and dialectical behavior therapies. She specializes in working with college students and has experience treating anxiety, depression, and relational concerns. Dr. Jedinak believes therapy can help students gain a better understanding of themselves and others and enhance well-being and relationship satisfaction. She also supports the development of self-compassion in her work.

Dr. Jedinak also enjoys group therapy, connecting with the campus community through outreach and presentations, and supervising trainees.

In her free time, Dr. Jedinak enjoys traveling, reading, running, roller skating, trying new restaurants, 1000-piece puzzles, being outside in green spaces and nature, and spending time with her dog, Dasher.


Julie Rego

Julie Rego, EdD, LMHC

Director, Outreach and Prevention

Dr. Rego earned her Doctoral degree in Counselor Education and Supervision at Argosy University in Sarasota, Florida. Dr. Rego is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional, an Approved Counselor Supervisor, and a Certified Professional Counselor Supervisor.

 Dr. Rego’s areas of expertise include trauma, anxiety, depression, and grief and loss. She has certifications in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and Clinical Hypnosis (CH). She utilizes an integrated approach, emphasizing the wholeness of ones individual experiences and drawing from multiple evidence-based approaches (EMDR, DBT, CBT, CH) to best fit one’s needs.  Dr. Rego enjoys incorporating art and expressive therapy into treatment believing in the therapeutic benefits if offers her clients. She believes in the potential of each and every one – that we’re all capable of much more than we think. She believes in the value of resilience, empowerment, and balance.

 Dr. Rego sustains her personal wellness by enjoying the balance of family, friends, and work.  Stress management activities include working out, enjoying nature, and engaging in her stained glass hobby - if you look close enough you may discover one of her mosaic surfboards on campus.


Laura Wright

Laura Wright, PhD

Director, Training

Dr. Wright got her PhD in Counseling Psychology from Florida State University in 2000.  She completed her Doctoral Internship and Post-Doc at the Counseling Center at The University of California, Davis.  Her undergraduate degree in psychology was completed at the University of Florida. 

Dr. Wright has a passion for training and supervision and created the Doctoral Internship at Florida Gulf Coast University CAPS.  She uses an interpersonal, cognitive-behavioral, and multicultural/feminist approach to therapy.  Even though this approach doesn’t sound funny, she also uses humor in therapy when appropriate.  Dr. Wright also specializes in working with students with eating disorder and body image issues, career development concerns, and behavioral health.  Additionally, she specializes in college student mental health having worked in University Counseling Centers for the past 15 years. 

Dr. Wright takes a developmental approach to supervision and training.  This means providing more structure and framework towards the beginning of training and then working collaboratively with supervisees to take on increasing levels of autonomy as appropriate. 

Outside of her role as a psychologist, Dr. Wright loves to spend time with her family, traveling, and experiencing new cultures.  She also enjoys spending time outside in beautiful Southwest Florida, yoga, and theatre.