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Jon Brunner

Jon Brunner, PH.D.

Executive Director, Counseling and Health Services; Director, CAPS

Dr. Jon Brunner is a Florida licensed psychologist.  He is the Director of Counseling and Psychological Services and Executive Director or Counseling and Health Services (CAPS) at Florida Gulf Coast University in Ft Myers. Florida. He is a founding staff member of FGCU beginning his employment in 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, 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 30 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 (monograph published in the fall of 2014) 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 (in my case kids and grandkids).


Michael Ghali

Michael Ghali, PH.D.

Clinical Director and Group Program Coordinator

Dr. Ghali found his passion in the discipline of psychology while studying as an undergraduate at the University of Missouri.  He went on to earn a Master’s degree in Community Counseling from the University of Northern Colorado, a Master’s degree in Psychology and a Doctorate in Counseling Psychology from the University of Florida.  As the Clinical Director, Dr. Ghali strives to create a supportive environment for FGCU students, CAPS staff, and the larger University community, while maintaining high standards of care and efficient, effective therapeutic services.

As Group Program Coordinator at Florida Gulf Coast University’s Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) center, his love for group therapy drives a strong group program at CAPS.  Utilizing interpersonal process and cognitive behavioral approaches, Dr. Ghali aims to help students understand themselves and their communication patterns more fully and help them learn more effective ways to engage with others in their lives.  After being intensively trained in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Dr. Ghali also plays an integral role in the DBT program at CAPS.

Having practiced therapy in a variety of settings, including inpatient, career center, community counseling, and substance abuse treatment centers, Dr. Ghali carries a broad range of experience that contributes to his effectiveness as a supervisor for master’s and doctoral level trainees.  He employs a developmental approach to supervision, striving to identify the trainee’s current level of development and pushing for increasing skill, complexity, and independence throughout the training experience.  In addition to 7 years of teaching experience, Dr. Ghali frequently gives outreach presentations, guest lectures, and is involved in various committees and other activities across campus. 

Outside of the University, Dr. Ghali revels his role as a husband and father of three.  He takes pride in teaching his son how to play guitar and he can frequently be found with his children swimming, reading, or engaging in exercise, or other physical activities.  He currently maintains a small private practice where he specializes in couple’s therapy and treatment of anxiety and anxiety-related disorders. 


Laura Wright

Laura Wright, PH.D.

Training Director

Dr. Wright got her Ph.D. 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 enjoy spending time outside in beautiful Southwest Florida, yoga, and theatre. 


Julie Rego

Julie Rego, ED.D., LMHC

Director of 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 (CCPT), an Approved Counselor Supervisor (ACS), and a Certified Professional Counselor Supervisor (CPCS).

 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.