Leah Brookner

Assistant Professor of Practice


PSU History

Dr. Brookner first started teaching at PSU as an adjunct instructor and moved into her current position as an Assistant Professor of Practice in 2015 after many years as a child and family therapist. Dr. Brookner's courses focus extensively on experiential therapies, child-centered interventions, animal-assisted therapy, adoption social work, and family services.


Dr. Brookner's professional experience as a child and family therapist centers on providing trauma-informed and equity-focused clinical services to youth in their communities. Her clinical focus includes attachment-focused therapies, family system interventions, and engagement with families who intersect with foster care and adoption services. Dr. Brookner's pedagogy is heavily influenced by her experience providing therapeutic services to children and their families/caregivers.

Academic/Research Interests

Children's mental health

Adoption social work

Animal-assisted therapy

Family systems engagement/therapy

Developmental trauma and trauma-informed interventions

Therapeutic services for youth and families 

Personal Interests

Hiking, day trips around Oregon, extensive drinking of tea (students who have taken a course with Dr. Brookner can attest to this), community building, time with family and friends, animal fostering.

  • PhD
    Portland State University
  • MSW
    Portland State University
  • Masters in Clinical Psychology
    Columbia University