Counselor Education

Charles Bernacchio Ed.D. CRC

Professor, Rehabilitation Counseling
Charlie Bernacchio

Office Location

400 Bailey Hall



Academic Degrees

  • Ed. D., Counseling Special Populations, University of Maine
  • M.Ed., Special Education and Rehabilitation, Boston College
  • B.A., Sociology, Boston University


Charlie Bernacchio is a Professor of Counselor Education in Rehabilitation Counseling. He first taught in the Counselor Education program in 1992 as a joint faculty appointment with the Muskie School, coordinating the Mental Health Rehabilitation Technician (MHRT-C) state certificate. In 1997 Dr. Bernacchio began as clinical placement coordinator while continuing to instruct in the Rehabilitation Counseling concentration. Along with Dr. Steve Murphy, he secured RSA funded grants to implement graduate studies in rehabilitation counseling over distance education. “Dr. Charlie” spent six years at the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill directing its graduate Rehabilitation Counseling & Psychology program and acquiring a federal grant in 2009 to create its psychiatric rehabilitation specialization. In 2008, he served as a member of the USPRA National Task Force Recovery Based Training for Practitioners and Mental Health Services Providers project, funded by SAMHSA. From 2011-2013, Dr. Charlie served as co-chair of the Psychiatric Rehabilitation Council from 2011-2013. Dr. Charlie recently served as the regional representative for the New England graduate rehabilitation counseling programs on the NCRE Board. He has also served a term as a Commissioner for the Council On Rehabilitation Education (CORE) until 2018, overseeing accreditation standings of all degree programs nationally.

Dr. Charlie teaches classes using distance technologies at USM and also taught online courses at UNC. He primarily teaches Introduction to Rehabilitation Counseling & Services, Principles of Evidence-based Psychiatric Rehabilitation, and Counseling Practicum and Internship. He instructs all distance supervision seminars for Counselor Education and is conversant with using Zoom® in conjunction with distance education classes. He has written several journal articles and book reviews particularly on psychiatric rehabilitation (PSR), best practices with psychiatric disabilities and specialized counseling curriculum, as well as conducted many national conference presentations. He recently created the Psychiatric Rehabilitation/Mental Health specialty in the Counselor Education program that qualifies for the LCPC and the CRC. He was lead on a national educator panel presentation on designing PSR curriculum to be used to qualify for the new Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling accreditation with CACREP. He collaborated on a Community Engagement Cluster Project - Promoting Resilience and Mitigating Risk in Youth Mental Health, which was a multidisciplinary effort within the College of Management & Human Services. Dr. Charlie also serves on the Tri-County Mental Health Services Board and the Southern Maine Diversion and Re-Entry Council (a corrections and mental health partnership).

Dr. Bernacchio has directed a five-year federally funded a Long-Term Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling Training grant which involved a blended/online curriculum to prepare the VR staff in the Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont Divisions of Vocational Rehabilitation from 2014-2020. He also successfully collaborated on the graduate curriculum in rehabilitation counseling that has piloted the use of tele-rehabilitation technology to deliver vocational rehabilitation services in rural regions. His latest project was funded by the University of Maine’s Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs Office Program Innovation initiative bringing resources to help in the marketing and implementation of the hybrid, newly accredited Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling track from 2018-2020.

Dr. Charlie's interests include biking, gardening, cooking, and reading, as well as meditation and fitness in keeping a balance in life. He enjoys spending time with friends, family and their two cats, especially when his daughter comes to visit from Texas.

Areas of Expertise

  • Telerehabilitation and technology-enhanced supervision
  • Aging and psychiatric disabilities
  • Cognitive remediation and co-occurring mental illness and substance use disorders

Research Interests

  • Telerehabilitation in counseling preparation and practice
  • Supervision
  • Addictions and co-occurring disorders in corrections
  • Supported employment
  • Aging with disabilities

Recent Publications

  • Sabella, S., Bernacchio, C., Boland, E. & Schultz, J. (2019) The conceptualization, assessment, and context of professional dispositions in rehabilitation counselor education, Rehabilitation Research Policy and Education Journal, 33 (3) 1-15.
  • Bernacchio, C., Reagan, T. Barkin, J. & Ryder, C (2018) We can all help to fight high rate of suicide for veterans, Portland Press Herald, Maine Voices, doi:
  • Bernacchio, C. & Wilson, J. (2018) VR Online in rehabilitation counseling preparation: An integrative pilot initiative, Journal of Applied Rehabilitation Counseling, 49 (2), 24-34.
  • Bernacchio, C. & Burker, E. (2016). Psychiatric rehabilitation of persons with co-occurring disorders and corrections involvement, Rehabilitation Research, Policy and Education Journal, 30 (3), 230-242.
  • Carpenter, V., Bernacchio, C., Burker, E. (2013). Use of evidence-based practice in rehabilitation counseling: Facilitating recovery and community integration for persons with schizophrenia, Journal of Applied Rehabilitation Counseling, 44 (3), 11-22.
  • Buse, N., Bernacchio, C., Burker, E. (2013). Cultural variation in resilience as a response to traumatic experience, Journal of Rehabilitation, 79 (2), 15-23.