Loyola University Chicago

School of Social Work


Rana Hong, PhD, LCSW, RPT-S

Title/s:  Research Assistant Professor

Office #:  Maguire Halls 402 A

Phone: 312-915-7370

Email: rhong1@luc.edu

CV Link: Rana Hong CV 2022

Mission in Action

I am dedicated to promoting children’s mental health through research, practice, and teaching. As a methodologically grounded clinical researcher, I aspire to explore and validate healing factors for mental health issues specific to traumatized children and adolescents. I have participated in various research projects, including qualitative data analyses, theoretical testing, and dissemination efforts. My research has recently combined multi-level components, including neurobiology, clinical social work, metric development, and program evaluation. As always, I am committed to continuing my scholarly journey of enhancing the likelihood of restoring the well-being of disadvantaged children and adolescents.


Dr. Rana Hong joined SSW after over 20 years of clinical experience with children, adolescents, and families who suffered from issues of attachment, trauma, and emotional/behavioral problems. As a leading registered play therapy supervisor (RPT-S) and trainer, Dr. Hong holds many rigorous certifications in evidence-based models: Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapist and consultant; DIR/Floortime training expert leader; Parent-Child interaction Theraplay (PCIT) therapist and within agency trainer; Theraplay practitioner, supervisor, trainer. She served as the president of the board at the international organization-The Theraplay Institute from 2016-2022.

Dr. Hong earned a Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2000 and a Ph.D. from Loyola University Chicago. She has been involved in numerous evaluation studies since 2016. Her current research interests are centered around validating evidence-based models for traumatized and disadvantaged children and youth.


  • PhD Loyola University Chicago, 2014
  • MSW Jane Addams College of Social Work, University of Illinois at Chicago, 2000

Research Interests

Research/Scholarship Expertise

  •  Practice with children and adolescents
  •  Validating evidence-based models for traumatized and disadvantaged children and youth
  •  Metric development for children and youth

Selected Publications

  • Hong, R., Rubin, J., & Hong, P.Y.P. (2021). An evaluation of the Illinois social work workforce: Challenges and opportunities. Chicago, IL. National Association of Social workers-Illinois Chapter. 
  • Lindaman, S., & Hong, R. (2020).Theraplay®: Theory, Application and Implementation (Eds.). London, UK: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.
  • Hong, P.Y.P., Hong, R., & Choi, S. (2020). Validation of employment hope scale among summer youth employment program participants. Children and Youth Services Review.
  • Hong, P.Y.P., Hong, R., Lewis, D., & Williams (2020). Pathway of employment from uncovering barriers to discovering hope: Non-traditional, student-centered, relationship-based approach. Families in Society.
  • Hong, R., & Hong, P.Y.P. (2019). Neurobiological core content in the research-supported Transforming Impossible into Possible (TIP) program model. Journal of Evidence-Based Social work, 16, 497-510.
  • Hong, R., Northcut, T., Spira, M., & Hong, P.Y.P. (2019). Facilitating transformation in workforce training: Utilizing clinical theory to understand psychological self-sufficiency. Smith College Studies in Social Work, 89, 66-82.
  • Hong, R., & Mason, C. (2016). Being a neurobiologically informed play therapist. International Journal of Play Therapy, 25(1), 34-55. Journal of Play Therapy, 25(1), 34-55.