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Counseling Psychology

Pilar Hernandez-Wolfe

Associate Professor

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Rogers Hall

Pilar Hernández-Wolfe is tenured associate professor and teaches in the Marriage, Couple, and Family Therapy program. She is a licensed family therapist and a licensed clinical professional counselor, a clinical member and approved supervisor of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, an approved clinical supervisor in the state of Oregon, and a consultant and trainer. In addition, she served as board member of the American Family Therapy Academy and is a member of the American Psychological Association. Pilar has twenty years of experience working with individuals, couples and families in outpatient clinics and in private practice. She has also worked with refugees and survivors of torture in San Diego and displaced populations in Colombia, her native country.  As a consultant, trainer and presenter, she has collaborated with organizations in the U.S., Colombia (Pontificial Universidad Javeriana, Cali) and México in the areas of clinical supervision, traumatic stress, resilience, organizational diversity and equity, and contextually responsive family therapy. She is fully bilingual (English/Spanish).

Personal Statement

I am a family therapist devoted to healing the wounds of social and historical traumatic stress and fostering resilience. I am committed to training culturally responsive and globally informed MFT practitioners to serve the unique needs of diverse communities, both locally and internationally. As an educator, I believe that education is a drawing out, not a putting in.  Knowledge is not simply transmitted from the teacher to students, but is actively constructed in the mind of the learner through dialogue, reflection and various hands-on activities. I believe that students make their ideas by constructing their own knowledge structures, and that they learn by integrating new information from their own life experience.

Areas of Expertise

Traumatic Stress, Resilience, Vicarious Resilience, Human Rights, Decolonization, Family Therapy Supervision, Clinical Supervision, Domestic Violence, animal-human bond and counseling, and sustainability.

Current Research

Pilar’s scholastic research examines applications of contextually responsive models to couple and family therapy clinical practice, consultation and supervision; decolonization in education and therapy; domestic violence; socially just international and intercultural collaborations; psychosocial effects of state-sponsored terror and organized violence; and resilience. Her current projects include examining Latin American approaches to decolonization and historical trauma, resilience and vicarious resilience (Cali, Colombia), privilege in family therapy education (U.S.). In addition, she is pursuing her interests in the environment, the animal-human bond and therapy in social context through her teaching and research. Her book, A Borderlands View of Latinos, Latin Americans and Decolonization. Rethinking Mental Health, was published by Rowan & Littlefield.


  • Hernandez-Wolfe, P.,Acevedo, V., Victoria, I. & Volkmann, T. (2015). Transnational Family Therapy Training: A collaborative Learning Experience in Cultural Equity and Humility, Journal of Feminist Family Therapy. 27(3-4), 134-155.

  • Hernandez-Wolfe, P., Killian, K., Engstrom, D. & Gangsei, D. (2014). Vicarious resilience, vicarious trauma and awareness of equity in trauma Work, Journal of Humanistic Psychology, doi: 10.1177/0022167814534322
  • Acevedo, V. & Hernandez-Wolfe, P.(2014). Vicarious resilience: An exploration in work with Colombian educators. Journal of Trauma, Aggression and Maltreatment, 23(5),p. 473-493. DOI:10.1080/10926771.2014.904468
  •  Hernandez-Wolfe, P. & McDowell, T. (2013). Social privilege and accountability Lessons from family therapy educators. Journal of Feminist Family Therapy.
  • Hernandez-Wolfe, P. & McDowell, T. (2012). Speaking of privilege: Family therapy educators’ journeys toward awareness, accountability & action. Family Process, 51 (2), 1-15.
  •  Almeida, R., Hernandez-Wolfe, P. & Tubbs, C. (2011). Cultural equity:  Bridging the complexity of social identities with therapeutic practices,  The International Journal of Narrative Therapy and Community Work, 3, 43-56.
  • Hernandez-Wolfe, P. (2011). Decolonization and “mental” health: A mestiza’s journey in the borderlands. Women and Psychology. 34 (3), 293-306. Doi: 10.1080/02703149.2011.580687
  • Hernández-Wolfe, P. (2010). Family counseling supervision. In N. Ladany & L. Bradely. (Ed.), Counselor supervision (pp. 287-309). New York: Taylor & Francis.
  • Hernández-Wolfe, P. (2010).  Altruism born of suffering: Illustrations of Colombian human rights activistsJournal of Humanistic Psychology, 51(2) 229–249. Doi: 10.1177/0022167810379960
  • McDowell, T. & Hernandez, P. (2010). Decolonizing academia: Intersectionality, participation and accountability in family therapy and counseling. Journal of Feminist Family Therapy, 22(2), 93-111. Doi: 10.1080/08952831003787834
  • Hernández, P., Engstrom, D. & Gangsei, D. (2010). Exploring the impact of trauma on therapists: Vicarious resilience and related concepts in training. Journal of Systemic Therapies, 29(10), 67-83.
  • Hernández, P., Carranza, M. & Almeida, R. (2010). Mental health professionals’ adaptive responses to racial microaggressions: An exploratory study. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 41(3), Jun, 2010. pp. 202-209. Doi: 10.1037/a0018445


  • Hernandez-Wolfe, P. (2015, June). The professional helper’s resilience. Pathways to resilience III: Beyond nature vs. Nurture. Halifax, Canada.

  • Hernandez-Wolfe, P. (2015). “El buen vivir:” Interdependence, Harmony and Equity. First Annual Oregon Ecopsychology Symposium, Lewis & Clark College, Portland, OR.
  • Hernandez-Wolfe, P., Acevedo, V. & Hyman, M. (2015, June). Wonder, Humility, Equity & Play in International Training. Annual AFTA Conference, Portland, OR.
  • Hernandez-Wolfe, P. (2014, April). The animal human bond and counseling, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Cali, Colombia.
  • Hernandez-Wolfe, P & Paez, J. (2013). Latin American, Latinos and decolonization approaches to Well-being. Puerto Rican Psychological Association annual conference, Ponce, Puerto Rico.
  • Killian, K. & Hernandez-Wolfe, P. (2013). Development and validation of the vicarious resilience scale. Annual AFTA Conference, Chicago, IL.
  • Hernandez-Wolfe, P. & Jamioy, S. (2013, May). Conferencia: Saberes ancestrales y occidentales. Brechas y coincidencias en torno a la sanación. Universidad Javeriana, Cali, Colombia.
  •  Hernandez-Wolfe, P. (2012, November).  La dimensión vicaria del trauma y la resiliencia: una perspectiva sistémica, JUCONI, Puebla, México.
  • Hernandez-Wolfe, P. (2012, October). Healing: De-linking ourselves from coloniality. Annual Liberation Based Healing conference, Portland, OR.
  • Hernandez-Wolfe, P. (2012, May). Vicarious resilience. Annual AFTA Conference,San Francisco, CA.
  • McDowell, T. & Hernandez-Wolfe, P. (2012, March). Transferencia de conocimiento y dinámicas de poder: Una ilustración en la terapia de pareja. Universidad Nacional, Departamento de Ciencia Política, Bogotá, Colombia.
  • Hernandez-Wolfe, P. McDowell, T. (2012, March), Poder y equidad: Aproximaciones sistémicas en el ámbito de la violencia domestica. Universidad Javeriana, Cali, Colombia.
  • Hernandez-Wolfe, P. (2012, March). Vicarious resilience: A new concept in work with those who survive political violence and trauma.  The Art of Conflict and Transformation Event Series , University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Amherst, MA.
  • Hernandez-Wolfe, P. (2011, November). El trabajo con familiares de víctimas de muertes violentas. Congreso Anual de Terapia Breve CEFAP Cholula, Puebla, México.
  • Hernandez-Wolfe, P. (2011, November). La práctica del trabajo con familiares de víctimas de muertes violentas, Congreso Anual de Terapia Breve CEFAP Cholula, Puebla, México.
  • Hernández-Wolfe, P. (2011, July). Perspectivas críticas sobre la formación teórica y práctica de la psicología latinoamericana en torno al trauma psicosocial. Presentation at the XXXIII Interamerican Psychology Congress, Medellín, Colombia.
  • Navia, C.E., Hernández-Wolfe, P. & Sanchez, N. (2011, July). Reflexiones en torno a la formación del    psicólogo clínico el siglo XXI. Presentation at the XXXIII Interamerican Psychology Congress, Medellín, Colombia.
  • Hernandez-Wolfe, P. (2011, April). La opción descolonial en terapia familiar: Integrando el contexto en la consulta terapéutica.  Conferencia magistral paraARCISCO, Asociación Red Sistémica Colombiana, Bogotá, Colombia.
  • Hernández-Wolfe, P. (2011, January). Resiliencia comunitaria. Key note at Universidad Javeriana, Cali, Colombia.
  • Hernández-Wolfe. (2010, August). Dinámicas de trauma y resiliencia vicaria en contexto cultural: Una perspectiva sistémica. Universidad Nacional de Colombia. Bogotá, Colombia.
  • Hernandez-Wolfe, P., Almeida, R. & McDowell, T. (2010, March).  Decolonizing FamilyTherapy.  Liberation Based Healing Conference, Austin, TX.

Academic Credentials

Ph.D. 2000, University of Massachusetts, Amherst; M.Ed. 1993 University of Massachusetts, Amherst; B.S. 1985 Universidad de Los Andes, Bogotá , Colombia

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