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Counseling Psychology

Teresa McDowell

Professor and Department Chair

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    Copyright, Steve Hambuchen

Rogers Hall

Teresa McDowell is a professor and chair of the Department of Counseling Psychology in the Graduate School of Education and Counseling at Lewis & Clark College. Teresa has spent much of her career working to re-envision marriage and family therapy education in ways that better support social equity and cultural democracy. Her scholarship has focused on issues of race and social class in family therapy practice and education, critical multicultural family research, and internationalizing family therapy programs. Recently her research agenda has included expanding critical multiculturalism in family therapy to include an international focus that addresses disparity and promotes global citizenship. She is a long time clinical member of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) and an AAMFT Approved Supervisor.

Prior to coming to Lewis & Clark College, Teresa taught at the University of Connecticut (UConn) in Storrs, CT. While there, she served as Director of the Marriage and Family Therapy Doctoral and Master’s programs. Teresa also taught family therapy at Pacific Lutheran University (PLU) in Tacoma WA and at Northern Illinois University (NIU) in DeKalb, IL. She has directed university family therapy clinics at NIU, PLU, and UConn. Originally from Arizona, Teresa has spent most of her adult life in Washington State.

Teresa’s current CV can be found here

Selected Professional Activities
  • Clinical Member & Approved Supervisor, American Association for Marital and Family Therapy (AAMFT)
  • Editorial Board, Journal of Marital & Family Therapy
  • Editorial Board, Journal of Systemic Therapies
  • Editorial Board, Journal of Feminist Family Therapies

Personal Statement

In my teaching, I attempt to create collaborative learning communities where learners can act as critical thinkers, value their own voices, see themselves as knowledge creators, and engage in dialogues of difference. I encourage participants in the learning process to become aware of the origins of their world views in ways that empower them to consider their preferred assumptions within a framework of power, privilege and liberation.

Areas of Expertise

Marriage and Family Therapy and MFT education, Critical social theory in the practice of family therapy, Internationalizing family therapy, Certified Problem Gambling Counselor, AAMFT Approved Supervisor

Current Research

Teresa’s scholarship centers the integration of critical social theory in the practice of family therapy.  She has written about race, social class, gender, sexual orientation, and national identity using critical race, neo-Marxist, feminist, queer and decolonizing frameworks.   Much of her work focuses on international family therapy in our contemporary world where economic, political and social systems routinely contribute to increasing global inequity.  As an educator and clinical supervisor, Teresa encourages recognizing and challenging power inequities that are foundational to mental health and relational problems. 



McDowell, T., Knudson-Martin, C. & Burmudez, M. (in progress).  Socio-Culturally

Attuned Family Therapy: Guidelines for Equitable Theory and Practice.

McDowell, T. (2015). Applying Critical Social Theories to Family Therapy Practice.

AFTA Springer Briefs in Family Therapy.

Articles/Special Sections in Refereed Journals
  • Garcia, M., Kosutic, I. & McDowell, T. (2015). Peace on Earth/War at Home:

      The Role of Emotion Regulation in Social Justice Work. Journal of Feminist Family      


  • McDowell, T., Emerick, P. & Garcia, M. (2014). Queering family therapy education.

      Journal of Feminist Family Therapy, 26(2), 1-14.

  • Hernandez-Wolfe, P. & McDowell, T. (2013). Social privilege and accountability:

      Lessons from family therapy educators. Journal of Feminist Family Therapy, 25(1),               1-16.

  • McDowell, T., Melendez, T., Althusius, E., Hergic, S., Sleeman, G., Ton, N., Zimpfer-

      Bak, A. (2013). Exploring social class: Voices of inter-class couples. Journal

      of Marital and Family Therapy, 39(1), 59-71.

  • McDowell, T., Brown, A, Cullen, N. & Duyn, A. (2013). Social class and family therapy

     education: Experiences of low SES students. Journal of Marital and Family              

      Therapy, 39(1), 72-86.                  

  • McDowell, T., Melendez, T., and Goessling, K. (2012).  Transformative learning through international immersion: Building multicultural competence in family Therapy and counseling.  Journal  of Marital and Family Therapy.

  • McDowell, T., Fang, S., Griggs, J., and Kositic, I. (2012). Centering the voices of international students in family studies and family therapy graduate programs,Journal of Marital and Family Therapy.

  • Zyrenchick, K., and McDowell, T. (2012). Class and classism in family therpy praxis: A feminist, neo-Marxist approach.  Journal of Feminist Family Therapy.
  • Hernandez-Wolfe, P. & McDowell, T. (2012). Speaking of privilege: Family therapy educator’s journeys toward awareness, accountability & action.  Family  Process.
  • McDowell, T, Brown, A., Kabura, P., Parker, E. & Alotaiby, A. (2011).  Working with families in Uganda and the United States: Lessons in cross-cultural professional training.  Journal of Systemic Therapies, 30(2), 65-80.
  • McDowell, T. & Hernandez, P. (2010).  Decolonizing academia: Intersectionality, participation, and accountabililty in family therapy and counseling.Journal of Feminist Family Therapy, 22,( 2), 93-111.
  • Garcia, M. & McDowell, T. (2010).  Mapping social capital: A critical contextual approach for working with low-status families.  Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 36(1), 96-107.
  • Melendez, T., & McDowell, T. (2008). Race, class, gender and migration: Family therapy with a Peruvian couple. Journal of Systemic Therapies (37), 30-43.
  • McDowell, T., Storm, C., & York, C. (2007). Multiculturalism in couple and family therapy education. Journal of Systemic Therapies, 26(4), 75-94.
  • McDowell, T. & Fang, S. (2007). Feminist informed critical multiculturalism: Considerations for family research. Journal of Family Issues, 28(4), 549-566.
  • McDowell, T., Fang, S., Griggs, J., Speirs, K., Perumbilly, S. & Kublay, A. (2006). International dialogue: Our experience in a family therapy program. Journal of Systemic Therapies.
  • Fang, S., McDowell, T. & Holland, C. (2006). Internationalizing Family Science Programs: A Spherical Expansion of Inclusive Perspectives. In R. Hamon (Ed.)International FamilyStudies: Developing Curricula and Teaching Tools. Ch. 1. Binghamton, NY: Haworth Press.
  • McDowell, T., Dashiell, W., Holland, C., Ingoglia, L., Serizawa, T., & Stevens, C. (2005). Breaking the mold: Multiracial awareness in family therapy. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 31(4), 399-411.
  • McDowell, T. (2004/5). Practicing a relational therapy with a critical multicultural lens. Introduction to a Special Section, Journal of Systemic Therapies, 24(1).
  • McDowell, T. (2004). Listening to the racial experiences of graduate trainees: A critical race theory perspective. The American Journal of Family Therapy, 32(4), 305-324.
  • McDowell, T. & Jeris, L. (2004). Talking about race using critical race theory: Recent trends in the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 30(1), 81-94.
  • McDowell, T., Fang, S., Gomez Young, C., Brownlee, K., Khanna, A. & Sherman, B. (2003). Making space for racial dialogue in MFT education. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 29(2), 179-194.
  • McDowell, T. & Shelton, D. (2002). Valuing social justice in MFT curriculum.Contemporary Family Therapy, 24, 313-331.
  • McDowell, T., Fang, S., Brownlee, K, Gomez Young, C., & Khanna, A. (2002). Transforming a MFT program: A model for enhancing diversity. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 28(2), 179-191.


  • McDowell, T. & Kabura, P. (Plenary, June, 2015). Making Connections: Decolonizing

     Approaches to International Collaboration. American Family Therapy Academy National      Conference, Vancouver, WA, USA

  • McDowell, T.  (2015).  Space, Place and Just Practice in International Work. American

      Family Therapy Academy National Conference, Vancouver, WA, USA

  • McDowell, T. (Keynote, May, 2015).  Professional Borderlands: Toward Just

      International Collaborations. International Conference on Counseling and

      Psychotherapy: Diversity in Training and Practice.  Bangalore, India.

  • McDowell,T. (2014). Male Violence: Towards equity and non-violence in family work.

     3rd JUCONI International Conference - For a World Without Violence, Puebla, Mexico.

  • Yellowbird, M., Hernandez-Wolfe, P. & McDowell, T. (2012). Dialogues on Liberation-

      Based Healing Practices. Liberation Based Healing Conference, Portland, OR.

  • Perumbilly, S. & McDowell, T. (2012). Couples and Addiction. Indian Family Therapy

      Association, New Dehli, India.

  •  McDowell, T., Brown, A. & Perumbilly, S., (2012) Keynote Address: Healing Through

      Just Therapies. International Conference on Wellbeing, Christ University,

      Bangalore, India.

  • Hernandez-Wolfe, P. & McDowell, T. (2011).  Speaking of privilege: Family therapy educators’ journeys toward compassionate action.  Annual AFTA conference, Baltimore, MD. 
  • Brown, A., Libal, K. & McDowell, T. (2011).  Human rights & domestic violence. Unsettling Feminisms Conference/Afillia.  Chicago, IL.
  • Brown, A., McDowell, T., Alotaiby, A., Goss, D. & Parker, E. (2011).  Liberation-based praxis in cross-cultural work.  Unsettling Feminisms Conference/Afillia.  Chicago, IL.
  • Hernandez-Wolfe, P., Almeida, R. & McDowell, T. (2009).  Decolonzing Family Therapy.  Liberation Based Healing Conference, Austin, TX.
  • Fang, S., McDowell, T., Kosutic, I. & Griggs, J. (2009).  Listening to the voices of international students in family therapy and family science.  National Council on Family Relations, San Fransisco, CA. 
  • Kosutic, I., Garcia, M., Melendez, T., McDowell, T. & Anderson, S. (2009).  Raising critical consciousness in family therapy supervision.  International FamilyTherapy Association Conference, Portoroz, Slovenia. 
  • McDowell, T. (2008).  Acting as a white ally:  Strategies for anti-racist activity, Annual AFTA conference, Philadelphia, PA.
  • Hernandez, P. & McDowell, T. (2008).  Toward a post-colonial academy.  Liberation Based Healing Conference, Balitmore, MD.
  • McDowell, T. & Storm, C. (2008).  Family Therapy: A Strength Based Approach, Menoufiya University, Shebin El-Kom, Egypt.

Academic Credentials

Ed.D. 2003 Northern Illinois University, M.A. 1985 Pacific Lutheran University

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