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Counseling Psychology

Marisol Garcia Westberg

Assistant Professor

Rogers Hall

Marisol Garcia is a licensed marital and family therapist and maintains a small private practice. Marisol has over 10 years clinical experience working with families and individuals.

Marisol’s research includes an attention to economic, historical, national, economic and political contexts. Her work critiques social systems and their interaction with and influence on human behavior. She is particularly interested in issues regarding marginalization. She uses her lens to study a myriad of phenomena (anywhere from sexuality to American work ethics). Her aim is to challenge “truths” that create and maintain divisions and marginalizations in society.

Learn more about Marisol and her work on her website.

Personal Statement

My work driven by an understanding that human behavior is determined by the relationships between individual units and the whole, as well as by the dynamic and spontaneous (chaotic) nature of the whole. Meaning that, the bidirectional influence between the units and the whole creates new characteristics and processes that cannot be predetermined. Systems can and do become mutations because of their chaotic nature and ability to alter their essential makeup. As a result, I find myself reevaluating our practices, beliefs, and attitudes as the system or context changes. My goal is more justice and less marginalization and oppression through a deeper analysis of systemic processes.

Areas of Expertise

Sexuality, Pleasure, Marginalization, Positive Therapy

Current Research

Recently, Marisol has finished Pleasure: The Secret Ingredient in Happines. This book challenges American work ethics by offering discussions on the politics of pleasure and how particular work ethics can contribute to social control and limited well-being. Marisol is now working on understanding how emotional reactivity of therapists and clients can influence social justice work with families.


  • Garcia, M. (2011). Pleasure: The Secret Ingredient in Happiness. Pink Soda Publishing:  CT.
  • Garcia, M., McDowell, T. (2010).  The role of social capital in therapy with minority adolescents:  A critical contextual approach for working with low status families.  Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 36(1), 96-107.
  • Garcia, M., Kosutic, I.,  McDowell, T.,  Anderson, S. (2009).  Raising critical consciousness in family therapy supervision.  Journal of Feminist Family Therapy, 21(1), 18-38.
  • Kosutic, I., Garcia, M. (2009).  The Critical Genogram:  A tool for promoting critical consciousness.  Journal of Feminist Family Therapy, 21(3), 151-176.

Academic Credentials

Ph.D. 2011, M.A. 2007 University of Connecticut, M.S. 2002 Universidad Autonoma de Santo Domingo, B.A. 1987 University of Connecticut