Dr. Teresa McDowell

Teresa McDowell


Rogers Hall 313, MSC: 86

Teresa McDowell is a professor and former chair of the Department of Counseling, Therapy, and School Psychology in the Graduate School of Education and Counseling at Lewis & Clark. 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 1) integrating critical social theory into family therapy practice, 2) bridging social awareness and equity-based practice, and 3) systemic treatment of problem gambling.  She is a long time clinical member of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) and an AAMFT Approved Supervisor.

Teresa was the co-founder of Lewis & Clark’s Problem Gambling Services.  She has worked extensively in the area of problem gambling counselor workforce development and approaches to including couples and families in disordered gambling treatment.

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 the Northwest.

Teresa’s current CV can be found here.


Personal Statement

In my teaching, I attempt to create equity based, 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, Problem Gambling Treatment, AAMFT Approved Supervisor/Supervision

Current Research

Teresa’s scholarship centers the integration of critical social theory in the practice of family therapy.  She and her colleagues, Carmen Knudson-Martin and J. Maria Bermudez, have recently written a book entitled “Socially Attuned Family Therapy: Guideline for Clinical Practice.”  As an educator and clinical supervisor, Teresa encourages recognizing and challenging power inequities that are foundational to mental health and relational problems. 

Dr. McDowell’s research includes establishing the Core Competencies for Problem Gambling Treatment Providers for the State of Oregon.



McDowell, T. (2019).  Working with Families in Problem Gambling Treatment.  Oregon Health Authority Problem Gambling Services.

McDowell, T., Knudson-Martin, C. & Burmudez, M. (2018).  Socioculturally Attuned Family Therapy: Guidelines for Equitable Theory and Practice. Routledge.

McDowell, T. (2015). Applying Critical Social Theories to Family Therapy Practice. AFTA Springer Briefs in Family Therapy. 



Select Recent Articles and Chapters 

    McDowell, T., Knudson-Martin, C. & Bermudez, M. (2019). Toward

    third order thinking in family therapy.  Family Process.

    Knudson-Martin, C., McDowell, T. & Bermudez, M. (2017).  From Knowing to

    Doing: Guidelines for Socioculturally Attuned Family Therapy.  Journal of

    Marital and Family Therapy.

  • Parker, E. O. & McDowell, T. (2016). Integrating social justice into the practice of

    CBFT: A critical look at family schemas. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy. Advanced online publication. doi:10.1111/jmft.12205

  • McDowell, T. & Kabura, P. (2016).  Humanitarianism, Colonization, (and) or

     Collaboration?  Our Connection as Ugandan-U.S Counseling and Family Therapy

  • Trainers, Ch. 4 in  L. Charles & Samarasinghe, G. Family Therapy in Global Humanitarian Contexts: Voices and Issues from the Field. New York : NY : Springer.
  • 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 Therapy.


Select Recent Presentations

  • McDowell, T. & Coe, G. (2020). Using Core Competencies to Guide Problem Gambling Service Systems. National Council on Problem Gambling, July.
  • McDowell, T. (2020). Third Order Ethics: Sociocultural Attunement in Everyday Practice. Institute for Advanced Systemic Therapy, American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, June.
  • McDowell, T. & Knudson-Martin, C. (2019). Socioculturally Attuned Family Therapy. International Family Therapy Association, Aberdeen, Scotland.
  • Berman, R. & McDowell, T. (2018). Core Competencies in Problem Gambling     Treatment. Northwest Institute of Addiction Studies, Portland, Oregon.
  • McDowell, T. (2018).  Core Competencies in Problem Gambling Family Treatment. Focus on the Future regional conference, Evergreen Council on Problem Gambling, Vancouver, WA, May 1.
  • McDowell, T., Knudson-Martin, C. & Bermudez, M. (2017). Ethics of Socioculturally Attuned Family Therapy: Beyond Diplomacy.  AAMFT Annual Conference,Atlanta, GA. 
  • McDowell, T., Berman, E, & Iñiguez, J. (2017). Working with Families in Problem     Gambling Treatment. National Counsel on Problem Gambling Conference,     Portland, OR, USA
  • McDowell, T. & Berman, E. (2016).  Best of Both Worlds: Integrating Relational Models into Problem Gambling Treatment.  National Counsel on Problem Gambling Conference, Terrytown, NY, USA

  • 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. (Keynote, May, 2015).  Professional Borderlands: Toward Just      International  Collaborations. International Conference on Counseling and  Psychotherapy: Diversity in Training and Practice.  Bangalore, India.

Academic Credentials

Ed.D. 2003 Northern Illinois University

MA 1985 Pacific Lutheran University

Location: Rogers Hall