Carmen Knudson-Martin directs the Marriage, Couple, and Family Therapy program. Her scholarship focuses on how the larger social context influences health and well-being and how therapists can address the inequities that result. Carmen especially loves working with couples and is widely recognized for her work regarding gender, marital equality, and relational health. She is a founder of Socio-Emotional Relationship Therapy, an approach that attends to the ways couple interaction, emotion, and socio-cultural context come together in clinical process. Carmen’s teaching and practice are based on her conviction that how therapists conceptualize client concerns is an ethical issue and that clinical practices have consequences that are never neutral.
Carmen is an AAMFT approved supervisor and licensed MFT. She served as an associate editor of the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy and is currently editor of the Springer Series in Family Therapy, vice-president of the Family Process Institute, board member of the American Family Therapy Academy (AFTA), and past president of the California Division of the American Association for Marital and Family Therapy (AAMFT-CA). Prior to coming to Lewis and Clark, she directed family therapy programs at Loma Linda University in Southern California, Montana State University, and Valdosta State University in Georgia.
Carmen’s current CV can be viewed here.
I see teaching and learning as a two-way street; I am as much a learner as a teacher. Education is a transforming and liberating process in which students become aware of how knowledge is constructed, consider who has the power to define important issues such as “health,” “normal,” or “success,” and are empowered through relational dialogue to resist or redefine taken-for-granted or previously invisible social realities. Knowing that I have made a difference in students’ lives and that they will make a difference in the lives of others is my most important calling.
Areas of Expertise
Gender, race, and class in family therapy; sociocultural dynamics in family therapy; feminist perspectives in family therapy; family systems; family therapy assessment; couples and sex therapy
Carmen has published over 70 articles and book chapters on issues such as marital equality, relational development, postpartum depression, women’s health, and couple therapy. Her current projects include (1) qualitative research on how the social context is present in the micro-interactions of couples and families, (2) how to work with socio-political issues in the moment by moment of couple therapy, and (3) how to improve teaching, learning, and application of social justice principles in family therapy.
- Knudson-Martin, C., Wells, M. A., & Samman, S. K. (Eds.). (in press) Culture, emotion, and power in couple therapy: Addressing the larger context in clinical practice. Springer Series in Family Therapy
- Knudson-Martin, C. & Mahoney, A. (Eds.) 2009). Couples, gender, and power: Creating change in intimate relationships. Springer Publishing Co.
- Knudson-Martin, C., Huenergardt, D., Lafontant, K., Bishop, L., Schaepper, J., & Wells, M. (2014). Competencies for addressing gender and power in couple therapy: A socio-emotional approach. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, Advance online publication. doi: 10.1111/jmft.12068
- Knudson-Martin, C. (2013). Why power matters: Creating a foundation for mutual support in couple therapy. Family Process, 52, 5-18.
- Knudson-Martin, C. (2012). Attachment and adult relationships: A feminist perspective. Journal of family theory and review, 4, 299-305.
- Williams, K., & Knudson-Martin, C. (2013). Do therapists address gender and power in infidelity? A feminist analysis of the treatment literature. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 39(3), 271–284.
- Williams, K., Galick, A., Knudson-Martin, C., & Huenergardt, D. (2013). Toward mutual support: A task analysis of the Relational Justice Approach to infidelity. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 39, 285–298.
- Ward, A. & Knudson-Martin, C. (2012). The impact of therapist actions on the balance of power within the couple system: A qualitative analysis of therapy sessions. Journal of Couple and Relationship Therapy,11, 221-237.
- Esmiol,.E., Delgado, S., & Knudson-Martin, C. (2011). How MFT students develop a critical contextual consciousness: A participatory action research project Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 38, 573-588.
- Knudson-Martin, C. & Huenergardt, D. (2010). A Socio-Emotional Approach to Couple Therapy: Linking Social Context and Couple Interaction. Family Process, 49, 369-386.
- Knudson-Martin, C & Fishbane, M (2014). Couples & power: Integrating societal & neurobiological factors in couple therapy: A dialogue. American Family Therapy academy. Athens, GA. June, 2014.
- Knudson-Martin, C. (2014). Bridging emotion, societal discourse, and interaction in clinical practice.” Oregon Association for Marital and Family Therapy Spring Conference. Portland, OR, March 22
- Knudson-Martin, C. (2012).“Creating a foundation of mutual support: Challenging power inequities in couple relationships.” American Family Therapy Academy. Plenary address. San Francisco, May 2012.
- Knudson-Martin, C., Huenergardt, D., Williams, K., Jonathan, N., Kang, Y. J., & Wells, M. (2012). Emotional connection through gender equality.” Workshop. American Association for Marital and Family Therapy annual meeting. Charlotte, NC. September 18.
- Williams, K., Knudson-Martin, C., Galick, A., & Hunergardt, D. (2012). A gendered approach to infidelity: Ethics, women, and affairs.” Workshop. American Association for Marital and Family Therapy annual meeting. Charlotte, NC. September 16, 2012.
- Knudson-Martin, C., Addressing the balance of care in intimate relationships. Workshop. National Council on Family Relations Annual Meeting. October 31, 2012
- Knudson-Martin, C., Baker, W., Juarez-Elias, M., & Vargas, L. Engaging differences in clinical practice. Workshop. Kanakil/Taos conference on Enriching Collaborative Practices across Cultural Borders. Merida, Mexico, March 2012
- Knudson-Martin, J. & Knudson-Martin, C. (2011). Pulled two ways: Family and dominant culture demands on immigrant children.” Paper. International Family Therapy Academy. Noorwijkerhout, Netherlands. April 3, 2011.
- Knudson-Martin, C. (2011). A Socio-emotional approach to relational justice in couple therapy.” Workshop. International Family Therapy Association. Noorwijkerhout, Netherlands. April 2, 2011.
- Knudson-Martin, C. (2010). Learning to address the larger social context in MFT training. An action research study.” Paper. American Family Therapy Academy Annual Conference. Boulder, CO, June 25, 2010.
Ph.D. 1987 University of Southern California, Los Angeles
M.S. 1972 Utah State University
B.S. 1970 North Dakota State University
From the Newsroom
In a new book, Carmen Knudson-Martin explains a new approach to couples counseling that integrates neurobiology with understanding of gender, culture, personal identities and relationship processes.
Just before the Trayvon Martin shooting, Professor Dyan Watson wrote eloquently about the fears and hopes she has for her young black son, Caleb, many of which mirror the issues that have been raised in the national conversation about Martin’s death. Watson’s article, published in March in Rethinking Schools magazine, has generated buzz online, being featured on the Washington Post’s education blog, Answer Sheet, and on CommonDreams.org and Alternet.