Carmen Knudson-Martin

Carmen Knudson-Martin


Rogers Hall 319, MSC: 86

Carmen Knudson-Martin is a professor in 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, vice-president of the Family Process Institute, board member of the American Family Therapy Academy (AFTA), and president of the California Division of the American Association for Marital and Family Therapy (AAMFT-CA). She is currently editor of the AFTA Springer Series in Family Therapy.  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.

Personal Statement

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 practices to resist or redefine inequitable 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

Current Research

Carmen has published over 90 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.   



  • McDowell, T., Knudson-Martin, C., & Bermudez, M. (2018). Socioculturally attuned family therapy: Toward Equitable Theory and Practice. Routledge
  • Knudson-Martin, C., Wells, M. A., & Samman, S. K. (Eds.). (2015) 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.

Book Chapters

  • Knudson-Martin, C., McDowell, T., & Bermudez, M. (in press). Sociocultural attunement in systemic family therapy training and practice. In K. Wampler & R. Miller (Eds.). Handbook of Couple, Marital, and Family Therapy, Vol 1. New York,, NY: Wiley.
  • Knudson-Martin, C. (2016).  Gender in couple and family life: Toward inclusiveness and equality. In S. Kelly (ed.). Issues in couple and family therapy: Across scoioeconomics, ethnicities, and sexualities(pp. 153-180). New York, NY: Praeger.


  • Knudson-Martin, C., McDowell, T., & Bermudez (2017). From knowing to doing:  Guidelines for socioculturally attuned family therapy.  Journal of Marital & Family Therapy, advanced on-line publication. doi. 10.111/jmft.12299
  • ChenFeng, J., Kim, L., Knudson-Martin, C., & Wu, Y. (2016).  Application of socio-emotional relationship therapy with couples of Asian heritage: Addressing issues of culture, gender, and power. Family Process, 56:558–573.
  • D’Arrigo-Patrick, J., Hoff, C., Knudson-Martin, C., & Tuttle, A. R. (2016). Navigating critical theory and postmodernism: Social justice and therapist power in family therapy. Family Process.
  • Elias-Jaurez, M. A., & Knudson-Martin, C. (2016).  Cultural attunement in therapy with Mexican-heritage couples: A grounded theory study.  Journal of Marital & Family Therapy, 43, 100-114.
  • 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. (2018) Family Therapy Legacy Scholar Workshop: From Cultural Competence to Third Order Change: Guidelines for Socioculturally Attuned Practice. National Council on Family Relations Annual Conference.  San Diego, CA . Nov 8, 2018
  • 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.

Academic Credentials

PhD 1987 University of Southern California, Los Angeles
M.S. 1972 Utah State University
BS 1970 North Dakota State University

Location: Rogers Hall