Carmen Knudson-Martin, Ph.D.

Professor and Director of PhD Program in MFT
Department of Counseling and Family Sciences
Loma Linda University
Loma Linda, CA 92350

Phone: 909-558-4547 x47002 (wk)
Mobile: 909-262-7725
PhD program in MFT

Carmen directs the PhD program in Marital and Family Therapy at Loma Linda University. Her scholarship and clinical practice focuses on the interplay between individual and family development and the social context, with particular interest in the links between gender, marital equality, and relational health.  Her book, Couples, Gender, and Power: Creating Change in Intimate Relationships was published in 2009.  (See

Carmen views therapy as societal intervention. Together with a group of doctoral students and fellow faculty member Douglas Huenergardt, she is developing an approach called Socio-Emotional Relationship Therapy.  The therapy empowers couples to overcome limiting societal discourse and evolve mutually supportive relationships. It begins with social constructionist assumptions regarding the fluid and contextual nature of gender, culture, personal identities, and relationship patterns and expands to include an experiential component based on recent research regarding emotion as generative of transformative change. Empathic engagement of a socio-culturally attuned therapist sets the stage for new socio-cultural experience as it is embodied neurologically and physically in the relationship.    

Carmen is fascinated by the theories that guide our field, with special emphasis on the political and ethical implications how we conceptualize problems and treat them. Recent publications include “Suffering in Silence: A Qualitative Meta-Data Analysis of Post Partum Depression” in the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, “Gender and Sexual Orientation in Marital and Family Therapy” in Family Relations, “Gender and Biology: A Recursive Framework for Clinical Practice” in the Journal of Feminist Family Therapy and “Gendered Power across Cultural Contexts: Capturing the Lived Experience of Couples” and “Relational Orientations: A Framework for Assessment and Practice” in Family Process.  She is an associate editor of the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy and on the board of directors of the Family Process Institute.  

Carmen and her husband John live on Fairview Lake in Portland, Oregon near their children and grandchildren and close to the lush green outdoors.  Most weeks she commutes to her job at Loma Linda in Southern California. Articles and additional information may be accessed at