Desiree M. Seponski, Ph.D.

College of Family and Consumer Sciences

Human Development and Family Science

Assistant Professor

203 Family Science Center II (House D)
405 Sanford Dr.
Athens, GA 30602


workOffice Phone: 706-542-4821

Fax: 706-542-4843

Current Classes

HDFS 9070: Family Therapy Practicum, HDFS 2200: Lifespan Development


Degree Field of Study Institution Graduation
BA Psychology & Women's Studies, Minor: Math Saint Mary's College, Notre Dame, Indiana 2004
MS Child & Family Development, MFT The University of Georgia 2008
PhD Child & Family Development, MFT The University of Georgia 2011


My scholarly interests are in the field of marriage and family therapy, specifically critical couple, family. and societal programs including family health, immigration, family diversity, and trauma. My research is broadly focused on culturally responsive therapeutic intervention processes and outcomes (US, International: Cambodia, Southeast Asia), with particular interests in immigrant and marginalized families who have experienced poverty, trauma, and discrimination. I am guided by Social Justice and Feminist Family Therapy lenses, especially focusing on the intersections between Gender, Aging, Spirituality, and Ethnicity. My current work explores the implementation of Western-based therapy models in Southeast Asia, specifically EMDR, Solution-Focused, and Narrative Therapies. I am also interested in therapy models that emerge within indigenous cultures, and how these may be responsively integrated with Western models. 


MFT Theories, Clinical Practicum in MFT, Human Development across the Lifespan


Visiting Professor at the Royal University of Phnom Penh Cambodia, outreach for marginalized clinical populations in US

Areas of Expertise

Certifications in EMDR, Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and PREPARE/ENRICH. Marriage and Family Therapy (LMFTA-Texas), AAMFT Approved Supervisor.

Journal Articles

Selected Publications

Seponski, D. M., Lewis, D. C., & Megginson, M. C. (in press). A responsive evaluation of mental health treatment in Cambodia: Intentionally addressing poverty to increase cultural responsiveness in therapy. Journal of Global Public Health: An International Journal for Research, Policy, and Practice.

Seponski, D. M., Bermudez, J. M., & Lewis, D. C. (2013). Creating culturally responsive family therapy models and research: Introducing the use of responsive evaluation as a method. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 39(1), 28-42.

Lewis, D. C., & Seponski, D. M. (2012). Transcendent sacrifice and spirituality: Cambodian grandparents raising orphaned grandchildren. Journal of Intergenerational Relationships, 10(4), 355-369.

Futris, T. G.,  Barton, A., Aholou, T. M., & Seponski, D. M. (2011). The impact of PREPARE on engaged couples: Variations by delivery format. Journal of Couple and Relationship Therapy, 10(1), 69-88.

Lewis, D. C., Seponski, D. M., & Camp, T. (2011). Religious and spiritual values transactions: A constant-comparison analysis of grandmothers and adult-granddaughters. Journal of Religion, Spirituality & Aging, 23(3), 184-205.

Seponski, D. M., & Lewis, D. C. (2010). My Grandmother and Me: International service- learning in Cambodia with children infected and affected by HIV/AIDS. Information For Action: Journal on service-learning research with children and youth. 3(2). Retrieved from