J. Maria Bermudez

College of Family and Consumer Sciences

Human Development and Family Science

Associate Professor

Dr. Bermudez is an Associate Professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Therapy and in the Ph.D. program in Marriage and Family Therapy.


Degree Field of Study Institution Graduation
Ph.D. MFT/ Human Development Virginia Tech 2002
M.S MFT/ Child & Family Development Purdue University 1997
B.A. Psychology, Minor in Spanish University of Houston 1991


Dr. Bermudez's research program focuses on strength-based approaches to research and outreach for marginalized populations, specifically, Latinx families and communities. She aims to conduct research that empowers and strengthens her local community.

As a scholar, she attends to developmental, intersectional, and contextual issues among immigrant and transnational families. Her research is informed by feminist, decolonizing, and culturally responsive methodologies and her primary research methods include community-based participatory research and qualitative research methods such as interpretive phenomenology and heuristic inquiry.

Other research interests include clinical training in Spanish and English, as well as innovative and creative approaches to narrative family therapy.


To date, Dr. Bermudez has taught over 14 undergraduate and 9 graduate courses focused on human development and family science, marriage and family therapy, and intersectional, contextual and global perspectives of diversity. 

She has served as major professor for doctoral students and served on numerous thesis and doctoral committees, within her department, other departments at UGA, as well as other universities in the United States, Canada, and Mexico.

In terms of her teaching focused on MFT, she especially enjoys supervising Spanish-speaking therapists in training. She also enjoys mentoring CURO (Center for Undergraduate Research Opportunities) students at UGA and to date has mentored 20 students, mostly who identify as Latinx/Hispanic.

Prior Professional Positions

Organization Title Years of Service
Texas Tech University- Department of Human Development and Family Studies- Marriage and Family Therapy Program Visiting Professor 2001-2002
Texas Tech University- Department of Human Development and Family Studies- Marriage and Family Therapy Program Assistant Professor 2002-2006


Award Name Awarded By Year Awarded
Chris Todd Outstanding Outreach Award College of Family and Consumer Sciences- UGA 2020
Legacy Scholar Award National Council on Family Relations (NCFR), Family Therapy Section 2022

Editorial Appointments

Position Name of Journal Year(s)
Editorial Board Member Journal of Marital and Family Therapy 2002-2021
Editorial Board Member Journal of Feminist Family Therapy 2002-present
Editorial Board Member Journal of Couple and Relationship Therapy 2006-present
Editorial Board Member Journal of Contemporary Family Therapy 2013-present
Editorial Board Member International Journal of Systemic Therapy 2021-present
Editorial Board Member Journal of Divorce and Remarriage 2016-present
Editorial Board Member la Revista Mexicana de Investigación en Psicología 2020 - present


Dr. Bermudez continues to focus on outreach in her local community. She is a licensed marriage and family therapist, maintains a small clinical practice, and continuously conducts probono work in her community to help Latinx families manage complex challenges. She also conducts training and supervision for colleagues focused on the systemic treatment of individuals, couples, and families coping with life transitions, relational and personal issues specific to GLBTQ+ individuals and couples, and outreach to Latino families and marginalized populations, predominantly in the state of Georgia in the US and in Mexico.

Advisory Committee

Anti-Racist and Decolonizing Research Collaborative (ARDR),  George Mason University  (2022 - present)

Areas of Expertise

  • Socioculturally Attuned and Equity-Based Couple/Marriage and Family Therapy
  • Feminist Informed Clinical Supervision 
  • Latinx Family Dynamics from Developmental, Intersectional, and Contextual Perspectives
  • Culturally Responsive Systemic Family Therapy, Research, and Outreach

Dr. Maria Bermudez is an associate professor at the University of Georgia in the Department of Human Development and Family Science and the Ph. D. program in Marriage and Family Therapy. She is an affiliate faculty member with the Institute for Women’s Studies, Qualitative Certificate Program and the Institute for Latin American and Caribbean Studies.

She is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Georgia and a Clinical Fellow and Approved Supervisor for the American Associate for Marriage and Family Therapy. Her work focuses on feminist informed and strength-based approaches to research and service for Latinx immigrant families, paying special attention to developmental and contextual issues as they relate to race, class, culture, gender and sexuality. She is one of the co-founders of Lazos Hispanos, which was an interdisciplinary community-based project that worked with community health workers/"promotoras" to bridge health disparities among Latinx families. She is also the co-founder of the Aspire Clinic at UGA, which is in an interdisciplinary clinic serving UGA and the Athens-Clarke County community.

She is currently on the editorial board of 7 peer-reviewed journals, has published over 60 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters, and presented over 100 professional presentations in the fields of marriage and family therapy and human development and family science.

Dr. Bermudez has devoted her career to addressing social inequality and social justice. She has published four books focused on intersectional, global, and contextual perspectives in the practice of couple and family therapy and the study of human development across the lifespan.  She is passionate about working with children and families in therapy and collaborating with colleagues from diverse disciplines and perspectives on socially just scholarship, outreach, and clinical practice.


McDowell, T., Knudson-Martin, C., Bermudez, J. M. (2023). Socioculturally Attuned Family Therapy: Guidelines for Equitable Theory and Practice, 2nd Ed.. New York: Routledge/Taylor & Francis.

Socioculturally Attuned Family Therapy: Guidelines for Equitable Theory and Practice, 2nd Ed (2023). 

Gómez-Lamont, M. F. & Bermudez, J. M. (2023). La Terapia Familiar Sistémica y el Pensamiento de Tercer Orden: Teoría crítica con perspectivas de género, multiculturalidad e interseccionalidad (Systemic Family Therapy and Third Order Thinking: Critical Theories from Gender, Multicultural, and Intersectional Perspectives).  Autonomous University of Mexico Press.

La Terapia Familiar Sistémica y el Pensamiento de Tercer Orden: Teoría Crítica con Perspectivas de Género, Multiculturalidad e Interseccionalidad (2023).

Bermudez, J. M. (2021). Intersectionality and Context across the Lifespan: Readings for Human Development. Cognella Publishing.

Intersectionality and Context across the Lifespan: Readings for Human Development (2021)

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

Socioculturally Attuned Family Therapy: Guidelines for Equitable Theory and Practice (2018)

Current Classes

Ph.D. Courses-

Clinical Practicum in Marriage and Family Therapy 

Clinical Supervision in Marriage and Family Therapy

Ecological Perspectives in Diversity in Family Science and Family Therapy

GradFirst Seminar- Centering Practices for the Self-of-the-Scholar

Undergraduate Courses-

Human Development across the Lifespan (in person and online)

Child Development (in person and online)

Women in Families and Society (split level- MS and BS)

First Year Odyssey Seminar- Feminism is For Everbody 

Current Research

Dr. Bermudez is currently analyzing data related to the interdisciplinary community-based participatory research project Lazos Hispanos, which she co-created with her colleagues Dr. Rebecca Matthew, Dr. Pamela Orpinas, and Dr. Carolina Darbisi at UGA. Specifically, she is conducting a heuristic inquiry focused on the lived experiences of the Lazos Hispanos promotoras/community health workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. She is also exploring how they continue to serve as agents of change using the skills learned from the Lazos Hispanos program to strengthen Latinx families in their communities. 

She is also currently conducting a study using interpretive phenomenology to explore Latinx parents' perception (dyadic data) and meaning-making of their children's well-being and resilience, despite the vulnerabilities of having a mixed legal status as a family. 

Job Description


The University of Georgia; Athens, Georgia (tenured, Fall 2013)

  -     Associate Professor of Human Development and Family Science and Marriage and Family Therapy

  -     Affiliate Faculty of the Institute for Women's Studies

  -     Affiliate Faculty of the Institute for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (LACSI)

  -     Affiliate Faculty and Research Fellow of the Center for Latino Achievement and Success in

         Education (CLASE)

  -     Faculty member for the Interdisciplinary Qualitative Studies Certificate Program


Alvarez-Hernandez, L., & Bermudez, J. M. (2023 online). Entre madres y comadres: Trans Latina immigrants empowering women beyond marianismo. Affilia: Feminist Inquiry in Social Work. https://doi.org/10.1177/08861099231190095

Bower, K. L, McGeorge, C., & Bermudez, J. M. (2023). “It doesn’t say except, it just says love each other”: Mapping spiritual reconciliation among LGBTQ older adults. The Journal of Feminist Family Therapy.  https://doi.org/10.1080/08952833.2022.2136829

Alvarez-Hernandez, L. R., Bermúdez, J. M., Orpinas, P., Matthew, R., Calva, A., & Darbisi, C. (2021). “No queremos quedar mal”: A qualitative analysis of a boundary setting training among Latina community health workers. Journal of Latinx Psychology, 9(4), 315–325. https://psycnet.apa.org/record/2021-65658-001

50. Bower, K. L, Lewis, D., Bermudez, J. M., & Singh, A. A. (2021). Narratives of generativity and resilience among LGBT older adults: Leaving positive legacies despite social stigma and collective trauma. Journal of Homosexuality, 68(2), 230-251.  https://doi.org/10.1080/00918369.2019.1648082

Jordan, L. S., Seponski, D. M., Hall, J. N., & Bermudez, J. M. (2021). “Hopefully you’ve landed the Waka on the shore”: Negotiated spaces in Aotearoa/New Zealand’s bicultural mental health system. Transcultural Psychiatryhttps://doi.org/10.1177/1547

Curtis, M. G., Oshri, A., Bryant, C. M., Bermudez, J. M., & Kogan, S. M. (2021) Contextual adversity and rural Black men’s masculinity ideology during emerging adulthood. Psychology of Men and Masculinities. 22(2), 217–226. https://doi.org/10.1037/men0000319

Ellis, E. & Bermudez, J. M. (2021). Funhouse mirror reflections: Resisting internalized sexism in family therapy and building a women-affirming practice. Journal of Feminist Family Therapy, 33(3), 223-243. https://doi.org/10.1080/08952833.2020.1717903

Orpinas, P. Matthew, R. A., Alvarez-Hernandez, L. R., Calva, A., & Bermudez, J. M. (2021). Promotoras voice their challenges in fulfilling their role as community health workers. Health Promotion Practice, 22(4), 502-511. https://doi.org/10.1177/1524839920921189

Curtis, M. G., Ellis, E., Ann, S., Dai, Y., & Bermudez, J. M.  (2020). A decade in review: Intersectionality within family studies and family therapy journals from 2010-2020.    Journal of Family Theory & Review, 12(4), 510-528.  https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/jftr.12399

Seponski, D. M., Lewis, D., Bermudez, J. M., & Sotelo, J. M. (2020). Cambodian therapists’ perspectives of Western-based psychotherapy models: Addressing the challenges for service providers. Journal of Family Psychotherapy. 31(1-2), 36-55.  https://doi.org/10.1080/08975353.2020.1759018

Terrazas, J., Muruthi, B.A., Thompson Cañas, R.E, Jackson, J.B. & Bermudez, J. M.  (2020). Liminal legality among mixed-status Latinx families: Considerations for critically engaged clinical practice. Contemporary Family Therapy, 42, 360-368. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10591-020-09545-7

Matthew, R., Orpinas, P., Calva, A., Bermudez, J.M., Darbisi, C. (2020). Lazos Hispanos: Promising strategies and lessons learned in the development of a multisystem, community-based promotoras program. Journal of Primary Prevention, 41(3), 229-243. http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10935-020-00587-z

Muruthi, B.A., Bermudez, J. M, Chou J. Shivers, C., Gale, J., Lewis, D. (2020). Mother-adult daughter   questionnaire: Psychometric evaluation across first and second-generation Black immigrant women. The Family Journal. 28(2), 168-175. https://doi.org/10.1177/1066480720906123

Orpinas, P., Matthew, R. A., Bermúdez, J. M., Alvarez-Hernandez, L. R., & Calva, A. (2020). A multistakeholder evaluation of Lazos Hispanos: An application of a community-based participatory research conceptual model. Journal of Community Psychology, 48(2), 464-481.  https://doi.org/10.1002/jcop.22274   

Walsdorf, A. A., Machado, Y., & Bermudez, J. M. (2019). Undocumented and mixed-status Latinx families: Sociopolitical considerations for systemic practice. Journal of Family Psychotherapy, 30(4), 245-271, https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/08975353.2019.1679607

Bower, K. L, Lewis, D., Bermudez, J. M., & Singh, A. A. (2019). Adding grey to the rainbow: A narrative analysis of generational identity through stories and counter-stories of older gay men. Aging & Society, 1-23. http://dx.doi/10.1017/S0144686X19001429

Boe, J. L., Bermudez, J. M., Baldwin, D. R., & Sharstrom, K. A. (2019). Easing the transition: A critical narrative therapy approach to working with couples navigating gender transition.  Journal of Systemic Therapies, 38(1), 1-16. http://dx.doi.org/10.1521/jsyt.2019.38.1.1

Smith E. P, Witherspoon, D., Bhargave, S, & Bermudez, J. M. (2019). Cultural values and behavior among African American and European American children.  Journal of Child and Family Studies, 28(5), 1236-1249.  http://dx.doi/10.1007/s10826-019-01367-y

35. Knudson-Martin, C., McDowell, T., & Bermudez, J. M. (2019). From knowing to doing: Guidelines for socioculturally attuned family therapy. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 45(1), 47- 60.  https://doi.org/10.1111/jmft.12299

McDowell, T., Knudson-Martin, C, & Bermudez, J. M. (2019). Third order thinking in family therapy:  Addressing social justice across family therapy practice. Family Process, 58(1),   9-22.  http://doi/10.1111/famp.12383

Bermudez, J. M, Muruthi, B., Zak-Hunter, L., Stinson, M. A., Seponski, D., Taniguchi, N., & Boe, J. (2019). “Thank you for including us!”- Introducing a community-based collaborative approach to translating clinic materials. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 45(2), 309-322.  https://doi.org/10.1111/jmft.12317

Boe, J. L., Maxey, V. A., & Bermudez, J. M.  (2018). Is the closet a closet? Decolonizing the coming out process with Latin@ adolescents and families. Journal of Feminist Family Therapy, 30(2), 90-108.  https://doi:10.1080/08952833.2018.1427931

Stinson, M. A., Bermudez, J. M., Gale, J., Lewis, D, M., Meyer, A. S., & Templeton, G. B. (2017). Re-examining marital satisfaction and conflict resolution among Latino couples: Using the actor- partner interdependence model. Family Journal, 25(3), 215-223. https://doi:10.1177/1066480717710645

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