University of Calgary

Monica Sesma-Vazquez

  • Adjunct Assistant Professor

Currently Teaching

Not currently teaching any courses.


Monica Sesma-Vazquez, PhD (Psych), MSW, RSW is a social constructionist practitioner, therapist, educator, and researcher from Mexico City. She works with immigrants and refugees, children and their families, including a social justice/post-colonial lens. She is a Mestiza cisgender Mexican who was privileged to pursue studies in Mexico (Bachelor, Masters, and Ph.D. in Psychology) and Canada (MSW in Clinical Social Work Practice). Monica has several specializations as an individual, couple, and family therapist. Monica is an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the Werklund School of Education and a sessional instructor at the Faculty of Social Work. Monica is family therapist and supervisor at the Calgary Family Therapy Centre, and a Board Member of the Taos Institute and the American Family Therapy Academy, and the Spanish Translator Editor for the International Journal of Collaborative Practices.

Research & Scholarly Activity

Dr. Monica Sesma's research primarily focuses on examining multicultural and trauma clinical work from a critical theory, post-colonial, social justice, and social constructionist lenses. Her work explores how counsellors can stop perpetuating oppresive practices inside and outside therapeutic spaces, and how education, training and supervision can enhance counselling knowledge, skills and competences to empower people. Dr. Sesma's teaching and therapeutic practices are informed by her work with underprivileged communities, particularly immigrant and refugee individuals/families.  

Current Projects:

  • Counselling Second Generation Canadians and "Newcomers"
  • Examining clinical and counselling practices with "trauma" and "trauma-informed care"
  • Diagnostic culture and therapeutic counter-practices
  • Social construction oriented therapies
  • Mental illness stigma 


PhD in Psychology
Universidad de las Americas A. C., Mexico City, Mexico

MSW Clinical Specialization
University of Calgary, Calgary, AB

MSc in Psychology (with Specialization in Family Therapy)
Universidad de las Americas A. C., Mexico City, Mexico

BS in Psychology
Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, Mexico City, Mexico

Professional & Community Affiliations

Taos Institute - Board Member

American Family Therapy Academy (AFTA) - Board Member and Co-Chair of the Communication and Engagement Committee




Strong, T., & Sesma-Vazquez, M. (2015). Discourses on children’s mental health: A critical review. In M. O’Reilly & J. Lester (Eds.). The Palgrave Handbook of Child Mental Health (pp. 99-116). London, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.

 Strong, T., Sesma-Vazquez, M., Ross, K. H., Mudry, T., Doyle, E., & Pickering, B. (in press). Expert therapeutic discourse, practices and counter-practices across six service contexts. International Journal of Collaborative Practice.

 Strong, T., Ross, K., & Sesma-Vazquez, M. (2014). Counselling the (self?) diagnosed client: Generative and reflective conversations. British Journal of Guidance and Counselling.doi: 10.1080/03069885.2014.996736

Ross, K., Sesma-Vazquez, M., & Strong, T. (2014).  Therapy, sociology, and the modern soul: In conversation with Eva Illouz. New Therapist, 92, 20-24

Ibarzábal, M. E., Hernández, J., Sesma, M., et al. (2011). Obesidad infantil y del adolescente: Comorbilidades físicas y psicológicas. Revista de Investigación Médica Sur, 18 (2), 77-78.

Sesma, M. (2010). Pathways to dialogue: The work of collaborative therapists with couplesInternational Journal of Collaborative Practices. Houston, USA.

Sesma, M. (2010). El terapeuta colaborativo en México. Mexico Quaterly Review. March.

Sesma, M. & Vega, K. (2002). Voces epifánicas en el Equipo Reflexivo: La perspectiva del cliente. Voces y más Voces en el Equipo de Reflexión en México. Helen Selicoff and Dr. Gloria Licea, (Eds.). México, DF: Alinde Institute of Psychotherapy.

Sesma, M., Avalos, T. & Vega, K. (2001). Cuando el lenguaje dice lo que nuestros significados no comprenden: El trabajo de terapeutas circulares con familias de la calle. Psicología Iberoamericana, 9 (1), March.


  • Universidad de las Americas, Mexico (2013) Excellence in Teaching
  • Universidad de las Americas, Mexico (2012) Excellence in Teaching
  • Universidad de las Americas, Mexico (2011) Excellence in Teaching
  • Universidad de las Américas, Mexico (2010) Summa Cum Laude - Ph D. Program
  • Universidad de las Americas, Mexico (2010) Mención Honorífica - Doctoral Dissertation
  • Universidad de las Americas, Mexico (2005) Mención Honorífica - Master Dissertation
  • Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, Mexico (1996) Mención Honorífica – Bachelor of Science Dissertation
  • Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, Mexico (1992-1994) PAEA – High Academic Performance Program with UNAM-DGAPA Scholarship
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