University of Calgary

Monica Sesma-Vazquez

  • Adjunct Assistant Professor
  • Sessional Instructor

Currently Teaching

Not currently teaching any courses.


Dr. Monica Sesma was born in Mexico City. She pursued studies (Bachelor, Master and Ph D) in Psychology, and has several specializations as an individual, couple, and family therapist. She was a Professor in three Universities in Mexico City (Universidad de Londres, Universidad de las Americas, and Alliant International University) teaching Narrative, Brief, Solution Focused, Reflecting Teams, and Collaborative Therapies, as well as Qualitative Research Methods, in graduate programs. She worked several years at the Eating Disorders Clinic (Clinica de Trastornos de la Conducta Alimentaria) at Hospital Medica Sur in Mexico City as an individual and family therapist. She is a psychotherapist and clinical supervisor, Spanish Translator Editor for the International Journal of Collaborative Practices.

Research & Scholarly Activity

Dr. Monica Sesma is conducting her research under the mentorship of Dr. Shelly Russell-Mayhew. Dr. Sesma’s research primarily focuses on examining families’ and professionals’ discourses, conversations, and interactions around food, weight, and appearance (Eating Concerns Project). She also investigates the implementation of family therapy treatments for people with eating concerns in Canada. She studies accounts and narratives around diagnosis and medicalization as these occur between individuals/families and professionals, within the therapeutic space (Diagnostic Culture Project). Dr. Sesma moved to Calgary to explore the “whats” and “hows” of people’s conversations and dialogues, and to study their local practices. Her research focuses on how people perform discourses, meanings and understandings in social interactions, and how these performances shape their relationships and experiences.

Current Projects:

  • The social practices of eating concerns
  • Family therapy treatments for eating disorders in Canada
  • Eating disorders professional teams dynamics
  • Diagnostic culture and therapeutic counter-practices
  • Social construction oriented therapies
  • Mental illness stigma in families


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

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

Besides being a Post Doctoral Fellow, Dr. Monica Sesma is currently an on-line Professor in Grupo Campos Eliseos, a Mexican institute specialized in consulting, teaching, training, and supervising postmodern and socioconstructionist practices. She is an Associate at Taos Institute promoting theory, practices, and research within the Theory of Social Construction. As an international certificated practitioner in collaborative practices, she is involved in the Education and Leadership Program coordinated by Houston Galveston Institute .



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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