Julie Caudle's Archive

Machismo in Therapy

0 Commentsby   |  03.25.12  |  Uncategorized

By: Mike Ford

The popular perception of machismo depicts Latin men as aggressive, abusive, domineering, womanizing alcoholics (Arciniega, Anderson, Tovar-Blank, & Tracey, 2008; Mayo & Resnick, 1996; Baldwin & DeSouza, 2001). Much of the psychological literature endorses this negative conception largely due to a slant in the measures developed in search of the negative components of machismo (Arciniega, et al., 2008). Machismo cannot adequately be analyzed apart from marianismo (or, as it is called in Brazil, Modelo de Maria – Model of Mary). Baldwin and DeSouza (2001) consider marianismo along with machismo as the major influences in the construction of gender roles in Brazil. This holds true of all Latin American countries founded on the influence of Roman law and the Catholic Church (Mayo & Resnick, 1996). Marianismo is characterized by passivity and submissiveness based upon a virgin-like image of Maria, the mother of Jesus (Mayo & Resnick, 1996). This view creates the basis for the development of the core qualities of machismo. But, as research demonstrates, machismo projects various facets of which the popularized negative definition portrays only part of the picture. In a study by Afredo Mirande, only half of Latino men perceive machismo as a negative construct whereas 35% affirm it as a “source of pride and honor” (Arciniega, et al., 2008, p. 19).

Falivcov (2010) indicates that this is demonstrative of the multidimensional qualities of machismo which lie along a continuum of positive to negative attributes. She labels the negative attributes as indicative of a false masculinity called machista whereas; the positive attributes allude to authentic masculinity referred to by the term hombre or, varon (Falicov, 2010). Other delineations specify more extreme positions on the continuum such as caudillo (Mayo & Resnick, 1996) which exemplifies the highest level of masculinity defined by respect, power, rectitude and affection for those under his protection. Caballerismo denotes a masculinity based on a code of chivalry much like that of Don Quixote (Arciniega,et al., 2008). An extreme negative connotation is found in the term macho which is animalistic in nature (Falicov, 2010; Mayo & Resnick, 1996). Though foundational in the development of the gender role for Latin American males and, though employed in a variety of forums both popular and academic, the concept of machismo has yet to be clearly defined (Arciniega, et al., 2008) and the vagueness of the term obscures one’s understanding of Latin masculinity.

Therefore, when a Latin male presents himself for therapy, is machismo perceived as a problem or a component for possible solutions? If attributes from the negative end of the machismo continuum contribute to the presenting problem, rather than attempting to dismantle innate traits of machismo one might better succeed in calling out the more noble facets of machismo in order to redirect the intrinsic nature of Latin masculinity toward positive relational attributes. Calling upon the virtues of familismo (devotion to family) (Falicov, 2010), the chilvary of caballerismo (Arciniego, 2008), along with the innate affection and generosity of the Latin male one may be able to redirect the Latin husband or father toward a path of benevolent machismo (Falicov, 2010), opening up a variety of solutions for the presenting problem.


Arciniega, G. M., Anderson, T. C., Tovar-Blank, Z. G., & Tracey, T. J. G. (2008). Toward a fuller conception of machismo: Development of a traditional machismo and caballerismo scale. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 55(1), 19-33.

Baldwin, J., & DeSouza, E. (2001). Modelo de Maria and machismo: The social construction of gender in Brazil. Interamerican Journal of Psychology, 35(1), 9-29.

Falicov, C. J. (2010). Changing constructions of machismo for latino men in therapy: “The devil never sleeps.” Family Process, 49(3), 309-329.

Mayo, Y. Q., & Resnick, R. P. (1996). The impact of machismo on Hispanic women. Affilia, 11(3), 257-277.


Eating Disorders in Couples Therapy

0 Commentsby   |  03.13.12  |  Uncategorized

By: Loren Morcomb

Since high school I have been very interested in the effects of eating disorders on individuals, and more recently, the effects of eating disorders on marriages and families.  One of my high school friends has a severe eating disorder and has attended several rehabilitation centers.  As she continues to suffer from the addiction, I have noticed the dramatic emotional, physical, and social effect the condition has had on her life.

Eating disorders involve extreme emotions, attitudes, and behaviors surrounding weight and food issues.  According to the National Eating Disorder Association (2011), there are three main types of eating disorders: anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorder.  As the most common eating disorder, anorexia nervosa is characterized by self-starvation and excessive weight loss.  Individuals with anorexia nervosa fear gaining weight or being “fat”, feel “fat” regardless of dramatic weight loss, and concern with body weight and shape.  Eating large amounts of food in short periods of time, then getting rid of the food and calories through vomiting, laxative abuse, or over-exercising characterizes bulimia nervosa.  Individuals with bulimia nervosa have repeated episodes of binging and purging, feel out of control during a binge and eating cycle, diet frequently, and have extreme concern with their body weight and shape.  Lastly, binge eating disorder is portrayed primarily by periods of uncontrolled, impulsive, or continuous eating beyond the point of feeling comfortably full.  While there is no purging, there may be sporadic fasts or repetitive diets and often feelings of shame or self-hatred after a binge (National Eating Disorder Association, 2011).  The cause of eating disorders is believed to be a combination of biological, psychological, and/or environmental abnormalities.  However, the exact cause of eating disorders is unknown.

Overall, individuals suffering from eating problems experience difficulty in emotional connectivity and attachment in intimate relationships.  Specifically, individuals display characteristics consistent with anxious and avoidant patterns in attachment, low levels of satisfaction, fear of intimacy, distance with partners, and poor sexual functioning.  According to Cockett (1995), therapists should not assume that an individual suffering from an eating disorder will have marital problems, however, there are implications for both spouses and children, which, while often resolvable, should not be ignored.  Long term, individuals who are experiencing or have experienced an eating disorder will suffer from relationship and depression difficulties.

Clinically, treatment varies depending on the severity of the eating disorder and marital problems.  Cognitive Behavioral Therapy proves effective in changing the individual’s feelings and behaviors towards self-image and control.  According to Evans and Wertheim (2005), “attachment theory, which examines emotional regulation and subsequent behavioral reactions in interpersonal functioning, may offer an additional valuable framework to examine the processes by which women with an eating disorder relate in intimate romantic relationships” (pg. 286). Proving most effective, Interpersonal Psychotherapy addresses clients’ interpersonal processes and aims to moderate emotional reactions to interpersonal events.  Additionally, non-traditional therapy such as music therapy, recreation therapy, and art therapy have provided alternate means for improving martial relations.

In conclusion, partners (male or female) with an eating disorder cause emotional and psychological strain in a marriage.  Specifically, attachment, intimacy, and satisfaction are inhibited.  Although some researchers believe an eating disorder does not automatically cause marital dysfunction, implications in the marriage should be addressed.  Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, attachment theory, and interpersonal psychotherapy are effective interventions to be used.



National Eating Disorders Association (2011). What is an eating disorder? Some basic facts. Retrieved from http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/nedaDir/files/documents/handouts/WhatIsEd.pdf

Evans, L., & Wertheim, E. (2005). Attachment styles in adult intimate relationships: Comparing women with bulimia nervosa symptoms, women with depression and women with no clinical symptoms. European Eating Disorders Review, 13, 285-293.

Cockett, A. (1995). Eating disorders and marriage – The couple in focus. [Review of the book Eating disorders and marriage – The couple in focus by Woodside, D.B., Schekter-Wolfson, L., Brands, J., & Lackstrom, J.]. European Eating Disorders Review, 3, 56-58.

Working with Couples Who Adopt in Therapy

0 Commentsby   |  02.27.12  |  Uncategorized

By: Amy Passmore

Raising children can be a daunting task for any parent, but there are special challenges faced by couples that choose to adopt children who they did not bear themselves.  One such challenge is explaining to a child that they are adopted (Jones & Hackett, 2007).  Jones and Hackett (2007) found the story of a child’s adoption, or “adoption narrative,” to be quite complex, involving the perspectives of the adoptive parents, the adopted child, the birth parents, and at times a placement agency.  These stories are often filled with sensitive topics such as infertility, young pregnancy, and physical or substance abuse.  Though these topics can be emotionally charged, the adoptive parents’ openness in relaying the adoption account impacts how well the child will adjust to this new information (Jones & Hackett, 2007).


Brodzinsky (2011) believes it is best for adoptive parents to make the discussion of adoption with their children a process, not a one-time event.  It is important to consider the emotional and cognitive development of the child in determining appropriate information to disclose at various ages (Brodzinsky, 2011).  This allows the child to process and understand the adoption and to receive continued support from their adoptive parents, rather than being prematurely flooded with information and left to sort through their feelings themselves.  Adoptive parents should begin the sharing process early, include their child’s questions in the discussion, and avoid making negative judgments on the child’s biological parents.  Emphasizing that children are created biologically and then become part of families creates a smooth transition to introducing adoption, helping to normalize the adoption process for the child (Brodzinsky, 2011).  Following Brodzinsky’s guidelines may help ease adoptive parents’ anxieties in anticipating adoption talks with their children.


Wright and Flynn (2006) studied families with adopted children to determine factors that produced a “successful” adoption in the eyes of the parents.  Three main markers emerged: being a family, providing the adoptee with a good quality of life, and ensuring for the adoptee’s life to remain of good quality in the future.  When the adopted children meshed well with the rest of the family and shared an emotional connectedness with other family members, the adoptive parents experienced a collective sense of “family.”  Being a family is also tied to parents’ realistic expectations about bonding with an adopted child and finding joy in being a parental figure (Wright & Flynn, 2006).  Being confident that they have provided a better life for the adoptee than they would have otherwise had, believing they have built a solid foundation for the child’s future are also characteristics of parents in successful adoptions (Wright & Flynn, 2006).

For couples that choose to adopt international children, medical, psychological, and development challenges are often experienced (Paulsen & Merighi, 2009).  In Paulsen and Merighi’s (2009) study, adoptive parents who prepared for adoption by researching the child’s country and involving their families in corresponding cultural activities experienced fewer challenges overall.  Couples who adopted children under the age of two as opposed to older children also experienced fewer mental and physical challenges while raising their children (Paulsen & Merighi, 2009).



Brodzinsky, D. M. (2011). Children’s understanding of adoption: Developmental and clinical

implications. Professional Psychology: Research And Practice, 42(2), 200-207. doi:10.1037/a0022415

Jones, C., & Hackett, S. (2007). Communicative openness within adoptive families:

Adoptive parents’ narrative accounts of the challenges of adoption talk and the approaches used to manage these challenges.

Adoption Quarterly, 10(3-4), 157-178. doi:10.1080/10926750802163238

Paulsen, C., & Merighi, J. R. (2009). Adoption preparedness, cultural engagement, and

parental satisfaction in intercountry adoption. Adoption Quarterly, 12(1), 1-18. doi:10.1080/10926750902791540

Wright, L., & Flynn, C. C. (2006). Adolescent adoption: Success despite challenges. Children

and Youth Services Review28(5), 487-510.


College of Biblical Studies Dinner: Honoring Christian Servants and Leaders

0 Commentsby   |  10.24.11  |  Uncategorized

By: Jaime Goff

The Towel Award is given to unassuming people who act as Jesus in the world. As the king of the universe took the towel to show servant hospitality, likewise this person follows Jesus’ command to ‘do as I have done’ by serving the world the love of God (John 13:14-17). I am honored to present the first Towel Award this evening to Eniabitobi Kuyinu (Koo-Yi-Nu). Tobi received her Master’s of Marriage and Family Therapy from ACU in 2007. Prior to that time, Tobi completed a BA in theology and a BS in microbiology. Her work at ACU was funded entirely by the International Ford Fellows program, which provides advanced study opportunities for social justice leaders worldwide. Since returning to Nigeria after her studies at ACU were completed, Tobi has been continuing her work to transform the lives of disadvantaged women and children in Nigeria through her development and direction of two Non-Government Organizations, The Educator and Wholistic Outreach.

Tobi founded The Educator in 1998 after witnessing a security guard at her home leading a ten-year-old girl into his gatehouse to rape her. Tobi intervened, and through this experience she began a project called Journey to Self Discovery, in which she would bring young street girls into her home each week, feed them, and talk with them. She invited others to talk with these girls about discovering themselves, identifying their talents, excelling academically, and guarding themselves against sexual assault. Thirteen years later, The Educator continues to be dedicated to empowering and developing young people and disadvantaged women in Nigeria. The mission of The Educator is “to ensure that we have a generation of young people who understand how to build and develop healthy relationships and uphold sexual integrity.” The Educator has two arms, one that serves youth and one that serves disadvantaged women.

The Educator’s youth-oriented programs include youth rallies, retreats, and peer education programs. At the Frank Talk Youth Rally, issues relating to sexual integrity and self-development are addressed with adolescents and young adults. Tobi has also developed curriculum called Accelerated Success and Achievement Program, or ASAP. This program includes teaching youth essential learning and success-building skills to promote self-motivation and self-confidence. Peer educators are trained to deliver modules on goal-setting and motivation, career planning, active listening, note taking, health and wellness, time management, relationship skills, and etiquette and social responsibility.

The Educator’s program to help disadvantaged women is called the Purple Lydia Project. In 2007, while Tobi was on a mission trip to the Niger Republic, she encountered young women in prostitution who wanted to escape this lifestyle but lacked meaningful vocational skills.  The Purple Lydia Project was born, consisting of a rehabilitation center for women where they are empowered by learning income-generating and life skills. The services encompassed within the Purple Lydia Project include offering training to help women become nannies, housekeepers, or hairdressers; providing education on etiquettes, social behaviors, and manners so women can secure employment with upper class clients; HIV/AIDS education and sexual decision-making; providing literacy education; and providing housing and childcare so the women in the program can focus on their learning. Tobi has partnered with Eternal Threads to provide products made by women in the Purple Lydia Project, such as silk scarves and the bracelets that I’m wearing.

In addition to her work through The Educator, Tobi serves as Executive Director for another NGO, Wholistic Outreach, a faith-based organization whose goals are (1) to create awareness and mobilize the church to promote abstinence; (2) to eradicate unwanted pregnancy and HIV/AIDS among teens and young adults by providing them with skills and opportunities to make good life choices; (3) to provide rehabilitation programs for victims of moral decadence who desire to change their lives; (4) to conduct outreach in hotels, brothels, bars, and under bridges; and (5) to organize programs and seminars to reach out to families within and outside the church. One woman who was a beneficiary of the work of Wholistic Outreach had this to say about her experience in the program:

Through all the struggles of life after being a victim of sexual molestation and rape at a tender age, I developed a very thick skin and a hardened heart. It was about two years after I left home that I met the father of my child. He was the first and only person that showed me love or so I felt.  This was another turbulent period in my life as his family objected to our being together based on stories heard about my family. When the stress became unbearable, I took my child and left. I didn’t have anywhere to go so I just walked away and slept outside buildings for a while until I met a team of Wholistic Outreach members who sent me to the home for rehabilitation. To God be the glory! It was that day God arrested me, and today I am singing a new song everyday. My daughter and I have a new testimony. I am presently in the University (thanks to the Ministry) and reading Law.  I want to become the best God wants me to be. I also hope and pray my daughter and I are absorbed into a family so we will not have to worry about facing rejection EVER AGAIN.


In addition to her work with The Educator and Wholistic Outreach, Tobi provides counseling to individuals, couples, and families and consults with churches regarding their family-related needs. You might think there isn’t possibly more that Tobi could do, yet she plans to return to the States next fall to begin a Ph.D. program in Counselor Education and Supervision at Mercer University. Her goal with this new venture is to return to Nigeria to train others to provide mental health and relationship counseling.

As you can tell from my description of Tobi’s work, she is a woman whose passion for the kingdom of God compels her to make a significant difference in her community and in the world. Tobi exemplifies what God asks of God’s people in Isaiah 1:17, from the theme scripture of Summit, “Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow.” Tobi’s life and work demonstrates the accomplishment of ACU’s mission to educate students for Christian service and leadership throughout the world.

Our award recipients this evening are receiving the symbols of servant leadership as portrayed by Jesus when he washed his disciples’ feet. These bowls have been hand-sculpted by ACU alum, Brandon Phillips, now a studio potter and instructor at Hardin Simmons University. Brandon specializes in creating usable pieces that are made with local materials. Tobi, please come forward to receive your award.



2011 Annual AAMFT Conference

0 Commentsby   |  10.05.11  |  Uncategorized

The 2011 AAMFT annual conference was recently held September 22-25th. This year it was held locally in Fort Worth Texas at the Fort Worth Convention Center. Themed The Science of Relationships, a variety of sessions and plenaries were offered encompassing numerous fields outside of MFT.  This partnership amalgamated rich information from areas such as anthropology, neuroscience, and technology with applicability within the MFT context. The Exhibit Hall and COAMFTE Showcase were filled with organizations, services, and institutions available to serve our community.  Thank you to all who stopped by ACU’s booth at the COAMFTE Showcase. It was great to see you and catch up on what you’re doing!


Many of our alumni attended, and we would like to hear from you. What sessions did you attend? Which did you find particularly beneficial? Please share your experience!



Welcome Class of 2013!

0 Commentsby   |  09.05.11  |  Uncategorized

School is in session and with it comes 23 new students! That’s right! The new first year students total 23 smiling faces. The second years welcomed them by hosting a party held in the McGothlin Student Center’s Living Room. Introductions were shared over hot dogs and brats. Games were an inviting way for the cohorts to mingle.  Corn-hole and the “Oreo-face” game turned out to be crowd pleasers. Toward the end of the festivities, everyone circled together for formal introductions as well as words of encouragement. Everyone shared their fears for the coming semester and second years (as well as second year spouses) shared advice and words of comfort for the apprehensive.

Now that the first week of classes is over everyone is beginning to settle into their schedules. The new class is making themselves at home and is figuring out the ins-and-outs of the clinic. Though perhaps feeling overwhelmed, new beginnings are also exciting. Welcome class of 2013 not only to a new realm of education, but also to a time of growth, new experiences, and friendships.

Class of 2013

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Sweet Goodbyes

0 Commentsby   |  08.29.11  |  Uncategorized

Another school year has come to an end, another class departing, and another about to begin. As all cohorts who come and go, the MFT class of 2011 will be missed. Friends and family gathered to honor the 2011 graduating class at the annual graduation celebration on August 11, 2011. This year it was held at the Lytle Bend Ranch and was catered by Joe Allen’s Barbecue. Barbeque, live entertainment, and the smell of the outdoors were enjoyed by all, but the memories of the past two years will be cherished forever. Kind words were offered for each graduate, individually appreciated for their God-given gifts and character. Class representatives spoke heartfelt words of encouragement, gratitude, and lifelong friendships. Special recognition was also given to the following: First Year Class Representative, Brittany Brumit; Second Year Class Representative, Elizabeth Brown; Outstanding First Year, Austin Brown; Outstanding Intern, Blake Berryhill; Spirit of the Therapist Award, Sybil Vess and Tyson Alexander; and Up Off the Mat Award, Kent Akers.

As these graduates disperse into the world, whether moving out of state, out of country, or staying in the area they will all be taking a piece of ACU’s MFT program with them. During the two years of the program, each class laughs, cries, quarrels, grows, strengthens, and matures together. This class has shared in countless wedding engagements, weddings, as well as family additions. Congratulations class of 2011 MMFTs! May God bless you and keep you all.


Class of 2011

Class of 2012