Catherine Ford Sori, PhD, LMFT

  Office Location: G-305
  Office Hours: Contact Professor for appointment.
  College: COE

Division of Psyc and Counseling


I came to GSU because of its outstanding reputation and the opportunity to join the marriage and family faculty in order to train counselors-in-training to treat children and families. I have enjoyed my years here because the students are motivated and excited about learning. I teach an evidence-based child therapy course, Interventions for Children and Adolescents. I also provide live supervision for masters students in the course for couples and family counseling, and teach family therapy theories. I believe students learn best by doing, so I incorporate experiential activities in all the courses I teach. I am also the Mental Health Consultant for the Early Head Start Program at the Family Development Center, and am a member of ACA (and several divisions), AAMFT, and APA.

I received my doctorate in Child Development and Family Studies with a specialization in Marriage and Family Therapy from Purdue University. In addition, I was a Fellow and am Associate Faculty at the Chicago Center for Family Health, an Affiliate of The University of Chicago. My passion is training counselors to work with children and families, especially integrating play in family therapy. Other areas of interest are related to children, illness, and bereavement. I am also interested in using playful, creative activities with couples to enhance intimacy. In this regard, I have presented several workshops on “Sex in the Sand.” To date I have edited/authored six books, with one, The Therapist’s Notebook for Children and Adolescents, which has been translated into Hebrew, going into a second edition. Several students, graduates, and faculty have penned chapters in my books. I have written numerous book chapters and journal articles, and done professional presentations on topics related to my areas of interest above. It is important to me to encourage professional development in our students, and I often provide them with opportunities to publish and co-present at professional conferences.

My recent research project was a mixed-methods study that evaluated student perceptions of the effectiveness of the evidence-based course (Interventions for Children and Adolescents) that I designed when I came to GSU in 2001. The results for both the qualitative and quantitative aspects of the study are very encouraging. A newer interest of mine is Animal Assisted Play Therapy, where canines are trained as “co-play therapists.” This is a promising development in the field, and one that is exciting in its effectiveness, especially with traumatized children.

My areas of service include being on the board of professional journals, and providing post-graduate supervision for former GSU students to receive licensure in marriage and family therapy. I have served on numerous search committees at GSU, the latest for the Dean in the College of Education. I have also served on the Division Personnel Committee, which I chaired  for many years. Recently I was promoted to Full Professor.

It was exciting to be at GSU when we started our doctoral program in Counselor Education and Supervision just a few years ago. The effort and team work required of us as a faculty contributes to this program’s success. I have the pleasure of advising doctoral students that I supervised when they were students in our Masters Program. With GSU expanding to admit Freshman and Sophomores for the first time, this is an exciting and rewarding place to be!