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Chicago | Clinical Training Director, Couple and Family Therapy Department
Assistant Professor, Couple and Family Therapy Department

Dominique Barnes-Walker, Ph.D., LCSW, LMFT



Teaching, mentoring, and inspiring students are my passions. As an instructor, I assume the role and responsibility of the leader in the classroom. At the same time, I am aware of the power differentials between myself and the students and am aware of the position of power I sit in as the instructor. I aim to meet students where they are with respect to each of their dimensions of culture, social identities, and needs for the classroom space. I bring a welcoming and enthusiastic energy to the classroom community. As a system’s system-oriented thinker, I believe my presence and experiences have an impact on how I show up in the classroom space and the impact I have on the students. I am intentional about continuing to engage in my own self-or-the therapist work to ensure my own biases, and work do not interfere or negatively impact the students and classroom space.

I view the classroom space as a community. I strive to create a space where we can feel that sense of community through our interactions and discussions. I believe the learning process is reciprocal. I acknowledge that I am not the sole expert in the class, as students bring ample knowledge and experience. I strive to learn from each student, as they assume they will learn from me. I strive for inclusivity in my teaching strategies that attend to interpersonal and intrapersonal learners. I highlight the importance of each person’s dimensions of culture and create an environment where all students feel safe and empowered throughout their training and development within their program.

I challenge students to think critically and encourage them to share their own perspectives and experiences, which leads to collaborative, meaningful, and thought-provoking discussions. I challenge students to think of the dominant discourses that create oppressive and marginalized stories for themselves and their future clients. I actively engage students to do their own self-of-the-therapist work. In doing so, I highlight the importance of being socially and culturally attuned when working with marginalized groups to foster further understanding of diversity, cultural sensitivity, and social justice, and bringing forth stories often overlooked and misrepresented. I work with students, encouraging and motivating them to take what they learn and apply it inside and outside the classroom to make transformative connections and become social change agents.

Please email me if you have questions or would like more information about me. My curriculum vitae is available here.



  • 2020 Ph.D., Couple and Family Therapy
    Adler University, Chicago, IL
    Dissertation Title: Examining the Endorsement of The Strong Black Woman Archetype on Romantic Relationship Satisfaction
  • 2016 MSW, Social Work
    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Champaign, IL
  • 2015 BSW, Social Work
    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Champaign, IL
Professional Background

Current Positions

  • Board Member, Illinois Affiliation of Marriage and Family Therapist

Current Licensures

  • Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT)
  • Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)

Areas of Expertise

  • Strong Black Woman Archetype (research)
  • Couple and Family Therapy
  • BIPOC Families
  • Mood Disorders
  • Anxiety Disorders

Select Awards and Recognition

  • Member, Delta Kappa International Marriage and Family Therapy Honors Society
Select Presentations

Select Presentations

  • Understanding the Importance of Queer Language. Oral Presentation at The Illinois Marriage and Family Therapy Conference; Chicago, Illinois 2023.
  • Professional Development Series: How to Write a Cover Letter. Oral Presentation at The University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, Illinois 2021.
  • The Pandemics Impact on Communities of Color. Keynote Address, Panel Discussion at The Illinois Marriage and Family Therapy Virtual Conference; Illinois 2021.
  • The Impact of COVID-19 One Year Later. Panel Discussion at for The Detroit Recovery Project, Detroit Michigan 2021.
  • Mental Health School of Social Work Alumni Career Panel. Panel Discussion at The University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, Illinois 2021.
  • Well Paid Women are Less Satisfied in Their Relationships. Interview on The Research. HER podcast. 2021.
  • MFT in The New Age of COVID. Keynote Address, Panel Discussion at The Illinois Marriage and Family Therapy Virtual Conference; Naperville Illinois 2020.
  • The Path to Pursing a Doctoral Degree; Professional Days. Oral Presentation at The Academy for Advanced Studies. Atlanta, Georgia 2020.

Chicago Campus

Located in the heart of the city, the Chicago Campus was designed to provide and inspire the learning and living experience. To that end, we have created an environment that caters to your mental, emotional, and intellectual growth. Our classrooms are bright and spacious with windows to the outside world and the latest technology. In our Library, you will find every resource you need to research, form, and shape your journey. At Adler University, we have more than enough room to share your thoughts and flex your intellect.

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