Sean Davis
PhD, LMFT

How do you decide, just from looking at a website, whether to invite someone into some of the most vulnerable aspects of your life? It’s hard, I get it. You’ve likely been considering getting professional help for a long time. But what if you spend all that time, money and emotional effort opening up only to find you don’t fit with the therapist?
I’ve been in those shoes myself with my family, and it can be overwhelming. Therapy is a risk. Chances are you feel more comfortable seeing me because you’ve been referred to me by a trusted friend – that’s how most people find me. But if not, or even if so and you’d still like to get a sense of me, I’m happy to talk with you before you come so you can decide if we’d be a good fit.
My clients describe me as warm, kind, direct, and above all sincerely concerned for their well-being. My caseload is small – only seven people per week – so you get my undivided attention. I’d love to hear from you!

-Dr. Sean Davis


Education

I received a Bachelor’s degree in Family Studies from Brigham Young University. I received a Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from BYU as well before moving to Blacksburg, VA where I earned a PhD in Marriage and Family Therapy at Virginia Tech. I then completed a postdoc as a visiting faculty member at the University of Kentucky.

Professional

I enjoy doing a lot of different things – I’d go insane if I ever had to do just one thing!

Clinically, I’ve been practicing individual, couple and family therapy continuously for over 20 years at university clinics and agencies in Utah, Virginia, Kentucky and then in private practice in California.

I’ve spent my career as an academic. In 2006 I helped start  Alliant International University’s Sacramento MFT program, the only COAMFTE accredited (the highest level of MFT accreditation in the United States) MFT training program in Northern California. I’ve remained there since, earning tenure and working my way up to Distinguished Professor status.

I also enjoy writing. I’ve co-authored seven books, including two of my field’s most widely-used theory textbooks and the first textbook on common factors, a popular area of study in my field. It is humbling to know my books are on the shelves of therapists around the world. I’ve also published a lot of peer-reviewed academic articles, several of which have won national awards. You can check them out below in my CV if you’d like.

I enjoy clinical consulting and presenting. I’ve traveled all over the world giving presentations and providing consultation, both to professional and lay audiences.

I also host international immersion programs for therapists seeking to expand their clinical expertise. The same for writing retreats for authors wanting to get their writing projects out of their head and out the door. I typically spend a month or two out of the country on these trips each year.

Oh, and last but definitely not least, I run The Davis Group Counseling and Wellness Services! I really love this group – I’ve given it a lot of my heart and soul. It is really important to me that there’s a place in the community where people can find quality mental health care, and it is incredibly rewarding to have created such a place.

Clinical Specialties

Though I have helped people with most challenges over the years, lately my practice has focused on:

  • Helping couples rebuild trust and intimacy after an affair or other betrayal.
  • Helping busy professionals, entrepreneurs and high-profile people find balance and meaning in their life.
  • Helping people reinvent their post-Covid personal and professional life. So many of us took that time to re-evaluate our priorities!

Personal

I’m a big believer in the “work hard, play hard” mantra, so my family and I are always off on some adventure. And about two decades ago I made a commitment to only work 9-5, Monday-Friday, so I spend a lot of time with my family. My wife and I have been married since 1998, and  have four beautiful children that are in various stages of navigating school and launching from the nest. I love traveling with them; we’ve been all over the world together.

I was raised in a beautiful rural corner of Utah, so I enjoy anything outdoors – hiking, camping, cycling, rafting, snowboarding, etc. I love archery. I’ve also been obsessed with cars since I was a little boy, so I’m always scheming ways to own fun cars (I’m very lucky in that regard to have a supportive wife!) I’m a big fan of Formula One and European motorsport; my bucket list includes attending the 24 Hours of Le Mans in France. I’ll let you know how it goes!

PROFESSIONAL PUBLICATIONS

recent peer-reviewed journal publications

Davis, S. D., & Hsieh, A. (2019) What does it mean to be a common factors informed family therapist? Family Process, 1-12. Doi: 10.1111/famp.12477

Maxwell, M, Davis, S. D., Miller, M. and Woolley, S. R. (2018). Covenant attachment: A constructivist grounded theory of Christian couples and God. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy

Laszloffy, T. A., & Davis, S. D. (2018). Nurturing nature: Exploring ecological self-of-the-therapist issues. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy.

Grady, J., Banford Witting, A., Kim, A., & Davis, S. (2018). Differences in Unit Cohesion and Combat-Related Mental Health Problems Based on Attachment Styles in US Military Veterans. Contemporary Family Therapy.

Wilson, K. L., Glebova, T., Davis, S. D., & Seshadri, G. (2017). Adolescent mothers in foster care: Relational ethics, depressive symptoms and health problems through a contextual therapy lens. Contemporary Family Therapy, 39, 150-161. Doi: 10.1007/s10591-017-9417-y

**Karam, E., Blow, A., Sprenkle, D. H. , & Davis, S. D. (2015). Strengthening the Systemic Ties that Bind: Integrating Common Factors into MFT Curricula. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 41, 136-149. Doi: 10.1111/jmft.12096.

Karam, E., Davis, S. D., & Sprenkle, D. H. (2015). Targeting Threats to the Therapeutic Alliance: A Primer for MFT Training. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 41, 389-400. Doi: 10.1111/jmft.12097.

Dattilio, F. M., Piercy, F. P., & Davis, S. D. (2014). The divide between “evidence-based” approaches and practitioners of traditional theories of family therapy. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 40, 5-16Doi: 10.111/jmft.12032.

**Fife, S. T., Whiting, J. B., Bradford, K., & Davis, S. D. (2014). The therapeutic pyramid: A common factors synthesis of techniques, alliance, and way of being. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 40, 20-33Doi: 10.1111/jmft.12041.

BOOKS

Nichols, M. P., & Davis, S. D. (2020). Family therapy: Concepts and methods (11th ed.). Columbus, OH: Pearson.

Nichols, M. P., & Davis, S. D. (2018). Essentials of family therapy (7th ed.). Columbus, OH: Pearson.

Bean, R. A., Davis, S. D., & Davey, M. P. (Eds.) (2014). Clinical Supervision Activities for Increasing Competence and Self-Awareness, New York: Wiley-Blackwell.

Sprenkle, D. H., Davis, S. D., & Lebow, J. (2009) Common factors in couple and family therapy: The overlooked foundation for effective practice. New York: Guilford Press.

Datillio, F. M., Jongsma, A. E., & Davis, S. D. (2010). The family therapy treatment planner. (2nd ed.). New York: John Wiley & Sons.

My Vitae

You can access a full list of my scholarly work below: