Professional Bio


  • Ph.D., Loma Linda University, 2005
  • M.A., Master of Arts in Family Therapy, Bethel Seminary San Diego, San Diego, CA 2001
  • B.A., Organizational Behavior, Bethel College, San Diego, CA  1999

Systemically, I agree with thinking that suggests people rarely achieve remarkable success without the solid and stable embrace from, and of, others. Relationally, I go one step beyond the adage that suggests “It’s whom you know that matters,” and add “it’s whom you know willing to do something for you that matters.”

I invest heavily to prepare all students to develop their relational clinical prowess and expand their cultural insight to work interactively in diverse professional communities and collaboratively with cross-cultural clients. Over the years, my clinical training in marital and family therapy practice provided me the opportunity to work in meaningful ways with culturally and economically diverse families, couples and individuals; while my faculty experience has given me the opportunity to contribute to the family therapy field by promoting in-depth learning and advanced clinical training to a diverse population of international and domestic students.

Clinical Certifications and Expertise

Clinical Certifications
  • AAMFT Approved Clinical Supervisor

Professional Memberships

  • American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT), Clinical Fellow

Research and Scholarship

Research Interests

Exploring cultural integrity and persistence in relationship systems
The bridging of social capital between international Latinos and non-immigrant Latino populations
Promoting relational critical consciousness

Recent Publications

Vargas, H.L. (2015). Raising relational critical consciousness to enhance empathy in clinical hypnosis. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis. DOI: 10.1080/00029157.2015.1102700

Vargas, H.L. (2014). Mexican Immigrant Families. In M.J. Coleman and L.H. Ganong (Eds.), The Social History of the American Family: An Encyclopedia. SAGE Publications, Inc.

Recent Presentations

Vargas, H.L. (November 2014). Healing Opportunities in Goal Setting. Didactic Webinar Training at Rockies Counseling Center.

Vargas, H.L. (March 2013). Distinctions in Latino Diversity. Invited Lecture at Bethel University, San Diego, CA.

Vargas, H.L. (March 2013). Anti-Psychiatry, Demystification and the Politics of Psychotherapy; Implications for Clinical Training. Invited lecture at Southern California Christian College. El Cajon, CA.

Maher, M., Borunda, R., & Vargas, H.L. (January 2013). Above the Smog-Line: Faculty Narratives of Critical Pedagogy in Diversity Coursework (Symposium, 24). National Multicultural Conference and Summit, Houston, TX. (ABSTRACT PREP).

Knudson-Martin, C., Baker, W., Elias-Juarez, M., & Vargas, H.L. (March 2012). Engaging Difference in Clinical Practice. Panel presentation at Taos Institute, Merida, Mexico.

Vargas, H.L. (March 2012). Cultural Competence with Latino Families. Invited lecture at Southern California Christian College, El Cajon, CA.

Vargas, H.L. (June 2012). Diversity and the Future of Clinical Training. Public talk at Bucknell University, Lewisburg, PA.

Awards and Recognition


“Supervisor of the Year” for outstanding contributions to the field by the Colorado Association of Marriage and Family Therapy, March 2015.

“Teacher of The Year” in the California School of Professional Psychology by the San Diego Graduate Student Government Association, San Diego, CA. Academic Year 2009-2010.