Saint Louis University

Dorothy Becvar, PhD, MSW

Emeritus Professor of Social Work


Research Interests: Family resilience; How healing happens; Complementary and alternative medicine; Spirituality

Teaching Areas: Social work practice with families/family therapy; Grief/therapeutic approaches to loss and change; Spirituality and social work; Couples and marital counseling; Sex therapy

Education History: PhD, Saint Louis University
MSW, Saint Louis University

Community and Professional Service: The Haelan Centers®, President/CEO
Member, American Family Therapy Academy
Member, American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy
Member, Council on Social Work Education
Member, International Family Therapy Association
Member, National Association of Social Workers
Chair, Faculty Recruitment and Review Committee
Member, Promotion Rank and a tenure committee
Member, MSW Program Committee
Member, Family Concentration Committee Member Faculty Senate Governance Committee


Dorothy Becvar is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and a Licensed Marital and Family Therapist with 30 years of experience in both academia and private practice. Dorothy is currently serving as Editor of Contemporary Family Therapy: An International Journal.

She has published extensively and in addition to many journal articles and book chapters is the author of the books Families that Flourish: Facilitating Resilience in Clinical Practice (Norton, 2007), In the Presence of Grief: Helping Family Members Resolve Death, Dying and Bereavement Issues (Guilford Press, 2001) and Soul Healing: A Spiritual Orientation in Counseling and Therapy (Basic Books, 1997) as well as the editor of the book The Family, Spirituality and Social Work (Haworth, 1997). With her husband, Raphael J. Becvar, she has co-authored four books: Family Therapy: A Systemic Integration (Allyn & Bacon, 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2009), Pragmatics of Human Relationships (Geist & Russell, 1998), Hot Chocolate for a Cold Winter's Night: Essays for Relationship Development (Love Publishing, 1994), and Systems Theory and Family Therapy: A Primer (University Press of America, 1982, 1999). And she is co-editor, with William Nichols, Mary Anne Pace-Nichols and Augustus Napier, of the Handbook of Family Development and Intervention (Wiley, 2000).

Higher purpose. Greater good.
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