Dr. Ryan B. Seedall is an Assistant Professor in the Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) program within the department of Family, Consumer, and Human Development (FCHD) at Utah State University (USU). Although the majority of the courses he teaches are at the graduate level in MFT, he also teaches hybrid and online courses about diverse families. His research is broadly focused on understanding the process of change (a) within couple relationships; and (b) within therapy. He has also been a practicing MFT for the past 13 years. Outside of work, he enjoys sports, reading, and spending time with his wife, Ruth, and four children.
- PhD in Marriage and Family Therapy, Michigan State University, 2011
- MS in Marriage and Family Therapy, Brigham Young University, 2004
- BS in Psychology, Brigham Young University, 2001
My program of research is to understand and improve relationship process, including both couple relationship and therapeutic processes. The overall theme of my research is to improve couple and family relationships. I aim to do that through research on couple interaction and support processes, especially during adversity. I am also interested in protective family dynamics and prevention efforts, including ways to reduce mental health disparities. Lastly, I am interested in the therapeutic process and identifying specific interventions that are useful when working with couples (e.g., enactments) and also client-related factors that are strongly associated with process and outcome in therapy (e.g., attachment and social support).
Much of my research involves the mentorship model and involves working with undergraduate and graduate students and training them to code and assist with research projects. As students continue to learn about the research process, I welcome mentoring them through the process of developing their own research questions and projects.
I genuinely enjoy the field of MFT, especially working with couples. All of the work I do both as a therapist and as a faculty member at USU is anchored in the fundamental belief that humans are relational beings and that relationships form the bedrock for individual development, informing how we see ourselves and others. My goal in all I do is to foster secure bonds that promote growth. In this manner, I believe there is great power in relationships to help people change.
From a systems theory perspective, patterns are crucial in understanding how people relate to one another. In addition, both Attachment Theory and Contextual Family Therapy inform how I think about relational patterns and how I do therapy. For me, attachment theory highlights the importance of security and safety in relationships, with an emphasis on how partners signal their needs to each other and how they respond to each other’s needs. Contextual Family Therapy highlights how change can come from understanding intergenerational patterns and the importance of striving towards a proper balance of give and take in relationships.