Alyssa Witting, Associate Professor

Department: Family Life



Office: 258 TLRB

Phone: 801-422-6767


Alyssa Banford Witting recently joined the Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) faculty at BYU. Before coming to BYU, Alyssa was an Associate Professor in the Couple and Family Therapy program at Alliant International University, San Diego since the fall of 2013. She obtained her master’s in MFT from Auburn University in 2009 and her PhD in MFT from Texas Tech University in 2011. She then completed a one year post-doctoral fellowship in MFT followed by a one year appointment as a visiting assistant professor of MFT, both at the University of Connecticut.


  • PhD in MFT from Texas Tech University, 2011
  • MS in MFT from Auburn University, 2009
  • BS in Marriage, Family & Human Development from BYU, 2007

Research Interests

My research interest broadly encompasses processes and resources which sustain trauma symptoms as well as aid rehabilitation in trauma affected populations. I tend to utilize stress and resource theories as my foundational lens in examining these issues.

My emphasis of topical interest is in mass trauma events. Specifically, I am interested in the relational, contextual, and socio-cultural issues which influence trauma symptoms and recovery in individuals, families, and communities affected by natural disaster. I have conducted research in Sri Lanka and the US with disaster and war affected populations.

Professional Affiliations

  • American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists
  • National Council on Family Relations
  • Society for Prevention Research
  • American Psychological Association, Division 56, Trauma Psychology

Recent Publications

  • Hee, C., Witting, A., & Sandberg, J. (forthcoming). Family adversity and relationship quality for Pacific Islanders and the mediating role of coming to terms, self-esteem, and depression. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy.
  • Witting, A., & Bagley, L. (forthcoming). Theoretical Overview of Disaster Stressors and Responses: Relational and Clinical Implications. The intersection of trauma and disaster behavioral health.
  • Marshall, K., & Witting, A. (forthcoming). We shall overcome: The association between family of origin adversity, coming to terms, and relationship quality in African Americans. In .
  • Witting, A., Lambert, J., Johnson, L., Goodkin, C., & Wickrama, T. (2019). The Stigma of Widowhood in War and Disaster Affected Communities of Sri Lanka: Contextual Paths Between Trauma Exposure and Mental Health Distress. International Journal of Psychology.
  • Banker, J., Witting, A., & Jensen, J. (2019). Hormones and childhood trauma: Links between the physical and psychological. The Family Journal.
  • Wieling, E., Utrzan, D., & Witting, A. (forthcoming). Global Mental Health, Traumatic Stress, and Displaced Families. The handbook of systemic family therapy, Volume 4. Systemic Family Therapy and Global Health Issues.
  • Grady, J., Witting, A., Kim, A., & Davis, S. (2017). Differences in Unit Cohesion and Combat-Related Mental Health Problems Based on Attachment Styles in US Military Veterans. Contemporary Family Therapy.
  • Witting, A. (2017). PTSD symptoms among Tsunami exposed mothers in Sri Lanka: The role of disaster exposure, culturally-specific coping strategies and recovery efforts.. , 30(4), 415–427.
  • Witting, A. (2017). Subjective reactions to international research participation: An illustration of ethical considerations with women heading households in Sri Lanka.. .
  • Witting, A. (2017). “We walk on eggshells”: A phenomenological inquiry of wives’ experiences of living with active-duty Marine husbands with PTSD. , 20(2), 162–181.
  • Witting, A., Lambert, J., & Wickrama, T. (2016). Cumulative effects of multiple traumas in women widowed by war and disaster in the developing world: The case of Sri Lanka. International perspectives on traumatic stress: Theory, access, and mental health services.
  • Witting, A. B. (2016). Evaluating the Utility of MFT Models in the Treatment of Trauma: Implications for Affect Regulation. , 38(3), 262–271.
  • Witting, A. (2016). The role of natural disaster in individual and relational adjustment in Sri Lankan mothers following the 2004 tsunami. , 40(1), 134–157.
  • Witting, A. (2016). War & disaster in Sri Lanka: Depression, family functioning and health among women heading households. , 62(5), 425–433.
  • Witting, A. B. (2016). War and disaster in Sri Lanka: Implications for widows’ family adjustment and perception of self-efficacy in caring for one’s family. .
  • Witting, A. (2015). Ecofeminism and natural disasters: Sri Lankan women post-tsunami.. , 16(2), 170–187.
  • Witting, A. (2014). Physical health problem intrusion linking religious attributions to marital satisfaction in survivors of the 2004 tsunami. , 4(1).
  • Witting, A. (2014). Strategies for managing difficult clinical situations in between sessions. In (pp. 413–425). American Journal of Family Therapy.
  • Witting, A., & Tambling, R. (2014). Symbols of practice: A guided exploration of roles and themes in MFT training cohorts. Increased Self-Awareness: Experiential Exercises for Dedicated Clinicians and Supervisors.
  • Witting, A. (2014). The relationship between family-of-origin experiences and current family violence: Mediation by attachment and mental health. .
  • Witting, A. (2013). Experiences of MFTs working with intimate partner violence. , 24, 1–16.
  • Witting, A. (2012). Posttraumatic stress symptoms and perceived safety as predictors of dyadic adjustment: A test of mediation and moderation. , 40, 349–362.
  • Witting, A. (2011). The relationship between physical health problems and couple violence and conflict in survivors of the 2004 Tsunami: Mediation by marital satisfaction.. , 29, 149–170.