Next 'Healthy Relationships' Lecture to Focus on the Role of Fathers

Dr. Kirsten Lind Seal, a faculty member in the Marriage and Family Therapy Graduate Program at St. Mary's University of Minnesota, will discuss “The Changing Face of Fatherhood: Cultural Context and Challenges” in a lecture at 6 p.m. Monday, April 27, in Woulfe Alumni Hall in Anderson Student Center on the St. Paul campus of the University of St. Thomas.

The lecture, free and open to the public, is sponsored by St. Thomas’ Family Studies Program. Free pizza and soda will be served.

Dr. Kirsten Lind Seal

Dr. Kirsten Lind Seal

“The role of fathers in society is often viewed through the lens of a deficit model, or in other words, examining the effects of absent fathers in families,” said Dr. Carol Bruess, director of the Family Studies Program. “In her talk, Dr. Lind Seal will share the most recent research on fathers from a strengths-based perspective while also exploring struggles fathers from a variety of cultures often face when discerning how to ‘be a father’ in mainstream U.S. culture.

“Original research on positive father-child relationships will be presented, as well as an overview of the fatherhood literature to date. This strengths-based presentation will include the use of clinical examples designed to help family studies students, lay people, members of families, clinicians, researchers and teachers – anyone interested in family relationships – broaden their perspectives of fathering.

“Dr. Lind Seal’s talk will encourage a culturally sensitive and inclusive way to work with, be in, and think about, all families – and thus, how to have healthier relationships in them,” Bruess said.

Lind Seal earned her doctorate in family social science from the University of Minnesota, and also holds a master’s in counseling psychology. In addition to teaching, she is a marriage and family therapist in private practice in the Twin Cities. She was born in the Netherlands, grew up in Burma, has lived in France and Italy and traveled extensively. Her research focus is on supporting and strengthening relationships: within families and couples; between fathers and daughters; with youth in the LGBTQ community; and within immigrant and refugee families, especially concerning human rights issues and cross-cultural family systems.

Lind Seal’s talk is the second in the Healthy Relationships Series sponsored by Family Studies. The program offers an interdisciplinary major and minor designed to educate students about families and the role of families in building healthy persons, relationships and communities.

Members of the St. Thomas Family Studies faculty will be available before and after the lecture to answer questions about the program.