Heather Morgan-Sowada Headshot

Heather Morgan-Sowada

Assistant Professor of Marriage and Family Therapy

Profession

PhD The University of Iowa
2018 | Psychological and Quantitative Foundations,
Specialization in Couple and Family Therapy

MA Mount Mercy University
2012 | Marriage and Family Therapy

BA Mount Mercy University
2009 | Psychology

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Iowa
AAMFT Approved Supervisor
Clinical Member of AAMFT
Resolute Therapy, LLC

Masters

Practicum in MFT I - III
Micro-counseling
Ethical and Professional Issues in MFT
Research Methods in Family Therapy
Psychopathology and the Family

Doctoral

Advanced Research Methods I in MFT
Advanced Research Methods II in MFT
Advanced Ethics in MFT

Publications

Morgan-Sowada, H. (2018) Relationships and attachment in individuals with body dysmorphic disorder: A qualitative study (Unpublished doctoral dissertation – in 2-year embargo for other publication purposes). University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA.

Gamboni, C., Gutierrez, D., Morgan-Sowada, H. (2018) Mental Health Organization’s Varied Stances on Sexual Orientation Change Effort (SOCE) Practices. American Journal of Marriage and Family
Therapy, 46(1), 96-105. DOI:10.1080/01926187.2018.1437572 Impact factor .48*

Presentations and Posters

Morgan-Sowada, H., Chaimberlain, T., & Wojciak, A. (2019, August) Parent-Child Bonds, Childhood Maltreatment and Suicide attempts in Individuals with Body Dysmorphic Disorder. Research presentation at the annual meeting of the American Association for Marriage and Family
Therapy (AAMFT) Conference, Austin, Texas.

Gamboni, C., Gutierrez, D. & Morgan-Sowada, H. (2017, October) Mental Health Organization’s Varied Stances on Sexual Orientation Change Effort (SOCE) Practices. Poster presentation at the
annual meeting of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT)
Conference, Atlanta, Georgia.

Morgan-Miller, H. (2017, April) Body Dysmorphic Disorder: Viewing BDD Through a Family Systems Lens. Guest speaker presentation at the annual meeting of the Iowa Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (IAMFT) Conference, Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Morgan-Miller, H., Benoit-Pagano, J., & Wojciak, A.. (2016, September) Parent-Child Bonds, Suicide, and Body Dysmorphic Disorder. Poster presentation at the annual meeting of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) Conference, Indianapolis, Indiana.

Morgan-Miller, H. (2016, September) Treatment of Body Dysmorphic Disorder with Systems Theory. Poster presentation at the annual meeting of the American Association for Marriage and
Family Therapy (AAMFT) Conference, Indianapolis, Indiana.

Benoit, J., Morgan-Miller, H., & Wojciak, A. (2015, June) Parent-Child Bonding and its Relationship with Suicidal Ideation in Youth with BDD. Poster Presentation at the annual meeting of the American Family Therapy Academy, Vancouver, Washington.

Article Presentation: titled: "A Call for a Ban on Conversion Therapy." Presented for Ethical and
Professional Issues in Marriage and Family Therapy Course in fall 2016.

Poster Presentation: titled: "Solution Focused Brief Therapy: An Alternative Treatment for Body
Dysmorphic Disorder? And Consequent Effects on Brain Structures." Presented for Research
Methods course in fall of 2013.

Guest Speaker/Presenter: titled: “MFT’s and Your Community,” Presented for Family Law Attorneys at Simmons, Perrine, Moyer, Bergman Law Firm in fall 2019.
Guest on podcast “Conversations with Interesting People” with Dr. Adam Woods, summer 2019.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZLjyohqgAco

Member of GPCC, Mount Mercy University.
Member of Gender Sexuality Alliance (GSA), Mount Mercy University
Iowa Association of Marriage and Family Therapy (Member from 2010 – 2018).
Guest Speaker/Educator to Center Point Urbana Elementary School teachers and administrators,
presentation on “How to best support students with Gender Dysphoria, and their parents.”
Guest Lecture, Introduction to Counseling, Undergraduate course, presentation on Gender Dysphoria, Mount Mercy University.
Professional opinion: Interview with local news channel, KGAN regarding mental health disparity in Iowa.
Elections Chair, Board Member of Iowa Association of Marriage and Family Therapy.
Student Interviewer, spring 2016, University of Iowa, Couple and Family Therapy Program.
Student Representative, Mount Mercy University, Marriage and Family Therapy Program.

About

Heather Morgan-Sowada is a licensed marriage and family therapist in the state of Iowa.

For the last six years, she has been treating individuals, couples, and families in private practice at Cornerstone Brief Therapy, Inc.—in both Cedar Rapids and Coralville. Prior to Mount Mercy and Cornerstone, she worked in a variety of mental health settings, including a psychiatric medical institution for children and a community mental health agency performing in-home behavioral health counseling services. 

An alumna of Mount Mercy's marriage and family therapy master's program, Morgan-Sowada is currently earning a PhD in couple and family therapy in the Psychological and Quantitative Foundations Department at the University of Iowa. She has obtained All But Dissertation (ABD) status and graduates in May 2018. Her dissertation explores the roles that relationships and attachment play in the development, maintenance, and recovery for individuals diagnosed with Body Dysmorphic Disorder. She has been published in the American Journal of Family Therapy.  

Morgan-Sowada has worked as the clinical coordinator of the LGBTQ Counseling Clinic at the University of Iowa and is passionate about providing services to the LGBTQ community, especially working with transgender youth and adults. She is a clinical member of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT), served as a board member of the Iowa Association of Marriage and Family Therapy (elections chair), and is an AAMFT Approved Supervisor Candidate. She was awarded the Mental Health Champion Award at the Iowa Mental Health Counselor Association’s 2017 annual conference. 

In Spring 2016, Morgan-Sowada founded The Body Dysmorphic Disorder Clinic of Iowa—located at Cornerstone Brief Therapy, Inc. The BDD Clinic's mission is, "From out of the darkness and into the light. One solution at a time." As a recovering sufferer of BDD, Morgan-Sowada understands just how debilitating this disorder is and has devoted her career to learning more about effective treatment for BDD, especially through a family systems lens. 

Morgan-Sowada practices solution-focused brief therapy and recognizes that the patient is the expert in their own life. She works collaboratively with individuals, couples, and families to find unique solutions to the complex problems endured by sufferers of BDD. She believes that focusing on client strengths, not weaknesses, elicits hope and leaves room for meaningful and long lasting change. Through treatment, sufferers can feel empowered to change their life and take control of their BDD symptoms.