Cecile Gunn

Office: Psychology, McConnell Hall, Durham, NH 03824
photo of Cecile Gunn Desmond

Dr. Gunn Desmond completed her PhD in Counseling Psychology and Religion at Boston University and a two-year post-doctoral fellowship at The Trauma Center at Justice Resource Institute in Brookline, MA. She worked at Commonwealth Psychology Associates in Boston, MA as a staff psychologist for two years and then opened a private practice in Needham, MA. Dr. Gunn Desmond currently is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychology at The University of New Hampshire and is a licensed psychologist in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. She continues to provide consultation to schools in the Boston area regarding students who have experienced trauma and how they cope and learn in school settings, as well as professional development on Religious Diversity.
Dr. Gunn Desmond particularly enjoys teaching clinical courses and mentoring psychology students interested in entering the clinical field. She brings philosophical perspectives into her teaching, such that students are challenged to think critically beyond their location in time and culture, and challenged to place their learning within a history of ideas.
Dr. Gunn Desmond’s research interests include the intersection of psychology and religious and spiritual issues, how this intersection is experienced in psychotherapy, and specifically how traumatic experiences alter individuals’ religious faith or spiritual values. Dr. Gunn Desmond is also interest in exploring the psychological factors that influence the formation of and change within individuals’ systems of beliefs. This includes how people hold their religious or spiritual beliefs, how beliefs might remain static or develop over time, or how beliefs move from simple to more complex formulations.


  • Ph.D., Religious Studies, Boston University
  • M.Div., Boston University
  • B.A., Randolph-Macon Wom Coll

Research Interests

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychodynamics
  • Psychotherapy
  • Religious Studies
  • Traumatic Stress Disorders

Courses Taught

  • PSYC 402: Statistics in Psychology
  • PSYC 561: Abnormal Behavior
  • PSYC 595: Appl Psyc/Research Experience
  • PSYC 762: Counseling
  • PSYC 793: Internship
  • PSYC 794: Advanced Internship
  • PSYC 797: Senior Honors Tutorial

Selected Publications

Warner, E., Spinazzola, J., Westcott, A., Gunn, C., & Hodgdon, H. (2014). The Body Can Change the Score: Empirical Support for Somatic Regulation in the Treatment of Traumatized Adolescents. Journal of Child & Adolescent Trauma, 7(4), 237-246. doi:10.1007/s40653-014-0030-z

Most Cited Publications