Oliva Espin

Oliva M. Espín, Ph.D.

Oliva M. Espín is Professor Emerita in the Department of Women’s Studies at San Diego State University and the California School of Professional Psychology of Alliant International University. Dr. Espín was a pioneer in the practice and theory of feminist psychology and psychotherapy with women from different cultural backgrounds, for which she has received multiple awards from the American Psychological Association, the Association for Women in Psychology and other professional organizations. A native of Cuba, she received her BA in Psychology from the University of Costa Rica and her PhD from the University of Florida. She did post-doctoral work at Harvard University with a fellowship from NIMH, studying Latina healers. Dr. Espín held the Fulbright Distinguished Chair in Gender Studies at the University of Klagenfurt, Austria. Throughout her career, she has taught psychology of women, the psychology of immigrants and refugees, women saints, and other topics. She has presented at national and international conferences and published many articles and books on psychology and psychotherapy of Latinas, women immigrant and refugees, women’s sexuality, language in therapy with fluent bilinguals, historical memory and memoir, feminist and psychological understandings of the lives and writings of women saints. She recently published Gendered Journeys: Women, Migration, and Feminist Psychology (2015). Her most recent books are Women, Sainthood, and Power: A Feminist Psychology of Cultural Constructions (2019) and My Native Land is Memory: Stories of a Cuban Childhood (2020).