About Us
Carm De Santis
Carm De Santis
Department of Sexuality, Marriage, & Family Studies

MSc, University of Guelph

BA, University of Guelph




SH 2223
Professor Carm DeSantis

I am constantly exploring innovative ways to weave theory and research into my practice as an educator, researcher, clinician, and supervisor. I have been teaching in the Department of Sexuality, Marriage, and Family Studies since 2005, and have had the opportunity to facilitate courses that focus on the principals and practices of systemic thinking, social justice, inclusivity, and anti-oppression.  In doing so, I aim to support learners in conceptualizing and applying these practices into meaningful and therapeutic interventions while attending to intersecting identities in diverse contexts.


I find myself invigorated by my interactions and conversations with students, clinical supervisees, and colleagues that tackle questions about justice, accessibility, and diversity, and that interrogate colonialism, white supremacy, and patriarchy.  My passion for lifelong learning and interdisciplinary training afford me the opportunity to work collaboratively with researchers and clinicians from various disciplines (e.g., sexology, family studies, social psychology, social work, counselling, medicine).


My broad areas of research and clinical interests transverse sexual and relational well-being over the lifespan; diversity, inclusivity, and social justice; experiential learning; and self-reflection and transformational learning.  My current focus is on consensual non-monogamy, inclusionary practices, and the constructs of pleasure.


I am currently completing my Doctorate in Family Relations and Human Development at the University of Guelph where I also obtained an M.Sc. in Couple and Family Therapy and a BA in Sociology.  I have over 25 years of clinical experience and continue to work as a relational/sex therapist and clinical supervisor.


The content that follows may only represent a portion of the CAS member's work.


Selected Publications and Presentations


Sakaluk, J. K., De Santis, C., Kilshaw, R., Pittelkow, M. M., Brandes, C. M., Boness, C. L., Botanov, Y., Williams, A. J., Wendt (2023). Reconsidering what makes syntheses of psychological intervention studies useful. Nature Reviews Psychology, 2(9), 569-583.


Hamilton, L.D., De Santis, C.,  & Thompson, A.E. (2021). Introduction to the Special Section on Consensual Non-Monogamy. Archive in Sexual Behaviours, 50(4), 1217-1223.


Wood, J.R., De Santis, C., Milhausen, R.R. & Desmariais, S. (2021). Motivations for engaging in consensually non-monogamous relationships. Archive in Sexual Behaviours, 50 (4), 1253-1272


De Santis, C., Wood, J.R., Desmariais, S. Milhausen, R.R., & Martin, S. (2018). The whys and whats of considering a consensually non-monogamous relationship. Oral presentation for Canadian Sex Research Forum, Toronto, Ontario.


Pileggi, V., Holliday, J., De Santis, C., Jeffrey, N., LaMarre, A., Tetro, M. & Rice, C. (2017). Becoming Scholars in an Interdisciplinary, Feminist Learning Context Feminist Teacher, 26 (29-52)


De Santis, C., Murray, S.H., Kohut, T., Milhausen, R.R. (2016). Good Gets Better? Examining the Impact of Prescribed Sexual Activity on Couples’ Sexual and Relationship Satisfaction. Sexual & Relationship Therapy, 34 (2), 173-192


Salaluk. J. & De Santis, C. (2016). Exclusion of Sexual Minority Group Members from Sexual Science: Estimates, Critiques, and Ways Forward. Oral presentation for Canadian Sex Research Forum, Quebec City, Quebec.


De Santis, C. & Serafini, T. (2015). Classroom to Community: Reflections on Experiential Learning and Socially Just Citizenship (pp. 87-112). In T. Light, J. Nicholas, and R. Bondy (Eds.), Feminist pedagogy in higher education: Critical theory and practice. Wilfrid Laurier University Press, Waterloo, ON.


De Santis C. (2015). Theorizing sexuality: Can sexuality studies be polyamorous? Presentation for Canadian Sex Research Forum, Kelowna, BC.


De Santis, C. (2013). The Normal/Abnormal Discourse in Sex Therapy. Presentation for the Canadian Sex Research Forum, Charlottetown, PEI.


De Santis, C. (2013). Goldilocks and the discourses of sexual pleasure. Presentation for International Society of Critical Health Psychology Biennial Conference, Yorkshire, United Kingdom.


De Santis, C. (2012). The sex & gender of pleasure. Presentation for CIHR Institute of Gender and Health Advancing Excellence in Gender, Sex and Health Research, Montreal, Quebec.


Serafini, T. & De Santis, C. (2011). Undergraduate students identify what fosters critical self-reflection in higher learning. In N. Simmons (Ed.), Opportunities and new directions: Canadian scholarship of teaching and learning, Volume 2. Waterloo, ON: Centre for Teaching Excellence (CTE), University of Waterloo.


SMF 101: Introduction to Relationships and Families

SMF 208: Introduction to Systemic Therapies and Anti-Oppressive Practices

SMF 305: Social Issues and Controversies in Human Sexuality

SMF 308: Relational Therapy

SMF 309: Sex Therapy

SMF 490: Practicum and Professional Ethics

SMF 491: Practicum and Applied Theory


Faculty Representative, SJU Experiential Learning Advisory Committee (2022-present)


Board of Directors (Chair), Supervisor’s Committee of the Board Examiners of Sex Therapist and Counsellor of Ontario (BESCTO) (2022-present)


Co-chair, Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) Working Group, Canadian Sex Research Forum (2020-present)


Faculty Representative, St. Jerome’s University Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion (EDI) Phase 1 Working Group (2020)


Clinical Certification Examiner, Board Examiners of Sex Therapist and Counsellor of Ontario (BESCTO) (2019-present)


Journal Guest Co-editor, Archives of Sexual Behaviour, Special Issue on Consensual Non-Monogamy (2019-2021)


Registered Supervisor, College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario (CRPO) (2018-present)


Approved Clinical Supervisor, Canadian Association of Marriage and Family Therapy (CAMFT) (2018-present)


Clinical Supervisor, Board Examiners of Sex Therapists and Counsellors of Ontario (BESTCO) (2017-present)


Approved Clinical Supervisor, American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy AAMFT (2017-present)


Registered Psychotherapist, College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario (CRPO) (2016-present)


Certified Sex Therapist, Board Examiners of Sex Therapists and Counsellors of Ontario (BESTCO) (2012-present)


Registered Marriage (Relational) and Family Therapist, Canadian Association of Marriage and Family Therapy (CAMFT) (2002-present)


Clinical Fellow, American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) (1999-present)


Clinical Fellow, Ontario Association of Marriage and Family Therapy (OAMFT) (1999-2018)