Linda E. Benavides

Linda E. Benavides, PhD, LMSW

  • Associate Professor

Affiliated Programs


  • PhD, Social Work (2009)
    University of Texas--Arlington (TX)
  • MSSW, Social Work (1999)
    University of Texas--Austin (TX)
  • BA, Psychology (1997)
    Sul Ross State University (TX)

About Me

My goal as a social work educator is to facilitate the process of students' learning, providing opportunities for students to challenge themselves and grow in a safe and supportive environment. One of the ways I do this is by creating reflective, experiential learning opportunities in and out of the classroom that encourage critical thinking and provide transformational experiences. I endeavor to provide students with the opportunities to process with one another and me during class time. I provide opportunities for small group and large group discussions and space for processing feelings, emotions, thoughts, etc. that come from growing.

As I believe it is important to bring the field into the classroom, I incorporate my own practice experience as a LMSW into class lectures, discussions, and activities. Having been in the field gives me as an instructor the real-world application to course content. I am able to take them beyond the textbook to real-life practice situations they will face as social workers. I have always considered myself a strengths-based social worker. As a social work educator, I believe in incorporating the strengths students bring with them into the class. I encourage students to share their practice, research, and life experiences into class discussions so that we can all learn from one another.

I am continuously growing as a social work educator. I believe that one never stops growing but rather refines with time and adjusts to the needs of the students.

Research Interests

My research interests have always been guided by my desire to contribute to the practice literature in the area of family violence. During my work with survivors of family violence, I was struck by the resilience of children and adolescents, who despite being exposed to the most harrowing of circumstances, were not just moving forward but in many cases were thriving. This has guided my research on resiliency and protective factors for children and adolescents exposed to violence, focusing on spirituality as a strength individuals possess. I am interested in spirituality not only as a protective factor for children and adolescents but also the process of spiritual development from childhood to adolescence. I have published scholarly articles and presented at international and national conferences on my research interests.


  • Benavides, L.E. (2020). “Spirituality heals: The Maya-grief & loss” In B. Counselman Carpenter, and A. Redcay (Eds.), Working with grief and traumatic loss: Theory, practice, personal self-care and reflection for clinicians (226-233). San Diego, CA: Cognella.

  • Benavides, L.E. (2015). Protective factors in children and adolescents exposed to intimate partner violence: An empirical research review. Child & Adolescent Social Work Journal, 32(2), 93–107.

  • Benavides, L.E. (2014). Spiritual journey from childhood to adolescence: Pathways to strength and healing. Journal of Religion & Spirituality in Social Work: Social Thought, 33(3–4), 201–217.

  • Benavides, L.E. (2012). A phenomenological study of spirituality as a protective factor for adolescents exposed to domestic violence. Journal of Social Service Research, 38(2), 165–174.

Professional Affiliations & Memberships

Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), Society for Social Work & Research (SSWR)