Luis F. Morales Knight

Luis F. Morales Knight, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor in the Graduate School of Psychology

Nominally he/him, but any pronouns are fine

Office Hours: See "website" link above for online booking.


Dr. Knight grew up on the Central Coast and was influenced early on by growing up biracial / bicultural (Mexican-American) and bilingual (Spanish and English) in semi-rural / agricultural communities. He earned a B.A. in Linguistics at UC Santa Barbara, studying Modern Standard Mandarin (普通话, Pǔtōnghuà), Japanese, Catalan, German, and Modern Standard Arabic (الفصحى, al-Fuṣḥā). He also studied abroad at the University of Barcelona, taking Linguistics classes taught in Spanish and Catalan. He worked for several years as administrative staff at UC Los Angeles before returning to school, completing an M.A. in Psychology at Pepperdine University before being admitted to doctoral study at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, where he earned an M.A. and a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology. 

Dr. Knight's early clinical training at Nebraska emphasized delivery of manualized CBT treatments for anxiety disorders in adults, studying under Debra Hope, a leader in the area of social anxiety disorder. His predoctoral internship at the University of Nebraska Medical Center's Munroe-Meyer Institute for Genetics and Rehabilitation, and his postdoctoral fellowship at the Boys Town Center for Behavioral Health both emphasized behavioral-pediatric psychology, which is a functional-analytic approach to common behavioral problems of childhood, emphasizing behavioral parent training. At Boys Town, he trained under Patrick Friman, a major figure in the world of behavior analysis. Since then, his clinical practice has increasingly moved into the clinical behavior analysis space, emphasizing contextual behavioral science (CBS) approaches, including Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Relational Frame Theory (RFT). He has had the privilege of completing advanced trainings and participating in consultation groups led by luminaries in the CBS field, including Steven Hayes, Kelly Wilson, and Kirk Strosahl, the originators of ACT, as well as with Louise Hayes (co-originator of the DNA-V model), Patti Robinson, Lisa Coyne, Emily Sandoz, and others. 

After completing his postdoc, Dr. Knight was hired as Director of Behavioral Health for Boys Town's satellite location in Orange County, California, a post he held for several years before co-founding a private practice clinic, Child and Adolescent Behavioral Health Center. While he remains a co-owner of the business, his professional effort is now primarily dedicated to graduate education and research in CLU's Psy.D. Program, where he supervises trainees in the program's ACT track and teaches courses on child and adolescent psychopathology; sex and gender disorders; and clinical interviewing skills. Teaching is his passion, and when he isn't stalking around the classroom, holding forth on the topic of the day, he is constantly tinkering with and tweaking his methods and approaches. He is presently developing his use of the Interteaching method (Boyce & Hineline, 2002), a behavior-analytic set of classroom arrangements that decenters the professor(!), requires students to take ownership of their learning via independent discussion, and focuses lectures on the points students most need explained and clarified.  

At home, Dr. Knight and his wife, a clinical trials manager and artist, are very much engaged in raising their two children, who are their most constant teachers about what's most important in life. In his leisure time, he drives up and down the coast visiting family, reads science fiction and fantasy, plays video games, and pesters his social-media friends with posts about how great his kids are. 


B.A. in Linguistics, University of California Santa Barbara (2001)

M.A. in Psychology, Pepperdine University (2006)

M.A. in Clinical Psychology, University of Nebraska–Lincoln (2008)

Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, University of Nebraska–Lincoln (2012)


Predoctoral Internship in behavioral-pediatric psychology, University of Nebraska Medical Center Munroe-Meyer Institute for Genetics and Rehabilitation (2011)

Postdoctoral Fellowship in behavioral-pediatric psychology, Boys Town Center for Behavioral Health (2013)

Advanced clinical training in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Relational Frame Theory (RFT) and clinical behavior analysis


Licensed Psychologist in California (PSY 25916)

Member of the Association for Contextual Behavioral Science (ACBS)

Clinical interests: Clinical behavior analysis (ACT, RFT, and related models); parenting interventions; child, adolescent, and young adult clients.

Research interests: Sexual orientation and gender identity. Linguistic diversity and multilingualism. Behavior theory and philosophy of science. 


Morales Knight, L. F. (2012). Dimensions of individuals’ judgements about sexual attraction, romantic attachment, and sexual orientation. (Doctoral dissertation). Available at

Morales Knight, L. F., & Hope, D. A. (2012). Correlates of same-sex attractions and behaviors among self-identified heterosexual university students. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 41, 1199–1208. doi:10.1007/s10508-012-9927-5

Warzak, W. J., Morales Knight, L. F., Evans, S., & Dogan, R. (2012). Dietary caffeine and young children: Implications for health. In V. R. Preedy (Ed.), Food and Nutritional Components in Focus: Caffeine (pp. 353–368). London, UK: Royal Society of Chemistry.

Morales Knight, L. F., & Hope, D. A. (2010). What clinicians and researchers should know about sexual orientation. The Clinical Psychologist, 63(4), 21.

Hoffman, A. J., Morales Knight, L. F., & Wallach, J. (2007). Gardening activities, education, and self-esteem: Learning outside the classroom. Urban Education, 42, 403–411.

Conference Presentations

McGinnis, J. C., Gallant, J., & Morales Knight, L. F. (2015). Symposium on primary care ABA: The Boys Town behavioral health clinics. Symposium presentation at the 35th Annual Meeting of The Florida Association for Behavior Analysis (FABA), September 30–October 3, Daytona Beach, FL.

Mihalas, S. T., Morales Knight, L. F., Kovatch, K. H., & Martin, J. M. (2015). Family therapy across cultures: When the outsider is invited in. Symposium presentation at the 123rd American Psychological Association (APA) Annual Convention, August 6–9, 2015, Toronto, ON, Canada.

Zúñiga, D. M., Morales Knight, L. F., Mihalas, S. T., & Kaplan, J. S. (2015). Mindfulness, theory, and practice: Childhood through the end-of-life. Symposium presentation at the 123rd American Psychological Association (APA) Annual Convention, August 6–9, 2015, Toronto, ON, Canada.

Morales Knight, L. F., & Hope, D. A. (2011). Assessing sexual orientation and other methodological issues in research with sexual minority participants. Panel discussion at the 45th Annual Convention of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT), November 10–13, 2011, Toronto, ON, Canada.

Weiss, B. J., Emge, T. M., Stoyanova, M., Singh, J. S., Morales Knight, L. F., & Hope, D. A. (2010). Worry related to sexual orientation among sexual minorities: The impact of stigma. In Social Stigma and Obstacles to Care Giving: Empiricism and Policy, a symposium conducted at the 8th Biennial Conference of the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (SPSSI), June 24–27, 2010, New Orleans, LA.

Morales Knight, L. F., Weiss, B. J., Chaplain, J. S., Stoyanova, M., Emge, T. M., & Hope, D. A. (2009). Understanding social anxiety among lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals: Its nature and differential presentation. Symposium presentation at the 43rd Annual Convention of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT), November 19–22, 2009, New York, NY.

Morales Knight, L. F., & Hope, D. A. (2008). A preliminary look at nondiscrimination policies of ABCT members’ affiliations. Presentation at the 42nd Annual Convention of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT), November 13–16, 2008, Orlando, FL.

Hope, D. A., Emge, T., & Morales Knight, L. F. (2008). Impact of public policy on sexual minorities. Symposium presentation at the 7th Biennial Convention of the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (SPSSI), June 27–29, 2008, Chicago, IL.