Career Development

Sunday, October 8, 7:45 – 8:45 a.m.


The career development track is designed to provide marriage and family therapists with tools to rise to the top of the mental health field. These sessions focus on developing and enhancing skills in sub-specialties of the profession. 1 hour of Continuing Education credit available.



Advocacy Skills Needed Promoting MFT Jobs in Healthcare Settings

Claudia Grauf-Grounds

Deepu George

Jennifer Hodgson

MFTs are often unaware of how to advocate for the best interests of their profession at local-, state-, and national- levels. There are several major policies that need to be passed that will help ease the work of MFTs in healthcare settings. This session will help attendees to understand how to engage politicians across different levels of government in conversations about legislation, constructing emails/letters/white papers, do radio/television advertisements, and write policy briefs as advocacy tools.  Presenters will also provide templates for important conversations that MFTs can adapt for future use in these efforts.



MFTs as Systems Consultants: Predicaments and Possibilities

Shatavia Thomas

This session will highlight how MFTs are uniquely suited to serve as systems consultants. Consulting opportunities will be reviewed, along with information about role clarification and consultation stages. Systems consultation, though distinct from therapy, involves similar processes of joining, assessing, and collaborating on meaningful change. The presenter will reflect upon lessons learned during a consulting experience with a nonprofit agency.



Couples in Business: Tools for Entrpreneurial Relationships

Robert Patterson

Wendy Palmer Patterson

While there are over 3 million couples in the US who are in business together, many do not have the support/education for navigating the human side of working together. This session will provide therapists with tools to increase compassion, empowerment, and respect in couples in business together and to create a more effective partnership with increased communication effectiveness.



Doing What You Love: Making Private Practice a Thriving Career Option

Heather Holmgren

Carly Ostler

Many MFT's dream of eventually settling in to private practice. However, sessions, books, online forums and other professionals point to the difficulty of successful practice building. This session will tackle the myths of private practice building and demonstrate the basics of successful practice building, including sharing "trade secrets" that can promote a thriving practice.


Mentoring MFT Ambassadors

Scott Edwards

Shawn Whitney

Presenters will reflect and present on key aspects of their successful 15 plus year mentoring relationship across academic, agency, private practice, MFT profession, and supervising contexts. Participants will discuss, explore, and idenitfy how to integrate these aspects into their mentoring relationships, career development, and own professional journey.



Calling Dr. Google: Big Data Insights Into Help-Seeking Souls

Kelly Roberts

This forum will provide key insights into how search engine "big data" sets can be utilized by therapists to maximize reader engagement and action toward seeking services. Google's "front page" is used as a framework to help therapists refine their internet efforts.



Finding Your Voice to Flourish and Advocate as Beginning MFTs

Jessica ChenFeng

Dana Stone

This session will give voice to current students/interns through supportive discussions about challenges related to personal statuses including race, ethnicity, and gender, etc. with peers, faculty, supervisors, and clients on their journey to becoming an MFT. With increased self-awareness, therapists will be able to advance the profession with advocacy and outreach with diverse communities in need of clinical services .



MFTs and Family-Centered Care Eating Disorder Treatment Models

Lisa Geraud

Learn how family-centered care (FCC) in the treatment of biogenetically-mediated psychiatric illnesses such as eating disorders (ED) is distinct from traditional family therapy (FT) interventions while integrating skills of MFTs. Attendees will learn 1) components of the bio-psycho-social model for EDs, 2) interventions utilizing core tenets of FCC, 3) treatment priorities suited to the FCC approach using  MFT's skillsets.



Blogging to Market Your Practice and the Profession

Shelby Riley

Blogging is an effective way to market a private practice as well as familiarize the public with the specialized work of MFTs. This session will cover several different avenues for blogging, as well as the Do's and Don'ts associated with blogging as a clinical professional, including legal and ethical considerations.