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A Crash Course In Marriage and Family Therapy with Thorana Nelson, Ph.D.

Marriage and family therapy has become the treatment of choice for a number of behavioral health problems including substance abuse, childhood behavior problems, and marital distress. Research has shown that MFT is an effective intervention, often outperforming individual treatments. In this institute, participants will not only learn about the cutting-edge of marriage and family therapy interventions, but also the foundational models that support many of these newer approaches.

This institute is specifically designed for mental health practitioners who want to obtain an understanding of the major family therapy models and their theoretical underpinnings. This may include professionals from other healthcare disciplines who are seeking formal training in systems theory and family therapy. The institute is also ideal for marriage and family therapists who are looking for a refresher in the major models, and some of the evidence-based models, before sitting for the licensing exam.

Through pre-institute readings, lectures, videos, discussion, and exercises, participants can expect to learn or re-learn foundational material in family therapy. Attendees will also discover how this material contributes to newer, evidence-based models, learn what populations are best served by these models, and gain practice in using the tools of the models.

 The course will cover:

  • Systems therapy and concepts that underlie marriage and family therapy
  • Foundational marriage and family therapy models, including: communication, structural, strategic, Bowen family systems and other transgenerational models, symbolic-experiential, and solution-focused therapy
  • Methods for integrating models of therapy
  • Emerging and evidence-based models, including multisystemic therapy, multidimensional family therapy, functional family therapy, emotionally focused therapy, and Gottman couple therapy
  • Ethical and legal issues in the delivery of marriage and family therapy
  • Indications and contraindications of marriage and family therapy.

Course Schedule

Thursday, March 7, 2013 – Sunday, March 10, 2013

8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. each day

This course provides 20 hours of continuing education.

Thorana Nelson, PhD, is an AAMFT Clinical Fellow and Approved Supervisor, is a professor emerita at Utah State University and former director of the COAMFTE-accredited marriage and family therapy program. Dr. Nelson is the editor and co-editor of several books, including 101 Interventions in Family Therapy and 101 More Interventions in Family Therapy, Tales from Family Therapy: Life-changing Experiences, Education and Training in Solution-focused Brief Therapy, Handbook of Solution-focused Brief Therapy: Clinical Applications, Solution-focused brief practices with long-term users of mental health services: “I’m more than my label,” and her latest book, Doing Something Different: Solution-focused Brief Practices. She is currently working on an MFT supervision book with Robert E. Lee.


Continuing Education

The AAMFT Institutes are approved to provide continuing education for marriage and family therapists and allied professionals by most major mental health organizations.


Place your company's fliers, brochures, or other promotional pieces in all Institute attendees' informational packets. These packets will be handed to each attendee (approximately 150 - 200) upon arrival at the Institutes.

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Hotel & Travel

AAMFT is happy to announce a partnership with two exquisite hotels in Santa Fe for our 2013 Institutes for Advanced Clinical Training.

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American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy
112 South Alfred Street Alexandria, VA 22314-3061
Phone: (703) 838-9808 | Fax: (703) 838-9805

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