November / December 2020 Volume 19, No. 6

Mental Health Apps: Homework for the Digital Age

Jane, a 16-year-old female and high school sophomore, presented to therapy following a recent incident of cutting. Jane’s mom discovered fresh cut marks on Jane’s arm, and several bloody tissues in the trash can and bloody residue in the bathtub. Concerned, Jane’s mom scheduled an appointment with Kim, a 40-year-old licensed marriage and family therapist [...]

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September / October 2020 Volume 19, No. 5

Integrating Geek Therapy and Narrative Family Therapy

After playing a random game of Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) one night, I noticed myself contemplate how I could incorporate D&D into my practice. I shared this with a friend who told me about Geek Therapy Community, a Facebook page dedicated to professionals interested in Geek Therapy and integrating it into clinical, research, and school [...]

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September / October 2020 Volume 19, No. 5

Academic Writing: MFT Students’ Struggles

Writing is an important skill, but academic writing is unique and involves its own formal style (e.g., organization of concepts and ideas using a specific structure, ideas supported by references and citations, its tone reflects scientific objectivity, etc.; Paltridge, 2004). Marriage and family therapy (MFT) programs strive to support students develop writing skills to help [...]

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September / October 2020 Volume 19, No. 5

It Is All About Relationships

What Family Therapists Should Know and Consider About Their Approach. Family therapy, or “systemic therapy,” as it is better described, is a holistic process that espouses to resolve problems through relational healing, but is it practiced that way? It is hard to imagine how our family of origin, with its ever-evolving interactive contexts is not [...]

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July / August 2020 Volume 19, No. 4

How the Death of a Child Can Impact a Marriage

As our community copes with the emotional fallout of living through the COVID-19 pandemic, thousands of families are suffering from various forms of loss. Married couples are under more stress and strain due to the loss of a job, illness, or the death of a family member. The death of a child is one of [...]

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July / August 2020 Volume 19, No. 4

Barriers to Incarcerated Parenting and How MFTs Can Help

Every year, about 1.9 million children in the United States have a parent in a state or federal prison (Davis & Shlafer, 2017). Alarmingly, children of incarcerated parents struggle with a variety of problems that could have implications on their adulthood lives. For example, 70% of children with incarcerated parents have emotional or psychological disorders, [...]

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May / June 2020 Volume 19, No. 3

Climate Change for Clinicians

There is growing awareness in the popular culture of both climate change and its impacts on mental health. Two out of three Americans (66%) report they are “somewhat worried” about global warming, and 30% are “very worried,” a nearly threefold increase since 2014 (Leiserowitz et al., 2019). In 2020, it is now possible to enroll [...]

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March / April 2020 Volume 19, No. 2

Family Member Transgender Disclosures

In brief: • Non-normative family transitions are part of the life cycle of a family • Disclosure by a family member that he or she (or preferred pronoun) is transgender constitutes a new form of non-normative family transition that is not well understood • Including transgender persons as part of the family often conflicts with [...]

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January / February 2020 Volume 19, No. 1

Four Metaphors Useful in Couple Therapy

Maladaptive couple processes are a core feature of couples in distress and are among the best predictors of marital decline (Gottman, Coan, Carrera, & Swanson, 1998; Lebow, Chambers, Christensen, & Johnson, 2012). The likelihood of therapeutic success is maximized when the therapist and the couple focus on this pathological dance, in which the emotional music [...]

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