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Stone, D. J., & ChenFeng, J. (2016, June). Finding voice and flourishing as beginning MFTs. Workshop Session, American Family Therapy Academy Open Conference, Denver, CO.


Our intent with this workshop is to give voice to some of the challenges and difficult encounters related to statuses such as race, ethnicity, and gender (among others) students, trainees, and interns have with peers, faculty, supervisors, and clients on their journey to becoming a marriage and family therapist. While most MFT training programs work to promote multiculturally aware and sensitive therapists, the discussions related to the student therapist’s or intern’s experience of discrimination in the classroom, the therapy room, and/or supervision are not often facilitated. This topic is also not widely discussed in the literature. Ali et al., (2005) (from the book Voices of color: First person accounts of ethnic minority therapists) in their chapter on therapists of color speaking about their experiences with racism from colleagues, clients, and supervisors discuss the lack of opportunity for student therapists and interns to discuss these discriminatory experiences.  However, it is of critical importance to empower students to find their voice in these multiple contexts to share feelings, attitudes, and decisions connected to these experiences; without this, students with marginalizing experiences continue to have voiceless parts that do not get integrated into their whole beings, having the potential to negatively impact clinical work.  The purpose of this workshop is to engage current students and early career clinical interns in supportive discussions about self and identity in the self-of-the-therapist journey from student to licensed clinician. The presenters will share stories of students and interns grappling with questions of identity related to topics of race, religion, gender, beliefs, values, etc. and how those topics interact with the development of the therapist in academic settings and early career experiences. Supportive suggestions will be offered and new ideas generated for ways the student-trainee-supervisee can remain authentically themselves and access their voice on the self-of-the-therapist journey.

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ChenFeng, J., & Stone, D. J. (2017, September). Finding Your Voice to Flourish and Advocate as Beginning MFTs. Career Development Session, American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy National Conference, Atlanta, GA.
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Stone, D. J., & ChenFeng, J. (2015 July/August). Early career MFTs: Finding voice and flourishing. Family Therapy Magazine, 14, 10-14.