MFT students, faculty published in peer-reviewed academic journal

Academic work by members of Mount Mercy University’s master’s-level Marriage and Family Therapy program is prominently featured in the March 1 edition of Contemporary Family Therapy, a peer-reviewed academic journal in the field of marriage and family therapy.

Four students and two faculty members authored articles in the journal, which released a special edition focused on adolescent residential treatment. By publishing while in graduate school, Mount Mercy students are able to establish a firm foundation for a future academic career.

“It is somewhat rare for master’s-level students to have publications in peer-reviewed journals, so when this special issue came along I saw it as a great opportunity to get our students involved in the publication process,” said Dr. Jacob Christenson, assistant professor and clinical director for Mount Mercy’s Marriage and Family Therapy program.

Christenson pitched the idea for the special edition to one of the journal’s editors years ago and was invited to have a hand in editing the March edition, allowing students invaluable face-to-face contact with an inside resource.

Students Amber Miller, Amanda Glunz, Kate Cobb and Dumayi Gutierrez wrote on various subjects including: letter writing as a form of therapy, family roles for adolescents in residential treatment, the use of family therapy techniques in individual and peer group therapy settings, and a solution to a lack of research related to family therapy used in residential treatment for adolescents. Articles by Christenson and Dr. Ashely Merritts, associate professor in Mount Mercy’s MFT program, are also included.

“By having publications in peer-reviewed journals, our students stand out from others when applying to doctoral programs,” Christenson said. “It gives them a competitive edge in a crowded market.”

Find the full March 1 edition of Contemporary Family Therapy at

Interested in MFT student research? Join us April 11, 4:30–6 p.m., for the Marriage and Family Therapy Research Symposium. Mount Mercy MFT students will present their current research projects in the Sisters of Mercy University Center Commons located on main campus. Learn what research students have undertaken this year and ask questions of student presenters.

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