1st Edition

Finding Your Voice as a Beginning Marriage and Family Therapist

By Jessica L. ChenFeng, Dana J. Stone Copyright 2020
    190 Pages
    by Routledge

    190 Pages
    by Routledge

    Finding Your Voice as a Beginning Marriage and Family Therapist provides support to early career marriage and family therapists who seek authentic and meaningful connections with themselves, their colleagues, and the clients they serve.

    The book addresses a lack of resources for early career therapists during professional formation, particularly for those who have marginalized aspects of their identity. Readers will move toward celebrating their varied social contextual selves to gain a sense of empowerment, allowing themselves to fully engage in their educational, clinical, and supervisory journey. The authors offer unique insights on the literature of clinical training as well as authentic stories from early career as well as more seasoned MFTs. There are exercises for the reader and practical skills for active engagement in their own development. Reflection questions at the end of each chapter can be used for personal reflection or to frame dialogue with classmates and colleagues.  

    Adaptable for use in the classroom, support groups, and in group/individual supervision settings, Finding Your Voice as a Beginning Marriage and Family Therapist is an essential resource for students and beginner clinicians.

    I. Introduction 

    2. Our Own Stories 

    3. Difficult and Unfulfilling Training Experiences 

    4. Meaningful and Fulfilling Training Experiences

    5. Students' and Supervisees' Stories

    6. Preparing and Developing the Self-of-the-Trainee

    7. Moving Toward Sociocultural Relational Connection

    8. Establishing a Foundation for a Career of Being Known and Knowing Others

    Appendix: List of Resources




    Dana J. Stone, PhD, LMFT, is an Associate Professor at California State University, Northridge, USA, in the Marriage and Family Therapy Program, and an AAMFT Approved Supervisor. She identifies as Black-White Biracial and is the first person in her immediate family to achieve degrees in higher education. Her research includes deepening understanding of the biracial experience, expanding the meaning of culturally sensitive supervision, and exploring diversity in the field of MFT. She lives in Moorpark, California, with her husband and rescue pup.

    Jessica L. ChenFeng, PhD, LMFT, is Associate Professor of Medical Education and Associate Director of Physician Vitality at Loma Linda University, California, USA, and an AAMFT Approved Supervisor. Her research, writing, and clinical work centers around sociocontextual issues such as gender and power, Asian American identity, and spirituality. She identifies as a second-generation Taiwanese American liberative educator and lives in Montclair, California, with her husband, their young toddler, and miniature Schnauzer.



    "Finding Your Voice as a Beginning Marriage and Family Therapist is unique, compelling, and utterly usable, and fosters the opportunity for engaging in transformative conversations—both within groups and within oneself.  The chapters hit the right notes in discussing power, context, cultural humility, and critical consciousness. The tone is both validating and gently challenging and the personal stories of the authors and trainees, and the discussions that follow, provide rich learning for educators, supervisors, and new professionals. This book is truly like no other in the field of systemic family therapy and I hope it is read widely."

    Mudita Rastogi, PhD, LMFT, Aspire Consulting and Therapy, Arlington Heights, Illinois, USA


    "What a gift to the field! Readers will be moved by the openness, vulnerability, and courage through which Stone and ChenFeng invite beginning and seasoned therapists to engage in self-of-the-therapist work that centers marginalized experience. They bring abstract concepts such as justice, equity, and critical consciousness to life, empowering new therapists and encouraging humility and accountability by those in power positions. It is the perfect addition to our curriculum and will forever change how I teach and supervise."

    Carmen Knudson-Martin, PhD, Professor and Director of Marriage, Couple, and Family Therapy, Lewis & Clark College, Portland, USA, and co-author of Socioculturally Attuned Family Therapy: Guidelines for Equitable Theory and Practice (Routledge).


    "This book speaks to the soul of emerging couple and family therapists! Finding Your Voice as a Beginning Marriage and Family Therapist takes you on an intimate journey through C/MFT students’ lived experiences with empowerment, invisibility, and oppression in programs. Each chapter provides reflective questions designed to engage the reader in their own personal and professional development. The book is a resource and therefore mandatory for beginning C/MFT students. It is a must read for faculty members who desire to build their consciousness, relate, supervise, and teach from inclusive frameworks. The authors deserve applause for this contemporary and transformative book."

    Stephanie Brooks, PhD, LCSW, LMFT, Associate Dean for Health Professions and Clinical Professor of Couple and Family Therapy, Drexel University, Philadelphia, USA, and Executive Consultant, American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, Minority Fellowship Programs


    "Finding Your Voice as a Beginning Marriage and Family Therapist is an invaluable resource to those entering the field, providing an exceptional step-by-step approach for developing the self of the therapist within one’s broader sociocultural contexts. Drs. Dana J. Stone and Jessica L. ChenFeng gently invite readers to reflect on the complexity of the person they bring into the room, making it safe to explore some of the most challenging topics in supervision and training. This book belongs in every MFT’s library."

    Diane R. Gehart, PhD, Professor, California State University, Northridge, USA, and author of Mastering Competencies in Family Therapy



    "Finding Your Voice as a Beginning Marriage and Family Therapist is bound to validate, inspire, and empower therapists from marginalized backgrounds who are engaged in challenging self-work within systems that continue to oppress them. Readers are likely to receive much-needed validation from the numerous vulnerable testimonies of Drs. Stone and ChenFeng, and their colleagues. The authors provide exercises that help transfer the validation found within these pages to processes of advancing personal growth and knitting together culturally affirming communities within the MFT profession."

    Timothy Baima, PhD, Associate Professor at Palo Alto University, USA 

    "The book Finding Your Voice as a Beginning Marriage and Family Therapist is an essential read for anyone in the field of marriage and family therapy. As stated by the co-authors, the chapters sensitively cover "self-of-the-therapist" areas including: theories and frameworks; key relational terms and frameworks; and critical systemic perspectives. The reflection questions at the end of each chapter as well as the career journeys shared throughout by Dr. Dana J. Stone and Dr. Jessica L. ChenFeng, will be quite useful for and deeply valued by all readers."

    Matthew R. Mock, PhD, Professor of Counseling Psychology, John F. Kennedy University, Pleasant Hill, California, USA