Thorana  Nelson Author of Evaluating Organization Development

Thorana Nelson

Professor Emerita
Utah State University

I am a retired marriage and family therapy professor, having taught in two AAMFT-accredited MFT programs, one doctoral, the other master's level from 1986 to 2011. I have published in areas of MFT training, especially basic skills and core competencies, supervision, and solution-focused brief therapy. I also have presented and conducted workshops locally, nationally, and internationally on topics ranging from MFT practice to supervision, and solution-focused work and supervision.


Thorana S. Nelson, Ph.D., is an emerita professor of family therapy at Utah State University. She graduated with a B.S. in psychology from the University of Houston and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Counselor Education with an emphasis in marriage and family therapy from the University of Iowa. She moved to Utah to help develop the reactivated master’s program in marriage and family therapy at Utah State University in the Department of Family, Consumer, and Human Development. She was director of that program from 1992 until 2005, and retired in 2011. Dr. Nelson is the author of articles on training in marriage and family therapy and is the co-editor and author of many articles, chapters, and books, including 101 Interventions in Family Therapy and 101 More Interventions in Family Therapy with Terry S. Trepper, Ph.D., Education and Training in Solution-focused Brief Therapy, Handbook of Solution-Focused Brief Therapy: Clinical Applications (with Frank Thomas), Solution-Focused Brief Practice with Long-Term Clients in Mental Health Services : "I Am More Than My Label" (with Joel Simon), Doing Something Different: Solution-Focused Brief Therapy Practices, The Contemporary Relational Supervisor, Solution-Focused Brief Therapy With Families, and Family Therapy  Supervision in Extraordinary Settings: Illustrations of Systemic Consultation in Everyday Clinical Work. Several of these works have been translated into other languages. She has presented nationally and internationally on topics ranging from MFT practice to supervision to solution-focused training and supervision.  She and her husband live in Santa Fe, New Mexico, United States.


    BS, University of Houston, Houston TX, 1979
    PhD, University of Iowa, Iowa City IA, 1987

Areas of Research / Professional Expertise

    couple therapy for substance abusing women
    MFT Basic Skills
    MFT Core Competencies
    MFT/Relational Supervision
    Solution-Focused Brief Therapy
    Solution-Focused Brief Therapy Supervision
    Solution-Focused Brief Therapy with Families

Personal Interests

    reading, needlework, music, theater, history, art