Professional Training Seminars

Professional training seminars offered by the Medical Family Therapy program provide health and mental health professionals with the latest information on specialized topics.

MFT Classroom Photo

Offered one Friday each month, these seminars are designed for busy professionals. We invite you to come for a day and immerse yourself in stimulating ideas and discussion. You will be able to apply the information to your practice — and beyond — and receive 5 hours of CEU credit. For more information, email

Collaboration Between Therapists and Physicians - The Basics

This seminar covers the core concepts needed for psychotherapists to collaborate successfully with physicians. Topics covered will include: Brief history of medicine, the new paradigm emerging in medicine, primary care vs. specialty care, continuity of care, core skills in collaboration, review of models of best practice, complex cases and high medical utilization, the medical home. Click here to register for Professional Training Units.

Friday, October 12, 2018
9:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
Library Seminar Room

Interviewing for Biopsychosocial and Spiritual Care

This seminar reviews the nature of the therapeutic interview versus the biomedical interview. We will cover various areas of import for therapists who wish to work successfully with physicians in service of their clients dealing with illness. Topics covered will include: understanding physician training, focus and language, evidenced based practice, outcome based practice, levels of collaboration and an introduction to motivational interviewing framework and concepts. Click here to register for Professional Training Units.

Friday, November 2, 2018
9:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
Library Seminar Room

Motivational Interviewing for Patient and Family Health

This seminar will focus on the impact of harmful health behaviors on health and wellness. It will review the need for psychosocial providers who can work with physicians to help patients as they make a significant lifestyle change. Topics will include: US statistics of diseases caused largely by lifestyle, the frustration of physicians who have time only for medical mandates, assessing motivation to change of patient and family, and motivational interviewing techniques used in both medicine and psychotherapeutic environs. Click here to register for Professional Training Units.

Friday, December 7, 2018
9:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
Library Seminar Room

Psychopharmacology for Mental Health Professionals

This course will provide a basic foundation of the neuromechanisms relevant to understanding the pharmecodynamics of psychotropic medications commonly prescribed in primary care settings. Current medications used for the treatment of depression, anxiety, bi-polar, attention deficit, and some mental illnesses with psychotic features will be covered as well as common side effect profiles that patients may experience. Additionally, effective strategies for interacting with prescribing providers and their patients as a mental health care provider on the topic of medication will be covered. The seminar will also focus on the particulars of child and adolescent psychotropic medication and medication management. Click here to register for Professional Training Units.

Friday, January 11, 2019
9:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
McKenna Conference Room

Brain Savvy Therapist

Review the latest information in brain science as it relates to psychotherapy. Learn about the basics in brain physiology and neurobiology; how to use the understanding of brain science to facilitate interventions with clients and families; treatment ideas; case reviews; and why therapists need to understand how a brain learns, changes, and functions. Click here to register for Professional Training Units.

Friday, February 15, 2019
9:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.

McKenna Conference Room

Family Therapy Tools for Treating Medical Illnesses

This seminar covers the most prevalent types of illnesses in children and adults, with a focus on their impact on the patient and family. Topics will include types of illness from a psychosocial perspective, family life-cycle implications, family structure implications, childhood diabetes and cancer, breast and prostate cancer, chronic progressive illness such as multiple sclerosis, and chronic pain.

Friday, March 8, 2019
9:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
McKenna Conference Room

Marketing Your Practice to Physicians

What is the best way to present and market your services to a physician? We’ll cover various topics, including how to identify differing areas of medicine, cultural differences in medicine to be considered before approaching a physician, what medical family therapy covers that is not represented in other behavioral science fields, strategic connections in specialty and primary care, insurance obstacles and bridges, and the development of marketing products.

Friday, April 12, 2019 9:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
McKenna Conference Room

Spirituality and Health

Explore research regarding spirituality and health that encourages a biopsychosocial-spiritual paradigm of health care practice. We’ll examine the effects of prayer, meditation, and other spiritual practices, and spiritual communities/professionals within the contexts of health and longevity outcomes, mental health, stress-related diseases, substance abuse, and the management of chronic illnesses. Ethical and culturally sensitive interventions will be highlighted.

Friday, May 10, 2019 9:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
McKenna Conference Room


Explore. Examine. Analyze.

All faculty members in the School of Psychology, Family, and Community are active in scholarship, research, and writing. 

Claudia Grauf-Grounds

Why I Teach at SPU

Claudia Grauf-Grounds, Emerita Professor of Marriage and Family Therapy

“I thrive when teaching. Watching the eyes of students light up, or hearing a small group eagerly engage in a task assignment (an amazing feat for school-hardened graduate students) still makes my day. I felt the calling to teach graduate students quite clearly while attending Fuller Theological Seminary. My strengths in teaching stem from my ability to integrate ideas, communicate clearly, organize my lessons, creatively assign projects, model what I am teaching, and remember how it was for me to learn things for the first time. As referenced by Parker Palmer, We Teach Who We Are (Palmer, 1998).”