Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Family Consumer Human Development

Committee Chair(s)

Thorana S. Nelson


Thorana S. Nelson


The field of marriage and family therapy (MFT) has prospered since its beginnings nearly 50 years ago. In order to keep the field current and competitive with other related professions, empirical research is necessary. Although there has been an upsurge of research on the effectiveness and specialty areas of MFT, one area has been overlooked: skills. The empirical research that has been performed has focused its attention on beginning therapists. The current research took the next step in determining family therapy skills and investigated the skills needed by intermediate-level therapists--not beginners, yet also not advanced therapists.

This research surveyed a panel of supervision experts in the MFT profession who work with intermediate-level therapists in order to determine the skills that intermediate-level therapists are the same skills thought to be important for beginning therapists, identified in previous research. Of the top 25 ranked items in the Basic Family Therapy Skills project that were rated in the current Intermediate Family Therapy Skills project, 22 of the items' means differed less than .25 in their ratings. Overall, most of the nominated items were rated between "very important" and "important". Implications for training and further research are discussed.