Postdoctoral Clinical Scholar Fellowship


Fellowship applicants must possess a Doctoral degree in a relevant mental health profession. Applicants must have completed at least one graduate course in Couple and Family Therapy or Family Systems-Based Interventions, or has trained in a practicum site where the majority of cases were couples and families. Ideally, the applicant has had supervision by a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) or a licensed mental health professional specifically trained in the practice and supervision of systemic couple and family therapy.

We are also interested in training the next generation of leaders in couple/family therapy and couple/family psychology. Thus, we especially desire individuals with one or more of the following aspirations: learning how to do scholarly writing pertaining to clinical issues, participating in national organizations, and/or learning the nuances of institutional leadership. Outside the standard training requirements required for professional licensure and advancement, this fellowship can be customized to your interests to ensure that you are taking full advantage of the resources The Family Institute at Northwestern University has to offer. This includes providing Fellows with tailored mentorship in professional development and identity.

Time Commitment

Fellowship positions are full time and require a commitment of two years. The position requires a total commitment of at least 40 hours per week.

Clinical Experience

  • Caseload

Each fellow maintains a clinical practice of 18 unit hours per week. The caseload includes individual, couple and family modalities of therapy with clients from diverse cultural backgrounds. There may be opportunities to earn unit hours in alternate ways through participating in activities such as the assessment program, Project Strengthen, and teaching. All the supervised clinical hours accumulated during the fellowship can be used toward licensure.

  • Group Supervision

The Fellows will meet with senior staff clinicians for two (2) hours per week for clinical supervision. This small group format allows for case presentation and review, systemic conceptualization and clinical skill development. Fellows are encouraged to record (audio or video) their clinical work. There will be opportunity to participate in live consultations and be part of an observing live team to learn the clinical applications of The Family Institute model of Integrative Systemic Therapy (IST).

  • Individual Supervision

Fellows meet one (1) hour per week for individual supervision with a senior staff or affiliate clinician.

Education and Research

  • Learning and Teaching in the Marriage and Family Therapy (MSMFT) Program and Beyond

Fellows are invited to attend the weekly Core Curriculum courses in in the MSMFT program and to learn more about The Family Institute Model of Integrative Systemic Therapy (IST). Fellows are often presented with various opportunities to teach, co-teach, or present guest lectures in a number of Northwestern University courses within The Family Institute and in other departments on campus.

  • Couple and Family Therapy Seminar

Fellows meet on a bi-weekly basis with a senior member of the faculty for a seminar on treating families and couples.

  • Grand Rounds

Fellows participate in monthly Grand Rounds where a special clinical research topic is presented and discussed from a specific theoretical context. All clinical staff and students are invited to attend Grand Rounds. Each Fellow is required to present twice at Grand Rounds, once for each year of the program.

  • Professional Development Seminar

Fellows will meet with the Postdoctoral Fellowship Program Director on a monthly basis to discuss professional development and identity. This seminar will include discussion of clinical and professional development across a variety of practice contexts and professional locations.

  • Empirically informed treatment with the Systemic Therapy Inventory of Change (STIC) Consultation

Fellows have the opportunity to learn how to conduct empirically informed therapy. Monthly consultations focus on the practice implications of empirically informed treatment and the integration of the STIC in clinical practice.

  • Consultation Teams

The Family Institute’s clinical training model includes attending at least one clinical consultation team. These consultation teams include fellows and staff level therapists (varying from early career to seasoned clinicians). The consultation teams are focused on a specific population (e.g., couples) or a specific treatment model (e.g., CBT). Currently, TFI has the following consultation groups running: child and adolescent, couples, Integrative Systemic Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Emotion Focused Therapy, Mindfulness, and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. Each consultation group is managed by a group leader, typically a seasoned therapist with expertise in the specific area.

  • Research and Scholarship

There are many elective opportunities for Fellows at TFI. One such opportunity is to work in a research lab or even create one of your own. Most typically, fellows join a researcher at TFI to develop a research project or participate in one already established. The research labs at TFI are organized as vertical teams, led by faculty members and including a Fellow, Master’s students and undergraduate NU students. The fellow is often responsible for the day-to-day running of the lab including the leadership of the student members. Past Fellow projects have included The Impact of Long-Distance Relationships on Health; Veteran Couples; Psychotherapy Change Project; Red Flags in Relationships study; and the Impact of Client Demographic Preferences on Treatment Outcomes. Most of these projects were begun by the fellow according to their interests. All have led to publication and presentation opportunities.

Professional Development

  • Marketing

Fellows are expected to work with the Family Institute marketing team. You will learn ways to develop and market your own special areas of clinical practice as well as other clinical services offered at The Family Institute. Opportunities and Initiatives may include speaking to community groups, meeting with representatives from local schools, social service agencies, hospitals or corporations and also representing The Family Institute at Northwestern University at professional conferences and or public education and healthcare events.

  • Media Opportunities

Fellows have the opportunity to participate in media opportunities such as print interviews, tv interviews, and podcasts.

  • Administration

Professional skills are developed through practical experience with the internal operations of The Family Institute. These activities include maintenance of schedules, ongoing communication with your director, supervisor, peers, staff, clients and community, financial and clinical record-keeping, attendance at monthly clinical staff meetings, as well as other related administrative functions.

Career Paths

  • Those who have completed The Family Institute at Northwestern University postdoctoral fellowship have accepted positions in hospitals, universities, government and social agencies for administration and policy positions, or private practice settings. Many former Fellows have also become highly valued members of The Family Institute's education program, research programs, and a member of our highly regarded clinical staff.


  • Benefits include a $47,476 annual salary, access to Northwestern University Libraries and Northwestern University Wildcard benefits, access to the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs at Northwestern University, paid holidays, 20 days of paid time off, health insurance and paid professional liability insurance. The fellowship position offers teaching opportunities, mentorship and career development.

How to Apply

  • Interested applicants should apply on the Applying for a Fellowship page of our website.
  • The application deadline is January 5, 2018 and interviews for selected candidates are held in early February.
  • You may submit materials electronically or by postal mail.
  • If you have questions about the Clinical Research Postdoctoral Fellowship program: Please contact Danielle Black, PhD, Director of the Fellowship Program at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The Fellowship Program at The Family Institute is supported, in part, by gifts and grants from individuals, families and foundations. Your contribution will help us train the thought leaders of tomorrow and advance the science and practice of mental health care. To make a donation, or to learn more about naming a Fellowship through an endowment gift, please contact the Development office at 312-609-5300 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .