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Fellowships, available through The Center for Applied Psychological and Family Studies, provide advanced, intensive training for behavioral health professionals who have received their doctorate in clinical/counseling psychology or family therapy. Up to eight Fellows will be accepted to the Clinical Scholars program annually.

Various career tracks are available for fellows upon completion of the program. Many former Fellows are now highly valued members of The Family Institute's education program, research programs, and members of our highly regarded clinical staff.

The Postdoctoral Clinical Scholar Fellowship is designed for those who are interested in:

  • Think and practice within a systemic lens
  • Learn to work systemically with a diverse clinical population of individuals, couples, and families, top-tier supervision
  • Attend seminars from the most renowned clinicians in the field 

After completing the Fellowship, you will be qualified for clinical and administrative positions in:

  • Private and group practice settings
  • Community Mental Health settings
  • Hospitals
  • Universities
  • Government and social agencies 
The Fellowship Offers Comprehensive Clinical Experience, Education, Research & Professional Development

Clinical Experience and Training

Career Opportunities

The Family Institute greatly values the strength of our fellowship program. As such we are proud to offer opportunities to explore multiple career paths within The Family Institute post-fellowship.


Each Fellow maintains a clinical practice of 18 unit hours per week. Fellows are actively involved in determining the types of clients and populations they wish to work with. Depending on the particular fellow’s interests, caseloads can include individual, child/adolescent, couple, and family modalities of therapy with clients from diverse cultural backgrounds. The Family Institute emphasizes using a systemic approach when working in these modalities.

Opportunities to earn unit hours by participating in teaching activities may be available. All supervised clinical hours accumulated during the fellowship can be used toward licensure.

Group Supervision

Fellows meet with senior staff clinicians for two hours per week for clinical supervision in a small group format 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 hour per week for individual supervision with a senior staff or affiliate clinician.

Couple & Family Therapy Seminar

Fellows meet on a weekly basis with a senior member of the faculty for a seminar on treating families and couples. Examples of seminar topics include:

  • Four Session Couple Assessment Model  
  • Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy 
  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) Aggression in Couples 
  • Integrative Behavioral Couple Therapy (IBCT) 
  • Integrative Systemic Therapy (IST) with Families 
  • Object Relations Family Therapy 
  • Narrative Therapy with Individuals, Couples, and Families 
  • Internal Family Systems Therapy with Children, Teens, and Families 
  • Child Play Therapy & Working with Parents 
  • Working with Stepfamilies 
  • Narcissistic and Borderline Couples 
  • Infidelity in Couples 
  • Couple Therapy with Severe Mental Illness 
  • Couples and Health Issues 
  • Substance Use and Addictive Behavior: Relational Conceptualization for Couples 
  • Sex Therapy and Nonmonogomy  
  • Transforming Sexual Narratives: Integrating Couple & Sex Therapy 
  • Family Therapy with LGBTQ Youth 
  • Unconscious Process in Psychotherapy 
  • Working in the Transference-Countertransference Field 
  • Ethical Issues in Couple & Family Therapy 
  • High Conflict Parents 
  • Culture and Supervision 

Consultation Teams

The Family Institute’s clinical training model includes participation in 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. Currently, The Family Institute has the following consultation teams: 

  • Child and Adolescent
  • Couples
  • Integrative Systemic Therapy
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy
  • Emotion Focused Therapy
  • Mindfulness
  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
  • LGBTQ and Emerging Adults
  • Psychodynamic Therapy
  • Transition to Parenthood

Each consultation team is managed by a group leader, typically a seasoned therapist with expertise in the specific area.

Teaching & Research

Learning & Teaching

Fellows are invited to attend the weekly Core Curriculum courses in the Master of Science in Marriage & Family Therapy 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.

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 once at Grand Rounds.


Research & Scholarship

Fellows who are interested may elect to participate in applied clinical research. The Clinical Scholar may have the option to focus on learning how to conduct an empirically-based treatment by implementing interventions with clients participating in an RCT, helping with project management, or participating in data analysis and writing publications.

  • The RCT is designed to evaluate the effectiveness of and elucidate the mechanisms of change in a group intervention targeting perpetrators of intimate partner violence, including the indirect benefits for victims still living with perpetrators
  • Fellows may also have the opportunity to implement and assess the effectiveness of a novel couple prevention program in which intervention components are matched to couples based on an assessment of their specific skill deficits (conflict, support, intimacy)
  • Apply basic research designed to determine whether and how to adapt existing thinking about and interventions for couples who identify as Latinx/Hispanic, African American and/or SGM
  • Investigate the implications of different romantic relationships on an individual's health as well as the impact of health and disease on couples' functioning
  • Involvement in the collection of community program evaluation data and participation in building community partnerships with supervisors in the Community Program

Clinical Scholars also have the opportunity for Involvement in the collection of community program evaluation data and participation in building community partnerships with supervisors in the Community Program. 

Professional Development

Professional Development Seminar

Fellows meet with the Postdoctoral Fellowship Program Director on a weekly 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.


Fellows are expected to work with The Family Institute's 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
  • 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 online, print or TV interviews and podcasts.


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
  • Other related administrative functions
We Provide Benefits to all Fellows

The fellowship position offers teaching opportunities, mentorship and career development as well as the following benefits:

  • Paid holidays
  • 20 days of paid time off
  • Health insurance
  • Paid professional liability insurance
Apply to the Postdoctoral Clinical Scholar Fellowship

Eligibility Required to Apply

Fellowship applicants must possess a Doctoral degree in a relevant mental health profession. Applicants who have strong clinical acumen and are interested in learning how to work systemically, have excellent interpersonal skills, and can work both independently and as part of a multidisciplinary treatment team are encouraged to apply. 

Important Application & Interview Dates for 2023

Application start date is November 1, 2022. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis.

Fellowship positions start in September each year.

Apply Now

An application is considered complete when all required documents have been received. Qualified candidates will be invited for an interview. All applicants will be notified by letter of the faculty's decision as quickly as possible.

Submit an Application

The Family Institute at Northwestern University actively seeks applicants from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups so that our body of students, fellows, faculty and staff will more closely reflect the diversity of American society. Furthermore, The Family Institute is committed to broad inclusiveness and affording equal opportunity to all without regard to age, gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, socioeconomic background, sexual orientation or physical ability.

If you have questions about the Postdoctoral Clinical Scholar Fellowship program, please contact Laura Levin, Ph.D. ABPP, Director of the Fellowship Program at