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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:

  • Thinking and practicing within a systemic lens
  • Adhering to a scientist-practitioner model wherein clinicians facilitate empirically informed treatment
  • Learning from preeminent scholars in the fields of individual, couple, and family therapy

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 builds and maintains a caseload of 18 sessions per week.  Fellows actively participate in determining their caseload, including their schedule, location, treatment modality, and client population.  All clinical hours accumulated during the Fellowship count toward licensure.

Group Supervision

Fellows meet with senior staff clinicians for two hours per week for clinical supervision in a small group format.  Group supervision fosters systemic conceptualization, treatment planning, clinical skill development, and community building. 

Individual Supervision

Fellows meet one hour per week with individual supervisors, who are uniquely matched to Fellows for licensure, clinical expertise, and supervisory style.  All supervisors have demonstrated clinical excellence and passion for mentoring the next generation of relational therapists. 


Fellows meet one hour per week as a cohort with the Director of Postdoctoral Fellowship for Professional Development.  Conversations during Professional Development are both structured and unstructured and support Fellows in growing their confidence and identity as an independent clinician.  Fellows also meet individually with the Director to create and implement a personalized training program that optimally launches Fellows to their career goals.


  • One-hour weekly Didactics Seminars taught by innovators in the fields of individual, couple, and family therapy.  Topics include Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Internal Family Systems (IFS), Interpersonal Violence, High Conflict Divorce, Working with Stepfamilies, The Four-Session Evaluation for Couple Therapy, and Integrative Systemic Therapy (IST) with Families.
  • Weekly consultation groups with members of the staff practice and faculty.  Examples of centering themes of consultation groups include Couples Therapy, Transition to Parenthood, Queer People, Identities and Relationships, Substance Use and Addictive Behavior, and Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT).
  • Monthly Grand Rounds which blends research with clinical practice.  Grand Rounds presenters, including Fellows, review research that guides clinical application and/or cite clinical case material to illustrate a protocol originating from research. 
  • Monthly Clinical Research Interest Group Meetings where staff and students join to present ongoing research, share research-related opportunities, and support the career aspirations of scholars. 


Postdoctoral Clinical Scholar Fellows participate in up to 10 hours of applied clinical research per week.  They will learn about implementation science and/or collaborate with research faculty members engaged in grant-funded community-based research.  Current research surrounds intimate partner violence, relationships during stress, emotional availability and responsiveness, and community programs. 


Fellows who envision a career augmenting clinical work with teaching can work with the Director to identify teaching opportunities.  Such teaching opportunities may include teaching or co-teaching an undergraduate or graduate course at Northwestern University, providing teaching assistance to faculty in the Masters in Counseling or Masters in Marital and Family Therapy Programs, or mentoring graduate students in their thesis work.

External Relations

Fellows will collaborate with The Family Institute’s External Relations Department for the purposes of marketing their practice, educating and supporting the community, and developing The Family Institute’s presence in the domain of individual, couple, and family health.  Opportunities may include writing content for articles or social media, participating in panel discussions and interviews, hosting a webinar, or representing The Family Institute at Northwestern University at professional conferences and healthcare events.

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, 2023. Review of applications will begin January 15th with a virtual interview day planned for mid-February.  Applications will continue to be accepted until the positions are filled.

Fellowship positions start August 30, 2024.

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 Lisa Gordon, Ph.D., Director of the Fellowship Program, at