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Our Commitment to Diversity

Diversity Statement
Student Opportunities
Diversity Classes
Diversity Focused Research

MFT Program Diversity Statement

We esteem all individuals and families as valuable and worthy of understanding and respect. Although it can be difficult to acknowledge and affirm the experiences of those who are different than oneself, it is our belief that all are enriched by this process. As we work to understand each other across the diversities of cultural, gender, sexual orientation, ethnic, racial, and other socio-demographic groupings, we become better individuals and more capable as agents of therapeutic change. Along with the more traditional markers of diversity, we are also mindful of other factors that contribute to a better educational environment. These other factors may include, but are not limited to, international experiences, differential experiences of privilege and oppression, varying types of spiritual and religious faith, exposure to life challenges, and ability to consider the perspectives of others. Pragmatically, we realize that initial conversations between people (who are different from one another) are sometimes filled with conflict, disagreement and bias. However, given this relative inevitability, we work to foster an environment where continued dialogue is possible and encouraged in order to increase the possibility for life lessons to be shared.

In addition, we maintain that a culturally-diverse training environment is a culturally- and professionally-rich learning environment in the following ways:

  1. Diverse faculty, student body, and client populations help encourage careful and critical thinking. This facilitates the educational experience for all and helps our clients (current and future) receive a more customized treatment.
  2. Each individual and family has something to learn and something to teach. When we understand and respect the ideas of others, there is an increased possibility for cooperative efforts in accomplishing individual and shared goals.
  3. Students educated in a culturally-diverse environment are better able to function with adaptability, professionalism and creativity when serving others (in their respective roles as therapists, educators, supervisors, advocates, and so forth).
  4. Students and faculty who have discussed, read about, and interacted with others around topics such as power, privilege, and oppression, are more likely to be sensitive, self-aware, other-aware, and effective when working with clients from all backgrounds.

It is our belief that quality training cannot occur if students are deprived of the opportunity to foster relationships with others that differ, particularly with regard to culture, race and gender. Furthermore, respect and understanding for diversity has been identified as one of our key educational outcomes, as noted across the program, student, and faculty levels.


Our MFT Students have countless opportunities to research diverse topics and populations and present research in many diverse places. Here are just a few examples:

Students Presenting research in China & Spain

Group of Students in China
Group of Students in Spain

Students and Faculty Presenting at National Conferences

Ivana and Shayne image_6487327.JPG

Recently, a group of Master's students proposed a plan for a BIPOC Student Support Group at the BYU Comprehensive Clinic. They won a cash prize for their idea to help build a Zion Community on campus.

Fatma and Ivana.jpg

Spanish Supervision

We believe that therapy is most productive when conducted in the clients’ preferred language. To facilitate this, in addition to routine supervision, we run a supervision group in Spanish to better serve our local Latinx community and to improve our students’ ability to provide culturally-competent therapy to the large Latinx community in our area.

Examples of Current Diverse Research

MORE (Minority-Oriented Research Evaluation)

MORE is a cross-disciplinary content analysis project examining the social sciences literature and its attention to racial/ethnic/cultural minorities. Student researchers will categorize and code journal articles based on topic, level of minority focus, methodology and sample characteristics.

MFT-PRN (Marriage and Family Therapy Practice Research Network)

MFT-PRN is a collaborative network of clinicians, clinic administrators, and clinical researchers who are all interested in improving client outcomes. Students will gain valuable research experience by working with statistics, finding relevant literature, and writing papers for publications or presentations. We currently have participating clinics in the US in all major regions (including Alaska and Hawaii). We also have participants in South Korea, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Spain, Portugal, and Turkey.

MFT 654 - Gender & Ethnicity in MFT

The purpose of this course is to develop a deep awareness of and profound respect for clients’ and/or soldiers’ life experiences as diverse human beings. In this course, we will focus on how to respond to differences among those we serve with compassion, understanding, and strength. I hope to teach you how to work in culturally sensitive and competent, non-prejudicial, and inclusive ways as a therapist and/or chaplain. Specifically, we will address issues relating to gender, ethnicity/culture, race, religion, sexual orientation, and other contextual factors that matter to helping professionals.

Hunt, Q. *Monet, M., *Henriques, C., & *Bledsoe, A. (under review). “It’s like being pulled in two directions”: The experience of transgender members of the LDS church.

Graduate Mentorship Assistantship Grant - Hee, C.
Understanding the Importance of Culture and Historical Contexts to Improve Therapy Treatment Outcomes.
The purpose of this project is to gather data that will help clinical researchers better understand the family
dynamics and mental health challenges of Polynesians in order to develop culturally sensitive therapy
adaptations and interventions for this population.

Hawkins, J. M., Bean, R. A., Smith, T. B., & Sandberg, J. G. (in press (Jan, 2022), co-first authors). Representation of race and ethnicity in counseling and counseling psychology journals: A content analysis. The Counseling Psychologist, DOI: Journal Ranking: IF=2.263 (2019), HS=29.

Bernards., J., & Hunt, Q. (2021). It’s about love: LDS parents’ process of accepting a transgender child. Fulton Mentored Student Research Conference in Provo, UT, USA

Bernards., J., & Hunt, Q. (2021). It’s about love: LDS parents’ process of accepting a transgender child. Utah Council on Family Relations (online), April 2nd.

Bernards., J., & Hunt, Q. (2021). Transgender relationship adaptation model: Parents’ process of accepting a transgender child. NCFR: Theory Construction and Research Methodology Conference, November 2nd – 3rd (online).

Conklin, H., Hee, C., Semu, E., Tuioti, C. (2021). Discrimination and wellbeing for Polynesians in the U.S. Presented at the 8th Annual National Pacific Island Violence Prevention Conference, Salt Lake City, UT.

Hawkins, J. M., *Posadas, L., *Manale, A., & Bean, R. A. (2020) Culturally competent therapy with Latinxs: Addressing isolation. The American Journal of Family Therapy, DOI: 10.1080/01926187.2020.1777912. Journal Ranking: IF=0.563 (2019), HS=15.

Hee, C., Chandler, K., Delirio, J., Semu, E., Conklin, H., Allen, G. E. K. (2021). The association between ethnic identity, self-esteem, and mental health for Polynesians. Presented at the 2021 APA Convention, San Diego, CA.

Lambert, J. E., & Witting, A. B. (2021). Mass trauma and long-term psychological distress: The role of economic deprivation among older widows in Sri Lanka. International Perspectives in Psychology: Research, Practice, Consultation. Advance online publication.

Lin, S. Y., Miller, R. B., Su, L. P., Whiting, J., Bean, R., Hsieh, C. H., & Li, T. S. (2021) Insider perspectives of mate selection in modern Chinese society. Journal of Asian Research, 5, 28-46.

Mayne, M., Henriques, C., & Hunt, Q. (2021). The experiences of transgender Mormons. Utah Council on Family Relations (online), April 2nd.

Mayne, M., Henriques, C., & Hunt, Q. (2021). The experiences of transgender Mormons. Fulton Mentored Student Research Conference in Provo, UT, USA

Wong, C., Hee, C. (2021). The impact of White fragility, racism, and oppression on Pacific Islander communities. Presented at the 8th Annual National Pacific Island Violence Prevention Conference, Salt Lake City, UT.

Banford Witting, A., Lambert, J., Hughes Barrow, B.*, Whiting, J., Hartshorn, R.*, Marks, L., Wickrama, T., & Thanigaseelan, S. (2020). ‘We Have Lost Our Lives Already’: Loss and Coping among Sri Lankan Widowed Women. Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment and Trauma.

Bray, B. C., Leyand, E., Okamoto, S., Hunt, Q., Marsiglia, F. F. (2020, May). Increasing health equity for diverse populations: Place-based etiology, intervention, and implementation. Symposium presentation for the Society for Prevention Research Annual Conference, Washington, DC. (Conference cancelled).

Conklin, H., Cutrer-Parraga, E., Hee, C., Chapman, R., Tsoi, C., Coplan, M., & Allen, K. (2020). Therapeutic preferences in Polynesian Americans. Presentation at the 33rd Annual SIP American Indian Psychology Convention and Retreat, Logan, UT.

Hee, C., Banford Witting, A., Sandberg, J., (2020). Family adversity and relationship quality for Pacific Islanders and the mediating role of coming to terms, self-esteem, and depression. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 47(3), 713-726.

Hunt, Q., Morrow, Q., & McGuire, J., (2020). Experiences of suicide in transgender youth: A qualitative, community-based study. Archives of Suicide Research, 24(sup2), S340–S355. doi: 10.1080/13811118.2019.1610677 (IF = 2.316; IF-5 = 2.539)

Hunt, Q. (2020, June). Suicidality, religiosity, and family support in trans* Mormon* families. Critical Suicidology 4th Annual Conference, Vancouver, BC, Canada. (Conference cancelled).

Marshall, K., Witting, A.B., Sandberg, J.G., & Bean, R. A. (2020). We shall overcome: The association between family of origin adversity, coming to terms, and relationship quality in African Americans. Contemporary Family Therapy, 42(3), 305-317. DOI:10.1007/s10591-020-09542-w. Journal Ranking: IF=n/a, HS=20.

Marshall, K., Banford Witting, A., Sandberg, J., Bean, R. (2020). We shall overcome: The association between family of origin adversity, coming to terms, and relationship quality in African Americans. Contemporary Family Therapy

Pereyra, S. B., Bean, R. A., *Ruiz, J., & *Velasco, B. (2020). The impact of parents and teachers on externalizing behavior among Latino/a adolescents via academic achievement: Combining the mental health and educational perspective. The Family Journal, DOI: 10.1177/1066480720926585. Journal Ranking: IF=n/a, HS=19.

Smithe, L. C., Bean, R. A., Limb, G. E., & Holmes, E. K. (2020, co-first authors). Status report for the field of social work: A content analysis of its racial/ethnic/cultural-focused research. Journal of Ethnic & Cultural Diversity in Social Work: Innovation in Theory, Research & Practice. DOI: 10.1080/15313204.2020.1730289. Journal Ranking: IF=n/a, HS=19.

Simpson, S., *Hawkins, J., M., & Bean, R. A. (2020). Family therapy for substance use among sexual minority youth: A review of treatment options. The American Journal of Family Therapy, DOI:10.1080/01926187.2020.1734502. Journal Ranking: IF=0.563 (2019), HS=15.

Tsoi, C. M., Hee, C., Cutrer-Parraga, E., Conklin, H., & Allen, G. E. K. (2020). Cultural considerations for psychotherapy with Polynesians. Presented at the American Psychological Association Annual Convention, Washington D.C., U.S.A.

Tsoi, C., Conklin, H., Hee, C., Chapman, R., Chun, S., Chandler, K., Lotulelei, T., Allen, K. (2020). Overview of current Polynesian psychology and psychotherapy research. Presentation at the 33rd Annual SIP American Indian Psychology Virtual Convention and Retreat, Logan, UT.

Banford Witting, A., Lambert, J., Johnson, L.N., Goodkin, C.*, & Wickrama, T. (2019). The Stigma of Widowhood in War and Disaster Affected Communities of Sri Lanka: Contextual Paths Between Trauma Exposure and Mental Health Distress. ​International Journal of Psychology. DOI:10.1002/ijop.12618

Conklin, H., Hee, C., Gancinia, B., Chapman, R., Scott, L., Tenney, T., Fifita, S., Auelua, L., Nonu, L., & Allen, K. (2019). Polynesian cultural frameworks for healing and implications for therapy practice. Presented at the 2019 APA Convention, Chicago, IL.

Hee, C., Banford Witting, A., & Sandberg, J. (2019). Coming to terms with family adversity and relationship satisfaction for Pacific Islanders. Presentation at the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy Annual Conference, Austin, TX.

Lin, S. Y., Miller, R. B., Su-Kubricht, L. P., Whiting, J., Bean, R., Hsieh, C. H., & Li, T. S. (2019). Parental influence on mate selection in modern Chinese society. Asian Journal of Family Therapy, 3, 29-42.

Pereyra, S. B., Bean, R. A., Yorgason, J. B., Sandberg, J. G., Miller, R. B., & Lee, C-T. (2019). Longitudinal study of externalizing behaviors in Latino adolescents: An examination of parenting and educational factors. Children and Youth Services Review. (10.1016/j.childyouth.2019.104513, SSCI impact factor (2018): Journal Ranking: IF=1.521 (2019), HS=46.