Our Value to the Community: Strengthening Individuals, Couples, and Families

UNLV's marriage and family therapy program provides essential services to the community, state and nation through continued research, student training, and clinical services.

Only Accredited MFT Program in the State

UNLV has the only marriage and family therapy (MFT) program in the State of Nevada that is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy. Accreditation places us in the top ranks of all marriage and family therapy programs nationally, with faculty scholarship and research productivity higher than the national average. Our faculty members have published more than 21 books on new therapies and techniques, which benefit couples and families all across the country.

Benefits to the Community

Our program not only makes significant contributions nationally, but also to the community and the State of Nevada. Each therapist-in-training must provide at least 500 hours of therapy through the on-campus clinic and a community-based internship. With national private practice fees around $80 per hour, each new class of ours, which averages 12 students, contributes approximately half a million dollars of therapy to the community during the course of their program.

These services are being offered to clients who could not afford to pay private practice fees or do not have insurance to cover mental health. Nevada ranks near the top of the nation with mental health problems such as divorce, yet ranks lowest in funding for mental health. Even those who seek and can afford these services may not be able to find help due to the mental health crisis that is universally accepted as a fact in our state.

Economic Benefits

Therapy has also been shown to have economic benefits. Studies show that individuals, couples, and families who receive therapy make fewer visits to medical doctors and miss fewer days of work. Visits to medical doctors for stress-related and psychosomatic problems are expensive when compared to the cost of therapy. Clients receiving marriage and family counseling reduced their utilization of outpatient medical services, and research confirms an average savings on medical costs exceeding 20 percent, even after the cost of therapy was subtracted. Absence at work is a drain on the economy and hardship for the employer and the employee. Studies have shown a strong link between therapy and a decrease in absenteeism rates and improvements in performance at work. In a right-to-work state, attendance at jobs can be critically important.

Additional Benefits

Therapy for individuals, couples, and families has many other benefits outside of the economic value. It:

  • Helps create happier and healthier relationships,
  • Improves the quality of life,
  • Helps prevent conflictual relationships or divorce,
  • Gives children a better chance to be raised in healthy intact families.

Some health professions such as medicine and nursing are highly visible to the public. In spite of our profession being "invisible," the value of the UNLV's MFT Program to our community and society transcends economics.