Sara Jordan

Professor and Director, Couple and Family Therapy Program
Faculty Fellow and Chair of Executive Council for the UNLV Graduate College
Expertise: Solution-focused brief therapy, Communication in psychotherapy, Microanalysis, Substance abuse


Sara Jordan is a licensed marriage and family therapist who serves as a professor, graduate coordinator, and program director with UNLV’s Couple and Family Therapy Program.

Jordan's research focuses on using solution-focused brief therapy (SFBT) — which has been used to successfully treat many types of issues such as depression and anxiety — to help patients live their preferred lives despite the obstacles and challenges they face. She boasts more than 20 years of experience in this area, and her work on applying SFBT with substance abusers has been nationally recognized by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Health Services Administration’s National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices as well as the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. Jordan has also influenced the use of SFBT worldwide, with her program being validated for use with Japanese and Turkish clinical populations.

A co-founding member of the International Microanalysis Associates, Jordan specializes in the systematic, moment-by-moment examination of specific observable behaviors in face-to-face dialogue, focusing on their immediate communicative functions. 

Jordan has received national and international recognition for her research efforts, is the former editor of the Journal of Solution Focused Practices, and is a clinical member of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT).


  • M.S., Purdue University Calumet
  • Ph.D., Virginia Tech

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psychology & human behavior

Sara Jordan In The News

K.N.P.R. News
Vegas is fast-paced, 24 hours, and places to meet can be pretty unconventional — we still have a transient population. Our economy means schedules don’t always match up. At the same time, many of us embrace the diversity of our population, we welcome the idiosyncrasies and differences. So given all of that, how do we make relationships work?
Las Vegas Sun
It’s been a long three months since the start of the pandemic, and we are by no means out of the woods. Social isolation, economic insecurity and health concerns make for a perfect storm of stressors that many of us are experiencing right now. If you’ve been living with a spouse or a partner during lockdown, you will most likely be the first to notice any changes in behavior.
Simply Focus Podcast
In today’s episode, we talk with Sara Smock Jordan, Ph.D., LMFT, Associate Professor, Program Director of Marriage and Family Therapy, and Graduate Coordinator at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Las Vegas Sun
While 2018 saw a slew of celebrities speaking openly about their struggles with mental health—Ariana Grande spoke of her anxiety and PTSD on her song “Sweetener;” Chrissy Teigen took to Twitter to discuss her postpartum depression; and Jon Hamm talked of his therapy and antidepressants—there’s still a stigma attached to seeking professional help.

Articles Featuring Sara Jordan

woman posing
People | January 18, 2023

Among her many titles — therapist, professor, director of UNLV's Couple and Family Therapy Program — Sara Jordan credits her mortician and EMT father for showing her a sense of humor is invaluable even in the most serious of careers.