Promoting Relational Health
Highly Relevant Research by CU Denver’s Couple of Family Therapy Program FacultyJulia Cummings | School of Education and Human Development Dec 5, 2023
In 2021, CU Denver’s School of Education & Human Development founded the ever-growing Couple and Family Therapy (CFT) program to develop ethical, culturally responsive clinicians who are equipped to work with a variety of clientele to improve their relationships. The 54-credit-hour COAMFTE-accredited program focuses on social justice and relational/systemic perspectives and is a beacon in Colorado and throughout the globe. Students are flocking to apply and take classes. Last fiscal year, the program experienced a 39 percent growth in applications and a 34 percent growth in number of students enrolled compared to the previous year.
Faculty members Rashmi Gangamma, Robert Allan, Chélynn Randolph and Tom Su are the magic behind the growing program. Future therapists in the CFT program have immediate access to these globally acclaimed scholars who share a deep commitment to student success. We highlight some of their most recent research achievements below.
Rashmi Gangamma, PhD, LMFT, associate professor and program director
Dr. Gangamma centers her scholarship around culturally responsive, family systems based mental health services for displaced individuals and families. Her research includes funded and interdisciplinary studies and a variety of research methodologies. Most recently, her co-authored interdisciplinary work on refugee mental health, food security, and economic well-being were published in the Journal of Migration and Human Security and Journal of Peasant Studies. She has conducted extensive research on clinical applications of contextual therapy theory, a family systems approach centering experiences of balance in relationships, leading to an expansion of its scope of practice with minoritized and underserved populations. Her current research examines home and community building factors in queer-identified migrants in the United States. This research is embedded within a framework of transnational intersectionality and contextual therapy theory, with a goal of increasing access to LGBTQ+ affirmative spaces to those with a migration experience.
Robert Allan, PhD, LMFT, LPC, associate professor
Dr. Allan is known around the globe for his research in Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy and Emotionally Focused Individual Therapy. He is currently a co-PI for a two-country clinical trial which examines the efficacy of EFIT in couple's therapy. His publications are profuse and demonstrate his unwavering commitment to helping LGBTQ+-identifying couples thrive. These works include 29 peer-reviewed articles, two co-edited books, and nine book chapters and 19 non-peer reviewed publications. He has been invited more than 100 times to share his scholarly projects and training in local, national, and international contexts.
Chélynn Randolph, PhD, LMFT, clinical assistant professor
Dr. Randolph enjoys developing meaningful relationships with her students and watching them flourish in her classes. Her research publications have explored Black Americans’ experiences in therapy and their experiences with barriers to accessing mental health treatment. Presently, her collaborative scholarly activities revolve around public scholarship and open education resources. Dr. Randolph received a CU Denver Center for Engaged Teaching and Learning (CETL) faculty fellowship in 2023. During this fellowship, she will partner with a research group called Relevate to create a database of relevant and engaging human development and family science and couple and family therapy resources that will be publicly accessible to anyone who wants to learn more about the relational health concepts.
Tom Su, PhD, LMFT, clinical assistant professor
Dr. Su believes our quality of life depends on the quality of our relationships. He promotes cultural sensitivity and cultural intelligence in his scholarly and clinical pursuits to promote relational health among intimate partners, families, and communities. His most recent publications focus on intercultural relationships, couples who have obtained covenant marriage licenses, and the use of narrative therapy with sexually minoritized couples. He is authoring works about how intercultural relationships and spirituality intersect and the relationship between intergenerational solidarity and family resistance.
Interested in applying to University of Colorado Denver’s Couple and Family Therapy program? In addition to outstanding faculty instruction and curriculum, graduate students in the CFT program benefit from real-life experience with equity-focused services for diverse clients at CU Denver’s Counseling Center. This is where they provide services to CU Denver students and people in the greater Denver community. Attend a program information session and apply for the Spring admissions cycle by February 1. Learn more at: education.ucdenver.edu/CFT
Need to gain a better understanding of yourself, your partner, and your family relationships? Explore the low-cost couple and family therapy options available through CU Denver’s Counseling Center. Call 303-315-7270.