Therapy master’s program and clinic to shut down

Rachel Sinn

For the four remaining students in the couple and family therapy program, the end is near as the master’s program prepares to shut down at Iowa State.

Students in the program say with the last semester of the program underway, emotions are high and the last days are bittersweet.

The Couple and Family Therapy Clinic is closing due to the high cost of the program itself and the expansion of the financial counseling services program which shares the same building.

“We don’t turn away anyone that can’t pay,” said Amy Muller, graduate student in human development and family studies within the program.

“Most therapy agencies require insurance which we don’t require,” Muller said. “Part of that is because we’re students and not licensed therapists; it’s a training program.”

Now that the program’s clinic will not be available, there will not be many alternative places to seek counseling that are affordable to low income individuals.

“The student counseling service center takes cases, but they are usually bombarded by many and can only help ISU students,” said Lindsey Deets, graduate student in human development and family studies. “Most places in the community are expensive.”

Some of the more common therapy sessions are in regards to conflict resolution within couples, past and current trauma victims and individuals with grief and loss issues.

Deets and Muller offer much of the credit to the program to Megan Murphy, former clinic director.

“It’s been closed down before and resurrected. Dr. Murphy put her heart and soul into the clinic,” Deets said. 

Muller agreed with Deets’s analysis of Murphy. 

“She worked very hard to get it accredited,” she said. “This is the only accredited marriage and family program in the state. Sadly there’s absolutely no chance of it coming back this time.”

Murphy said the clinic started in 1987 with the Ph.D. program in marriage and family therapy starting around the same time.

“I feel like it’s a disservice to the community for it to be closed,” said Krystyna Abbot, graduate student in human development and family studies.

The three students said they share goals of procuring jobs after graduation and becoming licensed therapists.

“I think it’s really sad for future students that wanted to be in an accredited program,” Deets said. “Being in this program will make it easier to become licensed.”

The Couple and Family Therapy Clinic is located on campus in Room 1311 of the Palmer Building. Counseling is available to all students for $10 per session. Services will be available through the end of the semester when the clinic officially closes.