Kathleen Wenger - Marriage and Family Therapy Consortium of Orange County - Pepperdine GSEP Susan Read-Weil - Marriage and Family Therapy Consortium of Orange County - Pepperdine GSEP Mary Read - Marriage and Family Therapy Consortium of Orange County - Pepperdine GSEP

Co-chairs Kathleen Wenger, LMFT, Susan Read-Weil, LMFT, and Mary Read, LMFT


Founded in the early 1990s and originally known as the Orange County Community Consortium, the consortium included LCSWs, psychologists, and others for many years. However, over the past five years, the consortium has taken on a heavy MFT emphasis, an important direction given the significant changes to the MFT curriculum that went into effect in 2012.

Meeting Dates and Location

The next two meetings will be on Wednesday, May 18 and Wednesday, July 20, 2016, followed by the third Wednesday of September and November at the Pepperdine Irvine Graduate Campus, 18111 Von Karman Ave., Irvine, CA 92612.


The Orange County MFT Consortium brings together a diverse group of mental health professionals to share information about important BBS regulatory issues and the trends for the MFT profession throughout the state and nation. Attendees commonly include the directors of mental health agencies running practicum programs, direct supervisors, and representatives from MFT graduate school programs, all of whom bring a unique perspective to the consortium based on their area of expertise.

Format and Discussion Topics

Regular discussion topics at each consortium meeting include a review of the most recent BBS meeting, scholarship opportunities, and the specific concerns of agencies and schools. In the roundtable discussions that characterize consortium meetings, representatives from MFT programs are able to ask agency directors directly about the needs of their sites and learn about important training opportunities available to students. Agency attendees benefit by having a forum in which they can get help in assessing and evaluating trainees through collaboration and problem solving between themselves and school representatives.
Another benefit for agencies is having a face-to-face forum where they can inform MFT program representatives of job opportunities available to students and alumni. In addition, all participants benefit by the consortium's ability to provide an active group of support that helps in understanding the complexities of California regulatory agencies and their changing edicts. Since MFTs are focused on relationships, the supportive nature and camaraderie of the consortium has been a key part of what has made it work in building our professional community.

Special Guests

As part of facilitating this understanding of the regulatory environment, consortium meetings occasionally feature guest speakers with firsthand knowledge of legal issues surrounding the MFT field. For example, each features a call-in from Roseanne Helms, Legal Analyst of the California Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS), the regulatory agency that oversees the MFT profession. David Jensen, J.D., Michael Griffin, J.D., Cathy Atkins, J.D., of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (CAMFT) also attend each meeting. AAMFT-CA President Naveen Jonathan represents AAMFT-CA.

MHSA Stipend Program - Application Materials and Information

Application Materials and Information:

The 2016-2017 Orange County MFT State Stipend Program application form is available NOW via (MFT Consortium > California State Stipend Program). The deadline is October 5, 2016.

Click here for an information bulletin (including eligibility) on the 2016-2017 stipend program.

While Orange County, CA is not designated as a county of need, there are areas (Santa Ana, Buena Park, Garden Grove, Anaheim, Westminster, Costa Mesa, Fullerton, La Habra, and Placentia) that we encourage students to find field placements for greater experience with this population.

The California MFT Stipend Program is funded through the Mental Health Services Act and administered by the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development to address the statewide workforce need for mental health practitioners in underserved communities of California. The long-range objective of the MFT Stipend Program is to promote public mental health as a career option for those entering the MFT profession. Towards that end, the MFT Stipend Program promotes curriculum development in MFT graduate institutions that prepares MFT graduates for public mental health practice.

The Goals of the State's MFT Educational Stipend Program:

  • To recruit MFT students with the capacity to serve the culturally diverse needs of persons in mental health care especially in underserved communities
  • To recruit MFT students who are in recovery of serious mental illness and have experienced public mental health care as clients or family members of clients
  • To recruit MFT students who are trained in the delivery of recovery-oriented mental health services and have received instruction by those recovering from mental illness
  • To recruit MFT students who are community-oriented with career plans to practice in public mental health as an MFT intern and licensed MFT professional
  • To recruit MFT students who are committed to provide clinical services as a stipend recipient in a county designated by the state as County of Need

The long-range objective of the MFT educational stipend program is to promote public mental health as a career option for those entering the MFT profession. Towards that end, the stipend program promotes curriculum development in MFT graduate institutions that prepares MFT graduates for public mental health practice.

The Mental Health Services Act
The State's stipend program is funded through the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA). Enacted in 2005, the mission of MHSA is to transform California's public mental health delivery; in part, with mental health professionals dedicated to community service and to the care of those living with mental illness, by inspiring hope in their recovery, focusing on their personal strengths, respecting their cultural perspectives and learning from their lived experiences as consumers.

California MFT Stipend Program Application Information For 2015-16
The California Educational MFT Stipend Program will be awarding up to 111 stipends of $18,500 each for use by selected students to defray the cost of their graduate education. Selected stipend recipients are required to complete one year of paid or unpaid employment at a mental health service agency operated by or affiliated with a county's mental health or behavioral health department in California.

We are pleased to make available a presentation on the stipend delivered by Consortium co-chair Susan Read-Weil. This presentation explains the history and purpose of the MHSA, the purpose of the MFT State Stipend Program, an introduction to public sector mental health service delivery, and the eligibility, opportunities, and application procedures for the stipend program. Anyone who is interested in applying for a stipend is strongly encouraged to view this presentation.

Download  the PowerPoint Presentation from this video.

Orange County MFT Stipend

Recovery Oriented Services Lecture

We thank California Southern University for making this lecture by Dr. Diane Gehart available for us to share. The lecture is from their Master Lecture Series on Consumers of Recovery Oriented Services and is entitled "Working with Consumers and Clients on Recovery Oriented Services." You can also access the entire lecture series by going here.

Information About Agency Openings

For Pepperdine students, please check with your Clinical Training graduate assistant and log into PepPro for update sites.