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Posts tagged ‘MFT’

Now What? Life After Graduation


You have just received a passing grade on the last assignment of the last course of your degree program. You’ve been living for this day for months –years even. You finally have the time to reconnect with your family and friends and tell everyone you know that you’ve accomplished your goal. How do you feel?

Many of you probably assume you will relieved, excited, even euphoric. However, accomplishing a long-term goal can lead to a wide range of emotions.

“People often experience mixed feelings at the end of a rigorous process,” explains Darren Adamson (Ph.D.), associate professor for NCU’s School of Marriage and Family Sciences and director of curriculum development for the MFT programs. “These feelings can range from exhilaration to disappointment. Some individuals may feel guilty and anxious while others are proud of their accomplishment and feel satisfaction.”

According to Adamson, many factors can lead to these different emotions, including:

  • Accomplishment of a long-term goal or task
  • Meeting your own and others’ expectations
  • Overcoming the different challenges within your goal or task
  • Changes in your formerly predictable schedule
  • Failing to acknowledge an uncertain future
  • Questioning the reality of your accomplishment

If you find yourself feeling differently than you expected post–graduation, the first thing to remind yourself of is that it’s completely normal! While your feelings may be confusing, they are actually quite predictable. Take advantage of the wisdom learned by those who have gone before you and try some of these tips to help you manage your emotions.

  1. Let your feelings be what they are and do not worry about them—just feel them.
  2. Celebrate your accomplishment with family, friends and other graduates. If possible, attend your commencement.
  3. Accept praise from others—it may feel unreal at first, but many of them saw how hard you worked and know what you sacrificed for this achievement.
  4. Compare where you were when you started your program and where you are now. Accept and own the changes.
  5. Be deliberate in your planning for a career change or advancement. It won’t happen without you!
  6. Access all the support resources available to you in your efforts to use your degree to your career advantage.

Most of all, remember that you’re not alone.

Just because you graduated, that doesn’t mean your connection with your school has to end. Get involved in NCU’s alumni association and network with others who have similar career interests. You may find that staying connected is the best reality check for remembering and celebrating everything you’ve accomplished.

*Originally published in Higher Degrees Fall 2013.

Not Sure About a Career in Marriage and Family Therapy?

Darren Adamson

NCU faculty member Dr. Adamson shares why he switched from a political science major with plans to attend law school to a degree in marriage and family therapy. Read his interview in

This Valentine’s Day, Learn About Marriage and Family Therapy Licensure

Northcentral University’s Charles K. West, Ph.D., LMFT, is ready to take on all the myths about Marriage and Family Therapy licensure, state regulations and the MFT National Examination. You’re invited to join us for this illuminating webinar on Thursday, February 14, 2013 from 10 to 11 a.m. (PST). Register today for the next lecture in our series by sending an e-mail to: We’ll reserve your virtual ticket and you’ll be sent login information to the seminar through our GotoMeeting Webinar service.

As part of our commitment to offering high-quality MFT training, you’ll also be added to our mailing list and you will receive information about future topics in our MFT lecture series. We will cover a new topic bimonthly, including ethics, licensure, research, and applications of systems theory.

We welcome input from interested parties. Please share suggestions for future topics and speakers by sending an e-mail to

Dr. West is the current Past-President of the Association of Marital and Family Therapy Regulatory Boards (AMFTRB) and was previously a content expert for the National MFT Examination.

Dr. West is the author of an article entitled, “Marriage and Family Therapy: Examining the Impact of Licensure on an Evolving Profession,” in the January 2013 issue of Journal of Marital and Family Therapy. He is also the co-editor of Family Therapy Review: Contrasting Contemporary Models (2012). This book includes chapters that West has written on the changing MFT profession and third-wave behavioral marital therapy (contextual cognitive behavioral therapy).

Dr. West currently serves as the Associate Professor and Director of Clinical Training for Northcentral’s Marriage and Family Therapy Programs in the School of Marriage and Family Sciences. NCU’s Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy is the first and only COAMFTE-accredited program with distance education – ensuring that the University’s program aligns with national accreditation standards.

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