Connecting Emerging Leaders with Top Contributors in the Field

AFTA Early Career Member Dumayi Gutierrez, PhD, LMFT

Connecting Emerging Leaders with Top Contributors in the Field

AFTA Early Career Committee Members
Laurel Salmon & Laura Stockford

ECM stands for Early Career Member. AFTA believes it is important to cultivate the professional growth of new entrants in the field of Family Therapy who exhibit great potential. Early Career Members are up and coming leaders in the field who have been involved in one or more of the following for at least two years subsequent to graduation:

  • Family therapy and family therapy teaching.
  • Family research, e.g., journal article, book chapter, significant dissertation research.
  • Significant work in family policy analysis, family advocacy, family history, family law, program development, or other area(s) concerned with the well being of families.

ECMs become full members of the Academy after three years.

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Pearls of Wisdom

ECM members plan a panel discussion that occurs each year at the Annual Meeting and Open Conference. The Pearls event provides an opportunity for Early Career and Student members to hear from pioneers in the field. The program, now in its seventh year, seeks to promote a cross-generational exchange of ideas and discoveries, to increase awareness of critical moments in the development of family therapy and allied fields, and to connect great contributors and pioneers with future leaders of the field.

Pearls panelists share stories about personal and professional influences that have led them to think, write, and work with couples and families. Panelists share “pearls of wisdom” gained by years of experience and open the discussion to receive insights from those just being their professional journey.

About the ECM Committee

The Early Career Membership (ECM) Committee seeks to provide opportunities for up and coming leaders in the field to develop a community of new family scholars. Specifically, the committee focuses attention on creating dialogue and conversation around issues relevant to ECMs while maintaining connection with the larger membership.

We hope that these endeavors and experiences will inspire ECM's continued involvement in the advancement of theory and therapy and the promotion of research and education in family therapy. The committee serves as a place for ECMs to connect with other ECMs as well as other AFTA members, and serves to provide a gateway for ECMs to transition into full members of the Academy.

Committee Goals

  1. Create and maintain successful ECM events at the Annual Meeting.
  2. Provide connection and support for ECMs throughout the year.
  3. Attract and recruit potential Early Career Members, with attention on assisting students transitioning to ECM.

Upcoming Events


Early Career Committee Members

More info coming soon


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