Ph.D., Human Development and Family Studies-Marriage and Family Therapy, Iowa State University
M.S., International Development, Sociology, Political Science, and Spanish, Iowa State University
B.A., Business Administration, Briar Cliff College
Areas of Interest
Evidence Based Treatments for Families Affected by Traumatic Stress Parenting Interventions/Children’s Mental Health Immigrant and Refugee Mental Health Prevention, Implementation and Dissemination Science Global Mental Health
Research and Discovery
Elizabeth Wieling, Ph.D., LMFT, is Associate Professor in the Department of Family Social Sciences at the University of Minnesota. Liz’s early research was directed at developing a better understanding of cross-cultural dynamics in psychotherapy intervention and research and advancing clinical models that more adequately fit the cultural characteristics of Latino/a populations, particularly at-risk families dealing with multiple stressors and a history of complex and/or mass traumas. This work has evolved into investigations of preventive and clinical intervention models that demonstrate efficacy as well as effectiveness with systematically marginalized and disenfranchised families in the United States and abroad. Central to this research is the development of culturally appropriate, ethical, and methodologically sound strategies to assess intervention outcomes.
Liz is concurrently pursuing a research agenda that involves integrating her previous cross-cultural work and prevention background to develop multi-component systemic oriented interventions that cut across individual, family, and community levels for intervening with populations exposed to mass trauma – particularly related to war and organized violence.
Specifically, she is adapting two evidence based treatments for implementation with families: 1) Parent Management Training – Oregon Model (PMTO) is being adapted for work with traumatized populations with the idea of helping parents to help their children in the aftermath of traumatic events – she completed a K01 Research Scientist Career Development Award funded by NIMH called “Implementing the Parenting Through Change Model with Latina Single Mothers (2003-2008). The purpose of this study was to adapt and extend the Oregon Social Learning Center’s PMT-O preventive intervention for a population of at-risk Latina single mothers; 2) Narrative Exposure Therapy (NET), an intervention for persons diagnosed with posttraumatic stress disorder is being incorporated into a multi-component ecological approach to assist families. Several ecological and postmodern informed frameworks such as Narrative Therapy, Emotionally Focused Therapy, and Gender/Cultural/Indigenous Critical models are incorporated as part of her multi-component interdisciplinary research agenda.
Liz is collaborating with an international team of interdisciplinary researchers to develop a research agenda focused on global mental health for populations affected by traumatic stress. In the United States she is collaborating with colleagues associated with the Oregon Social Learning Center, with the Center for Victims of Torture and a number of local multicultural agencies. Abroad she is working with researchers at the University of Bielefeld, Germany, who developed Narrative Exposure Therapy, and with the Centro de Investigación Familiar, A.C., a family therapy research institute and non-profit organization. This team hopes to further develop, implement, test, and later disseminate adapted and newly developed trauma focused interventions for parents and families across different parts of the world.
Current Research Projects
Uganda: Implementing a culturally relevant parenting intervention for families affected by war violence (adapted Parent Management Training-Oregon Model)
Mexico: Developing and implementing treatments for trauma-affected families in a child maltreatment context (Narrative Exposure Therapy and Parent Management Training-Oregon Model)
Minnesota: 1) Development of mental health screening tool for refugee populations; 2) Parenting and family level interventions for immigrant and refugee populations
What Students Can Expect From Me
Teaching, learning, and interacting with students is one of the scholarly activities that most enthuses and invigorates me. As a teacher, I am most inspired by the pedagogical philosophies of Paulo Freire related to conscientization of the masses and by bell hooks’ notions of critical thinking and cultural transformation. Their work has motivated me to approach teaching and leaning as a creative, revolutionary, and collaborative process that takes place within a cultural, gendered, historic, and political context. I believe the opportunity to pursue a formal education is one of the greatest privileges one can have access to in life and as such I see my role as a teacher/learner as pivotal, political, and potentially transformative. I hold high expectations for myself as I facilitate and promote the development of knowledge inside the classroom. I encourage students to develop a partnership with me whereby we hold each other accountable for putting forth our best effort in the process of learning and growing both personally and professionally. For students, this often involves having the courage to reinvent/recreate the “self” and to integrate emerging learning realities into existing relationships as well developing an ethics of participation as a teacher/learner, researcher and clinician (for clinical students).
Undergraduate and Graduate Courses
FSoS 4104W: Family Psychology
FSoS 8560*: Evidence Based Treatments for Mass Trauma: Narrative Exposure Therapy
FSoS 8150*: Global Perspectives on Immigrant and Refugee Families
FSoS 8013: Qualitative Family Research Methods
FSoS 8550*: Advanced Qualitative Research Methods
* Developed course
Board of Directors – Center de Investigación Familiar A.C., Monterrey, Mexico
Honors & Awards
Internationalizing Triangles Award, College of Education and Human Development, 2013-2014
Matthew Stark Faculty Human Rights Award. College of Education and Human Development. 2011
Chair, Board of Directors, La Familia Guidance Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota – 2004-2007
Family Clinical/Research Consultant – Center for Victim’s of Torture
Traumatic Stress Consultant - The Family Partnership, Minneapolis, 2009-present.
vivo - Victim’s Voice, International NGO
American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy
American Family Therapy Academy
European Society for Traumatic Stress
International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies
Society for Prevention Research
National Council on Family Relations (past member)
Ballard, J, & Wieling, E., Forgatch, M. (2017). Feasibility of implementation of a parenting intervention with resettled Karen refugees from Burma. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy. doi: 10.1111/jmft.12286.
Morgan, E. Wieling, E., Hubbard, J., & Kraus, E. (2017). The development and implementation of a multi-couple therapy model with torture survivors in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy. doi: DOI: 10.1111/jmft.12287.
Yumbul, C., Wieling, E., & Celik, H. (2017). Impact of the 2011 earthquake on affected Turkish families: Mother’s perceptions of change in parenting practices and child outcomes. Contemporary Family Therapy.
McClearly, J., & Wieling, E. (2016). Forced displacement and alcohol use in two Karen refugee communities: A comparative qualitative study. The British Journal of Social Work. doi:10.1093/bjsw/bcw076.
Wieling, E., Mehus, C., Yumbul, C., Möllerherm, J., Ertl, V., Laura, A., Forgatch, M., Neuner, F., & Catani, C. (2015). Preparing the field for feasibility testing of a parenting intervention for war-affected mothers in Northern Uganda. Family Process. doi: 10.1111/famp.12189.
Wieling, E., Mehus, C., Möllerherm, J., Neuner, F., Achan, L., & Catani, C. (2015). Assessing the feasibility of providing a parenting intervention for war-affected families in Northern Uganda. Family and Community Health, 38(3), 253–268. doi: 10.1097/FCH.0000000000000064.
Myhra, L., Wieling, E., & Grant, H. (2015). Substance Use in American Indian Family Relationships: Linking Past, Present, and Future. American Journal of Family Therapy, 43(5), 413-424. doi: 10.1080/01926187.2015.1069133.
Volpe. E. M., Quinn, C. R., Resch, K., Sommers, M. S., Wieling, E., Cerulli, C. (2015). Narrative Exposure Therapy: A proposed model to address IPV-related PTSD in parenting and pregnant adolescents. Family and Community Health. doi: 10.1097/FCH.0000000000000072.
Shannon, P., Simmelink, J., Wieling, E., Im, H., Becher, E., & O’Fallon, A. (2015). Exploring mental health screening feasibility and training of health coordinators. Journal of Immigrant and Refugee Studies, 13(1), 80-102. doi: 10.1080/15562948.2014.894170.
Erbes, C., Stillman, J., Wieling, E., Bera, W., & Leskela, J. (2014). A pilot examination of the use of narrative therapy with individuals diagnosed with PTSD. Journal of Traumatic Stress,27(6), 730-733. doi:10.1002/jts.21966.
Becher, E., & Wieling, E. (2014). The intersections of culture and power in therapist and interpreter relationships: A qualitative study. Journal of Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology. doi.org/10.1037/a0037535.
Erolin, K., Wieling, E., & Aguilar, E. (2014). Family violence exposure and associated risk factors to child PTSD in a Mexican sample. Child Abuse and Neglect, 38(6), 1011-1022. doi.org/10.1016/j.chiabu.2014.04.011.
Shannon, P., Wieling, E., Simmelink, J., & Becher, E. (2014). Exploring the mental health effects of political trauma with newly arrived refugees. Qualitative Health Research. 1-15. doi: 10.1177/1049732314549475.
Shannon, P., Wieling, E., Im, H., Becher, E., & Simmelink, J., (2014). Beyond stigma: Barriers to discussing mental health in refugee populations. Journal of Loss and Trauma. doi:10.1080/15325024.2014.934629.
Shannon, P. J., Vinson, G., Wieling, E., Cook, T., & Letts, J. (2014). Torture, war trauma, and mental health symptoms of Karen refugees. Journal of Loss and Trauma. doi:10.1080/15325024.2014.965971.
Myhra, L. & Wieling, E. (2014). Psychological trauma among American Indian families: A two-generation study. Journal of Loss and Trauma, 19(4) 289-313. doi:10.1080/15325024.2013.771561.
Parra-Cardona, R., Aguilar, E., Wieling, E., Forgatch, M., Domenech-Rodriquez, M., Morton, A., & Fitzgerald, H. (2014). Closing the gap between two countries: Feasibility of dissemination of an evidence-based parenting intervention in México. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy. doi: 10.1111/jmft.12098.
Shannon, P., Im, H., Becher, E., Simmelink, J., Wieling, E., & O’Fallon, A. (2012) Screening for war trauma, torture and mental health symptoms among newly arrived refugees: A national survey of state refugee health coordinators. Journal of Immigrant and Refugee Studies, 10(4), 380-394. doi: 10.1080/15562948.2012.674324.
Wieling, E. (2017, June). PMTO across cultures: Supporting parents in multiple countries. PMTO and Diversity: International PMTO Conference in Europe. Invited Plenary. Aahus City, Denmark.
Wieling, E., Mehus, C.*, Möllerherm, J.*, Neuner, F., & Catani, C. (2013, July). Assessing the feasibility of implementation of a parenting intervention for war affected families in Northern Uganda. Symposium presentation at the European Society of Traumatic Stress (ECOTS) Conference, Bologna, Italy.
Wieling, E. (2017, May). Developing multicomponent systemic interventions for trauma-affected immigrant and refugee populations. Invited scholarly presentation at AAMFT Minority Fellowship Program, Spring Training Institute in Arlington, VA.
Wieling, E. Gerald Patterson’s and Marion Forgatch’s scientific and social justice legacy in the prevention field. (2017, May). Symposium presentation at the Society for Prevention Research, Washington, D.C.
Wieling, E. (2015, May). Early stage implementation efforts to transport an adapted evidence-based parenting intervention to war-affected families in Northern Uganda. Symposium Chair. Society for Prevention Research, Integrating Prevention Science and Public Policy, Washington, D.C.
Wieling, E. & Mehus, C. Assessing and preparing the field for testing a parenting intervention with war-affected families in Northern Uganda.
Wieling, E. & Mehus, C. Assessing the feasibility of providing a parenting intervention for war-affected mothers in Northern Uganda.
Mehus, C. & Wieling, E. Fathering and substance use in Northern Uganda.