Denver Family Institute (DFI) is a private, nonprofit organization that exists to strengthen relationships in our community through quality marriage and family therapy (MFT) training and services. The provision and continuous improvement of these services is the core mission of DFI.
To achieve this mission, we provide marriage and family therapy training, consultation to community agencies, and relational therapy to families, couples, and individuals regardless of income. Our focus is on strength-based, systemic therapy, rooted in multicultural, social justice, and ethical principles and practices congruent with the values of our accrediting body and the Mission of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT).
Denver Family Institute was formed in 1982 as a post-graduate continuing education program that was sponsored by the University of Denver. Prior to 1982, the "Denver Family Therapy Project" was formed in 1979 by Steve Litt and Don Krill in the hopes to provide ongoing education about family therapy. This took place in the form of annual conferences. After several successful years, the team decided to start the post-graduate continuing education program. In 1988 the organization was moved off DU's campus and continued as a post-graduate continuing education program. In 1992, Denver Family Institute was incorporated, had formed an official Board of Directors and Governors, was granted non-profit status, and the initial COAMFTE accreditation process was completed. The certificate program became a two-year accredited program, allowing graduates to pursue a License in Marriage and Family Therapy (LMFT) upon completion. In the subsequent years, the clinic was established to support the post-graduate program. Interns were accepted and helped to maintain the administrative functioning of the organization under the Executive Director and Faculty leadership. Jim Thomas served as Executive Director following Steve Litt from approximately 2007 to 2012. During this time, the beginnings of a hired admin structure took place, and the finances were reconciled. In 2012 Will Bishop was elected Executive Director. The financial health of the organization continued to be established, and the organization moved to a new primary campus location in 2013. COAMFTE reaccreditation was established again in 2015, and officially granted in Spring of 2016. Today, DFI provides more than 5,000 low-fee therapy sessions each year with an average session fee of around $24. Emily Dorn serves as DFI's Executive Director.
"I received my masters degree from example university, and I received my education at DFI" -DFI Student
"I have learned more about therapy in the last week than I have in the last year" - First Year DFI Student
"We've noticed a big improvement in how we communicate and deal with problems since we started working with you and coming to DFI." - DFI Client
"In my first job after finishing graduate school I was far better prepared than any of my peers who started around the same time. I had a lot more practical experience than coworkers, and a stronger foundation to build on. We worked with very difficult clients, and it was part of my job to go in and work with families that had fired other therapists. My DFI training gave me the confidence and skills to go in and help these families." - DFI Alumn
"We have made more progress with you in the last two months than we have in the last 11 years of doing therapy." - DFI Client
"I've been to therapists before. All they did was give me medication that made me sleep all the time. And then I come here - and we talk, and you listen, and you bring things out of me that I never knew existed." - DFI Client