The Washington Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (WAMFT) is an active Independent Affiliate of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT). Through successful engagement of its members, WAMFT offers cutting edge educational events and networking opportunities, protects and advances the profession of marriage and family therapy through strong advocacy efforts within Washington state, and prioritizes its students and emerging professionals with training, scholarship, and mentoring opportunities.

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Our mission is to network, educate, and advocate for the enrichment of our members, the advancement of our marriage and family therapy field, and the health of our professional community in Washington state.








Michelle Finley PhD LMFT


January 2021

Our board of directors kicked off the new year with our second two-day strategic planning retreat (January 9th and 10th). Over the past year, the board has worked hard to realize the vision and goals set forth from last year’s strategic planning retreat even in the face of significant challenges and setbacks due to the COVID-19 global pandemic.


Despite the pandemic and the loss the world has collectively faced in 2020, the WAMFT board of directors worked tirelessly and creatively to meet our goals set forth from the 2020 strategic plan. I must say, we accomplished nearly every goal last year despite having to cancel beloved events like Mentor Day 2020 and shifting all operations and programs online. We brought our members more opportunities to connect with each other through our Building a Better Us and Community Café series. Our board worked hard to redesign and overhaul our website, so it looks snazzier, is better organized, and offers more resources tailored to each membership category we serve. We managed to bring together brilliant minds and voices to our annual conference including offering a DOH-approved and systemically oriented suicide prevention and intervention training event. We celebrated our members during a week-long series of membership appreciation events in December and still manage to raise close to $4800.

Even our legislative and advocacy efforts showed resilience and determination in the face of the pandemic. Last year brought many unforeseen challenges necessitating flexibility to address pressing current events. WAMFT’s lobbyists advocated for MFTs to be considered essential workers in Washington, advocated for telehealth pay parity from payors during the pandemic, and continued to provide defense against any increase in licensure fees. Washington State SB 5054 (Licensure Reciprocity) became active, and licensed MFTs began to apply for lateral transfers of their credentials. Our lobbyists continue to advocate for an improved verification process because many out of state clinicians have increased waiting times for their Washington State credentials.


Please stay connected with WAMFT to learn about upcoming legislative and advocacy initiatives like our Virtual Day on the Hill Event on February 24, March 22, and April 28, 2021. 

For our board retreat earlier this month, we spent a considerable amount of time reflecting on our progress in 2020 and then focusing on refining and deepening our strategic plan for the next three years. The rationale for a 3-year strategic plan is that it brings continuity and a longer vision spanning changes in board membership including transitioning to the next president.


Our board decided that our main strategic focus in 2020 is turning a substantial amount of our energy toward building, maintaining, and supporting our membership. We plan to do this in a variety of ways, including:

  1. Giving more focused and intentional attention to how we integrate anti-racism into our work as the board of directors as well as how we infuse anti-racism and more cultural awareness into the events, training, and resources we provide members.

  2. Conducting a comprehensive needs analysis to tailor our services and resources so we can better serve the unique and shared needs of our members.

  3. Continuing to add high-quality resources to our website for both the public and specific to each membership category.

  4. Expanding and enhancing our CE offerings online and providing more discounted and free trainings for our members.

  5. Continuing to increase our social media engagement to allow for community building and networking between members online.

  6. Continuing to extend our geographical reach to different areas of the state in the form of networking events and training.

  7. Expanding scholarship opportunities for emerging leaders and professionals in our membership.

  8. Engaging members in active ways to support state advocacy work.

The board of directors are motivated, enthusiastic, and clearer about the work we have ahead of us for the next three years. We hope that you are as excited about our goals and plans for our profession and our membership specifically here in Washington. We want to continue to promote a thriving MFT profession and offer a more supported and informed community of MFTs across Washington state.


On behalf of the board, I wish you a safe, joyful, and productive year. Please do not hesitate to reach out and connect with any of us throughout 2021. We are here to serve you.



Michelle Finley, PhD LMFT


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Cary Ambler

Program Manager


Michelle Finley



Jennifer Sampson

Past President


Anthony Pennant



Amira Whitehill



Michele Sullivan



Amisha Patel

Student Board Member

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Krista Merca

Pre-Clincial Board Member

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Theresa Winther

At-Large Board Member

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Charity Laughlin

At-Large Board Member


Billie Tyler

At-Large Board Member

Danesha Deloatch Headshot

Danesha Deloatch

At-Large Board Member

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Macy Dong

At-Large Board Member


October 2020


The election results have been tabulated and we'd like to congratulate our

newly elected WAMFT Board Members!

  • Anthony Pennant, President-Elect

  • Wensi (Macy) Dong, Member-at-Large

  • Danesha Deloatch, Member-at-Large

  • Krista Merca, Pre-Clinical Member

  • Derrick Hoard, Elections Committee

  • Jessica Leith, Elections Committee (write-in candidate)

  • John Odell Stewart, Jr, Elections Committee (write-in candidate)


Congratulations to our newest Board Members and THANK YOU to all who ran!!


The WAMFT Elections Committee

2021 Election Information


The American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) is the professional association for the field of marriage and family therapy. AAMFT represents the professional interests of more than 50,000 marriage and family therapists throughout the United States, Canada and abroad.

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Since its founding in 1942, AAMFT has been involved with the problems, needs and changing patterns of couples and family relationships. The association leads the way to increasing understanding, research and education in the field of marriage and family therapy, and ensuring that the public’s needs are met by trained practitioners. AAMFT provides individuals with the tools and resources they need to succeed as MFTs.

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WAMFT is an engagement program of AAMFT, currently structured as a geographic independent affiliate. Our name is the Washington Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (WAMFT).  To learn more about what it means for WAMFT to be a geographic independent affiliate of AAMFT, please visit Membership FAQs.


WAMFT receives funding from AAMFT to support our advocacy work.  Based on the political landscape, emerging opportunities, and other related factors, AAMFT has approved foundational funding for WAMFT to be applied toward our lobbying efforts for 2019 and 2020, particularly related to the development of license portability laws. WAMFT is thrilled to have the backing of AAMFT as our national organization to continue the work we have been doing through our legislative committee.

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