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Elizabeth Wieling

College of Family and Consumer Sciences

Human Development and Family Science

Professor, Marriage and Family Therapy Program Director


Degree Field of Study Institution Graduation
PhD Human Development and Family Studies/Marriage and Family Therapy Iowa State University 1997
M.S. International Development, General Graduate Studies – Sociology, Political Science, and Spanish Iowa State University 1993
B.A. Business Administration Briar Cliff University 1991


Elizabeth Wieling’s early research focused on understanding cross-cultural dynamics in psychotherapy intervention and research, and advanced clinical models that more adequately fit the cultural characteristics of Latinx 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 integrates her cross-cultural work and prevention background to develop multi-component systemic-oriented interventions that cut across individual, family, and community levels for populations exposed to mass trauma – particularly related to war and organized violence.

As part of her multi-component interdisciplinary research agenda, she is adapting two evidence-based treatments for implementation with families: 1) Parent Management Training – (GenerationPMTO) is being adapted for work with trauma-affected populations, specifically to support parents to help their children in the aftermath of traumatic events. She previously had adapted GenerationPMTO for at-risk Latina single mothers in a research project underwritten by a National Institutes of Mental Health Research Scientist Career Development Award and has tested the feasibility of the model with Acholi families in Northern Uganda and with Karen refugee mothers resettled in the U.S.; 2) Narrative Exposure Therapy (NET), an intervention for persons diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, is being incorporated into a multi-component ecological approach, including Narrative Therapy, Emotionally Focused Therapy, and Gender/Cultural/Indigenous Critical models, to assist families. 

In addition, Liz is collaborating with U.S. and international teams 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 from the Oregon Social Learning Center,the Center for Victims of Torture, and several local multicultural agencies. She is also working with researchers in Germany, Uganda, Mexico and Brazil to advance the implementation and dissemination of parenting and family interventions.


Evidence-based parenting interventions (GenerationPMTO)

Traumatic stress (Narrative Exposure Therapy)

Implementation and dissemination research

Global mental health

Advanced qualitative research methodologies

Observational dyadic and family research

Prior Professional Positions

Organization Title Years of Service
University of Minnesota, Department of Family Social Science Professor 16


National work with mental health agencies serving immigrant and refugee populations and international work with trauma-afffected populations in post-conflict settings.

Areas of Expertise

Traumatic stress, parenting, global mental health, immigrant and refugee families, Latinx mental health

Evidence Based Treatments: Narrative Exposure Therapy and GenerationPMTO



Ballard, J.,* Wieling, E. & Solheim, C. (June, 2016). Immigrant and Refugee Families: Global Perspectives on Displacement and Resettlement Experiences in the United States. University of Minnesota Libraries - Open Access. http://open.lib.umn.edu/immigrantfamilies/

Note: Equal author contributions.

Rosenblatt, P. & Wieling, E. (2013). Knowing and Not-Knowing in Intimate Relationships. Cambridge University Press.

Rastogi, M., & Wieling, E. (Eds.). (2004). Voices of Color: First Person Accounts of Ethnic Minority Therapists. Sage. 

Current Research

Evidenced based treatments for families affected by traumatic stress

Parenting interventions/Child mental health

Immigrant and refugee mental health

Latinx mental and relational health

Prevention, implementation, and dissemination science

Global mental health


* Publications with student

Baumann, A., Domenech-Rodriguez, M., Wieling, E., Parra-Cardona, R., Forgatch, M., & Rains, L. (in press). Teaching GenerationPMTO, an evidence-based parent intervention, in a university setting using a blended learning strategy. Pilot and Feasibility Studies. doi: 10.1186/s40814-019-0476-8

McCleary, J.*, Shannon, P., Wieling, E., & Becher, E.* (in press). Exploring intergenerational communication and stress in refugee children and adolescents. Child & Family Social Work.

Morgan, E.*, Wieling, E., Hubbard, J., & Dwanyen, L.* (in press). Testing the feasibility of implementing a multi-couple therapy model with torture surviving couples in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Family Process. 

Mehus, C.*, Wieling, E., Ertl, V., Achan, L., & Okot, T. (in press). The perceived impact of alcohol on father’s roles and relationships in northern Uganda. Transcultural Psychology.

Serpeloni, F., Nätt, D., Gonçalves de Assis, S., Wieling, E., & Elbert, T. (in press). Experiencing community and domestic violence is associated with epigenetic changes in DNA methylation of BDNF and CLPX in adolescents. Psychophysiology.

Cooper, D.*, Wieling, E., Domenech-Rodriguez, M., Garcia-Huidobro, D.*, Baumann, A., Mejia, A., Le, H., Cardemil, E., & Acevedo-Polakovich, I. G. (2019). Latinx mental health scholars’ experiences with cultural adaptation and implementation of systemic family interventions. Family Process. doi: 10.1111/famp.12433 

Utržan, D.* & Wieling, E. (2018). A phenomenological study of the experiences of Syrian asylum-seekers and refugees in the United States. Family Process. doi: 10.1111/famp.12408

Utržan, D. S.*, Wieling, E., & Piehler, T. F. (2018). An assessment of the United States refugee resettlement program: Focus on Syrian asylum-seek¬ers and refugees. International Migration Review. doi: 10.1111/imig.12479

Mehus, C.*, Wieling, E., Achan, L., & Oloya, T. (2018). Identifying the roles of fathers in post-war Northern Uganda: Groundwork for a parenting intervention. African Studies. doi.org/10.1080/00020184.2018.1496593

Garcia-Huidobro, D.*, Diaspro-Higuera, M. O., Palma, D., Palma, R., Ortega, L., Shlafer, R., Wieling, E., Piehler, T., August, G., Svetaz, M. V., Borowsky, I. W., & Allen, M. L. (2018). Adaptive recruitment and parenting interventions for immigrant Latino families with adolescents. Prevention Science. doi.org/10.1007/s11121-018-0898-1

Wieling, E. (2017). Family interventions for populations exposed to traumatic stress related to war and violence. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy. doi: 10.1111/jmft.12297

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: 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. doi: 10.1007/s10591-017-9445-7

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

Gorlin, J. B.*, McAlpine, C. P., Garwick, A., & Wieling, E. (2016). Severe childhood autism: The family lived experience. Journal of Pediatric Nursing. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pedn.2016.09.002

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

Garcia-Huidobro, D.*, Maldonado, F., Rosas-Lee, M., Allen, M., & Wieling, E. (2015). Understanding attendance in a community-based parenting intervention for immigrant Latino/a families. Health Promotion Practice, 17(1), 57-69. doi: 10.1177/1524839915582155

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 

Trombley, H.*, Bartels, D., & Wieling, E. (2014). “She’s my baby:” How recently incarcerated fathers experience their relationship with their daughters. Fathering, 12(1), 94-114. doi: 10.3149/fth.1201.94 

Myhra, L.* & Wieling, E. (2014). Intergenerational patterns of substance abuse among urban American Indian families. Journal of Ethnicity in Substance Abuse, 13(1), 1-22. doi:10.1080/15332640.2013.847391 

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 

Rastogi, M., Massey-Hasting, N., & Wieling, E. (2012). Barriers to seeking mental health services in the Latino/a community: A qualitative analysis. Journal of Systemic Therapies, 31(4), 1-17. doi: 10.1521/jsyt.2012.31.4.1 

Catani, C., Gewirtz, A.H., Wieling, E., Schauer, E., Elbert, T., & Neuner, F. (2010). Tsunami, war, and cumulative risk in the lives of Sri Lankan school children. Child Development, 81(4), 1176-1191. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2010.01461.x 

Kimball, T. G.*, Wieling, E., & Brimhall, A. (2009). A sense of sisterhood: A qualitative case study of a flexibly structured, long-term therapy group for divorced women. Journal of Feminist Family Therapy, 21(4), 225 – 246 

Wieling, E. & Mittal, M.* (2008). Developing evidence-based systemic interventions for mass trauma. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 34(2), 127-131. doi: 10.1111/j.1752-0606.2008.00059.x

Connor, J.*, Bean, D., & Wieling, E. (2008). Vulvar Pain: A phenomenological study of couples in search of effective diagnosis and treatment. Family Process, 47(2), 139-155. doi: 10.1111/j.1545-5300.2008.00245.x 

Gewirtz, A., Forgatch, M., & Wieling, E. (April 2008). Parenting practices as potential mechanisms for children’s adjustment following mass trauma: Literature review and prevention research framework. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 34(2), 177-192. doi: 10.1111/j.1752-0606.2008.00063.x 

Landau, J., Mittal, M.*, & Wieling, E. (April 2008). Linking Human Systems: Strengthening individuals, families, and communities in the wake of mass trauma. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 34(2), 193-209. doi-org.ezp2.lib.umn.edu/10.1111/j.1752-0606.2008.00064.x

Parra-Cardona, J. R., Córdova, D.*, Holtrop, K.*, Villarruel, F.A.*, & Wieling, E. (2008). Shared ancestry, evolving stories: Similar and contrasting life experiences described by foreign born and U.S. born Latino parents. Family Process, 47(2), 157-172 

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