Lucas Volini, DMFT, LMFT

Faculty/Field Experience Coordinator for MCFC

As a systems oriented thinker, I view the world through the many ways in which we are interdependently connected; both amongst ourselves and in our relationship to the natural world. Throughout my interdisciplinary studies of living systems, it is clear that members of any group strive to balance the psychological and spiritual demands of individuality and togetherness. At Adler Graduate School, I’m grateful to be part of a small, intimate system that maintains togetherness through a common goal while maintaining space for the unique needs of each student’s individuality to be recognized and nurtured.   


I earned a doctoral degree in Marriage and Family Therapy (DMFT) and maintain independent licensure as a marriage and family therapist (LMFT) with a credential as a state board approved supervisor through the MN Board of Marriage and Family Therapy (LMFT) and MN Board of Behavioral Health and Therapy (LPCC). Serving as the Clinical Director of the M.S. in Marriage and Family Therapy Program and Assistant Professor in the Department of Community Psychology, Counseling, and Family Therapy at St. Cloud State prior to joining Adler Graduate School, my professional experiences balance leadership in clinical practice settings with ongoing scholarship. I am the author of The National Licensing Exam in Marriage and Family Therapy: An Independent Study Guide (2nd ed.) among other study aids intended to prepare applicants nationwide for the national licensing exam in MFT. My growing body of research—the development of global family therapy/global systems theory—examines the interactional dynamics between cultural worldviews and pursuits of self-esteem in both small (e.g., families) and large (e.g., nations) systems is published in The American Journal of Family Therapy and presented at various national conferences.


As a graduate instructor and clinical supervisor, my ongoing scholarship across interdisciplinary studies does not serve as a foundation to simply instill knowledge. Instead, my ongoing personal and professional experiences inform a growing capacity to create a classroom environment grounded in the courageous, collective pursuit of co-creating the necessary wisdom that brings about healing in the lives of others in our shared role as helping professionals. In my role at Adler, I support the school’s commitment to maintaining a high standard of academic rigor while creating a culture in which each student can recognize and actualize their unique subjectivities that will serve as a guiding force in their future as a counselor.


DMFT, Marriage & Family Therapy | Argosy University, Eagan

Concentration: Macrosystemic Dynamics and the Problem of Evil in the Modern Era

M.A. Marriage & Family Therapy | Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, Minneapolis

B.A. Psychology | Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, Winona

Email address:
Office address: 
Adler Graduate School 10225 Yellow Circle Drive Minnetonka, MN 55343
Office Phone: 
Professional Membership: 
  • American Family Therapy Academy
  • Minnesota Association for Marriage & Family Therapy
  • International Association of Marriage & Family Counselors (ACA-Division)
  • Heterodox Academy
Professional Practice: 

Clinically, I have developed and directed a trauma-focused adolescent day treatment program, served as an outpatient therapist at a community mental health clinic, a school-based therapist, an early-childhood day treatment therapist, and an in-home family therapist. Currently, I maintain part-time practice through the Lorenz Clinic of Family Psychology in Victoria Minnesota. The clinic is a Family Psychology Training Site where I see individuals, couples and families while supporting the supervision and training of practicum students and post-graduate professionals.

Select Publications: 
  • Volini, L. A. (2017). An introduction to global family therapy: Examining the empirical evidence of terror management theory within the family and social system. The American Journal of Family Therapy. 45(2), 79- 94.
  • Volini, L. A. (2018). The national licensing exam for marriage and family therapy: An independent study guide (2nd ed.). Minneapolis, MN: Midnight Musings Publishing Co.
  • Volini, L. A. (2018). The national licensing exam for marriage and family therapy: A comprehensive practice exam manual. Waconia, MN: MFT Licensing Exam Publications.
  • Volini, L. A. (2015). The national licensing exam for marriage and family therapy: An independent study guide. Waconia, MN: MFT Licensing Exam Publications.
  • Volini, L. A. (2016). The experiential process of our country’s stagnation and growth. AAMFT Professional Online Blog. December 2016.
  • Volini, L. A. (2016). Global Family Therapy: Introducing an Existential Treatment Modality Informed by the Empirical Evidence of Terror Management Theory. (Published doctoral dissertation). Argosy University, Twin Cities
Select Presentations: 
  • Volini, L. A. (2019). Macrosystemic Therapy for a Divided Democracy. The American Family Therapy Academy’s Annual Meeting (Workshop Presentation). Oakland, CA. June 2019.
  • Volini, L. (2019). Examining the Multisystemic and Interactional Dynamics of Families, Communities, and Policies Influencing Adolescent Delinquency: An Interdisciplinary Framework for Collaborative Social Change. American Institute for the Advancement of Forensic Studies (AIAFS). Featured Trainer Series (all-day training). Bloomington, MN: September 2019.
  • Volini, L. A. (2019). Macrosystemic Assessment and Intervention. The American Family Therapy Academy’s Annual Meeting (Interest Group Chair/Facilitator). Oakland, CA. June 2019.
  • Volini, L. A. (2019). Understanding the challenges associated with engaging multicultural dialogue. Power in Diversity Leadership Conference: St. Cloud State University. January 2019.
  • Volini, L. A. (2019). Working with Trauma in Global Family Therapy: Repairing the Cultural Worldview when Healing from Sexual Assault. Minnesota’s Association for Marriage and Family Therapy’s Greater Minnesota Conference: Breaking Trauma’s Silence: Our Country’s Awakening to Sexual Health. Moorhead, MN. May 2019.
  • Volini, L.A. (2018). Ethical and professional practice considerations for the MFT-activist: Extending assessment and intervention into the macrosystem. Minnesota Association for Marriage and Family Therapy’s Annual Conference. Minneapolis, MN. September 2018.
  • Volini, L. (2017). Recognizing and Treating Mental Illness Across the Chemical Engineering Profession: Implications for the Personal and the Professional. The Disability Unity Convocation at the American Institute of Chemical Engineers' Annual Conference. Minneapolis, MN. October 2017.
  • Volini, L. (2016). Global Family Therapy and Cultural Fluidity: Deepening the Dialogue on Multicultural Practices. National Council on Family Relations, Annual Conference. Minneapolis, MN. November 2016.
  • *Martin, E., & Volini, L. (2016). Evolving the Dialogue on Oppression with White Males: A Dismantling of Separatism. National Council on Family Relations’ Annual Conference. Minneapolis, MN. November 2016.
Academic History (higher ed experience): 

St. Cloud State University, 2016-2019 (Assistant Professor)

Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, 2014-2016 (Assistant Professor)

Areas of Interest: 
  • Cultural worldviews and self-esteem
  • Death anxiety,
  • rofessional activism
  • Existential/philosophical/theological perspectives on meaning
  • Macrosystem assessment/intervention/consulting
What I like about Adler Graduate School: 

Adler Graduate School is a small system grounded in a common goal: Empowering and developing mental health and human service professionals. Freed from the constraints inherent to large institutions, Adler is able to flexibly adapt to the unique needs of each student by providing an ease of access to their faculty and support services while innovating the provision of higher education.