Ph.D. in Family Therapy from Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale, FL
Clinical Member, AAMFT; Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist; Approved Supervisor, AAMFT; Clinical Member, RIAMFT
Client-directed, outcome informed approaches to change; feedback processes and change in couple and family therapy; transforming systems of care to privilege client goals and preferences and promote social justice; common factors and therapeutic outcome; historical and political contexts of family therapy.
Scholarly and Creative Interests
The impact of systematic integration of client feedback on outcome in couple and family therapy
Patterns of the alliance in couple and family therapy
Use of client feedback in community-based systems of care for at-risk families
Incorporation of outcome management in clinical training and teaching curricula
Project Leader - Heart and Soul of Change Project www.heartandsoulofchange.com
Critical examination of medical approaches to child and adolescent mental and behavioral distress
Board Member - International Society for Ethical Psychology and Psychiatry
Scientific Advisory Board - Mindfreedom International
Dissertation: Media Madness: The Social Construction of Mental Illness in Popular Culture
Cooper, M., Stewart, D., Sparks, J., Bunting, L. (in press). School-based counseling using systematic feedback: A cohort study evaluating outcomes and predictors of change. Psychotherapy Research.
Owen, J., Duncan, B., Anker, M., & Sparks, J. (2012, February 13). Initial relationship goal and couple therapy outcomes at post and six-month follow-up. Journal of Family Psychology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1037/a0026998.
Sparks, J., & Duncan, B. (2012). Pediatric antipsychotics: A call for ethical care. In S. Olfman & B. D. Robbins, Eds., Drugging our children: How profiteers are pushing antipsychotics on our youngest (pp. 81-98). Santa Barbara: Praeger Publishers.
Sparks, J. A., Kisler, T. A., Adams, J. F., & Blumen, D. G. (2011). Teaching accountability: Using client feedback to train family therapists. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 37(4), 452-467.
Anker, M. G., Sparks, J. A., Duncan, B. L., Owen, J. J., & Stapnes, A. K. (2011). Footprints of couple therapy: Client reflections at follow-up. Journal of Family Psychotherapy, 22(1), 22-45.
Anker, M. G., Duncan, B. L, Owen, J., & Sparks, J. A. (2010). The alliance in couple therapy: Partner influence, early change, and alliance patterns in a naturalistic sample. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 78(5), 635-645.
Sparks, J. A., & Duncan, B. L. (2010). Common factors in couple and family therapy: Must all have prizes? In B. L. Duncan, S. D. Miller, B. E. Wampold, & M. A. Hubble (Eds.), The heart and soul of change: Delivering what works (2nd ed., pp. 357-392). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
Sparks, J., Duncan, B. L., Cohen, D., & Antonuccio, D. (2010). Psychiatric drugs and common factors: An evaluation of risks and benefits for clinical practice. In B. L. Duncan, S. D. Miller, B. E. Wampold, & M. A. Hubble (Eds.), The heart and soul of change: Delivering what works (2nd ed., pp. 199-236). Washington DC: American Psychological Association.
Duncan, B., & Sparks, J. (2010). Heroic clients, heroic agencies: Partners for change. (2nd ed.). Jensen Beach, FL: Author.
Anker, M. G., Duncan, B. L., & Sparks, J. A. (2009). Using client feedback to improve couple therapy outcomes: A randomized clinical trial in a naturalistic setting. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 77(4), 693-704.
Sparks, J. A., Muro, M. L. (2009). Client-directed wraparound: The client as connector in
community collaboration. Journal of Systemic Therapies, 28(3), 63-76.
Sparks, J. A., Duncan, B. L., & Miller, S. D. (2006). Integrating psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy: Myths and the missing link. Journal of Family Psychotherapy, 17 (3/4), 83-108.
Duncan, B., Miller, S., & Sparks, J. (2004). The heroic client: A revolutionary way to improve
effectiveness through client-directed, outcome-informed therapy. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Sparks, J. A. (2002). Taking a stand: An adolescent girl’s resistance to medication. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 28 (1), 27-38.
Sparks, J. A. (2002). Taking a stand: Challenging medical discourse. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 28 (1), 51-59.
Sparks, J. A. (2000). The deconstruction of magic: Rereading, rethinking Erickson. Family Process, 39 (3), 307-318.
Commencement 2013: HDF major, Dianna Bonilla, finds joy in helping those less fortunate
URI spotlights Dr. Annemarie Vaccaro as a "Big Thinker"
Promising career outlook for Couple and Family Therapy
As one of the 50 best careers of 2011, CFT should have strong growth over the next decade Article in US News