Marriage and Family Institute

Department of Marriage and Family Studies

ACU’s Marriage and Family Institute (MFI) provides low cost therapy to individuals, couples, and families facing a wide range of issues in Taylor County. 

ACU’s Marriage and Family Institute (MFI) provides low cost therapy to individuals, couples, and families facing a wide range of issues in Taylor County. 

Main Content

Diversity Statement

The MFI welcomes clients who are diverse in race, age, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, relationship status, gender identity, socioeconomic status, disability, health status, religion and spiritual beliefs, national origin and immigration status.  

Counseling Services

The clinic staff is composed of master’s level graduate students enrolled in ACU’s Marriage and Family Therapy program. The trainees are under the supervision of a licensed therapist and all clients have the benefit of the expertise and experience of the clinical faculty.

Therapist working with two boys - play therapy

Services Offered

  • Couples Therapy
  • Family Therapy
  • Individual Therapy
  • Discernment Counseling
  • Premarital and enrichment counseling
  • Animal Assisted Therapy
  • Spanish Language Therapy
  • Play Therapy
  • Anger Management
  • Mindfulness
  • Court Mandated Services
  • EMDR
  • Gottman Assessment
  • Telehealth

Counseling Specialties

  • Affairs
  • Communication and conflict
  • Blended families
  • Depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues
  • Trauma
  • Addiction and recovery
  • Sexual issues
  • Gender Issues
  • Grief

Hours of Operation

Monday | 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Tuesday | 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Wednesday | 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Thursday | 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Friday | 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.


$7 to $30 per hour (Costs are established on a sliding scale based on household income.)
$7 for students and all ACU employees

We accept payment in the form of cash, check or credit card. We do not accept insurance.

Schedule a Visit

The clinic staff will ask for basic information which will be used to assign you a counseling intern and determine your availability.

The MFI respectfully asks you to reschedule or cancel appointments within 24 hours of your appointment.

Phone (325) 674-3724

Contact Us

Phone (325) 674-3724

Physical Address
1850 Teague Blvd.
Abilene, TX 79601

Mailing Address
ACU BOX 29444
Abilene, TX 79699-9444

Onstead Building on ACU campus


  1. Enter campus through the main entrance off of Judge Ely.  
  2. Take the first right and park in the lot on the left near the Recreation Center. 
  3. Walk toward the large triangular tower then walk past the tower another 30 feet.  
  4. On your left will be a bike rack and two sets of double doors leading to the Onstead-Packer Biblical Studies building.  
  5. Enter the building and go up the stairs (or the elevator is to your left).
    The Marriage and Family Institute is at the top on the stairs to the left.

The Marriage and Family Institute was founded with a dual purpose: to serve the community and to raise up exceptional therapists. Our goal is to help clients learn, grow and heal from cycles that keep them stuck. The Marriage and Family Institute believes everyone should have access to mental health care which is why we offer an affordable sliding scale financial model and evening appointments. We also strive to create an environment that welcomes everyone regardless of their identity.

As for developing exceptional therapists, we do this through rigorous education and careful supervision. Our therapists are well-trained and supervised by licensed therapists.  We teach our therapists to use systematic therapeutic techniques, to follow the highest standards of ethical practice, and to work sensitively and effectively with a variety of people and problems. 

Unlicensed interns enrolled in a graduate program are outside the jurisdiction of the Texas Behavioral Health Executive Council and the Texas State Board of Examiners of Marriage and Family Therapy, which regulate the profession. 

As such, complaints about interns are best made to:

Dr. Joanna Méndez-Pounds, PhD, LMFT-S
ACU Box 29444
Abilene, TX 79699-9444
Phone: (325)-674-2092

Complaints about licensees can be made to the Texas Behavioral Health Execute Council at George H.W. Bush State Office Building, 1801 Congress Ave., Ste. 7.300, Austin, Texas 78701. The Texas Behavioral Health Executive Council investigates and prosecutes professional misconduct committed by marriage and family therapists, professional counselors, psychologists, psychological associates, social workers, and licensed specialists in school psychology.  Although not every complaint against or dispute with a licensee involves professional misconduct, the Executive Council will provide you with information about how to file a complaint.  Please call 1-800-821-3205 for more information.