Stephen von Merz

Stephen von Merz

Clinical Associate Professor

  • Faculty
  • Graduate School of Social Work

What I do

As a Latino social worker guided by passion and principle, led by integrity and diplomacy, I am committed to helping students create meaningful and sustainable change where liberty and justice for all has yet to become reality. For me, this includes educating future social workers on the knowledge, skills and values critical to establishing equity and access for all.



LGBTQIA, mental and behavioral health, social justice, Latinx populations, children and youth, clinical social work, criminal justice, culturally-responsive practice, international social work/global practice, families and family systems

Professional Biography

Clinical Associate Professor Stephen von Merz serves as the coordinator of the Family Systems Practice concentration. With professional experience that includes over 20 years of bilingual (English/Spanish) clinical social work practice in a number of clinical and community settings, he is highly practiced in implementing intensive in-home therapy and outpatient therapy that includes using empirically based models of treatment like structural family therapy, solution-focused brief therapy and multisystemic family therapy.

Von Merz provides bilingual clinical supervision and consultation with an emphasis on culturally responsive family therapy in social work practice and holds certificates in multisystemic therapy (MST), hand-drumming therapy with psychotherapy and secondary trauma resiliency training.

As part of a collaborative partnership with faculty from DU's Graduate School of Professional Psychology, von Merz is a member of the Colorado Resilience Collaborative (CRC) developed to address identity-based violence. The CRC is an interdisciplinary initiative that addresses those impacted by identity-based violence due to radicalization and discrimination based on race/ethnicity, nationality, faith and ideology. The program works to mobilize efforts that support insight, healing and action at individual, family, organizational and community levels.

Von Merz has also worked closely with the mental health treatment team at Mount View Youth Services Center, as a contract therapist and in developing a therapeutic mentoring program for residents. He also paroled youth involved in the Colorado Division of Youth Corrections.


  • MSW, University of Denver

Licensure / Accreditations

  • LCSW