Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy



What is Marriage and Family Therapy?

A family's patterns of behavior influence the individual and therefore may need to be a part of the treatment plan. In marriage and family therapy, the unit of treatment isn't just the person - even if only a single person is interviewed - it is the set of relationships in which the person is embedded.


Marriage and family therapists regularly practice short-term therapy; 12 sessions on average. About half of the treatment provided by marriage and family therapists is one-on-one with the other half divided between marital/couple and family therapy, or a combination of treatments.


Today, more than 50,000 marriage and family therapists treat individuals, couples and families nationwide. This growth is a result, in part, of renewed public awareness of the value of family life life and concern about the increased stresses on families in a rapidly changing world.


Program Mission at Forest Institute

The mission of the Marriage and Family Therapy Program is to graduate competent, ethical professionals who are eligible to pursue licensure as Marriage and Family Therapists. The philosophy of the program is that competent entry-level therapists should be well-grounded in systems theory and its application to clinical practice in serving diverse populations of couples, families, and individuals.

Program goals are:
  1. Broad and General Marriage and Family Therapy Knowledge -To provide education grounded in systems theory,
  2. Effective Marriage and Family Therapy Practice - To provide systemic training in marriage and family therapy clinical practice,
  3. Diversity, Acceptance, and Social Justice - To prepare graduates to competently address the needs of diverse populations of couples, families, and individuals, and
  4. Professional Engagement - To socialize graduates to develop an identity as a marriage and family therapist and engage in life-long professional development.

The emphasis of this program is teaching students the clinical skills needed in the profession and practice of marriage and family therapy. As part of the program, students are exposed to a variety of systemic family theories that will help them assess and treat couple and family systems as well as individuals. The MFT Program and Forest Institute are dedicated to promoting and infusing diversity into every facet of the learning experience including academic and clinical practice settings. Diversity is defined as variety in group presence and interactions. This includes, but is not limited to, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, gender, age, race, ethnicity, religious affiliation, and body type.

The Educational Outcomes include the Faculty Outcomes (FOs), Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs), and Program Outcomes (POs) for the Marriage and Family Therapy Program at Forest Institute.

A diagram illustrating the Relationships Among the Program Mission, Philosophy, Goals and Educational Outcomes is also available.

Curriculum

The curriculum requires the completion of 56 credit hours. A sample educational plan for a fall start is below.

Year
Fall term
Spring term
Summer term
1
Clinical Risk Management (1)
Research Design (3)
Family Assessment (3)
1
Human Diversity (3)
Psychopathology I (3)
Psychopathology II (3)
1
Family Intervention (3)
Relationship & Interview (3)
1
MFT Ethics (3)
Advanced Family Therapy (3)

1

MFT Prepracticum (0)
MFT Practicum I (2)

Year 1 Total

(10) semester, 10 Total
(12) semester, 22 total
(8) semester, 30 total
2
Sp Int in Family Therapy (3)
Sp Int in Couple Therapy (3)
Adult Development (3)
2
Research Seminar in MFT (1)


2
Lifespan Development (3)
Human Sexuality (elective*) (3)

2 Thesis (1) Thesis (1)
2
MFT Practicum II (3)
MFT Practicum III (3)
MFT Practicum IV (2)

Year 2 Total

(11) semester, 41 total
(10) semester, 51 total
(5) semester, 56 total

*Other elective options include Group Intervention or Substance Abuse though Human Sexuality is our most popular and highly recommended elective in the MFT program.


Student Achievement Criteria Data

Each year, the MFT programs (MA and PDC) at Forest Institute report to The Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE) data on the programs including the Student Achievement Criteria. Specifically, the COAMFTE tracks program’s graduation rates, national exam pass rates, and licensure rates. For more information including our cohort outcomes, please see AAMFT’s page on Student Achievement Criteria - http://www.aamft.org/imis15/Content/COAMFTE/Student_Achievement_Criteria_Data.aspx.

Forest's Degree Program

The Master of Arts in MFT (MAMFT) is a degree-granting program that is separate from other degree programs at Forest Institute and follows application procedures as detailed by the COAMFTE. Students enrolled in the MAMFT program may not be enrolled in another master's program at Forest, but may be simultaneously enrolled as MA/PsyD students. Though a separate degree, the MAMFT is still administered through the academic and clinical training milieu at Forest Institute. Required coursework and supervision in the MAMFT program are led by the faculty at Forest, who represent areas of expertise in marriage and family therapy as well as faculty who represent areas of expertise in the specific required coursework. This partnership is seen as a strength for both students in the MAMFT program and for students enrolled in other programs at Forest.

MA in Marriage and Family Therapy

Students seeking a terminal MA in Marriage & Family Therapy should plan on completing the Standard Curriculum requirements as they are described below. They may also elect to complete additional coursework, if desired, but this is not required for the MA in Marriage and Family Therapy. Practicum requirements include 500 client contact hours, including 250 relational hours plus 100 hours of supervision.

The program currently meets the requirements for coursework and initial supervision for licensure as a marriage and family therapist in most states, but prospective students are strongly encouraged to review the licensing regulations in any state in which they would anticipate practicing. Most full-time master's students require two years to complete this program.

Program Diversity

Parallel to the Commitment to Diversity of Forest Institute, the MFT faculty and students strive to work together to create a program climate defines diversity as:

 

. . . variety in group presence and interactions. This includes, but is not limited to, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, gender, age, race, ethnicity, religious affiliation, and body type. . . . The School expects that all members of the Forest community will strive to learn from each other in an atmosphere of mutual respect while promoting a safe, trusting, and accepting environment. It is also expected that all members of the community be supportive and respectful of all individuals, including, but not limited to, clients, staff, peers, administrators and faculty who are different than themselves in age, gender, gender identity, body size, race, ethnicity, culture, national origin, religion, spirituality, sexual orientation, disability, language, and socioeconomic status.

 

In accordance with the COAMFTE Standards, the following tables provide a snapshot of the racial and cultural diversity of the MFT faculty, supervisors, and student body.


Gender, Racial, and Cultural Composition of MFT Students in the MA Program

 

Gender, Racial, and Cultural Composition of MFT Faculty (Core & Adjunct)

 

Gender, Racial, and Cultural Composition of MFT Supervisors (Core & Adjunct)

Year

2012

Year

2012

Year

2012

Total Students

23

Total Faculty

6

Total Supervisors

6

Female

6

Female

5

Female

5

Male

17

Male

1

Male

1







Non Resident (international)

 

Non Resident (international)

 

Non Resident (international)

 

African-American/ African/ Black/ non-Hispanic

 

African-American/ African/ Black/ non-Hispanic

 

African-American/ African/ Black/ non-Hispanic

 

Hispanic/ Latino/ Chicano

 

Hispanic/ Latino/ Chicano

 

Hispanic/ Latino/ Chicano

1

American Indian or Alaska Native

 

American Indian or Alaska Native

 

American Indian or Alaska Native

 

Asian or Pacific Islander

 

Asian or Pacific Islander

 

Asian or Pacific Islander

 

White/ non-Hispanic

23

White/ non-Hispanic

6

White/ non-Hispanic

5

Multiethnic

 

Multiethnic

 

Multiethnic

 

Other

 

Other

 

Other

 



View admissions requirements for acceptance into the MFT program or apply for the program now.


The Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy Degree Program at Forest Institute is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE), 112 South Alfred Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314, (703) 838-9808, coa@aamft.org.

 




Learn more about the MFT program through the MFT Procedures and Forms Handbook or through one of the following websites:












What can a Marriage and Family Therapist do?

Marriage and family therapists treat a wide range of serious clinical problems including:

  • depression
  • marital problems
  • individual psychological problems
  • child-parent problems

The mission, goals, objectives, and expected student outcomes reflect the following professional influences:

  1. Professional Marriage and Family Therapy Standards and Educational Guidelines;
  2. American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) Core Competencies© (see Appendix A);
  3. American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy Code of Ethics;
  4. Association of Marital and Family Therapy Regulatory Boards (AMFTRB) Guidelines; and
  5. the Missouri State Committee of Marital and Family Therapists.

The knowledge and skills needed for practice are developed in a specific set of courses consistent with the accreditation requirements of the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE) for the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) and the Marriage and Family Therapy Core Competencies©. Completion of a thesis and field placement experience through the Robert J. Murney Clinic (Murney Clinic) at Forest Institute and external sites is an important aspect of training in this specialization.