Post-Graduate Degree Certificate in Marriage & Family Therapy

"I absolutely feel that being enrolled in the PDC in MFT program has enhanced my education. The emphasis the program places on incorporating systems theory into all client interactions is invaluable, and I believed it has improved my competency immensely. The faculty is fantastic, providing not only exceptional clinical expertise and guidance, but also encouraging students to challenge themselves through self-exploration. I could not be more satisfied with my experience thus far."
  - Jessara Wiley, Current PDC in MFT Student


"Through the PDC program, I was able to grow professionally and personally. Each MFT class allowed me to address the self as an instrument through reflection and self-awareness. The practicum training and available experiences I received in this program was second to none!"
- Jason Malousek, PDC in MFT Alumnus


What is Marriage and Family Therapy?

 

 

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.


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 for the post-graduate degree certificate (PDC) in MFT is built with the expectation that incoming students hold a master's degree in the field of mental health and can successfully transfer in 15 credits of core coursework. Typically, this coursework includes; Human Diversity, Lifespan Development, Research Design, Relationship & Interview, and an elective course but transfer of credits will be considered for other coursework up to a total of 15 credits. Syllabi must be submitted to be reviewed by the Program Director or the instructor of record.

PDC in MFT students can choose to attend this program full time for one year or half time for two years. A sample individualized educational plan (IEP) for a full time PDC in MFT student 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
Lifespan Development (3)
Relationship & Interview (3)
1
MFT Ethics (3)
Advanced Family Therapy (3)

1
Family Intervention (3)
Human Sexuality (elective) (3)
 

Year 1 Total

(7) semester, 7 Total
(6) semester, 13 total
(6) semester, 19 total
2
Sp Int in Family Therapy (3)
Sp Int in Couple Therapy (3)
Adult Development (3)
2
Research Seminar in MFT (1)


2
MFT Practicum I (3)
MFT Practicum III (3)
MFT Practicum III (2)

Year 2 Total

(7) semester, 26 total
(6) semester, 32 total
(5) semester, 37 total

Courses with a line through the title are the courses that incoming PDC in MFT students typically transfer in. Practicum in the half time PDC program is also half time. A full time practicum constitutes 15-24 hours/week while a half time practicum is 8-12 hours/week.

 

A sample individualized educational plan (IEP) for a half time PDC in MFT student 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
MFT Ethics (3)
Advanced Family Therapy (3)
1

Relationship & Interview (3)

1
Family Intervention (3)
MFT Practicum I (2)
MFT Practicum II (1)
1
MFT Prepracticum (0)


Year 1 Total

(7) semester, 7 Total
(8) semester, 15 total
(7) semester, 22 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

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

Year 2 Total

(6) semester, 28 total
(5) semester, 33 total
(4) semester, 37 total


Students can transfer up to 21 credits into the PDC in MFT program. The above curriculum sequences illustrate an example of transferring in (only) 15 credits.

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.

Post-Graduate Degree Certificate in Marriage and Family Therapy

The Post-Graduate Degree Certificate (PDC) in Marriage and Family Therapy at Forest Institute is a program separate from the Master's or Doctoral degree programs. Applicants must apply separately for admission into the Post-Graduate Degree Certificate Program in MFT and complete all the requirements for inclusion therein.

Furthermore, because this is a post-graduate degree certificate, all applicants must have successfully completed a graduate degree in a mental health related field from a regionally accredited institution prior to matriculation. Up to 21 credits can be transferred into the PDC program. Upon completion of this program, students are awarded a certificate indicating they have met the requirements of the Standard Curriculum as defined by the COAMFTE, as well as the requisite client contact hours and approved supervision (see the MFT Handbook for more information).

Students in the post-graduate degree certificate program must meet all requirements of the Standard Curriculum in order to earn the PDC in MFT. The number of required courses will depend upon their previous graduate education, but is typically 37 credit hours including practicum. Any past coursework will be compared to similar courses offered at Forest Institute during an initial transcript review.

Completion of this certificate puts the student in a position to seek licensure as a marrital and family therapist in the State of Missouri. Dependent on the transfer of graduate credit, students can complete this certificate in as little as one full year.

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

2013

Year

2013

Year

2013

Total Students

3

Total Faculty

6

Total Supervisors

6

Female

 

Female

5

Female

5

Male

3

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

3

White/ non-Hispanic

6

White/ non-Hispanic

5

Multiethnic

 

Multiethnic

 

Multiethnic

 

Other

 

Other

 

Other

 

 

See requirements for the Post-graduate Degree Certificate in MFT or apply for the program now.


The Marriage and Family Therapy Post-graduate Degree Certificate Program at Forest Institute is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, 112 South Alfred Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314, Tel. No. (703) 838-9808.

 


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















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 AAMFT Competencies©. Completion of a capstone project (for MA students only) 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.