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Marriage and Family Counseling/Therapy Master of Science in Marriage and Family Counseling/Therapy

School of Counseling and Human Services

Course Requirements

Credits breakdown

  • Core: 92

Total quarter credits: 92

Our programs are based on quarter credits, rather than semester credits. One quarter credit equals 2/3 semester credit. Quarter credits are unique to GuidedPath, while program points are unique to FlexPath.

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Residency Requirement(s):

Two six-day residencies. See university policy 3.04.05 Attendance at Residencies, the Residencies page on Campus, and the Residency section, below, for more information. Also see each graduate school’s residency courses.

Practicum/Internship Experience Requirement(s):

Minimum of 100 practicum hours and 600 internship hours. See the Practicum/Internship Experience section, below, for more information.

 

 

Twenty-Three Required Courses

 

 

92 quarter credits

COUN5004
Survey of Research in Human Development for Professional Counselors

Learners in this course examine theories of lifespan development and behavior from a counseling perspective. Learners describe effective approaches in counseling, evaluate its historical and philosophical relevance to current practice, and apply theories and practices to advocate for diverse clientele. Must be taken during the first quarter by learners who have been admitted to the MS in Marriage and Family Counseling/Therapy, MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, and MS in School Counseling degree programs and Contemporary Theory in Addictive Behavior, Contemporary Theory in Couple and Family Systems, Contemporary Theory in Mental Health Services, and Contemporary Theory in School-Based Services graduate certificate programs. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer

4 quarter credits
COUN5007
Research Methods for the Counseling Professions

This course provides an overview of quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-method approaches to counseling research and program evaluation. Learners apply graduate-level approaches to research methodology for the counseling profession.

4 quarter credits
COUN5106
Assessment, Tests, and Measures

Learners in this course examine the assessment process and how tests and measures are used in counseling. Learners also explore the evolution of assessment methods, testing strategies and interpretation, and fundamental measurement constructs.

4 quarter credits
COUN5107 *
Principles of Psychopathology and Diagnosis

Learners in this course examine psychopathology principles, professional literature, and current issues associated with assessing mental disorders. Learners critically evaluate diagnostic models, methods, and approaches used in diagnosing and treating individuals, couples, and families. Learners also explore the current DSM classifications and diagnostic issues associated with multicultural populations. Prerequisite(s): MS Marriage and Family Counseling/Therapy learners must have completed COUN5220, COUN5270, COUN5820, COUN-R5821. MS Clinical Mental Health Counseling learners must have completed COUN-R5831.

4 quarter credits
COUN5108 *
Foundations of Addiction and Addictive Behavior

This course provides learners with fundamental knowledge of addiction from its historical roots through contemporary issues. Learners examine theory and research that guides treatment for substance use disorders and related addictive behaviors, including the diagnosis and treatment of co-occurring mental health issues. In addition, learners review empirically supported interventions for individuals, families, groups, and diverse populations, as well as emerging issues in the field based upon current research. Prerequisite(s): MS Marriage and Family Counseling/Therapy learners must have completed COUN-R5821. MS Clinical Mental Health Counseling learners must have completed COUN-R5831. 

4 quarter credits
COUN5220
Introduction to Marriage and Family Therapy and Counseling

This course provides an introduction to the profession of marriage and family therapy and counseling, and its underlying systemic theoretical framework. Learners evaluate systems theories from a historical perspective and distinguish them from those of other individual-based mental health disciplines. Learners also review the history, philosophy, and clinical practice theories of marital and family therapy and counseling and examine the fundamental therapeutic concepts and skills needed to work with couples and families.

4 quarter credits
COUN5222 *
Professional Ethics in Marriage and Family Counseling/Therapy

Learners in this course examine the ethical and legal responsibilities framing marriage and family counseling/ therapy and related counseling professions and review the criteria for licensure in their state. Learners also analyze the impact of a therapist’s values, culture, and ethnicity on his or her practice; explore approaches to protecting clients from one’s own potential biases; and assess the role of advocacy in marriage and family counseling/therapy. Prerequisite(s): COUN5004, COUN5220. 

4 quarter credits
COUN5232 *
Systemic Approaches to Gender and Sexuality

This course presents historical and contemporary perspectives of gender and sexuality and their cultural influences. Learners develop a systemic view of gender and sexuality and apply it to the assessment and intervention process with individuals, couples, and families. Learners also explore and challenge their personal beliefs, attitudes, and values associated with gender and sexuality and the ways they may impact the therapeutic process. Prerequisite(s): COUN5220, COUN5222, COUN5270, COUN-R5821.

4 quarter credits
COUN5239
Theories of Psychotherapy

This course presents various theories of psychotherapy and their respective philosophical principles and assumptions. Learners evaluate the theoretical concepts and evidence-based practices of psychotherapy and examine appropriate application of theories and interventions to a diverse client population. 

4 quarter credits
COUN5270 *
Family Therapy Theory and Methods

This course is a comparative study of the prominent schools of thought within the field of marriage and family therapy: their tenets, therapeutic strategies, and techniques. Learners also discuss therapy and counseling approaches to structural, strategic, transgenerational, behavioral, communication, and analytical models in working with couples and families. Prerequisite(s): COUN5220.

4 quarter credits
COUN5271
Marriage and Family Systems

Learners in this course study families as systems from theoretical, clinical, and research perspectives. The course emphasizes family development, transitions, assessment, and intervention, including consideration for diversity and sociocultural factors. Learners also apply systems-oriented assessment models and strategies for initial interviews, hypothesis formulation, and designing a strategy for intervention.

4 quarter credits
COUN5273 *
Couple and Marital Therapy

In this course, learners investigate systems-based couples counseling/therapy theories, methods, and practices and focus on therapeutic treatment planning and intervention. Learners also examine and interpret couples counseling/therapy literature and examine ways to apply it to clinical practice. Prerequisite(s): COUN5220, COUN5270.

4 quarter credits
COUN5275 *
Utilizing Systemic Approaches: Infancy Through Adolescence

This course is a comprehensive overview of systemic approaches used to diagnose, assess, and treat children and adolescents experiencing a variety of symptoms. Learners demonstrate an understanding of standard and systemic best practices, design interventions based on relevant research, and apply an ethical framework that is developmentally informed and culturally sensitive.  Prerequisite(s): COUN5220.

4 quarter credits
COUN5279
Life Planning and Career Development

In this course, learners develop foundational knowledge and skills applicable to career counseling and development. Learners analyze theoretical models of career development as they relate to client interests, aptitudes, personalities, traits, values, and work preferences. In addition, learners explore the ways in which social interests, family relationships, cultural facets, and developmental factors and circumstances resulting from life transitions relate to career development across the lifespan. Learners also discuss legal and ethical issues associated with career counseling practice.

4 quarter credits
COUN5336
Counseling and Advocacy with Diverse Populations

This course introduces theory, research, and models that inform ethical and culturally competent counseling, as well as social justice advocacy, in a variety of settings. Learners assess how biopsychosocial characteristics and concerns of diverse populations impact access to and utilization of community-based resources, optimal development across the lifespan, and equity. Learners also present strategies to address the influence that their own heritage, attitudes, beliefs, and acculturative experiences has on the counseling process. In addition, learners identify effective counseling and advocacy strategies with diverse individuals, couples, families, and groups, and explore the role of the counselor and advocate in promoting social justice at multiple levels.

4 quarter credits
COUN5820 *
Marriage and Family Counseling/Therapy Theory and Practice

This course provides learners with the clinical marriage and family therapy skills they will need for their first residency, including building and maintaining therapeutic relationships, conceptualizing cases from a systemic perspective, conducting couple and family sessions, performing therapeutic assessments, applying ethical and legal standards of practice when working with couples and families from diverse backgrounds, and understanding diagnosis. Learners continue to integrate marriage and family counseling/therapy theories with clinical practice. COUN-R5821 must be taken the quarter immediately following COUN5820. Prerequisite(s): COUN5004, COUN5220, COUN5222, COUN5270. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
COUN5822 *
Group Counseling and Clinical Applications in Marriage and Family Therapy

This course provides learners with the group counseling and advanced clinical marriage and family therapy skills they will need for their second residency, including building and maintaining therapeutic systemic relationships; conceptualizing cases from a systemic perspective; and identifying potential ethical dilemmas and related ethical principles used when working with couples, families, and groups. Learners also explore and assess group dynamics, continue to integrate marriage and family counseling/ therapy theories and methods with clinical practice, and develop career plans aligned with their professional identities and career goals. COUN-R5823 must be taken the quarter immediately following COUN5822. Prerequisite(s): COUN5107, COUN5108, COUN5271, COUN5273, COUN5275, COUN5820, COUN-R5821. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits

All academic courses listed below include specific residency or clinical experiences. Learners must complete prerequisites and residency and clinical experience requirements to be eligible to complete each course in the sequence.

COUN-R5821 *
Advanced Marriage and Family Counseling/Therapy Theory and Practice: Residency Track 1

The first residency includes an online courseroom and a residency experience. Learners engage in online courseroom activities to prepare themselves for the face-to-face residency experience, which provides them with the opportunity to practically apply knowledge gained in prior coursework. During the course, learners focus on the foundational theories of marriage and family therapy and the application of systemically based skills, including building therapeutic relationships, conceptualizing cases from a systemic perspective, conducting couple and family sessions, and applying ethical and legal standards of practice when working with couples and families. Learners then engage in a face-to-face residency experience that guides them as they integrate marriage and family counseling/therapy theory with clinical practice. This course requires travel. COUN-R5821 must be taken the quarter immediately following successful completion of COUN5820. Prerequisite(s): COUN5004, COUN5220, COUN5270, COUN5820. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
COUN-R5823 *
Advanced Group Counseling and Clinical Applications in Marriage and Family Therapy: Residency Track 2

The second residency includes an online courseroom and a residency experience. Learners engage in online courseroom activities to prepare themselves for the residency experience, and assess and reflect on knowledge gained during previous coursework. Throughout the course, learners focus on the foundational theories of group therapy and the application of systemically based group facilitation skills. Learners practice developing advanced clinical marriage and family therapy skills, including building and maintaining a therapeutic systemic relationship, assessing group dynamics, identifying potential ethical dilemmas in group counseling, and assessing ethical principles used when working with couples and families. Learners then engage in a face-to-face residency experience that guides them as they integrate marriage and family counseling/therapy theories and methods with clinical practice. This residency provides 10 hours of group experience. This course requires travel. COUN-R5823 must be taken the quarter immediately following successful completion of COUN5822. Prerequisite(s): COUN5108; COUN5232; COUN5271; COUN5273; COUN5275; COUN5820 and COUN-R5821; COUN5822. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
COUN6202 *
Marriage and Family Counseling/Therapy Clinical Practicum

The clinical practicum is an online-directed course and a supervised field experience during which learners practice specific clinical skills, including interviewing, assessment, intervention, documentation, and consultation in a marriage and family counseling or therapy field setting. Learners use fundamental communication and interviewing principles to perform initial assessments and conduct clinical sessions with individuals, couples, families, and groups. Learners in the practicum course complete weekly face-to-face contact with field supervisors and weekly synchronous (live) group supervision with faculty supervisors using secure web conferencing solutions. Grading for this course is S/NS. It is the learner’s responsibility to research and comply with the specific clinical experience requirements of their states. Prerequisite(s): COUN5007, COUN5106, COUN5107, COUN5336, COUN-R5823 with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
COUN6231 *
Marriage and Family Counseling/Therapy Clinical Internship 1

The clinical internship is an online-directed course and a supervised field experience during which learners practice specific clinical skills, including interviewing, assessment, intervention, documentation, and consultation in a marriage and family counseling or therapy field setting. Learners use intermediate communication and interviewing skills to perform initial assessments and conduct clinical sessions with individuals, couples, families, and groups. For each internship, learners complete weekly face-to-face contact with field supervisors and weekly synchronous (live) group supervision with faculty supervisors using secure web conferencing solutions. Grading for this course is S/NS. It is the learner’s responsibility to research and comply with the specific clinical experience requirements of their states. Prerequisite(s): COUN6202 with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
COUN6232 *
Marriage and Family Counseling/Therapy Clinical Internship 2

The clinical internship is an online-directed course and a supervised field experience during which learners practice specific clinical skills, including interviewing, assessment, intervention, documentation, and consultation in a marriage and family counseling or therapy field setting. Learners use advanced communication and interviewing skills to perform initial assessments and conduct clinical sessions with individuals, couples, families, and groups. For each internship, learners complete weekly face-to-face contact with field supervisors and weekly synchronous (live) group supervision with faculty supervisors using secure web conferencing solutions. Grading for this course is S/NS. It is the learner’s responsibility to research and comply with the specific clinical experience requirements of their states. Prerequisite(s): COUN6231 with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
COUN6233 *
Marriage and Family Counseling/Therapy Clinical Internship 3

The clinical internship is an online-directed course and a supervised field experience during which learners practice specific clinical skills, including interviewing, assessment, intervention, documentation, and consultation in a marriage and family counseling or therapy field setting. Learners use advanced communication and interviewing skills to perform initial assessments and conduct clinical sessions with individuals, couples, families, and groups. For each internship, learners complete weekly face-to-face contact with field supervisors, and weekly synchronous (live) group supervision with faculty supervisors using secure web conferencing solutions. Grading for this course is S/NS. It is the learner’s responsibility to research and comply with the specific clinical experience licensure requirements of their states. Prerequisite(s): COUN6232 with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits

 

 

Total

 

 

92 quarter credits

 

* Denotes courses that have prerequisite(s). Refer to the descriptions for further details.

Capella University cannot guarantee licensure, endorsement, other professional credential, or salary advancement. State licensing regulations and professional standards vary; learners are responsible for understanding and complying with the requirements of the state in which they intend to work. For more information, see the Licensure section for this program on Capella’s website (www.capella.edu).

 
Residency

The residency requirement for the Master of Science in Marriage and Family Counseling/Therapy degree program is satisfied by the completion of two online courses, each consisting of a six-day residency (COUN-R5821 and COUN-R5823). Learners must have completed the residency requirement prior to starting their practicum (COUN6202). Each residency experience for the Master of Science in Marriage and Family Counseling/Therapy degree program requires learners to receive a minimum of 40 total hours of training and practice in the areas of counseling theory and intervention, assessment, multicultural issues, legal and ethical issues, group counseling, and advanced counseling/therapy. Through the counseling residencies, learners gain a stronger sense of academic community by networking and discussing concepts and issues in the field of professional counseling. This experience provides a learning environment that fosters the application of critical thinking and integrated knowledge to professional issues.

Practicum/Internship Experience

Learners enrolled in the Master of Science in Marriage and Family Counseling/Therapy degree program complete supervised onsite counseling experiences as a requirement of their program. The practicum and internship experiences consist of direct client contact (individual, couple, family, and group), supervision on site, and nondirect clinical activities such as clinical staffings, documentation, and training.

The practicum (COUN6202) is an online course that requires completion of 100 hours of supervised counseling experience performed at an approved fieldwork site. Learners apply the skills developed throughout the course of their program while working in a school, clinic, agency, or other setting that provides counseling services.

The internships (COUN6231, COUN6232, and COUN6233) are online-directed courses that require 600 total hours of experience completed under supervision at an approved fieldwork site. Learners may register for additional internship courses should they need additional time or need to meet additional requirements for state licensure. The internships include a more intensive experience at the fieldwork site where learners continue to demonstrate the counseling competencies and proficiencies required in their program.

Learners should consult the Counselor Education Fieldwork Manual for a full description of the practicum/internship experience and all fieldwork requirements.

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