Courses MS in Marriage & Family Therapy

Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy

Course Requirements

Credits breakdown

Total quarter credits: 72

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.

Show course with description


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 500 internship hours. See the Practicum/Internship Experience section, below, for more information.

 

 

Twenty Required Courses

 

 

72 quarter credits

MFT5008
Foundations of Couple and Family Therapy

This course provides an introduction to the profession of marriage and family therapy 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 analyze the history, philosophy, and clinical practice theories of marital and family therapy and examine the fundamental therapeutic concepts and skills needed to work with couples and families. Must be taken during the first quarter by learners who have been admitted to the MS in Marriage and Family Therapy degree program and the Systemic Couple and Family Therapy graduate certificate. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
MFT5106
Assessment, Tests, and Measures for Marriage and Family Therapy Practice

Learners in this course examine the assessment process and how to use tests and measures in systemic clinical practice. Learners also analyze the development of assessment methods, testing strategies and interpretation, and fundamental measurement constructs.

4 quarter credits
MFT5107
Psychopathology: Diagnosis and Treatment of Behavior Disorders

Learners in this course apply psychopathology principles and current issues associated with assessing mental disorders within a systemic, relational context. Learners critically evaluate diagnostic models, methods, and approaches used in diagnosing and treating individuals, couples, and families. Learners also assess psychopharmacological considerations and examine the current DSM classifications and diagnostic issues associated with multicultural populations.

4 quarter credits
MFT5108 *
Impact of Addiction and Addictive Behavior on Family Systems

This course provides learners with fundamental knowledge of addiction from its historical roots through contemporary issues. Learners examine and apply systemic 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 analyze empirically supported interventions for individuals, families, groups, and diverse populations from systemic perspectives and assess emerging issues in the field based upon current research. Prerequisite(s): MFT-R5821.

4 quarter credits
MFT5222
Professional Ethics in Marriage and Family Therapy

Learners in this course examine the ethical and legal responsibilities framing marriage and family therapy and apply the criteria for state licensure. Learners also analyze the impact of a therapist’s values, culture, and ethnicity on clinical practice; identify approaches to protecting clients from one’s own potential biases; and assess the role of advocacy in marriage and family therapy.

4 quarter credits
MFT5232 *
Systemic Approaches to Sexual and Gender Issues

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 examine and challenge their personal beliefs, attitudes, and values associated with gender and sexuality and the ways they may impact the therapeutic process. Prerequisite(s): MFT5008, MFT5222, MFT5270, MFT-R5821.

4 quarter credits
MFT5270 *
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. Learners demonstrate knowledge of the tenets, therapeutic strategies, and techniques used within the field. Learners also evaluate therapy and counseling approaches to structural, strategic, transgenerational, behavioral, communication, and analytical models in working with couples and families. Prerequisite(s): MFT5008.

4 quarter credits
MFT5271 *
Working with Families Across the Lifespan

In this course, learners build an understanding of families as systems, in particular family development, transitions, assessment, and intervention across the lifespan. Learners also integrate diversity and sociocultural factors in the application of systemic assessment and intervention strategies. Prerequisite(s): MFT5008.

4 quarter credits
MFT5273 *
Couple and Marital Therapy

In this course, learners investigate systemic couples therapy theories, methods, and practices in terms of assessment, treatment planning, and intervention. Learners analyze issues related to diversity and ethical considerations pertaining to systemic couples therapy. Learners also examine contemporary issues in couples therapy as they apply to clinical practice. Prerequisite(s): MFT5270.

4 quarter credits
MFT5275 *
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): MFT5008.

4 quarter credits
MFT5336
Diversity and Social Justice in Systemic Family Therapy

This course introduces theory, research, and models that inform ethical, culturally competent clinical work, and social justice advocacy in a variety of settings. Learners use strategies to address the influence of heritage, attitudes, beliefs, and acculturative experiences on the therapeutic process. In addition, learners gain knowledge of effective systemic therapy and advocacy strategies with diverse individuals, couples, families, and groups and determine ways to advocate and promote social justice at multiple levels.

4 quarter credits
MFT5820 *
Marriage and Family Therapy Theory and Practice

In this course, learners gain clinical marriage and family therapy skills needed for the first residency. Learners build and maintain therapeutic relationships, conceptualize cases from a systemic perspective, conduct couple and family sessions, perform therapeutic assessments, apply ethical and legal standards of practice when working with couples and families from diverse backgrounds. MFT-R5821 must be taken the quarter immediately following MFT5820. Prerequisite(s): MFT5008, MFT5222, MFT5270. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
MFT5822 *
Systemic and Group Interventions for Grief, Loss, and Trauma

In this course, learners continue to develop therapy skills using group and systemic interventions as they apply to grief, loss, and trauma. Learners assess group dynamics, group process, and multicultural issues in relationship to grief, loss, and trauma. Prerequisite(s): MFT5107, MFT5270, MFT5271, MFT5273, MFT5820, MFT-R5821. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
MFT5876
Research Methods in Marriage and Family Therapy

Learners in this course evaluate the measurement of family variables and the complexities of family research design, data collection, and analysis. Learners demonstrate an understanding of scales of measurement, validity and reliability, experimental and non-experimental designs, and approaches to integrating clinical research with practice.

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.

MFT-R5821 *
Advanced Marriage and Family Therapy Theory and Pre-Clinical Practice: Residency Track 1

The first residency includes an online courseroom and a residency. 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 apply the foundational systemic theories of marriage and family therapy and the application of clinical skills, including building therapeutic relationships, conceptualizing cases from a systemic perspective, conducting couple and family sessions. Learners also demonstrate knowledge of assessment, crisis intervention, professional clinical disposition and identity, diversity, and ethics. In the face-to-face residency experience, learners integrate marriage and family therapy theory with clinical practice. This course requires travel. MFT-R5821 must be taken the quarter immediately following successful completion of MFT5820. Prerequisite(s): MFT5008, MFT5270, MFT5820. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
MFT-R5823 *
Advanced Clinical Applications in Family Therapy: Pre-Clinical Residency Track 2

The second residency includes an online courseroom and a residency experience. Learners engage in online courseroom activities to prepare for residency and assess and reflect on knowledge gained during previous coursework. Throughout the course, learners practice developing advanced clinical marriage and family therapy skills, including building and maintaining a therapeutic systemic relationship, facilitating the group process, and assessing ethical principles used when working with couples, families, and groups. Learners then engage in a face-to-face residency experience that guides them as they integrate systemic marriage and family therapy theories and methods with clinical practice. This course requires travel. Prerequisite(s): MFT5271, MFT5273, MFT5820, MFT-R5821. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
MFT6231 *
Marriage and Family Therapy Clinical Internship 1

The clinical internship is an online-directed course and a supervised site-based learning experience during which learners practice specific clinical skills, including interviewing, assessment, intervention, documentation, and consultation in a marriage and family therapy 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 internship courses complete weekly face-to-face contact with site 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): MFT5106, MFT5107, MFT5336, MFT-R5823 with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

2 quarter credits
MFT6232 *
Marriage and Family Therapy Clinical Internship 2

The clinical internship is an online-directed course and a supervised site-based learning experience during which learners practice specific and intermediate clinical skills, including interviewing, assessment, intervention, documentation, and consultation in a marriage and family therapy setting. Learners in this course continue to use fundamental communication and interviewing principles to perform initial assessments and conduct clinical sessions with individuals, couples, families, and groups. Learners in the internship courses complete weekly face-to-face contact with site 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): MFT6231 with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

2 quarter credits
MFT6233 *
Marriage and Family Therapy Clinical Internship 3

The clinical internship is an online-directed course and a supervised site-based learning experience during which learners practice specific and advanced clinical skills, including interviewing, assessment, intervention, documentation, and consultation in a marriage and family therapy setting. Learners continue to build their knowledge and use fundamental communication and interviewing principles to perform initial assessments and conduct clinical sessions with individuals, couples, families, and groups. Learners in the internship courses complete weekly face-to-face contact with site 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): MFT6232 with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

2 quarter credits
MFT6234 *
Marriage and Family Therapy Clinical Internship 4

The clinical internship is an online-directed course and a supervised site-based learning experience during which learners practice specific and advanced clinical skills, including interviewing, assessment, intervention, documentation, and consultation in a marriage and family therapy setting. Learners continue to apply the knowledge gained in the previous internships and use fundamental communication and interviewing principles to perform initial assessments and conduct clinical sessions with individuals, couples, families, and groups. Learners in the internship courses complete weekly face-to-face contact with site 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): MFT6233 with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

2 quarter credits

 

 

Total

 

 

72 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 Therapy degree program is satisfied by the completion of two online courses, each consisting of a six-day residency (MFT-R5821 and MFT-R5823). Learners must have completed the residency requirement prior to starting their internship (MFT6231). Each residency experience for the Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy degree program requires learners to receive a minimum of 40 total hours of training and practice in the areas of systemic theories and intervention, assessment, multicultural issues, legal and ethical issues, and advanced therapy. Through the pre-clinical residencies, learners gain a stronger sense of academic community by networking and discussing concepts and issues in the field of professional marriage and family therapy. 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 Therapy degree program complete supervised clinical internship experiences in their community as a requirement of their program.

The internship courses (MFT6231, MFT6232, MFT6233, MFT6234) require completion of 500 direct client contact hours across the four courses, with 200 or more of those hours being relational. The site-based learning experience is a supervised clinical experience performed at an approved internship site. Learners apply the skills developed throughout the course of their program while working in a clinic, agency, or other settings that provides couple and family services. Learners may register for additional internship courses should they need additional time or have a need to meet additional requirements for state licensure. In the degree program’s capstone exam, which learners take during internship course MFT6233, learners must pass a 200-question, multiple choice, practice, national licensing exam. Study resources for the capstone are available throughout the internship courses.

Learners should consult the Marriage and Family Therapy Program Handbook for a full description of the internship experience and all site-based learning requirements.

Classes Start Soon

Ready to get started? We’re ready for you. Chat with an enrollment counselor or apply now to take the first step on the journey toward your future.

$50 application fee (waived w/promo FALL20).

Sign up for a trial course on us

Take a trial course and see all the great benefits our original learning format has to offer. Keep in mind, this trial course is representative of the experience but does not necessarily reflect the courseroom for this program.

A day in the life

Capella students don’t find themselves in crowded classrooms. Instead, when they log in, they join a community of working professionals who share similar aspirations and levels of experience.
See what it’s like to be a student »

Ready for the next step?

Learning online doesn't mean going it alone. Help is here. From faculty, coaches, advisors, and more. Plus a supportive community of students who are as passionate about their careers as you are about yours.