Marriage and Family Therapy M.S.

Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy (Evening and Weekend Cohort Tracks)

Program Rationale:
The Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) program leads to a Master's of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy (MSMFT). The program is designed to prepare students for professional careers as marriage and family therapists in a wide variety of settings and roles. First, students are taught theories and techniques of practice in individual and group counseling modalities, as well as developmental theory. The foundation of the specialized training in marriage and family therapy is systems theory, serving as the linchpin for the study of clinical theories and practices that are taught in preparation for clinical training.

The philosophy of the program is that a student must integrate theories and techniques as tools for enhancing one's effectiveness as an agent of intervention and change. The program does so by interweaving theory and practice throughout the duration of the training process via graduated practical experiences while studying theory. Thus, through the process of study and practice, the student has an opportunity to incorporate a wide array of learning gradually and comprehensively. The end product of such training is a therapist who is well-grounded in theory and who has had nurturing through an on-going training and supervisory process to use him/herself effectively, professionally, and ethically as an agent of change at a variety of levels. A unique feature of the program is that we utilize a “common factors” approach based on a theoretical model called “Metaframeworks”, which provides a template for looking through different systemic “lenses” to make decisions regarding how to intervene to remove constraints preventing a person, couple, family or organization from making necessary changes for their well-being.

The curriculum is designed to meet academic and clinical requirements for Connecticut licensure for marital and family therapists (LMFT) and AAMFT Clinical Membership.

Clinical placements and intensive faculty supervision emphasize the development of effective therapeutic skills to meet the challenges of the new climate in health care service delivery. Emphasis is also placed on the development of the "person of the therapist." A key theme of the program is respect for diversity of people and lifestyles in families. The program has been awarded accreditation by AAMFT's Commission on Accreditation for MFT Education (COAMFTE).

Mission Statement:
The mission of the CCSU MFT Program is to provide quality training in MFT education that will ensure the development of competence of individuals entering the profession. To accomplish this end, the program is committed to advancing and disseminating the Metaframeworks paradigm as a valued systemic basis for teaching and practicing marriage and family therapy, promoting culturally-informed and respectful systemic mental health practice, and promoting leadership in the MFT field among our students, faculty, and graduates.

Our mission can be re-stated in terms of program Educational Outcomes (EO) that guide our curriculum, structures, and assessment of our success in accomplishing our mission:

 

MFT Educational Outcomes (EO):

  1. To develop competent entry-level Marriage and Family Therapists at point of graduation
  2. To advance and disseminate the Metaframeworks paradigm as a valued systemic basis for teaching and practicing marriage and family therapy 
  3. To promote culturally-informed and respectful systemic mental health practice
  4. To promote leadership in the MFT field among our students, faculty, and graduates

 To successfully accomplish these Educational Outcomes, the program places the following expectations on our students and faculty:

Student Learning Outcomes (SLO):

 As a result of successful completion of the MFT program, students will:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge in the major schools of marriage and family therapy;
  2. Demonstrate proficiency in practices of systemically-oriented therapy approaches to human problems in a variety of clinical settings;
  3. Demonstrate an articulated personal model of therapy upon which they base their intervention, derived from Metaframeworks;
  4. Establish professional identities as Marriage and Family Therapists through participation in activities that facilitate the process of socialization in the field;
  5. Demonstrate knowledge as consumers of MFT relevant research and ongoing professional enrichment through the valuing of continued self study and skill development;
  6. Demonstrate awareness, knowledge, and skills in providing culturally informed MFT;
  7. Demonstrate ability to apply the standards of ethical professional conduct in the field; and
  8. Develop a strong and clear sense of self as an intervener in human problems.

 

Admission Requirements for the Marriage and Family Therapy Program

Admission to the Master’s program in Marriage and Family Therapy is made on a competitive basis. Two tracks are available: Evening Track and Weekend Cohort Track.

Admission for the Evening Track occurs two times per year (Fall and Spring).  All applications must be completed and received by May 1 for Fall admission of the following academic year (April 1st for priority admission) and by November 1 for admission for the following Spring semester.  Approximately twenty (20) students are accepted for each academic semester (Fall and Spring).

Admission for the Weekend Cohort Track occurs once per year for summer matriculation. All applications must be completed and received by March 1 for admission for the following summer semester. Approximately twenty (20) students are accepted for the summer cohort.

The admission standard for this program requires a minimum of 2.70 combined undergraduate and previous graduate GPA  (of at least a 3.00 for graduate work) based on a 4.00 point scale where A is 4.00.  Students with grade point averages between 2.40 and 2.69 may appeal their denials for admission. Conditional admission may be considered on a space-available basis. All students who are accepted into the department are initially granted pre-candidacy status and are assigned an academic advisor. The decision to admit a student into pre-candidacy status for the MFT program is based on the following criteria: 

Candidates for initial admission will be selected on the basis of the following criteria:

  1. Grade point average: Minimum 2.70 grade point average (GPA) based on a 4.00 point scale where A is 4.00
  2. Three recommendations from individuals able to attest to the student's suitability as a prospective Marriage and Family Therapist
  3. Personal essay regarding the applicant’s motivation and readiness to pursue a degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. Candidates must respond to the following questions (three to five pages maximum, double-spaced):

a. Personal and professional experiences and reasons that influenced you to pursue the field of Marriage and Family Therapy.
b. Personal characteristics you believe will contribute to your success as a Marriage and Family Therapist.
 c. Please express your view regarding the importance of your engaging in a personal therapy experience as part of becoming a marriage and family therapist.
d. If applying for the Weekend Cohort Track: A statement that explains your reasons for opting for the Weekend Cohort Track and your ability to commit to a weekend-based cohort program.

If accepted, the advisor will orient the student regarding prerequisites, course scheduling, potential course transfers and substitutions, and the planned program of study.  

 

MFT PRE-CANDIDACY AND DEGREE CANDIDACY

Once accepted to the program, students qualify for Degree Candidacy by completing the prerequisite courses (CNSL 500, CNSL 501, and MFT 505 or PSY 512) and MFT 541, achieving a grade of B or better in each course and receiving favorable ratings on the "Attitudes and Attributes" scale by instructors for CNSL 501 and MFT 541. On fulfillment of these requirements, students meet with their advisors to complete their Planned Programs of Study and the Application for Degree Candidacy. These documents are submitted to the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies for final approval and acceptance into the program as Degree Candidates.  Any student who does not meet the specified criteria for degree candidacy is not permitted to continue in the program and will receive a dismissal letter from the Graduate Dean.

Once admitted into pre-candidacy, students may enroll as full-time or part-time students. Students in the Weekend Cohort Track are enrolled full-time for the first two years and become part-time students in their Internship Year. There is a prescribed sequence for all courses in this track. Students in the Evening Track have the flexibility of enrolling either as full-time or part-time students at any point in the program. Full-time students take a minimum of 9 credits during fall and spring semesters, follow a prescribed program schedule, may attend during the summer, and complete the program in 3 years. Part-time students may take 3 or 6 credits per semester (including summers) and must complete the program within a 6-year period. Programs of study are arranged with advisors. Students may shift between full-time and part-time status as individually determined between the student and his or her advisor. Typically, students are enrolled part-time during their internship (3rd year), and are eligible for consideration for part-time equivalency if they are only taking a practicum or internship field placement course.

For additional information, please see the MFT program website: http://www.education.ccsu.edu/Departments/Counseling_and_Family_Therapy/Marriage_and_Family_Therapy.asp  

 

Application Process

Submission to the Graduate Recruitment and Admissions Office, Henry Barnard Hall Room 102:

1. Application form (Available online)
2. Application fee
3. Official Transcript from each college and university attended (except Central Connecticut State University). Institutions must send transcripts directly to Graduate Recruitment and Admissions Office. (Note: The office does NOT accept hand delivered transcripts, even if the envelope is sealed.)

 

CURRICULUM - Course and Capstone Requirements (51 - 63 credits):

Prerequisites (12 credits):

Either MFT 505 Counseling & Human Development Across the Lifespan (3)

OR PSY 512 Seminar in Developmental Psychology (3) (Students interested in the School MFT Certification Sequence must take PSY 512)

CNSL 500 Dynamics of Group Behavior (3)

CNSL 501 Theories and Techniques in Counseling (6)

 

 Marriage and Family Therapy Core Curriculum (51 credits) - thesis optional:

MFT 541* Introduction to Theories of Family Systems (3)

MFT 542 Professional, Ethical, and Legal Issues in Marriage and Family Therapy (3)

MFT 543 The Family Life Cycle (3)

MFT 544 Families in Context: Gender and Cultural Dimensions (3)

MFT 551 Structural/Strategic & Behavioral Family Therapies (3)

MFT 552 Experiential, Intergenerational and Psychodynamic Family Therapies (3)

MFT 554 Couples therapy (3)

MFT 555 Dysfunctional Family Processes (3)

MFT 556 Systemic Perspectives on Mental Disorders (3)

MFT 557 Action Methods in Marital and Family Therapy (3)

MFT 583 Marriage and Family Therapy Practicum I (3) **

MFT 584 Marriage and Family Therapy Practicum II (3) **

MFT 585 Marriage and Family Therapy Internship (3 credits in each of 3 consecutive semesters)*** (9)

MFT 598 Research Methods in Marriage and Family Therapy (3)

Elective required**** (3)

* This course is taken during the pre-candidacy period along with the three prerequisite courses as a condition for degree candidacy.

** Students in the MFT School Certification sequence substitute MFT 593 and MFT 594 for these courses

*** See Capstone requirement (below).

**** May be any graduate course that fits coherently with the student's academic goals, on approval from his or her advisor. The Thesis course (CNSL 599) is not considered an elective (Plan A) and is an additional three (3) credits.


Capstone Requirements: During the third semester of MFT 585 (Internship), on completion of a minimum of 300 of the 500 clinical hours required for graduation, all students must complete a capstone project consisting of a comprehensive written examination of a clinical case seen by the student, as well as an oral presentation of the case to MFT faculty and peers. This project is designed to help the student integrate his/her learning experiences in the program. In addition, students also may elect to complete Plan A (Thesis), which adds an additional three (3) credits in the program. Students who pursue the thesis option are also required to complete the clinical capstone during the spring semester of MFT 585.

 

Clinical Training in the MFT Program

During the second year of the MFT program, students complete a practicum experience for two semesters, in which they are placed in approved clinical sites in the community for 12 hours per week and receive an hour of supervision per week by an agency supervisor. This experience provides students with basic skills and techniques in interviewing, clinical assessment, and case management. Students attend a weekly course seminar for one hour per week with a faculty instructor. There are over 60 approved training sites across the state, including mental health centers, youth service bureaus, family service agencies, hospitals, and schools.

Following the practicum, each student undertakes a 12-month, intensive (20-25 hours per week) internship in an approved clinical facility, where the intern may hone his/her skills as an "apprentice" clinician under the mentorship of an on-site supervisor and oversight of a faculty supervisor. The internship is designed to be a much more extensive experience than the practicum experience, with the intern assuming primary responsibility for 12-15 clinical cases per week. The student can expect much guidance during the internship experience, with over three hours per week spent in supervision to discuss clinical assessment, case dynamics, skill development, and use of self in the role of "therapist." By the end of the program, students must complete 500 clinical contact hours with a minimum of 100 hours of supervision of those clinical contact hours under an AAMFT Approved Supervisor.

Pathway to Certification as a School Marriage and Family Therapist: This sequence also includes a pathway to an Educator Certificate for School Marriage and Family Therapists, granted by the State Department of Education. This pathway requires a specialized practicum during the 2nd year that is geared toward meeting State of Connecticut regulations for the certificate (MFT 593 and MFT 594 is substituted for MFT 583 and MFT 584) and additional coursework (SPED 501 and MFT 592). The requirements for the certification exceed the number of credits for the MFT Masters degree; the extra courses may be taken either during the Master’s program as extra courses or may be taken post-graduation through the Official Certificate Program in School-based MFT. This option is open to students in both the Evening and the Weekend Part-time Tracks (see below).

 

 Track Options

 The program offers two track options to meet the needs of diverse student populations:

Evening Track – The Evening Track has served students in the MFT program since 1980 and offers a more “traditional” graduate experience. Courses meet once per week in the evenings during each academic semester, and students have the flexibility of enrolling full-time or part-time. Some courses are available for summer registration. Admission is limited to approximately 20 students each Fall and Spring semester. Students enter the program for a “pre-candidacy” period during which they must complete each of CNSL 500, CNSL 501, MFT 505 (or PSY 512 for students pursuing the School-based MFT sequence), and MFT 541 with a minimum grade of “B” to meet eligibility requirements for Degree Candidacy. During the second and third years, students participate in field placement experiences (i.e., a 12-hour-per-week practicum in the 2nd year and a 20-25 hour-per-week internship in the 3rd year). The Evening Track is designed to be completed in three years for full-time students and in four years for part-time students. Students may take up to six years to complete the program, or a maximum of nine years with permission from the adviser and Dean, School of Graduate Studies.

Full- or Part-time: Once admitted into pre-candidacy in the Evening Track, students may enroll as full-time or part-time students.  Full-time students take a minimum of 9 credits during fall and spring semesters, follow a prescribed program schedule, may attend during the summer, and complete the program in 3 years.  Part-time students may enroll in up to 6 credits per session in the summer (first and second five-week sessions) and must complete the program within a 6-year period (nine years is possible with permission from the adviser and Graduate Dean). Programs of study are arranged with the advisor.  Students may shift between full-time and part-time status as individually determined between the student and his or her advisor.  Typically, students are enrolled part-time during their internship (3rd year), and are eligible for consideration for part-time equivalency if they are only taking a practicum or internship field placement course.


MARRIAGE AND FAMILY THERAPY EVENING TRACK PLAN OF STUDY BY SEMESTER

(Sample Full Time Schedule)

PHASE 1 – PRE-CANDIDACY

Prerequisites: May be taken during Fall, Spring, or Summer semesters as offered prior to start of specialization program.

MFT 505 – Counseling and Human Development across the Lifespan (3) or PSY 512 - Seminar in Developmental Psychology (3)

CNSL 500 - Dynamics of Group Behavior (3)**

CNSL 501 - Theories and Techniques in Counseling (6)**

 

YEAR 1

 

                  Fall Semester

 

MFT 541 - Intro to Theories of Family Systems (3)**

MFT 542 – Ethical, Legal, and Professional issues in MFT (3)**

 

Prerequisite courses may be taken during this semester. Student applies for admission to program and degree candidacy at the end of this semester after earning a B or better in each of the CNSL 500, CNSL 501, PSY 512, and MFT 541. Two recommendation letters submitted at this time. Join AAMFT (www.aamft.org)

                        Spring Semester

PHASE 2 – DEGREE CANDIDACY

 

MFT 551-Structural/Strategic/Behavioral Family Therapies (3)

MFT 556 - Systemic Perspectives on Mental Disorders (3)*

MFT 557 - Action Methods in MFT (3)**

 

Last Friday in January – MFT Placement Fair for Practicum and Internship, held at CCSU

           Summer Semester

 

NOTE: Many MFT courses that are scheduled for the Fall and Spring semesters (except sequenced courses – in BOLD) are taught during Summer and Intersession semesters on a rotational basis for students' convenience. Students may take courses in the summer, as offered (denoted by an asterisk [*]. Courses taught every Summer are designated with [**]).

 

YEAR 2

 

                  Fall Semester

PHASE 3 – PRACTICUM YEAR

 

MFT 543 - The Family Life Cycle (3)*

MFT 544 - Families in Context: Gender & Cultural Dimensions (3)*

MFT 552 - Experiential, Intergenerational & Psychodynamic Family Therapies (3)

MFT 583 - Marriage & Family Therapy Practicum I (3)

                        Spring Semester

MFT 598 - Research Methods in MFT (3)**      

MFT 555 - Dysfunctional Family Processes (3)*

MFT 584 - Marriage & Family Therapy Practicum II (3)

 

(Note: Practicum includes 12 hours on-site at agency per week plus weekly 2-hour seminar with MFT faculty – MFT 583 and MFT 584. Agency provides supervision minimum one hour/week)

           Summer Semester

PHASE 4 – INTERNSHIP

 

MFT 585 - Marriage & Family Therapy Internship (3)

3 semesters (12 months) requiring 500 clinical contact hours (250 must be “relational”) with minimum 100 hours of supervision by an AAMFT Approved Supervisor (offered via faculty supervision at CCSU) 50 hours of supervision must use “raw” clinical data (audio/video/live supervision formats)

YEAR 3

 

                          Fall Semester

MFT 554 - Couples Therapy (3)*

MFT 585 - Marriage & Family Therapy Internship (3)

Elective*

 

                        Spring Semester

MFT 585 - Marriage & Family Therapy Internship (3)

Capstone Project: Case Presentation

Student applies for graduation by 3/1

 

Plan E – Capstone Non-Thesis (Typical)

Plan A – Capstone PLUS Thesis (Optional and extra 3 credits)

 

Notes:    

This is a sample semester-by-semester description of the curriculum, which shows the general structure of the program. Courses in bold are taken in the sequence, as shown. Other courses may be taken as available and in any order, providing that course prerequisites are met.

 

This curriculum is designed to expose students to key theoretical knowledge and clinical techniques prior to the Internship experience. MFT 541 is a prerequisite for all MFT specialization courses. All MFT students must follow the sequence of MFT 541, MFT 551, MFT 552, MFT 583, MFT 584, and MFT 585 during the specified semesters. All other MFT courses may be taken anytime after completion of MFT 541 and acceptance into the program. The elective course can be any graduate-level course that fits coherently with the student's professional interests.

 

MFT 598 (Research Methods) and MFT 542 (Ethical, Legal, and Professional Issues in MFT) may be taken anytime in the program, including prior to Degree Candidacy.

 

MFT 558 (Internal Family Systems Therapy) is an elective that is taught each summer for students interested in the IFS model.


 

Weekend Cohort Track – The Weekend Cohort Track has the same admission, curriculum, and other requirements as the Evening program, but is structured to meet the needs of students who are constrained by distance or other circumstances that prevent them from attending the program during the week. Like the Evening Track, the Weekend Cohort Track is designed to be completed in three years. Students are admitted on a one-time-per-year basis as a cohort group, only for the summer.   Students are expected and must be committed to move through the program as a cohort group, enrolling in the prescribed courses in the cohort from beginning to end.

Instructional Classes typically meet on Friday evenings, full days on Saturdays and half-days on Sundays with some weekends off during and between courses during the first and second years. Courses are taught in 5-week blocks; three 3-credit courses per semester during Fall and Spring semesters with additional courses taught in the summer. Several classes will be taught as “hybrid” courses, combining on-line participation with in-class instruction on the CCSU campus. In the second and third years, students are required to participate in practicum and internship experiences on a weekly basis.

The Practicum and Internship segments require weekly meetings for the Practicum Seminar and Internship Supervision. Since many agencies operate during normal business hours, students should expect that they will need to participate in their field placements during the week (students may obtain placements in their vicinity). Students are enrolled for 3 credits during their internship (3rd year), and are eligible for consideration for part-time equivalency to meet financial aid requirements.

 

Weekend core curriculum courses are limited only to students enrolled in the Weekend Cohort Track. Students enrolled in either track may electives together.

 

 

MARRIAGE AND FAMILY THERAPY WEEKEND COHORT TRACK PLAN OF STUDY BY SEMESTER

 

Year

Summer

Fall

Spring

1

Basic CNSL Skills

Foundations

Models/Methods

CNSL 500

CNSL 501 (6 cr)

 

9 credits

MFT 505 or PSY 512

MFT 541

MFT 542

9 credits

MFT 551

MFT 552

MFT 554

9 credits

2

Research/Action Methods

Family Dysfunction/ Assessment/Practicum

Family Processes/ Practicum

MFT 598

MFT 557

 

6 credits

MFT 583*

MFT 555

MFT 556

9 credits

MFT 584*

MFT 543

MFT 544

9 credits

3

Internship

Internship

Internship

MFT 585** (sections of 6 students)

Elective?

MFT 585** (sections of 6 students)

 

MFT 585** (sections of 6 students)

Capstone (Plane E - imbedded in MFT 585)

6 credits

3 credits

3 credits

Notes:

* Weekly throughout semester – 12-hour placement, 1.5 hour seminar per week.

** Weekly throughout semester – 20 – 25 hours/week placement; 2.5 hours/week supervision

     ? Required elective - any graduate-level course. May be taken anytime during program.

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