Marriage and Family Therapy Certificate

The Marriage and Family Therapy Certificate program is no longer accepting applications. Candidates may qualify to transfer or waive duplicate learning credits towards the M.A. in Marriage and Family Therapy program.

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For Previously Enrolled Students

Effective July 1, 2011, the U.S. Department of Education requires institutions with nondegree programs defined as “Gainful Employment programs” to disclose certain information about these programs. Read our report.

Below is a listing of degree requirements for the Marriage and Family Therapy Certificate program. We will continue to honor these requirements listing until the last previously enrolled student has completed the program.

AAMFT Student Achievement Criteria for Certificate (PDI) (PDF)
AAMFT Student Achievement Criteria for MA (PDF)

Degree Requirements

Degree Requirements

Marriage and Family Studies 10 cr.
Marriage and Family Therapy 6 cr.
Professional Issues 4 cr.
Treatment Planning 3 cr.
Practicum 4 cr.
Exit Interview 0 cr.
Total 27 cr.

 


Marriage and Family Studies: 10 cr.

MFT615 Multicultural Studies of the Family (3 cr.)

This course focuses on the study of culturally diverse couples and families with special emphasis on understanding the significance of cultural contexts in working with people of different cultures. Issues of racism, sexism, heterosexism, ageism, and other isms are explored. Dynamics of power and privilege are explored. Strategies to prevent biases from interfering with therapeutic relationships are developed. Included is an exploration of various types of couples and families.

Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Identify and describe a variety of forms of family diversity, including race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, gender identity, age, development, sexual identity, physical health or ability, spirituality or religion, trauma exposure, life experience, family structure, communication style, etc.
  2. Define family ethnicity, and articulate its connection to related concepts such as culture, class, gender, and racism.
  3. Apply examples of diversity in families within ethnic groups to the practice of marriage and family therapy, evaluating how such diversity might lead to differential outcomes.
  4. Analyze and evaluate the dynamics and effects of racism, privilege, discrimination, and ignorance in our understanding of multiculturalism and cultural responsiveness.
  5. Create effective approaches for working with diverse families in marriage and family therapy settings.
  6. Describe gender roles and functions relate to various styles of family organization.
  7. Identify values and beliefs systems related to various family forms in order to serve family units that exceed personal experience or conflict with values or belief systems.
  8. Create a plan for developing a culturally affirming professional identity.

 

MFT616 Therapy with Couples and Intimate Partners (3 cr.)

This course introduces historical, contextual, and clinical applications to relationships including couples and couple systems. Relationships between diverse spouses/partners are explored and analyzed in order to create an understanding of the dynamics that enhance relationships from a therapeutic context. Issues regarding communication, conflict resolution, and emotional and behavioral interactions are included.

Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Analyze and evaluate couple dynamics from a systemic perspective.
  2. Evaluate strengths and problem areas of relationships between partners/spouses.
  3. Identify and evaluate the effects of the following on couple dynamics and couples therapy: gender identity, life/relationship stage, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, culture, socioeconomic status, sexuality, psychiatric disorders, physical health and ability, etc., with special emphasis on cultural responsiveness.
  4. Apply understanding of the role of the brain's neural operation system and its importance in relationship dynamics and treating troubled relationships.
  5. Demonstrate therapeutic skills with couples through experiential activities.
  6. Identify and evaluate ethical considerations in couples work.

 

 

MFT618 Introduction to Trauma and Crisis Intervention in MFT (2 cr.)

This course provides an introduction to the topic of trauma in Marriage and Family Therapy by discussing crisis intervention, assessment, and management strategies, and provides certification for Psychological First Aid. The course examines the theoretical and research underpinnings of trauma, presents diagnoses and interventions common to trauma, and discusses trauma within a systemic context.

Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge and application of major theoretical/conceptual frameworks of the trauma field and its historical roots.
  2. Demonstrate knowledge of assessment and diagnoses common to trauma, particularly specific to marriage and family therapists and systems perspectives.
  3. Demonstrate knowledge of life course concepts related to trauma.
  4. Demonstrate knowledge and application of crisis intervention assessment, including safety planning, suicidality, and homicidality.
  5. Integrate understanding of diversity and multiculturalism in one's own understanding of the field of trauma.
  6. Analyze the significance of research evidence and community standards of practice in selecting and evaluating interventions.
  7. Identify and evaluate ethical considerations in trauma work.
  8. Complete certification process of Psychological First Aid.

Marriage and Family Therapy: 6 cr.

MFT628 Advanced Applications of Relational Theory and Systemic Interventions (3 cr.)

This course provides an opportunity for students to apply and develop skills in assessing and conducting systemic therapeutic interventions with relational units. The influence of race, culture, and gender in couple and family dynamics and therapy are explored.  Experiential and didactic approaches are used.

Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Demonstrate ability to conceptualize using major theories and treatment models in relational therapy.
  2. Evaluate and apply appropriate techniques specific to relational therapy with diverse couples and families.
  3. Evaluate and apply ethical and legal principles and factors that impact the health of the relational unit.
  4. Evaluate therapeutic theories and models so as to apply and integrate them into a personal theory of change.

MFT650 Assessment of Couples and Families (3 cr.)

This course examines the strengths and limitations of different assessment strategies with couples and families, including assessment based on observation, therapist/rater, family report, and interactional methods. It includes an overview of various measures and instruments used, including parent-child, family, and couple inventories.

Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Understand the connection between ways of observing and assessing couples and families, and the underlying values and theoretical assumptions of the assessment instruments.
  2. Evaluate family assessment tools appropriate for families.
  3. Understand the legal, ethical, and clinical issues in couple and family assessment.
  4. Administer various instruments and feedback to participants based on results.
  5. Analyze the role that gender, ethnicity, race, socioeconomic status, and sexual orientation play in the assessment of couples and families.
  6. Create interview questions based out of the MFT models to use in assessments.

 

Professional Issues: 4 cr.

MFT642 Marriage and Family Therapy: Professional Issues and Orientation (1 cr.)

 

This course provides an orientation to the profession of marriage and family therapy.  The history of the profession is covered as well as the roles and settings of marriage and family therapists.  Additionally, the developmental process involved with acquiring an identity as a marriage and family therapist is addressed.

Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Identify and evaluate the function and role of marriage and family therapists from a historical perspective.
  2. Describe a process, including the stages, by which marriage and family therapists develop professional identity, then apply this understanding to analyze and assess their own current level of development.
  3. Apply knowledge of the field to creating personal business and professional development plans.

 

MFT690 Ethical Issues and Professional Practices in Marriage and Family Therapy (3 cr.)

This course examines professional, legal, and ethical issues in the practice of couples and family therapy.  The AAMFT Code of Ethics, Minnesota Board of Marriage and Family Therapy Rules and selected Minnesota statutes pertaining to work with children, couples, and families are studied.  Case studies are used to interpret, examine, and integrate ethical, legal (state and federal), and professional issues such as confidentiality, dual relationships, and informed consent into ongoing MFT practice.

Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Recognize, articulate, and analyze what constitutes an ethical dilemma in clinical practice.
  2. Understand, define, and describe the differences between the AAMFT Code of Ethics (AAMFT), MN Rules (BMFT) and MN Statutes (MN Statutes).
  3. Analyze, compare, and utilize methods of ethical analysis and appropriate ethical decision making models in resolving potential ethical dilemmas.
  4. Articulate and interpret the role of power, privilege, culture, race, ethnicity, gender, physical ability, religion, sexual orientation, and socio-economic status in analyzing ethical dilemmas.
  5. Interpret, synthesize and apply knowledge of AAMFT Code, BMFT Rules, and MN Statutes to clinical situations, including proper procedures in emergency situations.
  6. Articulate and discuss the role of professional advocacy in policy for MFTs.
  7. Understand, articulate, and evaluate distinctions between ethical and legal responsibilities (both state and federal) in providing professional services.
  8. Understand, define, and synthesize knowledge of the specific issues that arise from the interface of MFT practice with medical, legal, business, religious, and educational institutions.
  9. Synthesize knowledge of all of the above in order to promote professionalism and best practice(s) as an MFT.

 

Treatment Planning: 3 cr.

Practicum: 4 cr.

The Practicum in Marriage and Family Therapy provides students enrolled in the Graduate Program in Marriage and Family Therapy the opportunity to complete the licensing board requirement for a practicum experience. The Board of Marriage and Family Therapy requires students to complete 300 clinical hours of direct client contact. Each 2-credit practicum course requires the completion of 150 direct contact hours and each student must complete 4 credits of practicum in meeting that requirement. A practicum supervision seminar is taken concurrently as a part of the practicum requirements. The supervision seminar provides an environment for presentation of case material, as well as a venue for discussing problems and concerns that arise in the practicum setting. Personal and professional issues relevant to the practicum experience are examined.

The student completes a supervised practicum experience in a counseling or mental health setting under direct supervision. This experience consists of a minimum of 300 clinical contact hours. This experience must include at least 150 hours of direct clinical service with couples and families. A practicum seminar class must be taken concurrently:

MFT671 Couple and Family Therapy Clinical Practicum I (required) (2 cr.)

This course is for students to complete the 500 hours of clinical Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) practicum which meets or exceeds requirements of the Minnesota Board of MFT.  Students work under the on-campus supervision of a Minnesota Board of MFT and American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) Approved Supervisor for a minimum of 36 hours per semester, as well as the off-campus supervision of an AAMFT Approved supervisor or equivalent licensed mental health professional with documented clinical experience with families.  All practicum hours must be completed at an approved practicum site.  The on-campus practicum seminar provides an environment for observation of taped clinical work, discussion of case material, and discussion of problems and concerns that arise in the practicum setting.  Personal and professional issues relevant to the practicum experiences are also explored.

Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Apply the Minnesota Board of Marriage and Family Therapy guidelines.
  2. Analyze and evaluate client systems and create appropriate interventions, applying methods of family treatment in clinical practice.
  3. Evaluate special issues which arise in the practice of therapy and the interface with clients and other professionals.

MFT672 Couple and Family Therapy Clinical Practicum II (required) (2 cr.)

This course is for students to complete the 500 hours of clinical Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) practicum which meets or exceeds requirements of the Minnesota Board of MFT.  Students work under the on-campus supervision of a Minnesota Board of MFT and American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) Approved Supervisor for a minimum of 36 hours per semester, as well as the off-campus supervision of an AAMFT Approved supervisor or equivalent licensed mental health professional with documented clinical experience with families.  All practicum hours must be completed at an approved practicum site.  The on-campus practicum seminar provides an environment for observation of taped clinical work, discussion of case material, and discussion of problems and concerns that arise in the practicum setting.  Personal and professional issues relevant to the practicum experiences are also explored.

Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Apply the Minnesota Board of Marriage and Family Therapy guidelines.
  2. Analyze and evaluate client systems and create appropriate interventions, applying methods of family treatment in clinical practice.
  3. Evaluate special issues which arise in the practice of therapy and the interface with clients and other professionals.

 

Exit Interview

The final program requirement is an exit interview with the program director or the clinical director.