Preparing advanced practitioners,  
leaders in research, teachers, & advocates.

Preparing advanced practitioners,
leaders in research, teachers, & advocates.

Ph.D. in Couple and Family Therapy Curriculum

The following list of courses are required to complete the Ph.D. in Couple and Family Therapy (CFTD). The CFTD program is a full time program to be completed in four years and no longer than seven years. CFTD courses are listed under the categories of Advanced Curricular Areas (ACA) and Advanced Practical Experiences as outlined by the COAMFTE Accreditation Standards Version 12:

ACA 1: Advanced Research – 13 area credits/13 program credits

  • CFTD-740: CFT Qualitative Research Methods (3 cr.)
  • CFTD-742: CFT Quantitative Research Methods (3 cr.)
  • CFTD-741: CFT Statistics (3 cr.)
  • CFTD-743: CFT Qualitative Data Analysis (3 cr.)
  • CFTD-788: Grant Writing (1 cr.)

ACA 2: Advanced Relational/Systemic Clinical Theory – 18 area credits/31 program credits

  • CFTD-720: Advanced CFT Theory I (3 cr.)
  • CFTD-721: Advanced CFT Theory II (3 cr.)
  • CFTD-722: Advanced Therapy with Couples (3 cr.)
  • CFTD-724: Advanced Family Therapy with Children and Adolescents (3 cr.)
  • CFTD-725: Grief and Loss Through the Family Life Cycle (3 cr.)
  • CFTD-726: Trauma and the Family System (3 cr.)

ACA 3 and ACA 4: Advanced Relational/Systemic Applications to Contemporary Challenges (ACA 3) and Advanced Foundations of Relational/Systemic Teaching, Supervision, Consultation and/or Leadership (ACA 4) – 16 area credits/47 program credits

  • CFTD-730: Advanced Issues of Culture and Diversity in CFT (3 cr.)
  • CFTD-745: Supervision of Couple and Family Therapists ( 2 cr.)
  • CFTD-750: Professional Development Seminar I (1 cr.)
  • CFTD-790: Professional Development Seminar II (1 cr.)
  • CFTD-763: Doctoral Qualifying Exam 0 cr.
  • Plus 9 credits of specials* that specifically meet these two areas of Advanced Curriculum

Advanced Practical Experience (Practicum, Internship and Dissertation) - 16 area credits/63 program credits

  • CFTD-703: CFT Practicum – Clinical Practicum and Seminar I (3 cr.)
  • CFTD-704: CFT Practicum – Clinical Practicum and Seminar II (3 cr.)
  • CFTD-705: CFT Practicum – Clinical Practicum and Seminar II (3 cr.)
  • CFTD-763: Doctoral Qualifying Exam (0 cr.)
  • CFTD-865: CFT Doctoral Internship I (1 cr.)
  • CFTD-866: CFT Doctoral Internship II (1 cr.)
  • CFTD-867: CFT Doctoral Internship III (1 cr.)
  • CFTD-875: CFT Dissertation Prep Seminar (1 cr.)
  • CFTD-876: CFT Dissertation I and Proposal Defense (1 cr.)
  • CFTD-877: CFT Dissertation II (1 cr.)
  • CFTD-878: CFT Dissertation III and Oral Defense (1 cr.)

*Currently Available and Developed Specials:

  • CFTD-728: Divorce Mediation and Conflict Resolution with Couples (3 cr.)
  • CFTD-729: Sex Therapy: Theory and Techniques (3 cr.)
  • CFTD-732: Integration of Religion and Spirituality in CFT (3 cr.)
  • CFTD-735: LGBTQ Competent Therapy with Couples and Families (3 cr.)
  • CFTD-736: Medical Family Therapy (3 cr.)
  • CFTD-738: Gerontology Issues in Family Therapy (3 cr.)
  • CFTD-746: CFT Supervision of Supervision I (1 cr.)
  • CFTD-747: CFT Supervision of Supervision II (1 cr.)
  • CFTD-748: CFT Supervision of Supervision III (1 cr.)
  • CFTD-781: CFT Instruction I (1 cr.)
  • CFTD-782: CFT Instruction II (1 cr.)
  • CFTD-783: CFT Instruction III (1 cr.)
  • CFTD-789: Creative Interventions with Couples and Families (1 cr.)
  • CFTD-802: hooks & Hardy (2 cr)
  • CFTD-804: Emotionally-focused Therapy (2 cr.)
  • CFTD-805: Divorce (1 cr.)
  • CFTD-807: Infidelity (1 cr.)
  • CFTD-811: Pop-culture and Couple & Family Therapy (1 cr.)
  • CFTD-815: Consensus Rorschach (1 cr.)
  • CFTD-821: Private Practice (1 cr.)
  • CFTD-825: Working with Families with Children with Special Needs (1 cr.)
  • CFTD-827: How to Publish in the Field of Mental Health (1 cr.)
  • CFTD-831: Becoming A Kink-Aware Professional: An Exploration of Kink and BDSM (1 cr.)
  • CFTD-837: Introduction to Consensual Nonmonogamy (1 cr.)
  • CFTD-841: Men's Mental Health (1 cr.)
  • CFTD-861: Introduction to Mediation for Couples and Families (1 cr.)
  • CFTD-863: Clinical Risk Management: Suicide in Couples and Families (1 cr.)

Total Credits Required for Two Years of Advanced Curriculum and Practical Experiences: 63

Transferred and/or Requisite Credits: 39

Total Credit Hours Required: 102

Requisite Credits for the CFTD Program

Students accepted to the CFTD program may use a maximum of 39 credits from their master’s degree in marriage and family therapy, couple and family therapy, or medical family therapy or other graduate degree programs in the doctorate. Requests must include a transcript and syllabus and will be evaluated on an individual basis. These 39 credits must include the requisite coursework to apply for the (Associate) Marriage and Family Therapy license in the state of Illinois. Students not meeting this requirement will take the requisite CFT courses in the first year of their program which may extend their program.

Students who did not complete their master’s degree at Adler must also take:

  • MCFT-433: Fundamentals of Adlerian Psychology and Parenting Education: Theory and Interventions (3 cr.)
  • SJP-513: Social Justice Practicum I (1 cr.)
  • SJP-514: Social Justice Practicum II (1 cr.)

Find course descriptions and more information in the Adler University course catalog at