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Chicago | Master of Arts

Couple and Family Therapy

Program Overview

Program Overview

Adler University’s COAMFTE-accredited Master of Arts (M.A.) in Couple and Family Therapy program prepares socially responsible marriage and family therapists to serve families, couples, youth, and individuals, and help them tackle real-world issues.

The program embraces a scholar-practitioner approach with a unique focus on social justice that promotes positive change within personal relationships and larger social systems. Graduates are prepared to become expert couple and family therapists who treat families, couples, youth, and individuals in diverse settings.

Adler University’s M.A. in Couple and Family Therapy is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE), facilitating portability of licensure and expanding employment opportunities. Additionally, the courses and supervised clinical training are intended to assist students in meeting the educational requirements for licensure as a Marriage and Family Therapists (LMFT) in Illinois.

The Couple and Family Therapy Department Handbook (“CFT Handbook”) is available here for applicants and current students. This contains the most up-to-date information regarding the department and our degree and certificate offerings.

Curriculum

Curriculum

The Master of Arts in Couple and Family Therapy is a 60-credit hour program that includes coursework and a clinical training practicum. Successful completion of this program includes the courses listed below.

Course are listed under the categories of Foundational Curricular Areas (FCA) as outlined by the COAMFTE Accreditation Standards Version 12:

FCA 1: Foundations of Relational/Systemic Practice, Theories & Models
  • Assessment and Treatment Planning with Individual and Family Systems (3 cr.)
  • Overview of Modern Approaches to Couple and Family Therapy (3 cr.)
  • Overview of Postmodern Approaches to Couple and Family Therapy (3 cr.)
FCA 2: Clinical Treatment with Individuals, Couples and Families
  • Basic Skills of Therapy for CFTs (3 cr.)
  • Family Therapy with Children and Adolescents (3 cr.)
  • Therapy with Couples (3 cr.)
FCA 3: Diverse, Multicultural and/or Underserved Communities
  • Culture and Diversity in Couple and Family Therapy (3 cr.)
FCA 4: Research & Evaluation
  • Research Methods (3 cr.)
FCA 5: Professional identity, Law, Ethics & Social Responsibility
  • Professional Identity, Law, and Ethics in Couple and Family Therapy CFT (3 cr.)
  • Professional Development Seminar (1 cr.)
  • CFT Professional Identity and Practicum Seminar (2 cr.)
  • CFT Professional Identity Seminar and Capstone Project (1 cr.)
FCA 6: Biopsychosocial Health & Development across the Life Span
  • Individual Life Span and the Family Life Cycle (3 cr.)
FCA 7: Systemic/Relational Assessment & Mental Health Diagnosis & Treatment
  • Biopsychosocial Bases of Health and Dysfunction for CFTs (3 cr.)
FCA 8: Contemporary Issues
  • Group Psychotherapy (3 cr.)
  • Introduction to Addictive Disorders (3 cr.)
  • Sexuality with Couples and Families
  • International Immersion and Cross-Cultural Studies (3 cr.)
  • Other electives as offered in the department
FCA 9: Community Intersections & Collaboration
  • Social Justice Practicum I (1 cr.)
  • Social Justice Practicum II (1 cr.)
  • Fundamentals of Adlerian Psychology and Parenting Education (3 cr.)
Electives

MCFT students must take three credits of electives.

  • The Clinical Practice of Sex Therapy (2 cr.)
  • Couples and Families in Crisis: Forensic Work from a Systemic Perspective (1 cr.)
  • CFT Special Topic 1 (1 cr.)
  • CFT Special Topic 2 (2 cr.)
  • CFT Special Topic 3 (3 cr.)
  • Divorce Mediation and Conflict Resolution with Couples (3 cr.)
  • Sex Therapy: Theory and Techniques (3 cr.)
  • Integration of Religion and Spirituality in CFT (3 cr.)
  • LGBTQ Competent Therapy with Couples and Families (3 cr.)
  • Medical Family Therapy (3 cr.)
  • Gerontology Issues in Family Therapy (3 cr.)
  • Creative Interventions with Couples and Families (1 cr.)
  • hooks & Hardy (2 cr.)
  • Emotionally-focused Therapy (2 cr.)
  • Divorce (1 cr.)
  • Infidelity (1 cr.)
  • Pop-culture and Couple & Family Therapy (1 cr.)
  • Consensus Rorschach (1 cr.)
  • Private Practice (1 cr.)
  • Building a Psychoeducation Program (1 cr.)
  • Working with Families with Children with Special Needs (1 cr.)
  • How to Publish in the Field of Mental Health (1 cr.)
  • Becoming A Kink-Aware Professional: An Exploration of Kink and BDSM (1 cr.)
  • Perinatal Mental Health (1 cr.)
  • Introduction to Consensual Nonmonogamy (1 cr.)
  • Men’s Mental Health (1 cr.)
  • Exploring Stereotypes of Women of Color (1 cr.)
  • Introduction to Mediation for Couples and Families (1 cr.)
  • Clinical Risk Management: Suicide in Families (1 cr.)
  • International Immersion and Cross-Cultural Studies (3 cr.)
  • CFT Research Application (Independent Study; by approval only) (3 cr.)
Foundational Practice Component
  • CFT Practicum and Practicum Seminar I (3 cr.)
  • CFT Practicum and Practicum Seminar II (3 cr.)
  • CFT Practicum and Practicum Seminar III (3 cr.)

Find course descriptions and more information in the Adler University Course Catalog here.

Social Justice Practicum

Social Justice Practicum

Doing is learning. A unique and proven program designed to give students real world experience throughout their time at Adler University, the Social Justice Practicum is a required 200-hour internship that spans four courses (or terms for online programs). Every student is given a number of civic-minded categories to choose from. They submit their desired areas of interest. After which, they are assigned a specific and aligned community outreach site where they will work 8 to 10 hours per week.

Student Outcomes

Student Outcomes

We train students to demonstrate cultural competency in practicing with diverse populations. We are firmly grounded in systemic, modern, and post-modern models of couple and family therapy theory. Our approach brings together intensive coursework with real-world clinical practicum experience to help students establish a clear professional identity as a Couple and Family Therapist.

We embrace a scholar-practitioner approach with a unique focus on social justice that promotes positive change within personal relationships and larger social systems. Our program emphasizes excellence and scholarship in clinical practice that is centered on empirically based knowledge and techniques. For M.A. students wishing to continue their studies, we also offer a COAMFTE-accredited Ph.D. program in Couple & Family Therapy.

Adler University is a nationally recognized pioneer in graduate education, training culturally competent clinicians who advocate for a more just society.

Program Goals and Student Learning Outcomes

The mission of the M.A. in Couple and Family Therapy program is to train quality couple/marriage and family therapists firmly grounded in systemic theories who are culturally competent and socially responsible.

PROGRAM GOALS

  1. To role model a clear professional identity as an ethical Couple and Family Therapist.
  2. To train students to develop a systemic worldview in their work as a Couple and Family Therapist.
  3. To graduate socially responsible professional Couple and Family Therapists sensitive to social justice and diversity.

STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES

  1. To understand and apply systems, modern, and postmodern Couple and Family Therapy theories.
  2. To assess ethical, legal, and professional issues related to clinical practice.
  3. To demonstrate cultural competency in practicing Couple and Family Therapy with diverse populations.
  4. To display proficiency in clinical skills in the practice of Couple and Family Therapy.
  5. To demonstrate knowledge of Adlerian principles that complement systemic work with couples, families, and individuals.
  6. To illustrate knowledge and integration of Couple and Family Therapy research.
  7. To describe, understand, and identify issues of social justice, social responsibility, and oppression with couples and families.
  8. To establish a clear professional identity as an entry-level Couple and Family Therapist.
Student Achievement Criteria

The CFTD program collects Student Achievement Data from its’ current students and graduates including graduation rates, job placement, and licensure.

Adler University is a nationally recognized pioneer in graduate education, training culturally competent clinicians who empower individuals and strengthen communities around the globe.

Careers

Our program is designed to prepare expert couple and family therapists to treat families, couples, youth, and individuals in diverse settings such as:

  • Mental health centers
  • Private practice
  • Schools
  • Social service agencies
  • Military organizations
  • Outpatient care centers
  • Nursing and residential care facilities
  • Inpatient care centers and hospitals
Professional Development & Training

Gain the knowledge and skills to create real change with small, collaborative classes taught by practitioners and scholars in the field of marriage and family therapy. Our diverse faculty brings together experiential classroom learning with individualized mentorship focusing on self-of-the-therapist development and real-world practicum experience.

We offer future clinicians unique professional development opportunities through our network of community partners. Tailored to one’s professional goals, this hands-on experience equips students with a strong, practical foundation in clinical assessment, treatment planning, and intervention.

Admissions Requirements

Admissions Requirements

  • A baccalaureate degree earned from a regionally accredited college or university or an equivalent degree from an international college or university.
  • A recommended GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale for undergraduate and graduate coursework. Exceptions may be made for applicants who demonstrate outstanding academic performance or academic ability in other ways.
  • Approved applicants will be invited for an interview with faculty.

Applicants are required to submit the following items to be considered for admission:

  • Application and application fee
  • Statement of Intent (2-3 pages, double-spaced) answering the following questions:
    • Why are you interested in your chosen field and program?
    • Why is Adler University’s program a good fit for you?
    • What are your career goals and interests?
  • Resume or Curriculum Vitae
  • Official transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate schools attended (U.S and Canada)
    • Please have official transcripts sent directly to the Office of Admissions
    • Unofficial transcripts may be accepted for any schools in which a degree was not received
    • International transcripts must be evaluated by a transcript evaluation service
  • Two letters of Recommendation
    • These should be from someone who can specifically speak to your academic and professional abilities

Approved applicants will be invited to complete an interview with faculty. Please submit all application materials to the Office of Admissions prior to the application deadline.

Official transcripts should be sent to:

Adler University – Office of Admissions
17 N. Dearborn Street
Chicago, IL 60602

Official electronic transcripts should be sent to [email protected].

 

For more information for International Applicants, click here.

Accreditation

Accreditation

The M.A. in Couple and Family Therapy Program at Adler University is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE), 112 South Alfred Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314, (703) 838-9808, [email protected].

The Certificate of Accreditation for the Couple and Family Therapy program is available here. The program is currently accredited for the period of 11/1/2016 through 11/1/2021.

Licensure

Licensure

This program’s sequence of courses and supervised clinical training are intended to assist professionals in meeting the educational requirements for licensure as a Marriage and Family Therapists (LMFT) in Illinois. LMFT requirements vary by state. Through individualized advising, students will work with our faculty to plan their curriculum in order to meet the criteria for the specific state/s where they intend to practice. As the program is COAMFTE-accredited, it also improves student’s portability of their degree for licensure.

 

LMFT Licensure Application Process Guidelines

Adler University works to provide resources to our students and alumni in support of the licensure process. Below are some basic guidelines on application and licensure in the state of Illinois. Please review this information thoroughly. If you require more detailed, step-by-step instructions, please submit an email to [email protected] with the subject line: “LPC/LCPC Licensure Application Process guidelines” and request the instructions.

LMFT Licensure in Illinois

LMFT

The curriculum and supervised training of the MCFT program are intended to help graduates meet the educational requirements for licensure as a Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) in the state of Illinois. Licensure requirements can vary significantly from state to state in their expectations of practicum hours and coursework. Students are strongly encouraged to review the licensing requirements in any state in which they would anticipate practicing. MCFT students complete a practicum as part of their degree requirement including 100 hours of supervision with an AAMFT Approved Supervisor or Supervisor Candidate. This 100 hours of supervision can also be used towards LMFT licensure requirements in the state of Illinois. Additionally, the Master’s Qualifying Exam for degree completion is intended to prepare students for the licensure exam.

Doctoral students in Couple and Family Therapy (DCFT) must be licensed or eligible for licensure as a LMFT in the state of Illinois. Applicants without this can be admitted as a doctoral student but must first complete the requisite coursework for eligibility – this will be determined on a case-by-case basis by the Department Chair. Students not meeting this requirement will take the requisite CFT courses in the first year of their doctoral program. Client contact (practicum and internship) and supervision, done post the eligible master’s degree, to fulfill the doctoral requirements can be counted as hours towards licensure should it meet all the state and program requirements.

Information regarding licensure as an LMFT in the state of Illinois can be found at the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulations website for Marriage and Family Therapy.

Information regarding the licensing exam can be found at the Association of Marital and Family Therapy Regulatory Boards National Exam.

Chicago Campus

Located in the heart of the city, the Adler Chicago campus was designed to provide and inspire the learning and living experience. To that end, we have created an environment that caters to your mental, emotional and intellectual growth. Our classrooms are bright and spacious with windows to the outside world. Our technology is the very latest and best. In our Library, you will find every resource you need to research, form and shape your journey. At Adler, we have made it our mission to create a space with more than enough room to share your thoughts and flex your intellect.

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