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Chicago | Master of Arts

Master’s (M.A.) in Couple and Family Therapy

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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.

This program also allows students to add on a Certificate in Substance Abuse Counseling for an additional 12 credits of coursework.

Read the latest information from the Couple & Family Therapy Department

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

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      You need a Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution to enroll in Adler University programs.

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      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.

      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

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

      Student Learning Outcomes

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

      Demographics & Diversity

      The Couple and Family Therapy Department at Adler University is committed to diversity as part of their mission, program goals, and student learning outcomes. Here is a snapshot of the racial and gender demographics of faculty (core and adjunct), supervisors (core and site), and students in the COAMFTE-accredited M.A. in Couple and Family Therapy program for the current academic year. Information on the demographics of the CFT Department is gathered through a self-report form provided to students at orientation and core and adjunct faculty and site supervisors during onboarding. Gathering this information is part of the accreditation process for COAMFTE.

      CFT Department’s Definition of Diversity

      The Couple and Family Therapy Department at Adler University has a deep commitment to individual and family health. Our foundational belief is all people are worthy of our understanding and respect. We believe that diversity education is a personal and relational process, therefore we value self of the therapist exploration and experiential learning. We believe there is growth potential through learning with and witnessing the growth and development of others. We value recognizing and understanding the dimensions of culture that organize social identities such as race, age, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, class, disability, health status, nationality, religion, spirituality, and/or political beliefs, immigration, language, or other relevant social categories.

      With this in mind, and consistent with the mission of the University, the programs aim to deliver a multiculturally informed curriculum and practice experience in service to diverse, marginalized, and underserved communities in order to meet each program’s mission to prepare socially responsible Couple and Family Therapists (CFTs) with a systemic framework. We believe that CFTs cannot become socially responsible practitioners unless there is a focus on understanding and addressing issues of social justice.

      We attempt to facilitate an environment that allows for the transformation of difficult dialogues into courageous conversations. We walk with students in moving from a position of understanding structures of injustice toward action in challenging them. This position includes a thorough examining power, identifying privilege, and challenging interpersonal and structural oppression through clear and deliberate social action.

      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
      • Military organizations
      • Private practice
      • Outpatient care centers
      • Schools
      • Nursing and residential care facilities
      • Social service agencies
      • 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.

      Graduate Spotlight

      Katie Roach, graduate
      Master of Arts in Couple and Family Therapy program

      Katie Roach is a graduate of the Master of Arts in Couple and Family Therapy program in Chicago. Roach shares her first experiences at Adler University and how the University’s unique approach has helped shape her as a future therapist and socially responsible practitioner.

      Read Katie’s Story

      Accreditation & Licensure

      COAMFTE 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

      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

      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.

      Student Achievement Data

      The MCFT 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.

      Curriculum

      The Master of Arts in Couple and Family Therapy is a 60-credit hour program that includes coursework and a clinical training practicum. The MCFT program is a full time program to be completed in two years and no longer than five years.

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

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

      FCA 1: Foundations of Relational/Systemic Practice, Theories & Models

      MCFT 651 - Assessment and Treatment Planning with Individual and Family Systems (3 cr.)

      This course explores essential concepts of systems theory including context, causality, communication, change, structure, and development to the comprehensive analysis of individual and family systems. These concepts will be applied to a range of presenting problems as well as healthy family functioning, including the impact of larger systems.

      MCFT 662 - Overview of Modern Approaches to Couple and Family Therapy (3 cr.)

      This course introduces students to the modern models of couple and family therapy. The course will review the evolution of the classic systems theories as well as the historical development of the field of family therapy. Several approaches will be studied including strategic, structural, Bowenian, contextual, experiential, and cognitive behavioral theories.

      MCFT 650 - Overview Post-Modern Approaches to Couple and Family Therapy (3 cr.)

      This is an introductory course in the postmodern theory models of couple and family therapy. Several models will be covered, including solution-focused, collaborative family language systems, narrative, and feminist approaches to therapy. Discussion of each model will include history of the approach, fundamental concepts, and typical techniques of assessment and intervention.

      FCA 2: Clinical Treatment with Individuals, Couples and Families

      MCFT 572 - Basic Skills of Therapy for CFTs (3 cr.)

      Through this course, students will gain foundational assessment and intervention skills with couples, families, and individuals. The course addresses intake interviewing, introduction of the mental status exam, risk assessment, and overview of the DSM-5 approach to diagnosis.

      MCFT 670 - Family Therapy with Children and Adolescents (3 cr.)

      This course provides students with an in-depth understanding of working with children and adolescents in the context of the family and must be taken concurrently with practicum. The course will explore concepts in child development and draw from the spectrum of family therapy models and play therapy models that aim to strengthen parent and family functioning.

      MCFT 655 - Therapy with Intimate Relationships: Theory and Techniques (3 cr.)

      This is an intermediate course focusing on therapy with mate relationships and must be taken concurrently with practicum. Systemic processes pertaining to intimate relationship distress will be explored through different theoretical approaches in couple therapy, such as emotionally focused therapy, narrative therapy, and contextual therapy.

      FCA 3: Diverse, Multicultural and/or Underserved Communities

      MCFT 660 - Culture and Diversity in Couple and Family Therapy (3 cr.)

      This course is designed to expose students to different dimensions of culture and its interface with the practice and profession of marriage and family therapy. The course will explore race, ethnicity, socioeconomics, gender, sexual orientation, geographical variables, migration, and spirituality.

      FCA 4: Research & Evaluation

      MCFT 597 - Research Methods (3 cr.)

      This course integrates the students’ academic program of study and clinical interests with an introduction to various approaches to research design, methodology (quantitative and qualitative), and statistics. Students learn to conduct an extensive review of couple and family therapy literature and to use research findings in therapy with couples, families, and individuals.

      FCA 5: Professional identity, Law, Ethics & Social Responsibility

      MCFT 505 - Systemic Ethics Ethics (3 cr.)

      This course provides students with a solid foundation for the ethical practice of therapy with couples, families, and individuals in accordance with the Code of Ethics of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT). In addition to the issues common to all therapists, the course will address the unique ethical/legal issues related to systemic therapy, such as working with multiple family members and secrets.

      MCFT 510 - CFT Professional Development Seminar (1 cr.)

      This professional development seminar provides MCFT students an introduction to the program and department as well as orients students to the field of couple and family therapy. This seminar is also an opportunity for students to explore group dynamics and to build cohort connection through self of the therapist exploration.

      MCFT 600 - CFT Professional Identity and Practicum Seminar (2 cr.)

      This seminar is taken during the summer before practicum and focuses on the development of a professional identity as a Couple and Family Therapist specifically upon the start of practicum. This focus includes an understanding of the unique qualities and clinical skills of the CFT and the scope of practice as defined by AAMFT and state licensing laws.

      MCFT 512 - CFT Professional Identity Seminar and Capstone Project (1 cr.)

      This seminar is taken in the last summer semester of the program. The focus is to continue to facilitate the development of a professional identity as a Couple and Family Therapist, specifically focusing on degree completion and either clinical practice toward licensure, or beginning in a doctoral program.

      FCA 6: Biopsychosocial Health & Development across the Life Span

      MCFT 654 - Individual Life Span and Family Life Cycle (3 cr.)

      The individual life span is examined from a biopsychosocial perspective with a focus on normal family processes, life transitions, and their influence on individual, couple, and family issues. Multicultural issues will be addressed as they impact the transitions through different family life cycles and individual developmental markers.

      FCA 7: Systemic/Relational Assessment & Mental Health Diagnosis & Treatment

      MCFT 647 - Biopsychosocial Bases of Health and Dysfunction for CFTs (3 cr.)

      This class is an overview of the major DSM-5 disorders, specifically depression, anxiety, mood, psychotic, and personality disorders. The course focuses on the range of mental illnesses-from adjustment reactions to serious pathology-from a systems perspective.

      FCA8: Contemporary Issues

      MCFT 537 - Group Psychotherapy (3 cr.)

      The history, theory, methods, and applications of group psychotherapy are examined, discussed, and demonstrated. The development of competency in group methods is enhanced through didactic presentation, role-playing, and participation in an ongoing group.

      MCFT 538 - Introduction to Addictive Disorders (3 cr.)

      This course is designed to provide an introduction to alcoholism, substance abuse, and other addictive disorders and an understanding of the impact of addiction on couples and families.

      MCFT 653 - The Clinical Practice of Sex Therapy (2 cr.)

      This course will explore the basic theories and methods of sex-related psychotherapy and sex therapy assessment, including how to identify psychosexual disorders as it relates to the current edition of the DSM V. Students can anticipate learning clinical interventions to utilize in psychotherapy addressing presentations of psychosexual disorders as well as sex and intimacy concerns.

      FCA9: Community Intersections & Collaboration

      SJP 513 - Social Justice Practicum I (1 cr.)

      The Social Justice Practicum (SJP) is a first-year, nonclinical and non-discipline-specific experiential practicum that begins in the fall term. Students gain the knowledge, skills, and perspectives to utilize collective power and social justice strategies to build a more equitable society. The SJP is designed to help students learn how to work alongside different communities as agents of social change and serves as the catalyst for students to realize and understand their own strengths and responsibility to contribute to social equity.

      SJP 514 - Social Justice Practicum II (1 cr.)

      The Social Justice Practicum (SJP) is a first-year, nonclinical and non-discipline-specific experiential practicum that continues through the spring term. Students gain the knowledge, skills, and perspectives to utilize collective power and social justice strategies to build a more equitable society. The SJP is designed to help students learn how to work alongside different communities as agents of social change and serves as the catalyst for students to realize and understand their own strengths and responsibility to contribute to social equity.

      MCFT 533 - Fundamentals of Adlerian Theory and Interventions and Family Guidance (3 cr.)

      This course provides the couple and family therapy student with an overview of the core concepts of Adler’s Individual Psychology as complementing systemic work with couples, families, and individuals. Building on this foundation, the course provides an opportunity to develop child family guidance and parenting skills education skills based on Adlerian principles and traditions.

      Electives

      MCFT students must take three credits of electives.

      CFTD 681 - CFT Special Topic 1 (1 cr.)

      This one-credit elective course with focus on a special topic in the field of Couple and Family Therapy providing knowledge and skills for developing CFTs. The Special Topics elective courses are designed to examine special interests, including current and emerging issues for couples and families, areas of social justice, and professional matters for CFTs.

      CFTD 682 - CFT Special Topic 2 (2 cr.)

      This two-credit elective course with focus on a special topic in the field of Couple and Family Therapy providing knowledge and skills for developing CFTs. The Special Topics elective courses are designed to examine special interests, including current and emerging issues for couples and families, areas of social justice, and professional matters for CFTs.

      CFTD 683 - CFT Special Topic 3 (3 cr.)

      This three-credit elective course with focus on a special topic in the field of Couple and Family Therapy providing knowledge and skills for developing CFTs. The Special Topics elective courses are designed to examine special interests, including current and emerging issues for couples and families, areas of social justice, and professional matters for CFTs.

      CFTD 728 - Divorce Mediation and Conflict Resolution with Couples (3 cr.)

      This course is about understanding conflict, resolution, and divorce mediation from a relational lens and through a systemic perspective. The framework will be expanded to include the global context of conflict resolution, conceptualizing and applying a social justice orientation.

      CFTD 729 - Sex Therapy: Theory and Techniques (3 cr.)

      This course addresses the current models, techniques, and research in the treatment of intimacy and sexual issues for couples. The course will focus on the clinical skills of assessment including taking a sexual history, creating a sexual genogram, and knowledge of DSM-5 diagnoses and intervention explicitly designed for specific sexual disorders.

      CFTD 735 - Working Systemically with Sexual & Gender Minority Populations (3 cr.)

      The goal of this course is for students to feel more confident working with sexual and gender minority populations in the therapy room. This goal will be achieved by utilizing a systemic lens while learning about these clients and creating interventions to exercise in your clinical practice. Though sexual and gender minority populations are commonly known under the LGBTQ+ umbrella, this course will provide a respectful prominence and balance that 1) the experiences of gender minorities and sexual minorities are very different experiences and 2) represent the umbrella in the significant and powerful way.

      CFTD 736 - Medical Family Therapy (3 cr.)

      This course will address biopsychosocial and spiritual aspects of illness and disability and their impact on the couple and family systems. Self-of-the-therapist work and the impact of dimensions of culture, power, and privilege will be emphasized throughout the course. Also, issues of collaboration between marriage and family therapists and other healthcare professionals will be discussed.

      CFTD 738 - Gerontology Issues in Family Therapy (3 cr.)

      This course examines the impact of aging on family dynamics and relationships including the processes of development in later life, intergenerational issues, and the crises or transitions experienced throughout the family life cycle. The effect of a population that is living significantly longer on these family issues is explored. The course also addresses communication, mediation, and caregiving with aging family members.

      CFTD 789 - Creative Intervention with Couples and Families (1 cr.)

      This one-credit doctoral special course covers techniques such as the kinetic family drawing, self-as-animal, the family floor plan, sand tray, build-a-house, video play therapy, family puppet interview, family school, and music therapy. This is a hands-on experiential class.

      CFTD 802 - Hooks & Hardy (2 cr.)

      This course is designed to explore the scholarly works of bell hooks and Ken Hardy. Multiple writings of bell hooks and Ken Hardy provide frameworks to increase critical thinking in examining complex layers of cultural forces that impact lived experience and propose paradigms for impacting systemic change.

      CFTD 804 - Adult Attachment Theory (2 cr.)

      This course will provide students with an overview of conceptual and empirical issues in adult attachment theory and its theoretical application in working with couples. Through the use of vignettes, role-plays, and educational videos, students will be helped to conceptualize dyadic stress with an attachment focus to work with couples to recreate healthier bonds.

      CFTD 805 - Divorce (1 cr.)

      The purpose of this seminar is to examine specific issues for families who are experiencing divorce. Topics include the culture of divorce, the impact of divorce, the aftermath of divorce for men, women, and children, and remarriage and blended families.

      CFTD 807 - Infidelity (1 cr.)

      Infidelity is a common presenting problem in couple, family, and individual therapy with presentation ranging from the aftermath for couples and families to individuals deciding between their partner and their affair. This seminar will define infidelity understanding the critical issues and look at the treatment of infidelity in couples, families, and individuals as well as reflect on the impact of treating infidelity on clinicians.

      CFTD 811 - Pop-Culture and Couple and Family Therapy (1 cr.)

      Popular culture is often absorbed without thinking critically about its content or consequences. This is remarkable given the enormous impact it has on our lives, our identities and our consciousness. We often do not stop to think or question the underlying assumptions of popular culture, nor do we think about for what or whom such assumptions or content may support.

      CFTD 815 - Consensus Rorschach (1 cr.)

      The Consensus Rorschach (CR) is a projective technique for the assessment of couples that has been used to elicit and analyze communication styles, power and control dynamics, emotional processes, and interpersonal stress dynamics. This seminar will provide the history of the technique, training in the administration and interpretation of the protocol, and cutting edge research on the use of the Consensus Rorschach with couples.

      CFTD 821 - Private Practice (1 cr.)

      This one-credit course introduces students to the insides of life in private practice. Whether it be a group practice, co-op practice, or solo business, working in private practice offers unique opportunities and challenges. Students will learn the four areas of being successful in private practice as well as the logistical, administrative, ethical and business aspects that go into starting a private practice.

      CFTD 823 - Building a Psychoeducation Program (1 cr.)

      Psychoeducation is an evidence-based practice (EBP) that can give information and support to families with a member with a diagnosis of mental and/or physical illness, and they also provide opportunities to build your clinical practice and reach clients who may be reluctant to attend therapy. This seminar will walk you through the steps of developing a psychoeducational program on the topic of your choice – developing the content, choosing the delivery mode, and integrating methods for evaluation.

      CFTD 825 - Working with Families with a Child with Special Needs (1 cr.)

      This seminar will focus on meeting the needs and working with families with a child with special needs. Learning objectives include a focus on the impact of a child with special needs on the family including parenting issues, the couple relationship, and on siblings.

      CFTD 827 - How to Publish a Book in the Field of Mental Health (1 cr.)

      One important aspect of a career in the field of mental health is writing and publishing. Whether it be a research paper, essay, book, or blog, putting our insights into written word can be a crucial component of being a clinician.

      CFTD 831 - Becoming a Kink-Aware Professional: An Exploration of Kink & BDSM (1 cr.)

      This course will explore Kink and BDSM practices in sexuality within a systemic framework. Students will be expected to engage in intrapersonal work exploring their own attitudes and biases about Kink and BDSM practices and analyze how countertransference may impact their clinical work.

      CFTD 833 - Perinatal Mental Health (1 cr.)

      Perinatal mood disorders and the special issues that present during the perinatal period are prevalent. This course will examine the unique challenges and special considerations when working with couples and families during this period in the family life cycle.

      CFTD 837 - Introduction to Consensual Nonmonogamy (1 cr.)

      This course will explore various forms of consensual nonmonogamy within a systemic framework. Through didactic learning, the student is expected to gain knowledge regarding the various relational configurations of consensual nonmonogamy and an understanding of the specific vocabulary utilized by those within the community.

      CFTD 841 - Men’s Mental Health (1 cr.)

      While there is a shared need to connect to self and others, the differences between men and women and how they connect are distinct in some ways. Clinical understanding related to the needs of each gender should not be based solely on assumptions and personal experiences but should also include an integration of human development knowledge and empirical research.

      CFTD 843 - Exploring Stereotypes of Women (1 cr.)

      This course is designed to help students critically examine and explore stereotypes specific to women of color. This course will focus on the intersectionality of race, gender, class, and geographical variables that create racialized gender stereotypes for women of color.

      CFTD 861 - Introduction to Mediation for Couples and Families (1 cr.)

      This course will cover the basics of mediation and how to apply these skills to your therapy practice to help couples and families resolve disputes more effectively and communicate in healthy and helpful ways. Course topics will include: types of mediation, aspects of positive communication, how to have difficult conversations, family and divorce mediation, parenting coordination, and how to build mediation into your therapy practice.

      CFTD 863 - Clinical Risk Management: Suicide in Couples and Families (1 cr.)

      This seminar will focus on suicide as an issue of clinical risk management in therapeutic work with families. A self-of-the-therapist lens will be used to help develop the student’s ability to respond to clients in crisis specifically focusing on interpersonal behaviors, reactions, risk factors and intervention strategies. Suicidal ideation as well as working with families after loss to suicide will be reviewed.

      CFTD 870 - International Immersion and Cross-Cultural Studies (3 cr.)

      This course will provide master’s and doctoral students with a cultural-immersion experience outside of the United States. Students will be engaged in a nonclinical service-learning program for a limited period of time.

      CFTD 871 - CFT Research Application (3 cr.)

      This course will provide select doctoral students the opportunity to work on an active research project, applying knowledge and skills from a systems perspective that will contribute to the field. Students will be engaged in all stages of a research project under the direct supervision of a Couple and Family Therapist.

      MCFT 711 - Couples and Families in Crisis: Forensic Work from Systemic Perspective (1 cr.)

      This one credit elective course offers insight into working with couples and families in unique crisis situations and special populations. Topics include: working with victims of intimate partner violence and when children are witnesses; persons who use violence against their partners; children with trauma reactions related to having witnessed violence; childhood sexual abuse and incest survivors; undocumented immigrants; survivors of natural disasters; first responders; and foster families.

      MCFT 789 - Creative Intervention with Couples and Families (1 cr.)

      This one credit doctoral elective course covers the Kinetic Family Drawing, Self-as-Animal, the Family Floor Plan, Sand Tray, Build-a-House, Video Play Therapy, Family Puppet Interview, Family School, and Music Therapy. This is a hands-on experiential class.

      SEX 690 - A Biopsychosocial Approach to Sexuality Across the Lifespan (3 cr.)

      This course will explore developmental sexuality across the lifespan including sexual and reproductive anatomy and physiology, human sexual response cycles, and the normative developmental tasks and challenges related to sex and sexuality from a biopsychosocial perspective. Competency understanding, assessing, and conceptualizing sexuality in a sex-positive way at various life stages including clinical interventions and improved communication skills addressing common challenges will be introduced.

      SEX 691 - Sexual Attitude Reassessment (SAR) (1 cr.)

      This course is an intensive in-person and experiential workshop designed to allow participants to examine and process their sexual attitudes, values, and beliefs through exposure to various sexual themes. Highly experiential in nature, the SAR involves exposure to films, documentaries, lectures, guest speakers and workshop activities with a focus on processing in both large and small groups.

      SEX 692 - Diversity in Sexuality: Socio-Cultural, Medical, Technological, and Ethical Influences (3 cr.)

      This course will examine the socio-cultural, medical, technological and ethical factors impacting the current landscape of sex and sexuality. Students will explore the impact of race, religion, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, gender and ability on sexual values, attitudes and behaviors, including an understanding of the impact of a range of pervasive social justice issues on sexual functioning and satisfaction.

      SEX 693 - Sex Therapy in Action: Assessment, Diagnosis, and Treatment of Psychosexual Issues and Dysfunction (3 cr.)

      This course will cover the practice of sex therapy through the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of psychosexual disorders in the DSM-V including sexual issues arising from trauma, medical or mental health factors, relational factors, or environmental factors. Students can expect to learn several models and theories from both an individual and relational perspective to effectively diagnose and treat sexual functioning issues, as well as out-of-control sexual behaviors and paraphilic disorders.

      Foundational Practice Component

      MCFT 603 - CFT Practicum and Practicum Seminar I (3 cr.)

      Students are required to actively provide therapy to couples, families, and individuals under the supervision of an on-site supervisor and their seminar instructor. Concurrent with practicum field experiences, the practicum seminar is led by an AAMFT-approved Supervisor or Supervisor Candidate and enhances the integration of theoretical and academic perspectives with clinical practice.

      MCFT 604 - CFT Practicum and Practicum Seminar II (3 cr.)

      Students are required to actively provide therapy to couples, families, and individuals under the supervision of an on-site supervisor and their seminar instructor. Concurrent with practicum field experiences, the practicum seminar is led by an AAMFT-approved Supervisor or Supervisor Candidate and enhances the integration of theoretical and academic perspectives with clinical practice.

      MCFT 605 - CFT Practicum and Practicum Seminar III (3 cr.)

      Students are required to actively provide therapy to couples, families, and individuals under the supervision of an on-site supervisor and their seminar instructor. Concurrent with practicum field experiences, the practicum seminar is led by an AAMFT-approved Supervisor or Supervisor Candidate and enhances the integration of theoretical and academic perspectives with clinical practice.

      Social Justice Practicum

      200-hour internship to give students real world experience

      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.

      Learn about Adler’s Social Justice Practicum

      Faculty Spotlight

      Cadmona Hall, Ph.D.
      Associate Professor, Couple and Family Therapy

      I believe teaching is a privilege and a great responsibility; therefore, I bring passion and energy to courses I teach. I believe that all students have the ability to achieve. My hope is for students to finish each course having done self-exploration that leads to a new or deeper understanding of themselves and the world.

      Read More on Cadmona

      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 including official transcripts to the Office of Admissions prior to the application deadline.

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

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

      Information for International Applicants

      Tuition & Fees

      Tuition for Adler University’s programs is charged each term according to the number of registered academic credits. The number of credits a student will register for varies by academic program and by term. To estimate the amount of tuition and fees that would be charged in a given term, please use our Tuition Estimator tool below, or read about tuition and fees for all Chicago programs.

      Tuition Estimator

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