Marriage & Family Therapy, M.A.

Becoming a Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT)

Receive training and supervision to provide mental health treatment to diverse populations of individuals, couples, and families from a relational, systemic perspective.

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Program Benefits

  • Emphasizes a broad blend of theoretical knowledge and therapeutic approaches
  • Uses the “General Systems” paradigm as the basic orientation
  • Includes 12 consecutive months (3 semesters/500 hours) of clinical internship
  • Offers a Certificate of Completion for training in Evidence Based Practice issued by Wheeler Clinic, funded by the Connecticut Department of Children and Families
  • Includes certification as a PREPARE/ENRICH facilitator to work with couples in therapy
  • Is nationally accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE)
  • Learn more about our program mission and program goals in the MFT Student Handbook

Learn Why Marriage & Family Therapy Ranks High Among Jobs in America


Mission Statement

The mission of the Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) Program at USJ is to prepare students to provide mental health treatment to diverse populations of individuals, couples, and families from a relational, systemic perspective. The MFT Program mission is accomplished by training students to implement ethically competent, theory driven approaches, while enhancing multi-cultural awareness. Training and supervision occur in a supportive environment where students are encouraged to explore the influence of personal challenges, biases, and experiences on their clinical practice.


Program Goals & Student Learning Outcomes (SLO)

Theory and Application: Students will demonstrate an understanding and clinical application of the major theoretical approaches specific to MFT.

SLO 1: Students will demonstrate their knowledge and application of systemically informed approaches associated with the practice of MFT.

Scholarship: Students will reflect their competency in evaluating and applying current MFT research.

SLO 2: Students will apply current effectiveness research to their clinical practice based on the evaluation of the MFT literature.

Diversity: Students will integrate their contextual awareness into clinical practice with diverse clients.

SLO 3: Students will demonstrate their clinical competency implementing a treatment approach based on the needs of diverse clients.

Self of Therapist and Professional Development: Students will demonstrate an awareness of “self” as it applies to their clinical practice.

SLO 4: Students will demonstrate an appropriate use of self in clinical practice that is consistent with their theoretical approach.

SLO 5: Students will demonstrate professional conduct in clinical settings by openness and responsiveness to feedback in all MFT-related activities.

Ethical Practice: Students will demonstrate their understanding of ethically competent clinical practice by adhering to the AAMFT code of ethics.

SLO 6: Students will consider and apply the ethical criteria from the AAMFT code of ethics throughout their clinical training.

Student Achievement Criteria: Students will meet the academic requirements to be eligible for licensure as an MFT in Connecticut.

SLO 7: Students will complete the minimum required client contact hours (500 total/250 relational) while receiving at least 100 supervision hours from an AAMFT Approved Supervisor over a minimum of one calendar year.

SLO 8: Students will complete their Program of Studies with a minimum of C+ (79%) in all MFT coursework that is required for licensing in Conn.


MFT Student & Graduate Accomplishments

Congratulations to Michael Roohr M’19 for his acceptance to the 2018 AAMFT Annual Conference where he will be presenting, “Autism and the Family: A Solution-Focused Approach” workshop based on Roohr’s internship at the Hospital for Special Care — Autism Center in CT.

As an MFT student, USJ gave me an opportunity to be the first intern at a pediatric office (The Pediatric Care Center) which not only allowed me to continue to work on my therapeutic skills but to work with doctors to move towards collaborative care. Collaborative care in this environment has worked to bridge the gap between medical and mental health services with the conjunction of my MFT education and the extensive knowledge from the doctors from the medical standpoint. This internship has been proven to be successful for both my clients and I and has resulted in a post-graduate position for which I am incredibly grateful and excited!

– Megan Squadrito, LFMT, M’18
MFT Maria Munoz receiving the Kay Britton Award

The 2017-2018 Kay Britton Award for exceptional academic and clinical performance was awarded to Maria Munoz at the Department’s Hooding Ceremony on May 8, 2018. Maria demonstrates an authenticity and genuineness that matches her passion for the MFT field.

Congratulations to Jennifer Schaefer, LFMT, M’14 who is now working full-time in her own private practice, Central Connecticut Therapy Services in Newington, CT.


Practicum and Internship

Get intensive supervision while developing your clinical skills in MFT. Putting the information you learn in courses into practice as part of the MFT internship.

  • The MFT faculty will evaluate you over the first year of study to determine your clinical readiness to begin the internship training.
  • Off-site internships begin during the second year of training for students.
  • As an intern, you are concurrently enrolled in a practicum class where you present your clinical work and receive supervision of the faculty members.
  • All students must accumulate a minimum of 500 hours of direct client contact. At least 250 of those hours must be relational (e.g., family, couple).
  • Advanced MFT students receive live supervision at the USJ Marriage and Family Therapy Clinic where therapy services are offered to families in the community.
  • Download the Internship Handbook.

Diversity Within the MFT Program

MFT Program Diversity Statement

The Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) Program at the University of Saint Joseph is committed to the promotion of diversity within the practice, training, and research of MFT. As part of this commitment, the Program strives to maintain a diverse composition among the student body, faculty, instructors, and clinical supervisors. The MFT faculty emphasize a training environment that values and respects diversity with the goal of preparing students to meet the therapeutic needs of clients with diverse experiences, values, and worldviews. This goal is addressed by encouraging in-class discussion, incorporating readings, developing course assignments, and providing supervision that addresses issues of diversity in all MFT courses. Specifically, students must demonstrate clinical competence working with clients whose sex, gender identity, age, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, family structure, socioeconomic status, spirituality, ability, health status, immigration status, and/or any contextual influences that affect the clients’ well-being. Training and supervision in the MFT Program is grounded in the philosophy that therapists must also explore their own values, biases, and assumptions to meet the needs of diverse clients through ethically competent practice. We understand the personal difficulty associated with challenging one’s own personal worldview, however, we view this as a necessary element of clinical development. Accordingly, all USJ MFT students, faculty, and supervisors must adhere to these standards for diversity in clinical practice, training, and supervision. We maintain that clients’ right to non-discriminatory services supersedes those of the students’ rights to avoid treating clients for any reason that is considered by the supervisor to be discriminatory. Any student, prospective student, clinical supervisor, or faculty member whose expectations are inconsistent with the USJ MFT statement of diversity are encouraged to pursue an affiliation with an institution that is in accordance with their personal perspective on client diversity.

Gender & Diversity Across the MFT Curriculum

Respect for cultural diversity is demonstrated across the program curriculum. The primary diversity course in the curriculum is MFTH 582: Gender Issues and Diversity in Therapy. The objectives of the course are to increase students’ awareness of attitudes, beliefs, values, assumptions, and biases concerning gender and diversity, and to be aware of how these influence the work of a therapist treating individuals, couples and families. The course emphasizes how to identify gender and cultural issues in the therapeutic process and explores approaches to incorporate gender and cultural competence in clinical theory and practice, and examines the influence of gender, cultural and ethnic diversity on the practice of marriage and family therapy.

Composition of the MFT Program

Currently, the program has one full-time faculty and six adjunct faculties, some of whom have been program adjuncts for a number of years. There are six female and one male core and adjunct faculty members. All bring varied personal, educational and experiential backgrounds to the classrooms. Presently, full-time faculty members and adjuncts are diverse in religion, ethnic backgrounds, age, and academic specialties. The program’s site supervisors are predominantly Caucasian and are all licensed marriage and family therapists (LMFTs). Faculty and site supervisors include ten female and one male.

Student Demographics 2018-2019

  • Female Students – 15
    • Asian-American – 0
    • Black/African-American – 3
    • Caucasian – 9
    • Hispanic/Latino/Chicano – 0
    • Multiethnic – 1
    • Native American – 0
  • Male Students – 3
    • Asian-American – 0
    • Black/African-American – 0
    • Caucasian – 3
    • Hispanic/Latino/Chicano – 0
    • Multiethnic – 0
    • Native American – 0

Student demographic data is gathered from self-report information provided by students through graduate admissions.

The racial composition language represents language from COAMFTE annual report.

COAMFTE Accreditation

COAMFTE Student Achievement Criteria Data

Marriage and Family Therapy Program

Accredited August 7, 1989

Advertised length of Program Completion: 2.5 years

Cohort Year Students Entered Program*# of Students in ProgramAdvertised Graduation Rate (%)**Maximum Graduation Rate (%)***Job Placement Rate (%)****National Exam Pass Rate (%)*****
2009-20101984%84%100%100%
2010-20111258%58%87.5%100%
2011-20121362%62%100%100%
2012-20131878%78%100%100%
2013-20142190%90%92%100%
2014-201510^70%^70%100%75%
2015-20164^25%^25%100%@
2016-201710^20%^20%100%@
2017-20183100%100%100%@
2018-20199^^^^
2019-20208^^^^

^Indicates students are currently enrolled in the MFT Program

@ No graduate has sat for the AMFTRB licensing exam

Programs are only required to provide data on the past 10 years/cohort or since the program was initially accredited, whichever is shorter.

*Programs should report graduation rates for program’s Advertised Length of Completion. The Advertised Length of Completion is how long the program is designed to complete as written.

**Programs can enter graduation rates for ‘s Maximum Length of Completion which is the maximum allowable time in which a student could finish the program.

***Masters and Doctoral programs are required to provide this information. Job Placement Rates by cohort is defined as the percentage of graduates from the cohort year listed that are employed utilizing skills learned in the COAMFTE accredited program. Job Placement rates are calculated using the following data:

0 # of graduates that reported their employment status to the program

0 # of graduates, who entered in the year listed, that are employed utilizing skills learned in the COAMFTE accredited program

****Master programs are required to provide this information. Doctoral and Post-Degree programs are encouraged to share this with the public. For Master’s programs only, COAMFTE has established a benchmark of 70% pass rate for each cohort. Programs in California can use the California Law of Ethics exam for MFTs to meet this requirement.

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