Make a Difference as 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.
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 realized by training students to implement ethically competent, theory-driven approaches while enhancing multi-cultural awareness. Training and supervision occur in a student-centered environment where students are encouraged to explore the influence of personal challenges, biases, and experiences on their clinical practice.
Our extensive list of clinical sites provide intensive supervision while developing your skills in MFT. This experience helps translate coursework into real-world practice as part of the MFT internship.
Over our first year of study, dedicated MFT faculty work with you and evaluate your clinical readiness to begin the internship training.
Off-site internships begin during the second year your training under the supervision of experienced clinical staff.
As an intern, you are concurrently enrolled in a practicum class where you present your clinical work and receive supervision from the faculty members.
All students must accumulate a minimum of 300 hours of direct client contact. At least 100 of those hours must be relational (working with a family or couple).
THEORY & 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 by implementing a treatment approach based on the needs of diverse clients.
SELF-OF-THERAPIST & PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT: Students will demonstrate an awareness of “self” as it applies to their clinical practice.
SLO 4: Students will demonstrate 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 (300 total/100 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.
Diversity Within the MFT Program
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 are 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 is encouraged to pursue an affiliation with an institution that is in accordance with their personal perspective on client diversity.
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.
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 females and one male.
Female Students – 25
Asian-American – 0
Black/African-American – 6
Caucasian – 17
Hispanic/Latino/Chicano – 2
Multiethnic – 0
Native American – 0
Male Students – 2
Asian-American – 0
Black/African-American – 0
Caucasian – 2
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.
MFT Student and Graduate Accomplishments
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
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 authenticity and genuineness that matches her passion for the MFT field.
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.
Unlike more individual-focused approaches, Marriage & Family Therapy (MFT) addresses mental health concerns in the context of relationships. The unit of treatment is not only the individual but also the relationships in which the person is embedded and thus come nearer to representing the lives we all experience. Also, beyond relational distress and conflict, MFTs are licensed to treat specific concerns such as depression, anxiety, substance abuse and conduct/behavioral disorders. Research on the outcomes of therapy repeatedly demonstrates the effectiveness of MFT. Following treatment, approximately 90 percent of clients report improvement in their mental health functioning. As such, MFT is repeatedly identified as one of the fastest-growing professions projected for the next 10 years.
For more information, please visit AAMFT.org
USJ offers an M.A. in Marriage & Family Therapy, which is accredited through May 20, 2022 by COAMFTE. Classes are held in the evenings to accommodate working adults who wish to obtain a graduate degree, with hybrid class format options that include online or on campus. Other program features include a cohort class model with:
Emphasis on a broad blend of theory and therapeutic approaches
Opportunities for a contextual understanding of individuals and families through cultural, gender, sexual identity, and socioeconomic considerations
A primary goal of training competent MFT clinicians
Active professionals and scholars in the field who teach required courses, greatly enhancing the learning and supervision experience
Graduates with a high rate of licensure and employment in a variety of settings
The Carnegie rule is a broad understanding of how much outside-of-classroom study time is required to learn and succeed in a course. The national standard for a three-credit course is a minimum of six hours per week. Each student’s circumstances are different, and many graduate level students at USJ are working adults with families. Thus, the MFT Program offers many benefits to accommodate your schedule. However, it is important to carefully weigh the decision to pursue graduate studies. The MFT Program Director and faculty are always happy to discuss your circumstances as you weigh your decision.
Graduates from the USJ Marriage & Family Therapy program hold a high employment rate postgraduation and obtain positions in a variety of settings. For more information about position openings and salary rates for MFTs in Connecticut, please visit the Connecticut Association for Marriage and Family Therapists’ website.
Along with graduation from a COAMFTE-accredited institution, Connecticut state requirements include successful completion of at least 12 months of supervised postgraduate work experience.
The postgraduate work experience must include at least 1,000 hours of direct client contact offering MFT services and 100 hours of post-graduate clinical supervision provided by a licensed marital and family therapist.
Of the 100 hours of supervision required, at least 50 hours must be individual supervision and the remaining hours may be group.
Postgraduates must also successfully complete the Examination in Marital and Family Therapy of the Association of Marital and Family Therapy Regulatory Boards.
Licensure laws vary by state and interested applicants are urged to contact the licensing body in the state in which they plan to practice for information about the licensure requirements in that state.
Additional information about MFT licensing in the state of Connecticut is available on the Department of Human Services website.
COAMFTE Student Achievement Criteria Data
Marriage and Family Therapy Program
Accredited August 7, 1989 – May 20, 2022
Advertised length of Program Completion: 2.5 years
Cohort Year Students Entered Program*
# of Students in Program
Advertised Graduation Rate (%)**
Maximum Graduation Rate (%)***
Job Placement Rate (%)****
National Exam Pass Rate (%)*****
N/A* (No Students reporting pursuing licensure)
In Process* None reporting yet
*Still in progress
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.
Karen Giunta, LMFT Visiting Assistant Professor Program Director, Marriage and Family Therapy Email:[email protected]
Patrick Nickoletti, Ph.D. Associate Professor Chair, Psychology, Family & Justice Studies Phone: 860.231.5313 Email:[email protected]
Take the Next Step
Come and tour our beautiful campus, learn more about our programs and discover firsthand what makes our University so unique!