Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists (LMFTs) are mental health professionals trained in psychotherapy and family systems, and licensed to diagnose and treat mental and emotional disorders within the context of marriage, couples, and family systems. They evaluate and treat mental and emotional disorders, other health and behavioral problems, and address a wide array of relationship issues within the context of the family system.
Marriage and Family Therapists broaden the traditional emphasis on the individual to attend to the nature and role of individuals in primary relationship networks such as marriage and the family. MFTs take a holistic perspective to health care; they are concerned with the overall, long-term well-being of individuals and their families.
Saint Mary’s University offers a Master of Arts degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. The Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy program prepares graduates to seek licensure as mental health professionals in the field of Marriage and Family Therapy. Courses are designed to enhance graduates’ understanding and use of systemic and relational interventions with diverse individuals, couples, and families who are dealing with mental, emotional, relational wellbeing, and health issues. The curriculum is designed to meet the educational requirements for licensure with the Minnesota Board of Marriage and Family Therapy.
- From FAQs on MFTs, www.aamft.org, 2021
The Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy Program at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE) of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT), 112 S. Alfred Street, Alexandria, VA 22314, (703) 838-9808.
COAMFTE acknowledges the importance of programs recognizing human dignity and defines diversity as being inclusive of race, age, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, relationship status, gender identity, socioeconomic status, disability, health status, religious or spiritual belief, religious or spiritual affiliation and national origin.
Program Mission and Goals
Mission: Recognizing the relational and systemic qualities of all life, the Marriage and Family Therapy program at Saint Mary’s University exists to aid students in deepening their own understanding of relational health and their own skills in facilitating relational health in all kinds of human systems.
The MFT program goals reflect both the professional skills and practice required of program graduates and embody the result of effective core learning outlined for programs in the Schools of Graduate and Professional Programs and the requirements of the Minnesota Board of Marriage and Family. Student Learning Outcomes are indicators of program goals.
Upon completion of the program, students are expected to be able to do the following:
Program Goal 1: Reflect an understanding of and respect for cultural diversity through professional relationships and communication with diverse clients, peers, and organizations by
SLO 1.1: articulating effects of their own social identities and power (social location) and experiences in professional relationships and practice.
SLO 1.2: analyzing sociopolitical, socioeconomic, and historical factors that can shape clients’ lives.
SLO 1.3: integrating cultural diversity-centered assessment and intervention into clinical practice.
Program Goal 2: Integrate knowledge of MFT theory and models to clinical practice by
SLO 2.1: demonstrating knowledge of a variety of systemic/relational theories and models of C/MFT practice.
SLO 2.2: applying systemic/relational theory and models to clinical case conceptualizations.
SLO 2.3: integrating systemic/relational theories and models with other conceptual frameworks (e.g. biological, psychological, sociological).
Program Goal 3: Develop a systemic perspective for the treatment of mental health issues of individuals, couples, and families by
SLO 3.1: demonstrating knowledge of a variety of systemic/relational assessment methods.
SLO 3.2: demonstrating knowledge of the DSM-V diagnostic framework.
SLO 3.3: integrating systemic/relational assessment and DSM-V diagnostic systems into clinical practice.
SLO 3.4: designing treatment plans derived from integrative systemic/relational and DSM-V diagnostic assessment.
Program Goal 4: Create effective interventions to promote well-being in clients through preventative, developmental, systemic and/or remedial services by
SLO 4.1: constructing interventions that derive from conceptualization and treatment planning.
SLO 4.2: applying a wide variety of developmental, systemic, preventative, and/or remedial services interventions.
Program Goal 5: Conduct clinical practice within an ethically-informed framework based on the AAMFT Code of Ethics, legal requirements, sound judgment, and professional compassion by
SLO 5.1: evaluating clinical situations for ethical, legal, and professional issues affecting therapy.
SLO 5.2: intervening with clinical situations to maintain ethical, legal and professional standards of behavior.
Program Goal 6: Demonstrate familiarity with MFT research literature and the relationship between MFT literature and practice by
SLO 6.1: analyzing MFT research literature for its strength and limitations and sociocultural implications.
SLO 6.2: applying relevant research findings to clinical practice.
Program Goal 7: Develop and articulate their professional development plans and skills by
SLO 7.1: articulating steps for future professional development.
SLO 7.2: demonstrating written, verbal, and nonverbal communication skills with clients and professionals.
Additionally, the MFT program will annually attain accreditation achievement levels:
Program Goal 8: The Student Achievement Criteria reflecting student/graduate achievement data will meet COAMFTE requirements by
SLO 8.1: Student cohorts’ graduation rates will comply with COAMFTE reporting requirements for
- Minimum rate of graduation (2.3)
- Advertised rate of graduation (3 years)
- Maximum rate of graduation (5 years)
SLO 8.2: Student cohorts’ job placement rate will comply with COAMFTE reporting requirements.
SLO 8.3: Student cohorts’ licensure exam pass rate will comply with COAMFTE reporting requirements.
Program Structure and Delivery
Students complete a supervised practicum experience in a counseling or mental health setting under direct supervision. This experience consists of a minimum of 300 clinical client contact hours. This experience must include at least 150 hours of direct relational clinical service with couples and families.
Courses in the program are delivered in a blended format, integrating face-to-face classroom meetings and distance learning (online) activities or engagement in a planned, instructionally valuable manner.