Theory and Practice
Students study the work of the original thinkers in Marital and Family Therapy, as well as the most recent developments in the field--such as social constructionism and evidence-based practice. They develop a critical understanding of the theoretical and philosophical foundations of MFT; critically examine the interrelationships between socio-historical factors, family structures and relationships and clinical approaches; are conversant in the current issues in the field; and contribute to the discourse regarding them. They will use this knowledge to advance the field of Family Therapy.
The program encourages students to develop a clear understanding of themselves and to consider reflectively the impact of their personal values, social positions, and contexts on their clinical and scholarly practices. Students are supported in the development of their strengths as they create an epistemological framework and ethical consciousness to guide their research and practice.
Practice and Supervisory Skills
Students apply a critical understanding of theory to the practice of marital and family therapy at the family, community, and societal levels, drawing on the core modalities of the field. They develop sophistication in their personal clinical skills, supervisory skills, and skills for active multisystemic involvement.
Students develop skills and a critical understanding of the process of research related to families and Marital and Family Therapy. This includes the ability to apply research findings to clinical practice and to utilize research findings in creative ways for the benefit of the general population. PhD degree students develop expertise in both qualitative and quantitative research methods, leading to publication in scholarly journals and presentations at professional conferences.
Theory and Practice (22)
MFTH 506 Clinical 1--Cybernetics (Systemic Strategic, Milan) (3)
MFTH 507 Clinical 2--Meaning (Narrative, Collaborative Language) (3)
MFTH 508 Clinical 3--Natural Systems (Bowen, et al) (3)
MFTH 509 Clinical 4--ClinicalIssues (Theory Integration) (3)
MFTH 504 Advanced Theory in MFT (4)
MFTH 634 Practicum (3 quarters) (2, 2, 2)
Individual Development and Family Relations (4)
MFTH 505 Advanced Family Studies (4)
MFTH 501 Supervision in MFT (2)
MFTH 502 Advanced Supervision in MFT (2)
MFTH 601 Statistics I (4)
MFTH 602 Statistics II (prerequisite MFT 601 Statistics I) (4)
MFTH 603 Statistics III (prerequisite MFT 602 Statistics II) (4)
MFTH 604 Advanced Qualitative Methods (4)
MFTH 605 Advanced Quantitative Methods (4)
MFTH 606 Overview and Critique of Research in MFT (4)
MFTH 607 Computer (1)
MFTH 608 Analysis and Presentation of Research (prerequisites MFTH 604 and MFTH 605) (3)
MFTH 668 Practicum in Qualitative Research (2)
RELT 615 Seminar in Philosophy of Religion (3)
RELR 535 Spirituality and Mental Health (3)
RELE 505 Clinical Ethics or RELE ___ Select 500 level or above (3)
Additional electives (6)
MFTH 697 Dissertation Research (20)
MFTH 694 Doctoral Seminar (1)
MFTH 786 Professional Development Proposal (non-credit)
MFTH 786A Professional Development in MFT (36 non-academic units)
MFTH 785 Clinical Training (1000 client contact hours required)
Total PhD in MFT degree units: 108
Professional Development Plan
By the beginning of the second year of study, students work with faculty and supervisors to develop a personalized professional plan to apply concepts from coursework to advancing practice in MFT. Activities may include linking research and practice, advancing theory about practice, developing specialized expertise, teaching and supervision, or professional leadership.
Qualifying Clinical Demonstration
After completing at least 500 hours of supervised practice in systems/relational practice, 3 quarters of doctoral practicum, and the clinical sequence (MFTH 5006, 507, 508, & 509), students give a clinical demonstration. This provides an opportunity for doctoral students in Marital and Family Therapy to acquire skills to present at state and national clinical conference. It is a chance to showcase the creative, innovative aspects of their clinical work.
After completion of core course work and in preparation for their dissertations, students complete a set of written, take-home exams. The questions are tailored to each student to provide them the opportunity to integrate knowledge across courses with their unique interests in the field.
Dissertation Proposal Defense
Students are encouraged to begin to develop ideas for the dissertation research during their first year and to use the course work as a platform from which to deepen their understanding of their interests. The dissertation proposal is a formal plan for investigating the chosen topic and is presented to the faculty prior to beginning the research.
As a capstone to the program, students complete an independent research project under the supervision of a faculty committee of their choosing. The research is expected to contribute to the field of Marital and Family Therapy. Students select their own topics, but are encouraged to join an on-going research team and develop an individual dissertation as part of the team effort. Methods may be qualitative or quantitative or both.