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University Catalog

Marital and Family Therapy

College of Professional Studies

Division of Human Development

Master of Science

Faculty

Michele Linden (Health and Human Services), Program Coordinator

Trina O. Quinn (Health and Human Services), Field Coordinator

Program Office: WH A-310

Student Services Center - Advising

WH C-300, (310) 243-2032 or (800) 344-5484

Program Description

The Master of Science in Marital and Family Therapy Program is focused on providing a thorough approach to marital and family therapy and prepares students to take the examination for the Marital and Family Therapy (M.F.T.) license offered by the Board of Behavioral Sciences of the State of California.

This two and one-half year degree program will complement extensive academic classroom experiences in the study of theories and techniques of marriage, family, and child counseling with practical, supervised traineeship aimed at satisfying 500 or more of the 3,000 hours required prior to eligibility for the licensing examination.

Features

The Master of Science in Marital and Family Therapy at CSU Dominguez Hills is one of only a few publicly supported programs in Southern California offering a complete evening course of study to accommodate those who work during the day.

Academic Advisement

The College of Professional Studies Services Student Services Center provides advising at WH A-300 (310) 243-2120 or (800) 344-5484 for students currently enrolled as well as for those inquiring about the program. All faculty members however, are also available. The coordinator maintains up-to-date information on licensure requirements established by the Board of Behavioral Sciences of the State of California.

Preparation

To qualify for admission to the Marital and Family Therapy Program certain prerequisite courses are required. They include: (1) Research Methods; (2) Abnormal Psychology; (3) Developmental Psychology; (4) Sociology of the Family and (5) a course in Theories of Personality.

Career Possibilities

This program's main function is to prepare students to become licensed Marital & Family Therapists. Marital & Family Therapists can work in private practice getting clients through referrals, direct advertising, and through contract work with Employee Assistant Programs and health insurance companies. Marital & Family Therapists have been hired by hospitals with a mental health division and they can work at counseling centers at schools are also looking for Marital & Family Therapists as well as drug and alcohol treatment centers, shelters for domestic violence, youth centers, and religiously based counseling centers.

Admissions Requirements

  1. Completion of the Graduate Record Examination General Aptitude Test;
  2. Completion of a B.A. degree from an accredited college or university;
  3. A grade point average of 3.0 (B) or better in the most recent 60 semester units of upper division course work undertaken as a student;
  4. 3 letters of recommendation;
  5. An interview with admission committee.

Those meeting the minimum requirements will be asked to submit written statements about themselves, their backgrounds, interests, and experiences. These statements will be reviewed by an admissions committee, which will then interview qualified candidates.

In addition to the above, if students are admitted into the M.F.T. Program, they will be required to take the Graduation Writing Examination (GWE) and score at least eight, or take one of the undergraduate certifying courses at CSU Dominguez Hills and make at least a grade of "B." Normally, M.F.T. students will take the exam prior to the end of their first semester (fall semester) in the program. In any case, students must either pass the exam or the course by the end of their first year in the program or be subject to disqualification.

Classified Standing and Conditionally Classified Status

Only students who have met all requirements as noted under "Preparation" for the M.S. in Marital and Family Therapy Program will be considered for admission with Classified Standing.

Students who lack any or all of the admission requirements may be considered for admission into the program with Conditionally Classified Standing. This would allow them to enroll in the University to correct their deficiencies, and also permit them to take up to nine semester units of graduate course work which could apply toward their degree if and when Classified Standing has been established. Please note that admission to Conditionally Classified Standing does not assure that a student will achieve Classified Standing in the program.

Requirements for Advancement to Candidacy

Candidacy status denotes successful completion of a significant portion of a student's graduate program (36 semester units).  Students may take the written qualifying examination during the last semester of study.  Both require a positive review of all graduate work by the coordinator.  See the "Graduate Degrees and Postbaccalaureate Studies" section for complete requirements for Advancement to Candidacy.

 

Master of Science in Marital and Family Therapy (60 units)

The Master of Science in Marital and Family Therapy requires completion of 60 units of course work with a minimum 3.0 grade point average. The unit-load sequence looks like this:

 

A.  Required Courses (44 units)

MFT 500. Introduction to MFT (3)

MFT 565. Assessment in MFT (3)

MFT 566. Psychopathological Issues in MFT (3)

MFT 570. Theories and Techniques of MFT, I (3)

MFT 572. Theories and Techniques of MFT, II (3)

MFT 575. Relationship Therapy: Treatment of Couples and Families (3)

MFT 576. Studies in Human Communication (3)

MFT 578. Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy: Research, Diagnosis and Treatment (3)

MFT 580. Cross-Cultural Family Values & Behavior (3)

MFT 582. Psychopharmacological Issues in MFT (2)

MFT 584. Legal and Ethical Aspects of Counseling (3)

MFT 585. Treatment of Substance Abuse in Families (3)

MFT 586. Current Issues in MFT (3)

MFT 588. Treatment of Trauma in Families (3)

PSY 550. Seminar in Developmental Psychology (3)

 

B.  Practica (16 units)

MFT 510. MFT Practicum I (2)

MFT 511. MFT Fieldwork I (2)

MFT 520. MFT Practicum II (2)

MFT 521. MFT Fieldwork II (2)

MFT 530. MFT Practicum III (2)

MFT 531. MFT Fieldwork III (2)

MFT 540. MFT Practicum IV (2)

MFT 541. MFT Fieldwork IV (2)

 

C. Written qualifying exams are taken after advancement to candidacy.

D. A final oral exam is required after completion of written qualifying exams.

E.  Master's Requirement

     In addition to the major requirements, students must meet all university requirements for the master's degree. Students should consult the section of the catalog entitled "Requirements for the Master's Degree."

 

Course Offerings

The credit value for each course in semester units is indicated for each term by a number in parentheses following the title. For course availability, please see the list of tentative course offerings in the current Class Schedule.

Graduate standing and consent of the graduate program coordinator is a prerequisite to enrollment in graduate (500 level) courses.

MFT 500          Introduction to Marital Family Therapy (3).

Corequisite: MFT 570.

Survey course that introduces the student to the field of marital Family Therapy and to prepare students for eventual placement in fieldwork sites.  Discussions of the paperwork required for the licensing board, the California state Board of Behavioral Sciences.  Educational requirements will include guest speakers who will address and demonstrate various styles of therapy, films that depict various forms of and issues within MFT, and requirements for and during placement, and acquiring skill in Clinical Diagnosis, preparing Genograms, and delivering the Mental Status Exam.  3 hours of classroom experience per week will be required.  CR/NC grading.

MFT 510          Practicum in MFT I (2).

Prerequisites: MFT 500, MFT 570, MFT 572, MFT 578, MFT 584. 
Corequisite: MFT 511.

First of four practica required for program, first practicum concurrent with first field placement and training experience.  One and Three-quarters hour classroom per week required.  Discussions of placement, techniques for providing therapy, increasing skill as an MFT will be included.  CR/NC grading.

MFT 511          Practicum Fieldwork in MFT 1 (2).

Prerequisites: MFT 500, MFT 570, MFT 572, MFT 584.
Corequisite: MFT 510.

First field placement and training experience concurrent with classroom enrollment required.  Minimum of 8 hours per week required; additional as hours as placement agency requires.  Includes on-site supervision.  CR/NC grading.

MFT 520          Practicum in MFT II (2).

Prerequisites: MFT 500, MFT 510, MFT 511, MFT 570, MFT 572, MFT 584. 
Corequisite: MFT 520.

Second of four practica required for program, first practicum concurrent with first field placement and training experience.  One and Three-quarters hour classroom per week required.  Discussions of placement, techniques for providing therapy, increasing skill as an MFT will be included.  CR/NC grading.

MFT 521          Practicum Fieldwork in MFT II (2).

Prerequisites: MFT 500, MFT 510, MFT 511, MFT 570, MFT 572, MFT 584. 
Corequisite: MFT 520.

First field placement and training experience concurrent with classroom enrollment required.  Minimum of 8 hours per week required; additional as hours as placement agency requires.  Includes on-site supervision.  CR/NC grading.

MFT 530          Practicum in MFT III (2).

Prerequisites: MFT 500, MFT 520, MFT 521, MFT 570, MFT 572, MFT 584. 
Corequisite: MFT 531.

Third practicum required for program, concurrent with field placement and training experience.  One and three-quarter hour classroom per week required.  Discussions of placement, advanced techniques, diagnosis, treatment planning, further collateral training as an MFT will be included.  CR/NC grading.

MFT 531          Practicum Fieldwork in MFT III (2).

Prerequisites: MFT 500, MFT 520, MFT 521, MFT 570, MFT 572, MFT 584, MFT 596.  Corequisite: MFT 530.

First field placement and training experience concurrent with classroom enrollment required.  Minimum of 8 hours per week required; additional as hours as placement agency requires.  Includes on-site supervision.  CR/NC grading.

MFT 540          Practicum in MFT IV (2).

Prerequisites: MFT 500, MFT 520, MFT 521, MFT 530, MFT 531, MFT 570, MFT 572, MFT 584. 
Corequisite: MFT 541.

Fourth practicum required for program, concurrent with field placement and training experience.  One and three-quarters hour classroom per week required.  Advanced techniques, diagnosis, treatment planning, advanced training as an MFT, and preparation for entrance into post-masters internships will be included.  CR/NC grading.

MFT 541          Practicum Fieldwork in MFT IV (2).

Prerequisites: MFT 500, MFT 520, MFT 521, MFT 530, MFT 531, MFT 570, MFT 572, MFT 584.  
Corequisite: MFT 540.

Fourth practicum required for program, concurrent with field placement and training experience.  8 hours per week required.  CR/NC grading.

MFT 565          Assessment in Marital Family Therapy (3).

Prerequisites: MFT 520, MFT 521, MFT 570, MFT 572, MFT 578, MFT 584, PSY 550.
Corequisite: MFT 566.

Study of assessment tests specific to the practice of MFT. Supervised practice in determining which tests are appropriate for MFT and practice in administration, scoring, interpreting, and the reporting of results. Three hours of lecture, demonstration, and practice per week.

MFT 566          Psychopathology in Couples and Families (3).

Prerequisites: MFT 570, MFT 584. 

Corequisite: MFT 565.

Studies and analysis of human pathology as it affects individual, couple, and family functioning.  Development, identification, assessment, diagnosis, and treatment planning and techniques will be explored.  Three hours of seminar each week.

MFT 570          Theories and Techniques of Marital Family Therapy I (3).

Corequisite: MFT 500.

Theory, research, and practicum in the general areas of preparation for marriage, sex education, and the role of the child in the family. Knowledge of the theories and skills in counseling evaluated. Three hours of seminar per week.

MFT 572          Theories and Techniques of Marital Family Therapy II (3).

Prerequisite: MFT 570.

Psychotherapeutic techniques in marriage and family counseling applied to treatment of adults and children. Practice in family therapy, crisis counseling, and the various approaches to marital conflict resolution, including premarital and divorce counseling. Counseling skills evaluated. Three hours of seminar per week.

MFT 574          Human Sexual Behavior (3).

Advanced study of the psychological, physiological, and sociological aspects of human sexual behavior, with attention to the origin and treatment of sexual dysfunction in its environmental context. Examinations and/or papers used in evaluation.

MFT 575          Relationship Therapy: Treatment of Couples and Families (3).

Prerequisites: MFT 520, MFT 521, MFT 572, MFT 570 and MFT 584.

Studies of marriages and families in contemporary American society with discussions of how sociological, psychological, medical, and political perspectives are incorporated into assessment and treatment. Three hours of seminar per week.

MFT 576          Studies in Human Communication (3).

The processes of communication as these apply to both interpersonal and intrapersonal experience. Emphasis on the purposes of communication as well as the forms that are believed to enhance the conduct of counseling and psychotherapy. Exams and/or papers.

MFT 578          Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy: Research, Diagnosis and
Treatment (3).

Focus on psychotherapeutic treatment of children and adolescents. Instruction in use of the DSM IV for diagnosis. Includes review of research methodology and findings in the field of child and adolescent psychotherapy. Therapeutic skills assessed. Three hours of seminar per week.

MFT 580          Cross-Cultural Family Values and Behavior (3).

Cultural factors affecting human behavior in complex societies. Emphasis upon the cultural behavior of the major ethnic groups in the United States as it relates to family organization and critical life choices.

MFT 582          Psychopharmacological Issues in MFT (2).

Studies of how psychotropic medications affect behavioral and emotional states of individuals and how these changes affect these people's relationships.  Development of vocabulary and basic knowledge of medications and how to assess effects and converse with prescribing physicians.  Three hours of lecture each week.

MFT 584          Legal and Ethical Aspects of Counseling (3).

Legal and ethical aspects of marriage contracts, adoption, dissolution and separation, confidentiality and privileged communication, research, professional and client interaction, malpractice, court testimony by the professional and the release of information, and professional standards in advertising.

MFT 585          Studies in Treatment of Drug and Alcohol Use, Addiction and Dependence (3).

Prerequisites: MFT 520, MFT 521, MFT 570, MFT 572 and MFT 584.

Studies of the theories of Substance Abuse as they effect and relate to the family system. Advanced interviewing techniques, assessment procedures, recovery and relapse prevention, and implementation of treatment modalities will be explored. Three hours of seminar each week.

MFT 586          Current Issues in Marital and Family Therapy (3).

Seminar reviewing three areas of study required by the state licensing board:  Domestic Violence and Partner Abuse, Sex Therapy, and Aging and Long-Term Care.  Application to the practice of MFT, including theoretical application, laws and ethics concerning these areas, and specific treatment modalities.  Three hours of seminar per week. Signature of graduate program coordinator required.

MFT 588          Treatment of Trauma in Families (3).

Prerequisites: MFT 570 and MFT 584.

Studies in the treatment of trauma as it impacts the family. Beginning and advanced techniques in assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of child and elder abuse, domestic violence, rape, disaster, crime and other trauma will be explored. Three hours of seminar each week.

MFT 594          Independent Study (3)

Prerequisites: Consent of the instructor and Program Coordinator.  Student must have completed at least twelve semester units.

In consultation with a faculty member, the student will investigate in detail current research and scholarship in some area relevant to the field of Marital Family Therapy, or will complete a project involving original and creative research.  Content of research will be specific to the program and licensure as an MFT.

MFT 595          Special Topics in Marital and Family Therapy (1-3)

A course designed of special interest topics.  Topic of content will vary as announced.  Repeatable course.

MFT 596          Practicum in Marital Family Therapy: Generic (3).

Classroom component or practicum for student needed to complete training hours in order to graduate.  Discussions of case material, advanced diagnostic procedures, treatment planning, clinical skill development, outcome measurement, and self-evaluation will be included.  CR/NC grading. 

MFT 597          Directed Reading for MFT Comp Preparation (3).

In consultation with the faculty member, completion of readings to prepare for the comprehensive exam. The course is limited to students who have completed one year of courses. CR/NC grading. Course is repeatable for a total of 6 units.

MFT 600          Graduate Continuation Course (0).

Graduate students who have completed their course work but not their thesis, project, or comprehensive examination, or who have other requirements remaining for the completion of their degree, may maintain continuous attendance by enrolling in this course. Signature of graduate program coordinator required.

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