The Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) program leads to a Master's of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy (MSMFT). The program is designed to prepare students for professional careers as marriage and family therapists in a wide variety of settings and roles. First, students are taught theories and techniques of practice in individual and group counseling modalities, as well as developmental theory. The foundation of the specialized training in marriage and family therapy is systems theory, serving as the linchpin for the study of clinical theories and practices that are taught in preparation for clinical training.
The philosophy of the program is that a student must integrate theories and techniques as tools for enhancing one's effectiveness as an agent of intervention and change. The program does so by interweaving theory and practice throughout the duration of the training process via graduated practical experiences while studying theory. Thus, through the process of study and practice, the student has an opportunity to incorporate a wide array of learning gradually and comprehensively. The end product of such training is a therapist who is well-grounded in theory and who has had nurturing through an on-going training and supervisory process to use him/herself effectively, professionally, and ethically as an agent of change at a variety of levels. A unique feature of the program is that we utilize a “common factors” approach based on a theoretical model called “Metaframeworks”, which provides a template for looking through different systemic “lenses” to make decisions regarding how to intervene to remove constraints preventing a person, couple, family or organization from making necessary changes for their well-being.
The curriculum is designed to meet academic and clinical requirements for Connecticut licensure for marital and family therapists (LMFT) and AAMFT Clinical Membership.
Clinical placements and intensive faculty supervision emphasize the development of effective therapeutic skills to meet the challenges of the new climate in health care service delivery. Emphasis is also placed on the development of the "person of the therapist." A key theme of the program is respect for diversity of people and lifestyles in families. The program has been awarded accreditation by AAMFT's Commission on Accreditation for MFT Education (COAMFTE).