United States Online MFT Programs and Degrees

Graduate MFT Programs Online, also known as online marriage and family therapy programs, focus on helping people build and maintain healthy relationships. This could include romantic relationships, parents and children, and larger family groups. Courses aim to develop counseling skills, and cover topics like human sexuality, trauma, and developmental psychology. Programs may be offered at several levels ranging from masters to doctorate. These could fit aspiring counselors or experienced professionals alike. If you’re looking for a convenient, flexible way to earn your marriage and family therapy degree, online MFT programs may be for you.

About MFT Programs Online

What Are Online MFT Programs?

Online marriage and family therapy graduate programs focus on how to analyze, diagnose, and treat psychological conditions that affect couples and family relationships. MFT programs online may also examine subjects like psychopharmacology or the needs of multicultural or diverse relationships. In total, programs are designed to cover a range of topics to prepare students to help their patients in the real world.

For example, in an online marriage and family therapy program, classes might discuss how to identify many psychological conditions. They may then examine ways to create and enact treatment plans to address those issues. Programs might even look at various counseling strategies. For example, you could study ways to question patients to help them identify and process their own feelings. Other relevant subjects could include helping families deal with conflict, or supporting positive behavioral change. 

Online Marriage and Family Therapy Programs: Areas of Focus

Marriage and family therapy is by nature a diverse profession. The types of things you might see could be informed by your location, client base, and area of expertise. That’s why some people may prefer to focus on serving specific types of people or areas of need. Certain MFT programs online offer concentrations to support those goals. Some examples include the following.

  • Grief Counseling
  • Marriage Therapy
  • LGBT Issues
  • Trauma
  • Substance Abuse

 

And more! Marriage and family counseling might help with any number of issues and a wide range of families and communities. So you might find other potential areas of focus. These vary by program so follow up with schools directly for more information about what they offer.

MFT Programs Online Course Topics

Online MFT courses aim to foster expertise related to helping families thrive. But how they go about that might vary. Some MFT programs online may adhere to certain philosophies, treatment models, or social values. This, along with any potential concentrations, might affect the way course material is approached in your classes. As such, it may be useful to look at the courses offered in the online MFT programs you’re considering to gain a better picture of the kind of education provided by that school.

Some example course topics MFT programs online may teach include the following.

  • Human Sexuality
  • Multicultural, Diverse and Underserved Populations
  • Legal and Ethical Issues
  • Human Development
  • Substance Abuse

In addition, some programs may be designed to help students become licensed to practice in certain states. That’s because most states require a license to practice as a marriage and family therapist or mental health counselor. The specific requirements for earning and maintaining that license may vary. In many cases, these include earning a masters degree, passing an exam, and field experience. More details about licenses can be found via the issuing body in your state.i

For more information about courses or how your program might support your path to licensure, contact your chosen schools.

Accredited MFT Programs Online: CACREP and COAMFTE

One way to evaluate an online marriage and family therapy program could be its accreditation status. Being accredited by a recognized organization could be one indication of a graduate program’s quality. That’s because each accrediting body has unique standards schools have to meet to qualify.

In fact, some employers may look for candidates with degrees from programs accredited by certain industry-specific organizations. Two of these include the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy (COAMFTE), and the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP).  

For more information about CACREP or COAMFTE accredited online programs, visit the CACREP or COAMFTE websites, the US Department of Education website, or follow up with your selected schools.

Choosing Online Marriage and Family Therapy Graduate Programs

Identifying online marriage and family counseling graduate programs that work for you may involve juggling a few different priorities. This could range from your interests—like your preferred concentration area—to accreditation status and license requirements in your state. Other concerns that might impact your search could include your level of education, work background, and the types of experiences you want your program to offer.

MFT programs online may be offered in the following forms.

  • Online Masters Degree in Marriage and Family Counseling Programs may be a minimum requirement to practice as a marriage and family therapist in some areas. As such, many masters programs may support licensure in that state. Online MFT masters programs may also have a variety of concentration areas and philosophies, which could influence the content of the online program. Programs vary, so contact schools directly for details.
  • Online PhD Marriage and Family Therapy Programs include PhD, Doctor of Psychology (PsyD), and Doctor of Marriage and Family Therapy (DMFT) programs. These may be designed to support counseling practice in the field, or the creation and implementation of marriage and family therapy research. The focus of a program may depend on the school, degree type or concentration area.
  • Online MFT Graduate Certificate Programs may be offered as either masters or post-masters certificates. They are shorter than full degree programs and may target specific topics within marriage and family counseling. Graduate certificates could be an option for people not currently looking for a new degree, but who require continuing education to maintain licensure. In some cases, credits may also be transferrable to compatible degree programs. This could be a great way for someone new to the field to determine if online MFT masters programs are for them. Programs vary, so contact schools directly to see if this is an option.

What Does a Marriage and Family Therapist Do?i

Marriage and family therapists use therapy to help couples and families achieve their goals. They might help clients identify and process their feelings, make decisions, change damaging behaviors, or foster healthy relationships.

MFTs serve a wide range of clients in many settings. These could include private practices, social services agencies, hospitals, and non-profits. Because the needs of each patient might be impacted by things like culture, beliefs, and personal background, it is important for MFTs to tailor services to each client.

Find Graduate MFT Programs Online!

Don’t wait any longer to start your search for graduate online MFT programs. GradSchools.com has collected information about a variety of marriage and family therapy online graduate programs to help you make your decision. If you know what program level you’re interested in, use the menu to select the appropriate option. Then clidk through the listing to read more about what those programs may be like and reach out for more information. Find your online marriage and family therapy graduate program today!

 

[i] bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/mental-health-counselors-and-marriage-and-family-therapists.htm#tab-4

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