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course descriptions

The heart of the Marriage and Family Therapy Program is the careful blending of the theory and practice of marital and family therapy. The program's courses include:

MFT 597 — Family of Origin (3 credits)

An intensive study of each student’s trans-generational family of origin. Patterns and themes are studied as systemic links between past and present interactional processes. Prerequisite: departmental permission.

MFT 598 — Family Systems Theory I (Classical Modern Theories) (3 credits)

History and overview of general systems theory, followed by an exploration of various systematic approaches to family therapy.

MFT 505 — Gestalt Therapy Training – Introduction (3 credits)

Participants are introduced to Gestalt methodology and techniques, the awareness cycle, and awareness practice. Prerequisite: departmental permission.

MFT 620 — Professional, Legal and Ethical Issues in Marriage and Family Therapy (3 credits)

This course explores ideas and experiences and is designed to prepare the student to function as a professional therapist. Knowledge of and the ability to deal with major issues of the profession is one aspect of this. Legal and ethical knowledge and conduct are other hallmarks of a true professional. We will consider these topics in general and in the context of Connecticut state law.

MFT 668 — Family Systems Theory II (Postmodern Theories) (3 credits)

An advanced course focusing on an investigation of specific post-modern theories and methods. Content and practice includes feminist theories, solution-focused, narrative and collaborative theories. Prerequisite: MFT 598 and departmental permission. (Course revised; awaiting final approval from the University’s Graduate Council)

MFT 548 — Intro to Clinic Policies, Procedures, Practices (1.5 credits)

This course will focus on the policies and procedures of the SCSU Family Clinic, including working with courts, ancillary professionals and agencies, report writing and introductions to the therapeutic programs the Family Clinic offers clients.

MFT 587 — Family Therapy Outcome Research (3 credits)

Survey of research methods particular to family therapy. Highlights findings from marriage and family therapy outcome research. Students will be expected to understand the fundamentals of quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods; write critical evaluation on these research designs; and learn to write a literature review and develop a research proposal. Prerequisite: departmental permission.

MFT 506 — Gestalt Therapy Training – Intermediate (3 credits)

This course is a continuation of the Gestalt Therapy Training from the previous semester. Gestalt therapy theory, dialogical processes, and therapist's use of self as an instrument of change will be developed. Prerequisites: MFT 505 and departmental permission.

MFT 562, 563 — MFT Practicum I & II (3 credits each)

The student is expected to see individuals, couples and families in therapy, conduct supervised visits, lead anger management groups, and act as a co-therapist therapy sessions at the department's Marital and Family Therapy Clinic. In addition, the student may begin an outside placement for a limited number of hours. A supervision group at the university affords the student the opportunity to watch live therapy from behind the viewing mirror and to be a part of the group supervision of these cases. Prerequisites: MFT 597 and departmental permission.

MFT 669 — Systems Theory III: Current Trends in Family Interventions (Evidence Based Practice Models) (3 credits)

The course will provide an introduction to definitions and competencies connected with “Evidence-Based Practice” (EBP) and an overview of the history, theoretical foundations, and implementation of several nationally (and internationally) acclaimed evidence-based in-home family treatment models, as well as a few of Connecticut’s “home-grown” promising practices. Over the course of the semester, students will receive didactic training in the theory and practice of these treatment models, and hands-on training exercises to demonstrate the use of some of the specific treatment tools that are utilized within the models. Didactic Presentation and Discussions will be supplemented by case presentations from local providers of several of the models, and by testimonials from families who have received in-home services. Students completing the course will be able to distinguish between the different models, and have an understanding of the shared core competencies for home-based family therapists, as well as an understanding of evidence-based practice. (Awaiting final approval from the University’s Graduate Council)

MFT 672 – Understanding the Treatment of Substance Addictions in Couples and Families (3 credits)

Family Systems view of the development and maintenance of substance abusing patterns and addiction. This course will focus on theories and treatment practices from the systemic, postmodern and evidence-based approaches to couples and family therapy.

MFT 610 — Couples Therapy (3 credits)

This course is designed to present couples therapy from a multi-systemic view with particular emphasis on practical application and skill acquisition. Current research including client perceptions of ‘what works’, study and demonstrations of therapy, and case study will make up the matrix of study. Prerequisites: MFT 597, MFT 598 and departmental permission.

MFT 662-663-664 — Marriage and Family Therapy Internship and Seminar I, II, III (3 credits each)

Students work with individuals, couples and families both in an agency setting and at the Family Therapy Clinic while attending weekly supervision seminars. A total of 500 hours must be completed with a minimum of 250 of these hours being with couples and families present in the treatment room. Fifty of these hours must be accrued at the Family Therapy Clinic under direct, live supervision. Students receive individual and group supervision with a minimum of 50 hours of direct, live supervision. Prerequisite: MFT 562, MFT 563 and departmental permission.

MFT 604, 605— Gestalt Therapy Training Advanced (Optional) (3 credits each)

Gestalt theory and methodology, techniques for working with couples and families. Didactic small group work as therapist, client and observer. Prerequisites: MFT 506 and departmental permission.

MFT 586 — Family and Individual Development Over the Life Cycle (3 credits)

An in-depth study of the family life cycle including adult development, the impact of specific factors such as adoption, homosexuality, and bi-raciality at different junctures of the family life cycle; and the multifaceted, interactive nature of systemic, psychological and biological stressors associated with the transitions from stage to stage in family development.

SWK 552: Human Behavior: Psychopathology (3 credits)

Human Behavior in the Social Environment - Psychopathology ^ Matriculated MFT student Identify and understand etiology, symptoms and course of psychiatric disorders. Impact of bio-psychosocial variables, genetic factors, and human diversity on onset and course of psychopathology will be studied. Matriculated students only.

SWK 551 – Diversity, Oppression and Social Justice (3 credits)

This course provides students with a theoretical understanding of culture, ethnicity, oppression, gender and race that informs clinical assessment and intervention. Focus is on the psychosocial dimensions of disempowerment and social work/mft practice building on client strengths. Matriculated graduate students only.

MFT 658 — Topics in Family Studies (3 credits)

An overview of major current topics such as eating disorders, violence, incest, and grief and loss, including treatment interventions in each instance. Prerequisite: departmental permission. Scheduled spring semesters.

MFT 673 – Treatment Issues in MFT: Integrating Spirituality and Religion (1.5 credits)

Applications of systems approach to treatment of families in crisis and transition. Consideration of the role of spirituality and religion in understanding family dynamics, developing solutions to problems, and building on strengths and resilience.

MFT 658 — Topics in Family Studies

An overview of major current topics such as eating disorders, violence, incest, and grief and loss, including treatment interventions in each instance. Prerequisite: departmental permission. Scheduled spring semesters. 3 credits.