"...Producing excellent Marriage and Family Therapists, who bring understandings, skills, and leadership to address the needs of today's diverse families and a commitment to social responsibility and change in mental health systems serving families and other relationships."
The purpose of the Marriage and Family Therapy program is to prepare students to practice as highly competent entry-level MFTs, capable of applying systemic-social constructionist ideas and practices in therapy and related change processes, such as between families and larger systems, in a multicultural society. The MFT program is founded on the beliefs that:
The program training is guided by a philosophy that incorporates the following values and commitments:
Faculty outcomes are designed to support the program and student learning outcomes.
The Center for Community Counseling & Engagement (CCCE) is a non-profit community center providing low-cost counseling services to individuals, couples, and families within San Diego. CCCE is a training facility operated by San Diego State University which provides hands-on education for graduate students in the Masters degree programs in the Department of Counseling and School Psychology. Counseling services are provided by pre-licensed trainees in the fields of Marriage and Family Therapy and Community-based Counseling. Trainees are supervised by licensed therapists, psychologists and/or supervisors accredited by the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) as well as members of SDSU's Counseling and School Psychology faculty.
COAMFTE is the national accreditation body for the profession of MFT. Program accreditation defines a program as having met nationally established standards for training in the field. Students benefit particularly with greater ease in gaining access to licensure across state lines and by recognition of the quality of the program. The program benefits from being defined as having met nationally recognized standards and qualifying for access to greater visibility and resources.
A program is as much shaped by its student body as by its faculty and formal structures. Our students bring a rich array of life experiences and knowledge to the program. In keeping with our commitment to insure our students' readiness to work with the culturally diverse populations of our region and work from a socially responsible vantage point, we enroll a student body that reflects the local community. Currently about 70% of our students identify as students of color, including US born, Immigrants, and International status students. Our students are highly motivated and energetic. While faculty take responsibility for the basic content and structures of learning, reciprocal learning between faculty and students as well as student to student is considered vital to everyone's development.
The MFT program and the University place teaching as the first priority. Faculty members are selected for their excellence in teaching and commitment to strong faculty-student relationships. Classes usually have 30 students or fewer in them. Learning processes are highly interactive, including emphases on both personal growth and professional knowledge and skills.
As a major university, SDSU also selects its faculty members for their potential and actual contributions to research and other scholarship in their disciplines. The MFT faculty members actively publish in respected professional journals and present at major regional and national conferences. The program seeks diversity in its faculty membership and currently offers bilingual (Spanish/English) teaching and supervising faculty. Faculty members also take leadership in state and national professional organizations. Students are invited to participate in professional organizations and present at conferences with faculty.
The program's commitment to social change and diversity has produced a dynamic and multiculturally infused curriculum. In addition to specialized courses with multicultural content in MFT, faculty works to incorporate cultural considerations into all coursework. Specialty areas within the curriculum include family counseling in the schools and attention to relationships between families and other larger systems.
The program provides a rich and varied clinical training experience with excellent supervision. Students first gain clinical experience within the department's clinical training facility under live supervision. All supervisors are either AAMFT Approved Supervisor designates or equivalent. Students participate in a second clinical experience in a program-approved community mental health agency or school. All sites must provide opportunities to work with a culturally diverse population of families, couples, and individuals, provide supervision by AAMFT Approved Supervisors or equivalents, and be able to provide supervision via audiotape, videotape, or live supervision. Students must complete 500 direct client contact hours, 250 of which are with families and couples. Students must additionally have a minimum of 100 hours of supervision, 50 hours of which must be via access to the live data of therapy (i.e. live, videotape, or audiotape supervision).
Students have the opportunity to link clinical understandings and research through the Master's project and other classroom activity. Several of our students are now presenting their work at national conferences and are authoring articles for publication based on their research.
The program has a long tradition of serving the community through its Traineeship placements and offering workshops and trainings. The Center for Community Counseling, the clinical training facility for the department, is located in the City Heights community of San Diego. This location provides targeted client populations with access to our services, outreach opportunities, and bridges to the schools in the community.
Graduates of the MFT program at SDSU have been highly successful in securing employment in community agencies, private practices, hospitals, and school-affiliated programs. Graduates are regarded very highly by local employers and are recognized for the strength of their clinical training and cultural competency.
Please review our programs admissions page and the university's admission page for full details on our application process. Questions regarding program requirements can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.