Program of Study

The 48 credit hour Master of Family Therapy (MFT) Degree at Mercer University School of Medicine prepares students to become Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists in Georgia and other states and for clinical membership in the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT). The program of study is derived from components of the Professional Marriage and Family Therapy Principles (PMFTPs) which include the MFT Core Competencies, the AAMFT Code of Ethics, the Association for Martial and Family Therapy Regulatory Boards (AMFTRB) Examination Domains, Task Statements, and Knowledge Statements, and Georgia licensure laws. With full-time study, a student completes graduations requirements in a minimum of six semesters.

The 48 hour program of study includes 13 classroom based courses taught at night (39 credit hours), a six semester professional development seminar series, and a yearlong (9 credit hours) clinical practicum. The Mercer MFT program curriculum is based upon a comprehensive and substantive understanding of human development, family dynamics, systemic thinking, interactional theories, traditional and contemporary marriage and family therapy theories, research, and the cultural context in which they are embedded. The logical structure and sequence of the curriculum represents a flow from broad context to specificity, from introductions of foundational theories and frameworks of family systems and human development to increasingly more specialized and sophisticated theory-to-practice linkages and skill development.  A focus on the importance of research-informed clinical practice is evident from the first semester with course readings that present empirical studies as well as theoretical and philosophical frameworks (e.g., multicultural, feminist, biopsychosocial/spiritual). 

One of the largest considerations of how to prioritize the sequence of courses involves preparing students to enter practicum placements in the community and see clients at the Mercer Family Therapy Centers.  During the clinical practicum, students earn 500 direct client contact hours (200 of which are relational) and 100 hours of supervision from AAMFT Approved Supervisors.  Coursework is prioritized to facilitate a smooth entry into clinical practicum, recognizing that students are in a wide range of settings and dealing with very diverse presenting problems.  Practicum is structured to gently guide students into direct client contact by first allowing them to observe, then role play, followed by joining real cases as team members, and then finally to building their own caseload.

Theory to practice linkages culminate in the capstone paper and presentation in which students carefully analyze their own clinical work and articulate in theoretical terms not only how they are actually conducting therapy, but also why they are making the choices they make in practice.

 

Required Courses

 

 

Professional Development Seminar Series

Credit Hours

MFT601

Professional Development Seminar I

0

MFT602

Professional Development Seminar II

0

MFT603

Professional Development Seminar III

0

MFT604

Professional Development Seminar IV

0

MFT605

Professional Development Seminar V

0

MFT606

Professional Development Seminar VI

0

 

Core Curriculum

 

MFT610

Foundations of Family Studies

3

MFT615

Human Development

3

MFT620

Diversity and Social Justice

3

MFT625

Theories of Family Therapy

3

MFT630

Assessment and Diagnosis in Family Therapy

3

MFT635

Foundational Skills in Practicum

3

MFT640

Clinical Treatment with Children, Adolescents, and Families

3

MFT645

Addiction in Family Systems

3

MFT650

Ethical, Legal, and Professional Practice in Family Therapy

3

MFT655

Couples Therapy (Pre-requisite MFT 625)

3

MFT660

Clinical Family Therapy Research Methods

3

MFT665

Human Sexuality

3

 

TOTAL REQUIRED HOURS

36

 

Electives (One required)

 

MFT680

Special Topics in Marriage and Family Therapy

3

MFT681

Grief and Loss Across the Lifespan

3

MFT682

Play Therapy

3

MFT683

Group Therapy

3

MFT690

Foundations in Integrated Behavioral Health and Medical Family Therapy

3

MFT691

Cancer, Chronic Illness, and Lifestyle Medicine

3

MFT692

Stress, Social Relationships, and Ecology of Well-being

3

MFT693

Practicum and Mechanisms of Change in Medical Family Therapy

3

 

TOTAL ELECTIVE HOURS

3

 

MFT Practicum Sequence (three semesters minimum)

 

MFT702

Practicum II

3

MFT703

Practicum III

3

MFT704

Practicum IV

3

MFT705

Practicum V

3

 

TOTAL PRACTIUM HOURS

9

 

TOTAL DEGREE PROGRAM HOURS

48