Marriage and Family Therapy (MRFM)
This course introduces the student to theological consideration in the study of Marriage and Family Systems theory and practice. An authentically Christian understanding of marriage and family must be informed by Scripture and the Christian tradition. Students will explore these theological resources as they develop a confessionally informed and academically rigorous perspective on marriage and family.
This course will introduce the student to the foundational theories and concepts in the field of family therapy. Readings in current family and marriage theories, assigned personal reflection and interactions with aspects of one's own family experiences, as well as lectures, class discussions, and video presentations will be employed to foster a deeper understanding of family and marriage dynamics at both the personal and professional levels.
This course reviews human development across the lifespan and explores developmental processes from a family systems perspective. A special emphasis will be given to the understanding of the parent-child relationship in one's own family of origin and the construction of the self.
This course will provide students with a comprehensive framework for understanding adult personality/character organization, considering the individual within the family system. Assessment of adult personality with psychopathological and functional dynamics will be explored. Biblical and theological insights, as well as cultural issues that affect adult personality development and function will be integrated into readings, lectures, and class projects/discussions.
This course is designed to assist students in becoming relational supervisors, in conjunction with the AAMFT Approved Supervisor training provided by the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. Utilizing online discussions and faculty feedback, this course will provide students with the opportunity to submit components of their AAMFT didactic training in partial fulfilment of the course requirements. This course will promote students' ability to conduct supervision on their own, under the mentorship of an AAMFT Approved Supervisor Mentor. By the conclusion of the course, each student will submit a draft of their supervision contract and philosophy of supervision paper. This course is pass/no credit.
This course will provide students with a developmental model of sexuality and investigate the following topics: developmental impacts on sexuality, intimacy, sexual desire, sexual dysfunction, sexual trauma and sexual identity. Current secular concepts will be explored and compared with Christian concepts related to human sexuality and how these intersect in marriage and family counseling settings.
This course directs the student in the formulation of a theological and theoretical framework for counseling to marriage and family based upon reading, course work, and continuing research in the field of family systems. The paper length is 40-50 pages. The formulation of a theology of marriage and family must consider biblical exegesis, biblical theology, and the history of Christian thought with reference to marriage and family and integrate these with perspectives and insights from systems theorists on these issues.
As a continuation course from MRMF 815, this course builds upon the theoretical base of Marriage and Family systems through exposure to the process and techniques of counseling couples, individuals and families. Therapeutic interventions based on a multigenerational systems orientation will be emphasized. Opportunity is provided for clinical involvement through simulated family and marriage configurations.
This course will examine theories, models and processes of couples counseling and assessment. Students will develop skills through interactions with practice clients and exploration of case studies.
This course trains students in prevention models and enrichment methodologies with special emphasis on the pedagogy of psychoeducational interventions.
This course examines the psychological impact of trauma on children, teens, adults, and family systems. Topics include: emotional regulation, cognitive processing, psychopharmacological treatments and strategies to engage a family in counseling.
This course provides students with an analysis of the various definitions of addiction and considers etiological theories and models in the addiction treatment field. Topics include: the impact of addictions, the medical model, the self-medication hypothesis, family collaborations,behavioral family therapy modalities, the influence of environment,spirituality and addition, the biopsychosocialspiritual approach,Motivational Interviewing, functional analysis and treatment planning, and substance abuse and severe mental illness.
This course identifies the foundational concepts of race, culture, and gender in family therapy. Topics include: gender roles, family structures, class, spirituality, race, migration, oppression, cultural identity, grief and loss within cultural contexts, sexuality within cultural contexts, and white privilege.
This course describes the ethical principles of the AAMFT Code of Ethics and their application. Topics include: professionalism, ethical decision making, multiple relationships, competency, integrity, dangerousness, abuse, neglect, moral values, spirituality issues in counseling, and ethical practice management.
This course examines Group Therapy theories, dynamics and ethical standards. Students will be given a framework drawn from systems theory for applying group theory to intervention strategies. Topics include: treatment factors, interpersonal learning, group cohesion, process dynamics, stages of group formation/function and others.
This graduate research methodology course introduces doctoral of arts students to a variety of qualitative and quanitative research topics. This class connects research with the practice of family therapy through learning about evidence-based interventions. Writing skills are needed for constructing research and reviewing existing research and these are developed through readings and instruction. Students will gain knowledge in family therapy research, such as management and validity, methodology, bridging research and practice, academic writing, and ethics in research including navigating the Institutional Review Board (IRB).
This advanced graduate research methodology course introduces doctoral students to a variety of qualitative research methods and the qualitative research process of creating suitable research questions, doing fieldwork, analyzing and interpreting data, and the procedures for writing a report. Students will gain knowledge in qualitative research approaches, such as narrative study, grounded theory, phenomenology, and case study; develop a workable research design pertaining to an area of interest, and write a prototype research report.
This course introduces students to the process of quantitative research and basic statistics, including an exploration of designing, conducting, and reporting quantitative research studies. The course examines alternative approaches to experimental, quasi-experimental, and field studies using quantitative measurement. It includes formulating testable hypotheses, assessment of measurement reliability and validity, and use of descriptive and inferential data analysis. Additionally the evaluation of quantitative research studies published in various journals will be conducted. Finally, students will develop appropriate research proposals demonstrating their mastery of the course content.
The completion of the doctoral project in Marriage and Family is intended to demonstrate the student's ability to identify relevant themes in the literature and address them critically, and to formulate appreciation of theory into practice wihtin couples, family, and individual counseling. Faculty assist the student in identifying appropriate topics and formats including case study, theoretical reformulation and integration of theory and theology.
This Field Supervision course is offered in three consecutive semesters,Spring, Summer and Fall in which students accrue a minimum of 300 supervised hours of direct service to clients in an approved clinical setting. The course covers topics of: professional roles and functions in clinical settings, ethical decision making, strategies for providing marriage and family therapy with diverse populations. The course also examines issues of pedagogy for the Marriage and Family practitioner. This course is pass/no credit.
This Field Supervision course requirements include the completion of MRFM905 requirements, which include a minimum of 100 hours of supervised direct client service in an approved clinical setting. The other assignments, which may be similar to MRFM905, are required for this course as well, even if the student has already completed some of the assignments in MRFM905. This course covers topics of professional roles and functions, ethical and legal practice standards, and strategies for providing marriage and family therapy with diverse populations, as well as examining issues of pedagogy for the Marriage and Family practitioner.
This course guides students through the process of creating their dissertation proposal and gathering their dissertation committee. Utilizing online discussions, student evaluations, and faculty feedback, this course will provide students with the opportunity to apply the knowledge obtained in previous research courses to develop their dissertation proposal and to critically evaluate their peers' research proposals. By the conclusion of the course, each student will gather his/her dissertation committee and complete his/her dissertation proposal. This course is pass/no credit.
This course is a continuation of MRFM910 and guides students through the Proposal Defense, IRB approval process and data collection phase of the dissertation process. Utilizing online discussions, student evaluations, and faculty/committee feedback, this course will provide students with the opportunity to apply the knowledge obtained in previous research courses and MRFM910, to complete the Proposal Defense, IRB Approval and data collection of their dissertation and to critically evaluate their peers' research data collection work. By the conclusion of the course, each student will defend their proposal, achieve IRB approval and begin the data collection for their dissertation. This course is pass/no credit.
This course is a continuation of MRFM920 and guides students through the completion of data collection, data analysis and the writing phase of the dissertation process. Utilizing online discussions and faculty/committee feedback, this course will provide students with the opportunity to apply the knowledge obtained in previous research courses and MRFM910 and 920 to complete the data collection, data analysis and Dissertation Defense process. By the conclusion of the course, each student will defend their dissertation and complete the archival process. This course is pass/no credit.
Students who have not successfully defended their thesis/dissertation by the end of MRFM921 must register for MRFM922 until the project is completed. Grading is pass/no credit. No credits accrue if a continuation semester is needed.