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The Master's in Counseling Psychology program with a concentration in Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) prepares students to be socially and culturally responsive relationship and family therapists and mental health counselors. At its core, the MFT’s clinical training program upholds values of equity, social justice, community and cultural wealth, and collaborative problem solving.

MFT Program Strengths

  • Curriculum attends to the mental health needs of diverse cultures and communities.
  • A focus on a community mental health recovery and wellness approach to serving clients and providing treatment options.
  • Three-course cognitive behavioral therapy sequence that includes theory, skill building, and practice of broad treatment interventions.
  • Courses that integrate a life-span development, family systems, multicultural, and social justice perspective in mental health practice.
  • Small class sizes with faculty who are invested in student growth and learning.
  • Many instructors are practicing mental health clinicians.
  • Emphasis on incorporating evidence-based practices and client strengths.
  • University-wide supportive services and opportunities to collaborate with instructors and students.
  • Collaborative cohort learning model facilitates future support, resources, and continued networking opportunities after graduation and licensure.


  • 60-credit program with classes in the fall, spring, and summer semesters.
  • Cohort-based model with fall (eight semesters) and spring (seven semesters) entry dates.
  • Late afternoon (3:45-6:15 p.m.) and evening (7:20-9:50 p.m.) weekday classes with some Saturday sessions during fall and spring semesters.
  • Intensive summer sessions starting no earlier than 3:45 p.m. on weekdays with some Saturday sessions.

Program Learning Outcomes

Self-Awareness and Contextual Understanding: The MFT program will prepare students to become culturally competent therapists who can critically analyze themselves and their clients across ecological contexts. Students will be able to:

  • Develop a practice of cultural self-awareness and reflectiveness that critically evaluates how one’s beliefs, values, behaviors, personal experiences and cultural context affect one’s approach towards providing mental health treatment with clients of diverse backgrounds, belief systems, and relationship constellations.
  • Identify the ways in which the surrounding socio-political, historical, and cultural contexts impact the mental health experiences of individuals and communities of diverse identities and cultural backgrounds.
  • Explore and analyze power, privilege, and marginalization, as it relates to therapy practice, through multiple perspectives, worldviews, and epistemologies

Theoretical Grounding: The MFT program will prepare students to identify and critically analyze theory to address a wide range of clinical counseling and mental health issues, such that students will be able to:

  • Identify the legal and ethical standards related to marriage and family therapy and professional clinical counselor practice and understand how they apply in various service contexts and with diverse populations.
  • Understand the major theoretical concepts of counseling and mental health treatment to address a variety of mental health concerns and diagnoses from a strengths-based and culturally inclusive perspective.

Diagnosis, Assessment, and Research: The program will prepare students to become culturally competent therapists who understand socio-cultural complexities associated with diagnosis, assessment, and research. As culturally responsive therapists, students will be able to:

  • Conduct culturally sensitive clinical and diagnostic assessments of clients’ mental health functioning that account for the influences of relationships, cultural backgrounds, identity, biological determinants, historical context, and developmental variables.
  • Conceptualize psychopathology and psychiatric diagnosis in a way that recognizes the impact of environmental variables, social norms, cultural values, physiological and biological determinants, and relationship dynamics as variables that influence the presence of pathology.
  • Develop foundational crisis assessment and intervention strategies that promote stabilization, utilize community resources and strengths, and respects clients’ unique cultural, developmental, mental health needs.
  • Understand concepts of psychological trauma, including the range of traumatic experiences, symptomatology, and issues related to diagnosis, developmental impacts, and counseling treatment.
  • Understand ethical research, procedures and practices, such as reflexivity in the role of the researcher, and what methods align with distinct forms of inquiry.
  • Understand how to be a consumer of research in marriage and family therapy and how to use research to inform and improve culturally competent practice.

Therapeutic Interventions and Clinical Practice: Students in the program will be able to understand, develop, identify, and demonstrate the foundational components of culturally competent counseling in marriage and family therapy, clinical counseling, and relationship therapy. As practitioners, students will be able to:

  • Understand the components of collaborative treatment planning, employing a client-centered and strengths-based approach.
  • Identify culturally accountable, strengths-based evidence-based treatment interventions for application to diverse populations with a variety of mental health diagnoses.
  • Provide effective, evidence-based, and culturally responsive therapy and counseling treatment for individuals, children, groups, families, couples, and diverse relational constellations dealing with mild to severe mental health issues under appropriate supervision of trained mental health practitioners.
  • Demonstrate culturally responsive, evidence-based counseling and psychotherapy skills necessary for working with a wide range of individuals, families, couples, groups, and other relationship constellations across the lifespan.

You can find more information here: https://www.usfca.edu/education/programs/masters-credential-programs/marriage-family-therapy?sys:interaction:code=2cb0e8a5-50bd-43d9-9ece-0e6732dcf3e5&utm_campaign=soe-marriage-family-therapy-masters&utm_source=find-a-university&utm_medium=display&utm_content=lead-gen&utm_term=soe

Visit the MA Marriage & Family Therapy page on the University of San Francisco website for more details!