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Marriage and Family Counseling

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The Marriage & Family Counseling/Therapy program specialization emphasizes an eco-systemic approach to understanding human problems and generating solution opportunities: Students learn to moderate solution-oriented conversations among interested parties (i.e., stakeholders) who are invited to seek “double descriptions” of mutual concerns and problems, to listen carefully to each other, to entertain and invent multiple solution possibilities, and to construct new narratives of cooperation and commitment.

The M.Ed./Ed.S. and M.AE./Ed.S. program in Marriage and Family Counseling is designed to equip students with the pre-professional competencies required for Registered Intern status and, following 2 years of post-degree supervised clinical experience, licensure in the State of Florida as Marriage and Family Therapists (LMFT) and/or Mental Health Counselors (LMHC). The 72-credit hour entry-level program prepares entry-level Marriage and Family Therapists for careers in public and private social service agencies, hospitals, churches, businesses (e.g., Employee Assistance Programs), and independent practice settings.

The Marriage & Family Counseling/Therapy program specialization prepares graduates who:

* Establish a professional identity as Marriage and Family Therapists;
* Have specialized knowledge of and experience in assisting persons who present with a diverse array of couple and family problems (e.g., regarding intimate relating, marital discord, divorce, child-rearing, family/school conflicts, family violence, suicide, and medical/psychiatric distress);
* Have specialized knowledge and skills for mental health service delivery within a specific mental health service setting and/or with specific, targeted mental health service recipients;
* Have general knowledge of clinical, developmental, systemic, and social-ecological theories of human behavior, human development, and human relating;
* Have general knowledge of and experience with systemic and social-ecological intervention modalities appropriate for a broad range of mental health service recipients and mental health service settings;
* Have general knowledge of and respect for the influences of culture/ethnicity, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic class, and have experience in working with a broad array of clientele representing such diversity;
* Interact effectively with the full spectrum of mental health professionals; and
* Provide competent professional service and leadership within the mental health field upon graduation.

The Marriage and Family Counseling program faculty are committed to helping students (a) develop knowledge and skill as “empirical practitioners”, that is, practitioners who can deliver effective clinical and psycho-educational services and can use a variety of research methods to evaluate the impact of clinical and psycho-educational practice; (b) enhance the breadth and depth of their professional competence; (c) utilize both individual clinical-developmental theoretical perspectives and systemic multi-cultural social-ecological theoretical perspectives in the design of mental health interventions and programs; and (d) gain in-depth exposure to a variety of modes of mental health intervention and service delivery.