Foster strong interpersonal bonds.
Couple and family therapists (CFTs) are mental health professionals trained in psychotherapy and family systems. They work with individuals, children, couples, and families to help with mental and emotional disorders, health and behavioral problems, and relationship issues. Through a systemic lens, CFTs approach treatment holistically by focusing on the mind, body, social contexts, and relational systems—partners, coworkers, friends, and family members—of their clients.
Graduates can expect to have exceptional job opportunities with the demand for qualified, licensed couple and family therapists expected to INCREASE BY 22% BY 2028 according to the United States Department of Labor.
This degree is offered by AU New England.
At AUNE, our CFT programs prepare students to become socially proficient couples and family therapists by integrating the principles of social justice and diversity throughout all courses and clinical work. The MA in CFT program is designed to prepare you to begin a career in couple and family therapy by providing basic didactic and clinical skills, as well as professional development and socialization.
Antioch University New England’s program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE). This specialized professional accreditation ensures students that the program meets national standards not just state or regional standards for couple and family therapy education.
Upon completion of post-graduate clinical requirements, graduates of the Couple and Family Therapy Program are eligible for American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) clinical membership and licensure or certification. Graduates’ self-reported, five-year pass rate on the national MFT licensure exam is 98%.
AUNE’s MA in Couple and Family Therapy (CFT) program utilizes a low-residency format, designed to be completed in just under three years (33 months) of full-time enrollment. Students have one full year of course work before beginning their practicum and internship experiences in years two and three. Face-to-face learning experiences, i.e. residencies, are what distinguish a low-residency format from a traditional online program.
- Low-residency program; hybrid model with online classes and in-person residencies
- Earn your degree in eight semesters
- Complete practicum and 12-month clinical internship near home or at the Antioch University Couple and Family Therapy Institute in Keene, NH
- 500 clinical hours of practical experience plus 100 hours of AAMFT-approved supervision experience
- COAMFTE-accredited program ensures preparation for the national MFT exam and facilitates license attainment
- Students who graduate from our master’s program receive a 20% tuition discount for the first two years of their doctorate
Residencies are intense learning opportunities combining seminars, workshops, guest lectures, advising sessions, peer discussions, and student presentations, designed to build lifelong learning communities and professional relationships. They take place a total of six times throughout the three year program (three during the first year, two in the second, and one during the third). Fall and Summer residencies take place in Keene, NH; Winter residencies take place in Los Angeles.
Between Residencies, you will be working on course material online – via live webinar-style classes, and assignments that are completed at your own pace (readings, forum postings, papers, etc.). During the practicum and internship years, students attend weekly supervision meetings (in-person or video), in addition to attending on-site supervision at their practicum and/or internship site.
Students get the best of both worlds: connection to professors and classmates through online and video learning, and face-to-face training during the residencies.
Program Length — 61 credits
The CFT-MA full-time program is designed to be eight-semesters (fall-spring-summer-fall-spring-summer-fall-spring)
Year One: students take the majority of the core CFT classes to build a foundation for their clinical work.
Year Two: students continue their traditional coursework, while also engaging in clinical work through a practicum experience. Students may choose to complete their practicum near their place of residence or at the Antioch University Couple and Family Therapy Institute in Keene, NH where they can receive live and video supervision from an AAMFT Approved Supervisor or Supervisor Candidate.
Year Three: students will have a 12-month internship placement located close to their homes. Students will also take one elective course per semester in a focused area of study. Because students complete the majority of the coursework during the first two years of the program, they have more room to focus on their internship during this third year.
Students also have the opportunity to work on an area of focus in their third year through electives. You may choose to focus on: Addictions Counseling, Counseling in Trauma, or Trans Affirmative Therapy.
Students will accrue a minimum of 500 face-to-face client contact hours in the CFT program, with at least half of these hours being relational (involving couples and/or families).
Sample Course Sequence
Fall Semester I (residency in early Fall):
- Foundational Theories in MFT
- Systems Assessment and Treatment
- MFT Identity, Law, and Ethics
Spring Semester I (residency in early Spring):
- Postmodern Approaches to Family Therapy
- Diverse Families and Community
- Human Development: Lifespan & Systems (International option)
Summer Semester I (residency in early Summer):
- Human Sexuality and Sex Therapy
- Couples Therapy from a Systemic Perspective
Fall Semester II (residency in early Fall):
- Families and Addictions
- MFT Seminar: Special Topics
- MFT Practicum I
Spring Semester II (residency in early Spring):
- MFT Seminar: Family Studies
- Research & Evaluation in MFT
- MFT Internship I
- Elective Course I
- MFT Internship II
- Elective Course II
Spring III (residency in early Spring):
- MFT Internship III
- Elective Course III
Social Justice Focus
Social justice informs our thinking about training in the Master’s program. We see social justice in Couple and Family Therapy education as involving the following key concepts:
- Social justice implies an explicit action orientation.
- Social justice involves understanding the diversity of people and families:
- Diversity includes ability, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, and country of origin, age, social class, religion, and gender (that is, systems that affect individual and family access to power and resources). Particular focus is on underserved and high-risk families.
- Diversity also includes diverse family structures, including extended kinship networks, gay and lesbian families, step-families, etc.
- Social justice has policy implications-therapists working from a social justice perspective work to effect supportive family policy that recognizes diversity and improves resiliency, and have a responsibility to participate in social and political systems affecting families.
- Social justice involves recognizing that social and legal systems affect people we work with
- Social justice researchers have a responsibility to do socially informed research, which is sensitive to diversity.
- Social justice clinical practice is focused on helping diverse families and contributes to the positive development of these families and their communities.
Statement on Diversity
Diversity is defined in terms of differences between groups of people with respect to structural disadvantage and systemic marginalization. These differences are related to such factors as gender, sexual identity, social class, ethnicity, race, religion, spirituality, age, health/ability, immigrant status, etc.
“To foster socially proficient couples and family therapists, we integrate all courses and clinical work with themes of social justice and diversity. One of our program’s top priorities is training diverse therapists here, who will become agents of change within their own communities.” Dr. Lucille Byno, Core Faculty, CFT Program
As a Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE) accredited Master’s program, we are required to report a number of student achievement criteria on our website.
- Students will demonstrate clinical competency in CFT practice.
- Students demonstrate conceptual and theoretical skills in applying CFT models
- Students demonstrate basic counseling executive skills, including joining and the development of therapeutic alliance with clients and client systems
- Students will demonstrate competency in assessment and diagnosis
- Students will demonstrate professionalism, and understanding and application of ethical codes and principles in CFT practice.
- Students will demonstrate the application of broader knowledge bases to CFT practice and content areas, including:
- Human Development and Family Studies
- Working with groups and families in larger systems
- Human sexuality and sex therapy
- Family therapy with substance abuse
- Intrafamilial violence
- Students will demonstrate the ability to critique and utilize CFT research and program evaluation.
- Students will demonstrate attention to issues of diversity and social justice across domains of CFT practice.
- For Spring Entry: December 1
- For Fall Entry: July 1
How to Apply
- Complete the online admissions application, including:
- Essay questions, admissions and program-specific
- Resume/curriculum vitae (CV)
- Non-refundable $50 application fee
- Submit official transcripts from all colleges or universities where you earned a degree or certificate.
- email transcripts to [email protected], or
- mail to:
Office of Admissions
Antioch University New England
40 Avon Street
Keene NH 04341-3516
- Two letters of recommendation are required, from people who are in a position to evaluate your professional or academic work. The person making the recommendation may not be related to you.
- There are additional requirements for International applicants and applicants without a Bachelor’s degree
- Interview with a faculty member of the department to which you seek entry if selected. This can be in person, by phone, or via Skype.
- Master’s and Certificate Programs do not require the GRE or any other standardized test for admissions. We consider all of your application materials, and evaluate your academic potential in a variety of ways.
Official transcripts should be emailed to [email protected] or mailed to:
Office of Admissions
Antioch University New England
40 Avon Street
Keene, New Hampshire 03431-3516
All application materials submitted become part of an applicant’s file and cannot be returned.
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