New Master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) Program Established at USF for Fall 2020

USF Students

A new Master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) Program has been established at USF to train and educate students to meet the growing demand for marriage and family therapists in the state of Florida. The program is an expansion of the successful MFT Graduate Certificate which enables professionals in mental health, rehabilitation counseling, counselor education, social work, psychology, and other human service fields to enhance their knowledge and skills in marriage and family therapy.

Highlights of the MFT program include:

Graduates of the MFT Program will be eligible for licensure in the state of Florida to work in a variety of areas, including behavioral health agencies, private practice, hospitals, Veteran Affairs (VA), and both residential and outpatient facilities.

“Florida has the third highest employment rate for marriage and family therapists according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics,” said Dr. Ryan Henry, MFT Program Director. Dr. Ryan Henry took the lead in creating the program and having it approved by the Florida Board of Governors. “A 33% projected employment growth is expected between 2016-2026 in the state of Florida.”

MFTs are trained to diagnose and treat a wide range of client issues such as, depression, anxiety, divorce adjustment, blended families, couple distress, parenting issues, and grief to name just a few.

“These issues are addressed from the context of how interactions with relationships and larger systems impact the creation and maintenance of these issues,” said Dr. Henry. “As a result, this line of work can be interesting, challenging, and very rewarding.”

The curriculum is based on Florida’s state licensure requirements, American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) Code of Ethics, Marriage and Family Therapy core competences, the Association of Marital and Family Therapy Regulatory Boards (AMFTRB) National licensure examination domains, and national accreditation standards from the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE). COAMFTE has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) as the national accrediting body for the field of marriage and family therapy.

A thesis option is available for students interested in pursuing a Ph.D. in Marriage and Family Therapy after successfully completing the master’s degree.

The MFT program, which will be housed in the Department of Child & Family Studies at the USF College of Behavioral & Community Sciences, will be seeking COAMFTE accreditation in year 3 of the program.

“This will be the first COAMFTE accredited MFT master’s degrees in the Florida state system,” said Dr. Henry. “Once we have received accreditation, we will actively pursue a partnership with James A. Haley VA, located nearby the USF Tampa campus. This partnership will permit students to complete practicum hours at the VA and also lead to job placements for graduates interning in the VA system.”

The Fall 2020 cohort has already reached capacity. Additional details on the application process for the Fall 2021 can be found in the USF 2020-2021 Graduate Catalog.