Certificate Programs and Exam Preparation

Marriage & Family Therapy Counseling

RMHC MFT image


Currently, more than 1.8 million people are receiving treatment from a marriage and family therapist.

US News & World Report ranked Marriage and Family Therapy as one of the 50 best careers of 2010. MFT is also becoming one of the fastest growing fields in the national health care system, having evolved from an auxiliary profession into a field of its own. It blends the resources and contributions of both medical and non-medical fields into a uniquely integrated discipline. Relationship and family problems are the leading cause of referrals to mental health delivery systems.


Marriage and Family Therapists (MFTs) are mental health professionals who are trained to diagnose and treat mental, emotional, and relationship disorders. MFTs specialize in treating mental disorders in the systemic context of marital and family relationships. They work with individuals, couples, and families in these systems to change behavioral patterns so that problems can be addressed and resolved.

The MFT Graduate Certificate is a 15-credit hour program with course content that focuses on systemic approaches to both the theory and practice of MFT. There are 6 credit hours of required courses and 9 credits of approved electives. The certificate enables professionals in mental health, rehabilitation counseling, social work, and psychology to enhance their knowledge and skills in marriage and family therapy. Upon completion of the MFT Graduate Certificate Program, students will have a theoretical understanding of individual, marital, and family systems. Additionally, they will learn ways to strengthen relationships, prevent problems from arising within the family, and increase the quality of marriage, family life, and other relationships. However, the graduate certificate in MFT is not designed to meet the requirements for licensure in MFT.

MFT Course Sequence

The Graduate Certificate in MFT is designed for currently enrolled students or those that have graduated from a master's degree program in Social Work, Mental Health Counseling, or Clinical Psychology.

Course Sequencing & Schedule

Required Courses

  • MHS 6430 Dynamics of Marriage and Family Therapy (Summer)
  • RCS 6476 Human Sexuality (Spring or Summer)
  • MHS 6462 Trauma Informed Individual, Family, and Couple Treatment (Spring)

Electives Courses: Select Two

  • MHS 6345 Family Therapy Theories and Techniques (Fall)
  • MHS 6447 Marriage Therapy Theories and Techniques (Spring)
  • MHS 6105 Medical Family Therapy (Summer)
  • MHS 6423 Individual and Family Treatment with Children and Adolescents (Fall)
  • RCS 6930 Play Therapy (Summer)

For a full list of classes and when they will be offered, visit the USF Catalog.


The faculty consists of University of South Florida professors with many years of both clinical and teaching experience. The MFT Graduate Certificate also uses experts from academic and research departments within the University and surrounding professional community.

Core Faculty

Ryan G. Henry, Ph.D., LMFT
Dr. Henry is a full-time faculty member in the Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling Program and is the Director of the Marriage and Family Therapy Certificate Program. He has worked in both agency settings and private practice serving individuals, couples, and families. He is a Clinical Member of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists. His clinical specialties include working with couples dealing with pornography addiction and extra marital affairs.

Lauren Baxley, PhD
Dr. Lauren Baxley is a clinical instructor and field placement coordinator in the Marriage and Family Therapy Program in the Department of Child & Family Studies at USF. She earned a masters degree from Nova Southeastern University in 2009 and PhD from Florida State University in 2012, both in Marriage and Family Therapy. She is a licensed marriage and family therapist and qualified supervisor in the state of Florida, as well as a Clinical Fellow in the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy.

Richard Weinberg, Ph.D., ABPP (Clinical)
Dr. Weinberg has been at USF since 1977 and is a Clinical Associate Professor in the Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling Program. He is a licensed psychologist (Florida), earned the Ph.D in Clinical-Community Psychology at USF, and completed a Clinical Fellowship at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital. He maintains a part-time private practice specializing in work with individuals, couples and families. Dr. Weinberg received the Outstanding Teaching Award from USF in 2014-15.

Admission Requirements

Visit the USF Academic Catalog for details on admission requirements Graduate Certificate in Marriage Family Therapy.

CEU/licensure credit

Please visit the Florida Board of Clinical Social Work, Marriage & Family Therapy and Mental Health Counseling for information on qualifications for licens­ing in Florida as a Marriage and Family Therapist


For more information on the Therapy Marriage and Family Certificate, please contact: Ryan G. Henry, Ph.D., LMFT.