Marriage and family therapists provide mental health treatment to diverse problems including addictions and anxiety. Here, you can learn more about the different graduate programs available in this field ranging from M.S. to Ph.D. degrees which vary in the number of required credits for graduation. You can also get an overview of the admission requirements as well as the number of hours for practicum or clinical internship in some schools.
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Marriage and Family Therapy Degree Programs in Florida
Nova Southeastern University
At Nova Southeastern University, students have several options in this field. The Master of Science (M.S.) program focuses on relational and systemic theories. It requires 60 credits to complete, and is offered in a format where courses are scheduled in the late afternoons and evenings. Courses may include human sexuality and group psychotherapy. Students must complete an external practicum, where they will obtain at least 500 hours of client contact and clinical supervision. To apply to this program, students should submit their undergraduate transcripts, GRE results, an academic writing sample, personal statement, letters of recommendation, and resume.
Nova Southeastern also offers two doctoral level programs. The Doctorate in Marriage and Family Therapy (D.M.F.T.) program is designed as a terminal degree for marriage and family therapy practitioners. It requires 78 credit hours to complete, and courses may include human development across the life cycle and research in family therapy. The culmination of the degree is an applied clinical project where a student implements and evaluates a clinical program.
The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Family Therapy focuses on developing professors, researchers, and senior practitioners of family therapy. The 96-credit hour program requires students to engage in courses exploring various theories of family therapy, including Ericksonian hypnotherapy and solution-focused therapy. Participation as a clinician at the on-campus Family Therapy Institute is also required. Students will complete a dissertation and teaching practicum. To apply for either doctoral-level program, students should hold a master's degree with a GPA of 3.5 or higher; and provide a personal statement, recommendations, and professional writing sample.
Florida State University
At Florida State University, students can pursue a Ph.D. in Marriage and Family Therapy. The program focuses on family processes and interventions for diverse families. Courses may include outcome research in family therapy and family diversity. A yearly review of scholarly engagement, including grants, publications, or presentation at conferences, will be required; as will the completion of a dissertation. A clinical comprehensive examination gauges a student's advanced clinical skills. To apply, students should hold a bachelor's degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA; have completed a clinically-based master's degree program; submit competitive GRE scores, a resume, and recommendations as well as participate in an on-campus interview.
Palm Beach Atlantic University
At Palm Beach Atlantic University, students can earn an M.S. in Mental Health Counseling with a specialization in Marriage, Couple, and Family Therapy as well as Addictions/Mental Health Counseling. The course of study for the addiction counseling concentration requires 60 credit hours and includes a supervised internship. While those for the Marriage, Couple and Family as well as Mental Health Counseling specialization require 60 hours of coursework. Courses are held in the evening at West Palm Beach and Orlando locations. To apply, students must hold a bachelor's degree with at least a 3.0 GPA and 15 credits in psychology, complete an essay, and attend a faculty interview.
Stetson University offers an M.S. in Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling. Students must complete 60 credits to earn the degree. Courses may include addictions counseling and sexuality counseling, and an internship is expected as well. Students will sit for the Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Examination and develop a capstone project prior to graduation. To apply, students should submit transcripts, letters of recommendation, and results of the GRE or MAT. A group interview is the final step of the admissions process.
University of Miami
At the University of Miami, students can pursue a Master of Science in Education (M.S.Ed.) in Marriage and Family Therapy. This 60-credit hour program can be completed in two years of full time study. Courses may include therapy for couples and program evaluation in counseling. Students complete a one-year practicum off-campus. To apply, students should submit undergraduate transcripts indicating a minimum of 3.3 GPA and some coursework in psychology, results of the GRE exam, evidence of experience in human services, and letters of recommendations. An interview is also required.
Licensure as a Marriage and Family Therapist in Florida
The programs detailed above may be a step towards qualifying graduates to become licensed marriage and family therapists in Florida. Licensure requirements include a master's degree in marriage and family therapy or a closely-related field and a supervised internship providing at least 180 hours of direct client service. Candidates for licensure will also be expected to have two years of post-master's degree supervised experience. In addition, they need to have passed the national exam offered by the Association of Marital and Family Therapy Regulatory Boards. Finally, they should have also finished taking the approved professional development courses in ethics, HIV, and domestic violence.
Within the state of Florida, there are many opportunities to pursue graduate education in marriage and family therapy. Any of these programs can set you on a path towards this challenging career helping individuals, couples, and families.