The training options in Connecticut to become a marriage and family counselor include master's degree programs in marriage and family therapy. Programs can last at least two years, since a postgraduate practicum is necessary to meet licensure requirements. The master's degree program curriculum consists of supervised clinical contact, research, ethics and theory classes.
While it's beneficial to have a therapy or counseling bachelor's degree, programs may accept candidates from different majors. An interview, resume, personal statement, background check and immunizations are other common requirements for entry into a marriage and family therapy master's degree program.
Central Connecticut State University
Located in New Britain, Central Connecticut State University offers a Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy that's accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE). Students can learn about assessment and counseling techniques and must complete 51 credits of coursework. Required courses may include couples therapy, perspectives on mental disorders, family life cycle and dysfunctional families. This 3-year program includes clinical practicum and internship courses, and students have the option to complete a thesis. Only 20 applicants are accepted to the program each semester, so students may face some competition for admission.
Fairfield University is found in Fairfield and offers a master's degree in marriage and family therapy that's approved by COAMFTE. The 57-credit program, which can be completed in three years, includes coursework in couples therapy, ethics and multicultural issues. Students must complete two internship and practicum experiences totaling a minimum of 500 hours. Towards the end of their clinical experience hours, students are required to pass a comprehensive examination.
Southern Connecticut State University
Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven offers a master's degree in family therapy that requires a minimum of 60 credits. The program is COAMFTE-approved and includes required coursework in gestalt therapy training, family systems, couples therapy and psychopathology. Students must also take five clinical courses, which are completed at the school's on-site clinic.
University of Connecticut
Located in Storrs, this university offers a master's program in marriage and family therapy, as well as a Ph.D. program. Both programs are accredited by COAMFTE. Master's candidates take 12 classes during their studies and can complete the program in two years. These classes focus on knowledge of human development and family studies, counseling theories, and ethics, as well as teaching students treatment, research, and assessment skills. Master's students also participate in two practica, which provide the supervised experience needed for licensure. Doctoral candidates take 15 classes and complete required clinical work and an internship, in addition to writing a doctoral dissertation.
University of Saint Joseph
The University of Saint Joseph, located in West Hartford, offers a master's degree in marriage and family therapy. The program is approved by COAMFTE, and students can choose from part- and full-time study options. Students can expect to take courses in gender issues, addictions and assessment. The program also requires students to complete at least 500 supervised clinical hours and pass a comprehensive exam.
All states require marriage and family counselors to have a master's degree and a therapy license. In order to become licensed in Connecticut, therapists must complete a minimum of 12 months (consisting of at least 1,000 hours) of clinical postgraduate work experience that includes at least 50 hours of supervised one-on-one counseling. The master's degree should come from a program that's approved by the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy, but non-approved programs can also qualify students to become licensed, provided that specific coursework requirements are met. The following five marriage and family counseling degree programs prepare students for licensure.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||Marriage and Family Therapy Degree Programs Offered||Graduate Tuition & Fees (2015-2016)|
|Central Connecticut State University||4-year; public; large suburb||Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy||$10,454 in-state; $21,506 out-of-state*|
|Fairfield University||4-year; private, not-for-profit; large suburb||Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy||$16,476*|
|Southern Connecticut State University||4-year; public; midsize city||Master of Family Therapy||$10,704 in-state; $21,756 out-of-state*|
|University of Connecticut||4-year; public; large suburb||Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy,
Doctor of Philosophy in Family Studies with a marriage and family therapy specialization
|$15,296 in-state; $36,082 out-of-state*|
|University of Saint Joseph||4-year; private, not-for-profit; small city||Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy||$18,240*|
Source: *National Center for Education Statistics.