Graduate Program

Marriage & Family Therapy Program

The CSU MFT program is the only Master’s degree program in the state of Colorado that is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE) and is at a Carnegie One research institute.

In our program, students take courses in research methods and complete a thesis project. They take courses in Human Development and Family Studies and courses in therapy and clinical work.

MFT graduates go on to work as therapists in private practice or at for-profit and non-profit mental health agencies. Most students have jobs secured by the time they graduate or shortly after. Some students enter doctoral programs upon graduation including the Applied Developmental Science doctoral program in our own HDFS department.

Note: applicants to the MFT program can apply to our PhD program at the same time that they are applying to be in the MFT Masters program, in January of their second year in the Master’s degree program or after they complete the MFT Master’s degree.

An important and highly unique aspect of the HDFS department is our On Campus Wellness Collaborative. This Collaborative includes the Center for Family and Couple Therapy, the Campus Connections Program, the Early Childhood Center, the Prevention Center, and the many programs run by our faculty that involve intervention and prevention. All of these programs and centers serve the community in important ways while giving our graduate students opportunities to do meaningful therapy work in a variety of settings.

The Center for Family and Couple Therapy or CFCT (cfct@colostate.edu) is a beautiful, large therapy center with one-way mirrors and video equipment for state of the art supervision and therapy training. Students will take practicum courses where they will be therapists in the CFCT under supervision that is “live” (using one way mirrors for immediate feedback and direction). As students begin to successfully complete the practicum hours in the CFCT, they will enter the internship aspect of working in the CFCT which is a more independent version of being therapists. In internship, the students see clients without the live supervision model and use a video and case note supervision model as they meet weekly with a supervisor. This practicum to internship format will fully prepare students for working in agencies and private practice upon graduation. The CFCT serves every kind of presenting problem and variety of clients from the community that students are likely to work with upon graduation.

Campus Connections: Therapeutic Mentoring At Risk Youth (http://www.hdfs.chhs.colostate.edu/students/undergraduate/campusconnections/) is a program where community agencies (i.e. Youth Probation, Juvenile District Attorney’s office, Department of Human Services, School Truancy/suspended/expelled programs, Detention Centers) refer at risk youth to a 12-week on-campus structured mentoring program. MFT students work with the youth referred to this program doing crisis intervention, working in a setting that mirrors a treatment center or residential youth center. This prepares our students to have expertise in working with adolescents and with broader systems in the community such as schools and the court system.

Prevention Research Center, Research Intervention for Clinical Hours, and the Early Childhood Center offer opportunities for students in the MFT program to be involved in clinical work in our Centers and with research being conducted by faculty in the department.

For a more detailed explanation of how students acquire 500 client contact hours through practicum and internship visit Marriage and Family Therapy - Program of Study.

MFT Program information meetings are held once a month during fall and spring semesters.
Location: Behavioral Sciences Building 437 (Aimee Kleinser Walker’s office)
When: the first Tuesday of every month at 1 pm.

Program Mission

The mission of the Colorado State University Marriage and Family Therapy Master’s program is to train ethical, culturally sensitive, systemically oriented marriage and family therapists. The graduate program trains professionals to utilize evidence-based practices and an understanding of human development to effectively assess, diagnose, and treat a diverse population of individuals, couples and families and to work in professions in clinical, research, academic, and policy-making settings.

Program Philosophy

The CSU MFT program is committed to training clinicians who understand diversity in clinical, research, academic, and policy-making settings and are skilled consumers and producers of research related to MFT. Graduates are trained to be ethically and culturally sensitive professionals who understand the societal dynamics of gender, race, class, sexual orientation, ability, ethnicity, culture, religion, etc. As clinicians, our graduates are trained to incorporate a social justice context into the therapeutic process. We are committed to evidence-based practices and train students to understand the rigorous research practices required to effectively produce and consume research. At the core of the CSU MFT program philosophy is a belief that students learn best with an integration of experiential learning with academic training.

Program Goals

The CSU MFT program aims to graduate marriage and family therapists who successfully complete the clinical and academic training standards as guided by: (1) the AAMFT code of ethics; (2) the COAMFTE Core Competencies; and (3) the state of Colorado MFT licensure requirements. Students will possess the conceptual, perceptual, executive, evaluative, and professional competencies necessary to:

  • successfully and ethically conceptualize cases and facilitate admission to treatment,
  • conduct effective and ethical clinical assessments and diagnoses of clients,
  • conduct effective and ethical treatment planning and case management,
  • employ effective and ethical therapeutic interventions,
  • maintain compliance with ethical, legal, and professional standards in the practice of MFT,
  • apply relevant research to clinical practice and evaluate their own effectiveness as therapists,
  • attend to issues of diversity and power in the following areas: admitting clients to treatment, clinical assessment and diagnosis, treatment planning, therapeutic interventions, legal and ethical issues, and research and theory for cultural diversity.
  • AAMFT Student Achievement Criteria

MFT Program Diversity Statement

Students in the MFT program come from a variety of backgrounds and subscribe to a wide range of values and beliefs in their personal lives. They work as therapists in the CFCT where they see a variety of clients from diverse backgrounds who may have different values and beliefs from their therapists. MFT students are expected to show a willingness and ability to develop the skills to work with any type of client(s). While student therapists and their clients may not hold the same value systems, it is required that the clinical practice of our students is respectful of differing viewpoints and ensures best clinical practices in the field of MFT.

Our program is built on three pillars that guide the clinical and academic standards we require of our MFT graduate students. These include: (1) the AAMFT code of ethics; (2) the COAMFTE Core Competencies; and (3) the state of Colorado MFT licensure requirements. All of these organizations require that therapists work with a variety of clients in a way that is non-discriminatory. This often requires that student therapists differentiate their own personal values and beliefs from the therapeutic work they do with their clients. Faculty and clinical supervisors work with all student therapists to help them examine their own values and belief systems in ways that ensure they do not interfere with clients’ clinical progress.

'Family to Family' Fund

The Center for Family and Couple Therapy serves hundreds of families every year--offering individual, couple, and family therapy. Many of these families are low income, and we do our best to provide excellent service at the lowest possible rate. With the economic hardships that many of our families are facing, we want to do more to serve these families who can't afford even the lowest rates for therapy. Generous donors have made it possible for us to offer free and reduced therapy services to many of these low income clients. To contribute to the 'Family to Family' Fund please visit. https://advancing.colostate.edu/FAMILY