Marriage and Family Counseling Degree Concentration | PCOM
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Marriage and Family Counseling Degree Concentration

Students in the Marriage and Family Counseling degree concentration will receive specialized training in treating the family unit or an individual through the lens of the relationships they hold with others.

Student Learning Objectives - Marriage and Family Counseling Degree Concentration

  1. Develop and demonstrate understanding of the major models used in couples and family counseling and applying systems thinking in case formulation.
  2. Develop proficiency in the skills and techniques of systems-oriented counseling approaches and their use in work with couples and families.
  3. Demonstrate the ability to assess a client system’s resources and constraints through the various perspectives including organization, sequences, development, multicultural, gender, and internal family system and select appropriate intervention strategies.

What is a marriage and family counselor?

Counselors trained in marriage and family therapy are licensed mental health professionals who are trained in psychotherapy and family systems to treat mental, behavioral and emotional disorders within the context of marriage, couples, and family systems—even if only a single person is a client. Counselors trained in marriage and family therapy adopt the belief that in order for an individual to change, their system must change.

What courses are required for the marriage and family counseling degree concentration?

The information listed below is from the current course catalog. Terms, sequences, courses and credit hours are subject to change at any time without notice.

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
Term 1Hours
COUN 501 Theories of Counseling 3
COUN 505 Counseling Skills 3
COUN 510 Professional, Legal, & Ethical Issues in Counseling 3
Term 2
COUN 503 Psychodiagnosis & Psychopharmacology 3
COUN 506 Fundamentals of CBT and Suicidology 3
COUN 507 Social and Cultural Foundations in Counseling 3
Term 3
COUN 504 Group Therapy 3
COUN 508 Lifespan Development 3
COUN 512 Intro to Marriage & Family Counseling 3
Second Year
Term 1
COUN 520 Assessing and Treating Addiction 3
COUN 561 Practicum Seminar Note: Students whose Practicum/Internship placement begins during the fall term of year two will register for the Practicum/Internship course sequence (COUN 561, 562, 563) in the fall, winter, and spring terms. These students will not take COUN 585: Clinical Field Placement in the spring term, and will instead complete an elective to fulfill the remaining required 3 credits. 3
Term 2
COUN 528 Advanced Marriage and Family Counseling 3
COUN 552 Research Methods, Statistics, & Program Evaluation 3
COUN 562 Internship I 3
COUN 591 Case Conceptualization Comprehensive Exam 0
COUN 593 Comprehensive Exam (Standardized Patient Video) 0
Term 3
COUN 509 Tests and Measurements 3
COUN 563 Internship Seminar II 3
COUN 571 Career and Vocational Counseling 3
COUN 590 Objective Comprehensive Exam 0
Term 4
COUN 526 Psychotherapeutic Aspects of Human Sexuality 3
COUN 565 Capstone Advocacy Project 0
COUN 585 Internship III 3
Third Year
Term 1
Fall start Practicum students take 3 credits of electives 3
 Total Hours60

What topics do counselors trained in marriage and family therapy address?

Counselors trained in marriage and family therapy often address the following topics:

  • Communication skills in relationships
  • LGBTGEQIAP+ (SAIGE) issues
  • Parental concerns
  • Marital or couple conflicts or discord
  • Sexual-related issues, concerns and disorders
  • Feelings of depression, anxiety or loneliness
  • Domestic and intimate partner violence (IPV)
  • Child and adolescent behavioral problems
  • Grieving
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Substance abuse

For more information about pay, job outlook and work environment, visit the Marriage and Family Therapists section of the Occupational Outlook Handbook.