Family Therapy, MS

Two professors are talking while a student sitting nearby listening to them.

COAMFTE accreditation will lapse on May of 2016; the program will not seek re-accreditation and restructure the program to make it possible for students to finish the program in two years. 

The program of Family Therapy in the Department of Counseling and School Psychology is committed to a vision of strengthening healthy families by preparing ethical and qualified professionals who embrace an inclusive perspective of interconnected systems. The program’s curriculum is comprised of basic professional counseling content and theory, and provides comprehensive framework for learning family therapy. The courses lead students to view families as entities within larger social systems and promote collaborative, inclusive, and integrative systems approaches.

The curriculum offers students in the family therapy program an optimal perspective for supporting individuals, families, and communities in urban environments, and provides them with a framework for developing skills to facilitate dialogue with marginalized individuals, families, and communities.
The program is designed for completion in no less than three years including 42 to 45 course credits plus an 18 credits family therapy internship. Students may opt for completing the programs in a longer period. The status of limitations establishes a maximum of 8 years for completion.

The University of Massachusetts Boston Family Therapy program was granted full accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE) in 2003 and is the only Family Therapy program so designated within Massachusetts. Renewal of accreditation was granted in 2009. In compliance with the COAMFTE Accreditation Policies and Procedures, the program provides information about Student Achievement CriteriaCOAMFTE accreditation will lapse on May of 2016; the program will not seek re-accreditation and restructure the program to make it possible for students to finish the program in two years.

The overall goal of the UMASS Boston Family Therapy Program is to prepare competent family therapists who can obtain licensure with the Board of Allied Mental Health and Human Services Professions in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and to be concordant with the College of Education and Human Development educational outcomes and the urban mission of the university. In order to meet this overall goals,

  • We educate family therapists who are informed by relational and strength-based theories.
  • We prepare students who advocate for equity and social justice
  • We ensure that these professionals fulfill professional ethical standards and are reflective.

In order to achieve this broad goal, the UMB-FT offers learning opportunities that include: (i) counseling and family therapy courses that cover the family therapy knowledge content; (ii) experiential exercises in classroom settings that mirror real family therapy situations; (iii) a three semester internship placement at a community agency that serves families in an urban setting; (iv) the integration of theory and practice in a culminating capstone/portfolio product.

Goals and Objectives

The primary goal of the Department of Counseling and School Psychology is to prepare highly qualified thoughtful and responsive professionals educated to serve a diverse urban population as family therapists, mental health counselors, school counselors, and school psychologists.  The following objectives are necessary to pursue the department's goal:

1. Students will become knowledgeable and skilled practitioners through training and experiences in:

  • theories of human development
  • theories of individual and group counseling
  • theories of abnormal behavior
  • theories of psychological, educational, and vocational assessment
  • biological/physiological bases of behavior
  • dynamics of multicultural influences on individual worldviews and individual uniqueness.
  • the use of technologies in the practice of our professions, including the psychological limitations and benefits of technology.
  • systems theories and the dynamics of family relationships

2. Students will become caring, principled, and respectful professionals through training and experiences     in:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

  • humanistic and person centered approaches
  • guided practice in acquiring interpersonal skills
  • ethical principles, standards of practice and respect for persons
  • the actual practice of the profession through practicum and internship

3. Students will become committed agents of change for social justice through training and experiences in:       

  • laws and regulations governing the practice of their profession
  • theories of empowerment
  • theories of oppression and dominance
  • theories of change
  • history of the profession

4. Students will become committed reflective and critical thinkers through training and experiences in:

  • reading, interpreting and using the professional research literature (becoming a practitioner-scientist).
  • theories and techniques of program evaluation and assessments.
  • self evaluation and self reflection activities during practical and internship experiences.
  • self evaluation and feedback through a culminating experience graduate training (e.g. the Capstone).

For online students only: If you are applying to the online version of this program, please be aware that the start term should be summer on your application (e.g. Summer 2014). If you put start term fall (e.g. Fall 2014), you will be taking summer courses as a non-degree student which means you will not be eligible for financial aid until the fall semester. The starting term and program cannot be changed once you submit the application. Thank you.