Northwestern University

Center of Applied Psychological & Family Studies
Last Updated

MSMFT Program Mission Statement: The mission of the MSMFT Program at Northwestern University is to educate students to become knowledgeable, competent, systemic, culturally sensitive, ethical, and empirically-informed Marriage and Family Therapists. Graduates of the program are expected to exhibit a beginning level of competence with a variety of presenting problems, utilize the IPCM framework to integrate knowledge from the field into practice, demonstrate cultural sensitivity in their work, and have an appreciation for research, particularly research on family relationships and the process and outcome of therapy. With further education and experience, graduates of the program will go on to become outstanding practitioners and future leaders in the field of Marriage and Family Therapy. The Programs mission is embedded in that of TFI (strengthen and heal families from all walks of life) and NU (excellent teaching, innovative research, and the personal and intellectual growth of its students). The following program goals and associated outcomes for the students, Teaching Faculty, Clinical Supervising Faculty and graduates operationalize the mission of the program.

Overall Program Goals:

1. Train entry level Marriage and Family Therapists who are knowledgeable, competent, systemic, culturally sensitive, ethical, integrative and empirically-informed.

2. Advance Integrative Problem Centered Metaframeworks (IPCM), an integrative and empirically-informed approach, as a basis for practicing and teaching marriage and family therapy.

3. Encourage leadership and scholarly activity in the field of Marriage and Family Therapy.

Student Learning Outcomes:

1. Foundational knowledge base.
Outcome: Students will become knowledgeable of the core concepts, common factors and major schools of marriage and family therapy.

2. Integration of concepts, models and techniques.
Outcome: Students will learn to utilize a systemic, integrative and empirically informed approach to planning and staging therapy.

3. Clinical competence.
Outcome: Students will develop a strong beginning level professional competence in the conduct of systemically-oriented family, couple and individual therapy.

4. Integration of research.
Outcome: Students will learn to be critical consumers of research, incorporate research findings into their clinical practice, and utilize progress research data to make informed clinical decisions.

5. Diversity and cultural sensitivity.
Outcome: Students' clinical work will incorporate cultural sensitivity and respect for diversity across a range of cultural contexts including race, ethnicity, class, religion, gender, and sexual orientation (Breunlin et. al, 1992).

6. Professional and ethical conduct.
Outcome: Students will develop an understanding of legal and ethical standards and demonstrate the ability and commitment to apply them in the professional practice of Marriage and Family Therapy.

7. Professional identity as marriage and family therapist.
Outcome: Students will clearly identify themselves with the profession of Marriage and Family Therapy.

Program Overview
Program Administrator
Douglas Breunlin, MSSA
Campus Enrollment
Program Options
  • Master’s
Areas of Study
  • Therapy (Couples, Marriage, or Family) - Master's
Department Address

618 Library Place
The Family Institute
Evanston, IL 60201
United States

Phone Number
Graduate Program
Graduate Courses Offered
  • Basic Concepts of Systems Therapy
  • Self and Other Systems: Theory and Interventions
  • Intimate Relations
  • Special Problems and Populations
  • Human Development across the Life Span
  • Methods or Systems Therapy
  • Systemic Assessment
  • Family of Origin and Intra-psychic Work from a Systemic Perspective
  • Legal, Ethical and Professional Issues in Marital and Family Therapy
  • Family Research
  • Group Therapy Internship
  • Pre-practicum in Family Therapy
  • Internship in Martial and Family Therapy
  • Family Therapy Treatment Models
  • Sex Therapy
  • Child in the Context of the Family
  • Substance Abuse
Master's Level
Masters Program Options
  • Marriage & Family Therapy
CFLE Information

NCFR recognizes schools offering undergraduate and graduate degree programs with course work that follows the Standards and Criteria required for approval as a Provisional Certified Family Life Educator (CFLE). NCFR approval allows the school to offer their graduates the opportunity to apply for Provisional Certification using the Abbreviated Application process. The CFLE Checklist represents the courses that meet the CFLE criteria at that school. Students must complete all the courses on a checklist in order to qualify to apply for the CFLE designation through the Abbreviated Application process.