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Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy

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Marriage and family therapy is a recognized mental health discipline specializing in working with children, adolescents, and adults, either individually or together, within the context of systems theories. Unlike other mental health disciplines where you may take one or two classes in how to work holistically and relationally with clients, the entire program focuses the training and education to work within this paradigm. Individuals who complete the academic and clinical requirements earn a Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy.  

During the program you will be eligible to apply for a training license to practice therapy, and with additional post-degree hours of supervised work experience you can apply for full licensure as a marriage and family therapist. This degree specifically provides graduates with expertise in working with individuals, couples, and families. Additionally, this training also provides excellent preparation for other forms of clinical and administrative work in social and human service agencies.

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Program Highlights

In so many ways the MFT program at Edgewood College embodies the values of the Dominican mission: truth, justice, compassion, partnership, community. Our pursuit to provide education and training based on scholarship and evidence based practice is grounded in the mission of truth. In striving for justice we train our graduates to appreciate, work with, and empower disenfranchised populations. Through the clinical work at our Family Therapy Center we partner with and support other agencies by providing compassionate therapeutic services to those who would otherwise not have access in and around the greater Madison community.

Study without sacrificing your work and home life.
Our classes are held in the evenings year around. Our program offers full-time and part-time class schedules; talk with your advisor about which schedule might work for you and your family. Most students complete the program in two years.

Be part of a unique learning community.
In our cohort-based program, you will have the opportunity to work in a team setting.  New cohorts begin each Fall semester. Enrollment is limited to allow for small class size and individual attention.

Learn from exceptional faculty.
All MFT faculty members have extensive clinical experience in their subject area, and maintain active clinical work in addition to their teaching. This provides students of the program excellent training and instruction by faculty with hands-on, real-world experience in their respective fields. Several of the faculty are nationally recognized for their outstanding contributions to the field and their patients.

Participate in advanced clinical training and internships.
The program includes a 12-month internship where you will work with a variety of individuals, couples and families from the community. In Madison, Edgewood College also operates The Family Center, which provides students with a venue to meet their required clinical hours providing low-cost, high-quality, supportive therapy for individuals, couples and families.

Qualify for licensure
Obtaining your MS-MFT degree at Edgewood College qualifies you to apply for licensure in Wisconsin. Learn more about the requirements and process to receive a license as a Marriage and Family Therapist in Wisconsin. If you are planning to apply for licensure outside of Wisconsin, we can assist you in that process and answer questions you might have about how your Edgewood College MFT degree and internship experience would meet license requirements in other states.

The Family Center
The Family Center is a community based, affordable outpatient mental health clinic and the training center for Edgewood College's Marriage and Family Therapy Graduate Program. Our mission is to support the growth, transformation, and overall wellness of our clients, staff, and the community within which we serve.

Degree Requirements

Program Requirements

To receive the Master of Science degree in Marriage and Family Therapy, students must have:

  • Earned 48 credits in prescribed marriage and family therapy courses;
  • Completed the interdisciplinary studies requirements;
  • Maintained a 3.00 grade point average in those credits;
  • Successfully completed a minimum of 500 clinical contact hours (which must include 300 direct contact hours), plus 100 hours of supervision prior to graduation. 

Degree Requirements

All courses carry 3 graduate credits. Also an Independent Study course is available if needed and should be arranged with the Director of the Program.

Courses

MFT 600 - Foundations of Systemic Practice
MFT 605 - MFT Theories & Models
MFT 610 - Clinical Treatment: Families/Groups
MFT 620 - Diverse/Multicultural Communities
MFT 625 - Clinical Treatment: Couples
MFT 630 - Mental Health Diagnosis & Treatment
MFT 635 - Systemic/Relational Assessment
MFT 700 - Research & Evaluation
MFT 725 - Relational Practicum
MFT 735 - Lifespan Development
MFT 740 - Clinical Treatment: Child/Adolescent
MFT 745 - Contemporary Issues & Collaboration
MFT 750 - Clinical Internship I
MFT 760 - Clinical Internship II
MFT 770 - Clinical Internship III
MFT 780 - Clinical Internship IV, if needed
MFT 800 - Ethics, Law & Social Responsibility

Tuition and Financial Aid

Attending graduate school is one of the best investments you will ever make in yourself and your future. While the benefits related to personal development and growth are priceless, you can also expect your MS-MFT degree to expand your career options and enhance your earning power in the marketplace.

The job outlook for Marriage and Family Therapists is excellent. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the occupation will grow by 15% by 2024, faster than the average for all occupations. Learn more.

Remember, completing your MS-MFT degree is an investment in yourself and your career. Be sure to consider not only the total cost of your education, but think about how that total breaks down in terms of monthly costs, which can make your investment feel more manageable and affordable.

Tuition

Graduate tuition for the 2022-23 year is $1072 per credit (effective Summer 2022)

Most MFT students are working professionals who take courses part-time. 48 total credits are required to complete the degree.

Financial Aid

Graduate students are eligible for financial aid in the form of Federal Stafford Loans. Learn more about Stafford Loans, including eligibility requirements and application instructions.

Graduate Student Financial Aid

Our admissions and financial aid counselors have worked with thousands of students who have questioned how they could afford to complete their graduate education. They will use their experience to suggest creative solutions for financing your education. We work with students and organizations to manage tuition reimbursement plans, extend tuition discounts to various corporate partners in the region, offer third party billing and monthly payment plans, and work with veterans to maximize their available aid.

Scholarships

Two small scholarships are available to students to help offset Program fees and books. They are awarded based on financial need and merit. Students are eligible to apply during their 2nd semester in the program. 

  • Sara Thompson and Sandra Hammer Scholarship—An award created posthumously in honor of two MFT graduates.  The Thompson family established this scholarship in honor of Sara, an MFT alumna who died shortly after graduation in 1999.  Later, the Hammer family added to the endowment in honor of Sandra, after her untimely death.  This award is dependent upon interest earnings; therefore, the amount of this award varies.
  • Peter & Ree Hale Fabian Scholarship—An award created by our MFT Program founder, Dr. Peter Fabian and his wife, Rev. Aurelia Hale.  This was awarded for the first time Spring 2017. The amount of this award varies.

Guidelines for Scholarship Application:

Students must attend to the following requirements:

  • Complete a FAFSA form with the Edgewood Financial Aid Office (reflecting financial need).
  • Submit one letter of recommendation from a professional reference, such as a professor, employer, or work colleague familiar with your work (reflecting merit).
  • Submit a personal essay: “What this scholarship would mean to me,” in 250 to 750 words, typed and double-spaced.

Submit the letter and essay to the Program Director by February 15th

A committee made up of Edgewood faculty and staff will review the applications.  The scholarship recipients for the upcoming academic year will be announced the beginning of April and then the funds will be disbursed during the subsequent Fall and Spring semesters. Please note:  The only effect Departmental nominated scholarships may have for the student is in reducing a student’s loan indebtedness.  

Admission Requirements

  1. Provide evidence of a baccalaureate or more advanced degree from a United States regionally accredited or equivalent post-secondary institution with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for regular admission status. The cumulative grade point average is computed on the highest degree held at the time of application to the Edgewood College graduate program.
  2. Complete and submit graduate application.
  3. Request that official transcripts for all undergraduate and graduate academic credits received from any post-secondary institutions be sent directly to Edgewood College Graduate and Professional Studies.
  4. The MFT Program Reference Form must accompany two letters of recommendation from individuals qualified to comment on the candidate's potential for success as a therapist.
  5. The MFT program requires a two-page typewritten statement indicating motives and professional goals for pursuing a degree in MFT. The written statement should include:
    • Interests and motivation for wanting to be a therapist
    • Ability to succeed in graduate school
    • What preparation, either through coursework, internship, volunteer work, or
      job experience, has been undertaken that provides basic therapy skills.
  6.  Applicants must also submit a resume.
  7. Applications will be reviewed upon completion. A follow-up interview may be requested by the program at that time.
  8. An Orientation Day for newly admitted student will be held in August.
  9. International Students may have additional admission requirements. Learn more.

Deadlines

The Marriage and Family Therapy Program begins the fall (August) of each academic year. It is a highly-competitive cohort-based graduate program with rolling admissions opening September 1st for the next year’s Fall cohort. Applicants are strongly advised to apply early as applications are reviewed and spots are filled throughout the year.

New Student Orientation

An Orientation Day for new students will be held in August.  

Transfer Credits

You may submit up to 12 semester hours of graduate credit for consideration of transfer to Edgewood College for application to a degree program. Approval of the respective department is required. To be considered for application to a degree program, a course must have been taken within the past five years. For more information about transfer credits, please contact your admissions counselor.

Background Check Required

After acceptance into the program, each student is required to complete a caregiver background check through the DOJ website and provide a scanned copy of the results to the Program Administrator preferably before attending your first course, yet no later than the end of the student’s first semester of courses. If a background check is not received by this deadline, further participation in the program may be limited. 

 

Meet Your Faculty

Deb Polacek
Deb Polacek
Program Director

Education:
B.S. in Psychology, M.S. in Marriage & Family Therapy, Edgewood College

Credential:
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

Certifications/Memberships Held:
AAMFT Approved Supervisor, AAMFT Clinical Fellow, APA Associate, AFTA, and Prepare/Enrich trainer & facilitator

Specialty Interests:
Private Practice, Relationship Therapy, Urgent Care Work, and Single-Session Therapy Approaches

Misc. Interests:
Creating art (sketching, painting), listening to and making music (guitar), gardening, crocheting/knitting, and gaming with family and friends

Morgan Abraham
Morgan Abraham
Interim Clinic Director, The Family Center

Education:
BS in Social Work, Minor in Psychology University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, MS in Counseling, Option in School Based Family Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy

Credentials:
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Pupil Personnel Services Credential, Child Welfare and Attendance Credential, AAMFT Approved Supervisor Candidate

Memberships:
AAMFT

Specialty Interests:
Suicide Prevention and Awareness, Domestic Violence, Formerly Incarcerated, Mindfulness, Women's Issues, Parenting, Adolescents, and LGBTQ Allied

Misc. Interests:
Hiking, walking my dog, yoga, cooking, and golfing

Melinda Bailey
Melinda Bailey
Adjunct Faculty

Education:
BA Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana; Ph.D. Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana

Credential:
Licensed Psychologist No. 0465

Certifications/Memberships Held:
National Register Listed, American Psychological Association, Wisconsin Psychological Association

Specialty Interests:
Individual, Couple, and Family Therapy, Anxiety, Stress, Trauma, Medical Issues, Pain, Mind-Body Issues, Mindfulness, Experiential Methods

Misc. Interests:
Running, storytelling, photography, and my two dogs

Elizabeth Disch
Elizabeth Disch
Adjunct Faculty

Education:
BA in Conservation Biology, UW-Madison; MA in Professional Counseling, Lakeland College

Credential: 
Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC)

Certifications/Memberships Held: 
Professional Membership in American Counseling Association (ACA)

Specialty Interests:
Private Practice for 6 years working with individuals and couples; focus on anxiety, depression, trauma, relationships, career transition.

Misc. Interests: 
My 3-YO labradoodle, Bailey; really yummy food; really strong coffee; playing piano; listening to books on Audible; morning yoga; travel.

Samantha Egelhoff
Samantha Egelhoff
Interim Assistant Clinic Director, The Family Center

Education:
BA in Zoology/Environmental Studies, UW-Madison; Human Resource Management Certificate Program, UW-Platteville; MS in Marriage & Family Therapy, Edgewood College

Credential:
MFT-IT

Certifications/Memberships Held: 
Gottman Method Level 1 & 2 Certification, Prepare/Enrich Facilitator, TF-CBT Training Certification, AAMFT Supervisor-IT

Specialty Interests: 
Relationship and Sex Therapy, Positive Psychology, Adolescent and Life Transitions

Misc. Interests:
Houseplants and gardening, board games, reading, cooking, yoga, caring for pets, nature walks

Nancy Gomez
Nancy Gomez
Adjunct Faculty

Education: 
B.S. in Human Development and Family Studies from UW-Madison, M.S. in Marriage & Family Therapy, Edgewood College

Credential: 
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

Certifications/Memberships Held: 
Latino Professionals Association

Specialty Interests: 
Trauma informed. Cultural and Systemic Oppression. Adoption competency. Substance Use Disorders. Infant mental health. Couple and Families. Adolescent issues. Brainspotting. EMDR. TF-CBT.

Misc. Interests: 
Enjoy quality time with family and traveling with friends. Spending time with my dachshund and reading at home.

Joseph Hamilton
Joseph Hamilton
Full Time Faculty

Education: 
BA in Psychology and BS in Organizational Leadership, minor in Theology from Biola University, MS in Marriage and Family Therapy from California State University Los Angeles

Specialty Interests: 
Cultural/Ethic Issues, End of Life Issues, Parenting, Formerly Incarcerated, Couples, Industrial Psychology

Misc. Interests: 
Hiking, spending time outdoors, music, learning, and classic vehicles

Myra McNair
Myra McNair
Adjunct Faculty

Education:
BA in Biology, MS in Marriage and Family Therapy, with specialties in addiction, infant mental health, parent/child attachment, marriage counseling, trauma-informed practices, and cultural interventions

Credential:
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist 

Specialty Interests:
Owner and founder of Anesis Family Therapy, which was established in January 2016 and currently serves over 200 clients, employs 23 staff members and provides services in English, Spanish, Hmong, and Cambodian. Anesis Therapy is one of the most diverse clinics in Dane County and is rooted in systems therapy. 

In 2017 Myra was featured as an M List recipient as a Health Innovator by Madison Magazine.

Misc. Interests:
Listening to music, hiking and being outdoors by water, spending time with my kids and being silly

Julia Smith
Julia Smith
Adjunct Faculty

Education:
BS in Psychology/Women's Studies/Theater from UW Green Bay 1996, MS Marriage and Family Therapy Edgewood College 2004

Credential:
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

Certifications/Memberships Held:
Certified Yoga Therapist with International Association of Yoga Therapists

Specialty Interests:
Stress Management, Trauma, Movement and Yoga Therapy to treat mental health issues

Misc. Interests:
Fostering animals with DCHS, canning, gardening, movement, yoga, sports

Anne Totero
Anne Totero
Adjunct Faculty

Education: 
B.S. Northern Michigan University, Psychology Graduate Prep; M.S., Edgewood College, Marriage and Family Therapy

Credential: 
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT)

Certifications/Memberships Held:    
AAMFT Approved Supervisor, Board-Certified Telehealth Professional, Client Rights Specialist through the State of Wisconsin, BLS Advisor through American Heart Association

Specialty Interests: 
MFTs in Healthcare Delivery Systems, Humor in Care, Self of the Therapist, Outreach and Advocacy, Technology and Healthcare (i.e., Social Media Platforms, Blogging, Podcasting, EHR).

Misc. Interests: 
Podcasting, Visual Journaling, Succulents, Platformers/Gaming, European Power Metal, and Poetry

Justin Woodward
Justin Woodward
Adjunct Faculty

Education:
Associates in Liberal Studies, Undergraduate from Edgewood College in Psychology, Masters from Edgewood College in Marriage and Family Therapy

Credential:
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, AAMFT Approved Supervisor

Specialty Interests:
Systems, Couples Therapy, Adolescent Therapy, Therapy for suicidal adolescents and individuals with Borderline Personality Disorder, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Autism Spectrum Disorders, Experiential Therapy, Structural Therapy, Strategic Therapy, Mindfulness, Neuro-Linguistic Programming

Misc. Interests:
Photography, rock climbing, music, astrophysics, particle physics, ecology, natural sciences (especially entomology and herpetology), parenthood, engineering, economics, technological advances, computer science, science fiction, fantasy fiction, eastern philosophy (Taoism and Buddhism primarily)

Vanessa Verran
Vanessa Verran
Clinical Coordinator

Education:
BS in Family Social Sciences, Focus in Psychology, University of Minnesota Twin Cities, MS Marriage and Family Therapy, Edgewood College

Credential:
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, AAMFT Approved Supervisor Candidate

Certifications/Memberships Held:
AAMFT Preclinical Fellow

Specialty Interests:
Narrative Therapy, Couples Therapy, Personality Disorders, and Supervision

Misc. Interests:
Theater, spending time with my children, and reading

Program Information

Program Overview

EC’s Master of Science degree in MFT is a 48-credit program of study.  Included is a 12-month internship with a minimum of 500 clinical hours (300 direct and 200 ancillary) with individuals, couples, and families plus 100 hours of relational/ systemic supervision.  Students work with a variety of clients from the community, including families experiencing multiple systemic challenges.

The program’s basic orientation is the “General Systems” paradigm within which students are exposed to the structural, strategic, and systemic approaches, in addition to the other major modalities of the discipline.  Trainees are encouraged to select and specialize in an approach that best fits their own clinical style.

The program emphasizes a broad blend of theoretical and therapeutic approaches, with a primary goal of clinical excellence in training in the field of marriage and family therapy.  The program is based on national and state standards for course and clinical content and will prepare students to apply for credentialing in Wisconsin as licensed marriage and family therapists.

Program Mission

With its roots in the mission and identity statements of EC, the master’s degree program in MFT is designed to advance professional competency in the field in a manner that fosters clinical proficiency, ethical sensitivity, respect for diversity, and dedication to service to the people in our communities.

Program Goals

Our program goals include areas of knowledge, practice, diversity, research, and ethics competencies:

  • The program will educate MFT students on foundational knowledge including family therapy theories, evidence-based practices and research, and ethical and legal standards.
  • The program will enable MFT students to continuously engage in recognition of power and privilege, respect for diversity, and dedication to service to inform their clinical work across a variety of therapeutic and supervisory contexts. 
  • The program will train emerging MFT professionals engage in clinical practice post-graduation.

 

Student Learning Outcomes

Developmental Competency: Knowledge of the profession

SLO 1: Students will develop a strong foundational level of professional competence in the conduct of systemically-orientated Marriage and Family Therapy, and use systems/relational theories to guide practice and service delivery across interpersonal, family, organizational, and/or community contexts.

Program Outcome: Benchmark competency in case presentations MFT 750/760

Developmental Competency: Research and evidence-based practice.

SLO 2: Students will learn to be critical consumers of research. Through learning the principles of evidence-based practice, students will understand how to apply the best research evidence available to their own practice setting.

Program Outcome: Literature Review, score of B or better.

Developmental Competency: Professional identity, ethics, and law

SLO 3: Students will demonstrate an understanding of legal and ethical standards and apply them in the professional practice of Marriage and Family Therapy and maintain legal and ethical practices in their clinical internship. Students will establish and demonstrate a professional identity as a marriage and family therapist.

Program Outcome: Ethical Decision-Making Process Paper, Score of B or better

Developmental Competency: Human diversity and social structures

SLO 4: Students will incorporate cultural sensitivity and respect for diversity across contextual issues such as race, ethnicity, age, socioeconomic status, religion, gender, and sexual orientation.

Program Outcome: Cultural Exposure Project/Paper, Score of B or better

Developmental Competency: Practice of therapy

SLO 5: Students will apply a systemic, integrative and empirically informed approach to their clinical practice as Marriage and Family therapists, and demonstrate the ability to analyze and present a clinical case using one of the major MFT models.

Program Outcome: Comparative Analysis Paper, Score of B or better.

Accreditation

The Marriage and Family Therapy Masters Program is an accredited training program approved by the International
Accreditation Commission for Systemic Therapy Education.
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