Prospective Students

The federal government has designated marriage and family therapy (MFT) a core mental health profession, along with psychiatry, psychology, social work, and psychiatric nursing. Marriage and family therapists are mental health professionals trained in psychotherapy and family systems, and licensed to diagnose and treat mental and emotional disorders within the context of marriage, couples, and family systems.

Why choose SPU’s MS in Marriage and Family Therapy?

You will graduate from a program accredited by the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT).

  • AAMFT has the nation’s highest clinical standards in the field of mental health training.
  • Students who graduate from an AAMFT-accredited program are highly sought by employers.
  • In the state of Washington, 500 of your clinical hours and 100 of your supervision hours done during your master’s program count toward licensure.

You will develop the highest clinical skills in working with both individuals and couples/families.

  • Marriage and Family Therapy is distinctive as the only field of study that trains you to work effectively not only with individuals but also with relationship groups.
  • MFT students and clinicians realize that we learn, hurt, and ultimately heal in the context of relationships — we don’t exist or become who we are on our own.

You will have the opportunity to seek a holistic and integrated approach to healing.

  • Family therapy was the first mental health field to develop clinical theory and clinical interventions, maximizing the strengths clients bring to their growth and healing rather than focusing solely on pathology.
  • SPU’s MFT program believes that the mind, body, relationships, and spirituality are all parts of a person’s experience of life and health.

You will live out the belief that therapists are only as effective as they are emotionally healthy themselves.

  • SPU’s program has a strong person-of-the-therapist component. While learning theory and skills, students apply these concepts through discussion and writing.
  • This aids students in discovering beliefs, meanings, and experiences that may influence their proficiency as a therapist for the positive or for the negative.

You will learn in a supportive environment.

  • SPU’s program establishes a learning community through a cohort model: students enter the program, travel through the program, and take classes together, providing study and support partnerships.
  • MFT faculty are available for frequent conversations, which fosters respectful and open relationships between students and faculty.
  • The core values undergirding SPU’s MFT program are “ORCA” — Openness, Respect, Curiosity, and Accountability to power.

Graduate hooding

Graduate program costs

Each graduate psychology program features a different tuition rate. Get the specifics for the program that interests you, along with payment options.

Why I Teach at SPU

Scott Edwards, Associate Professor of Marriage and Family Therapy

“It is an honor to be called to teach in our MFT program — the ability to develop the self-of-the-therapist while training within a bio-psycho-social-spiritual perspective is foundational for learning and providing family therapy. Through teaching, supervising clinicians, supervising supervisors, and providing clinical services, I am enriched in my own learning. In response to the question ‘What does your dad do?’ my children respond, ‘He helps people, help people, help people, help people.’”