Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy
The mission of the Marriage and Family Therapy Program at Pacific Lutheran University is to train students to become systemically-oriented, contextually sensitive MFT Professionals who address the diverse needs and clinical concerns of individuals, couples, families, and communities.
Students and graduates will be:
- Systemically-oriented MFT Professionals
- Contextually sensitive MFT Professionals committed to diversity and inclusion
- Ethical and effective MFT Professionals in the community mental health context
- Professionals who identify as Marriage and Family Therapists
Given our mission, our program values creating a community where everyone experiences a sense of belonging. Toward this end, we are committed to continued growth and development as it relates to antiracism, diversity, equity and inclusion. As a part of PLU, we are guided by the University’s Diversity Statement, Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan, and Seven Actions toward Institutional Equity and Anti-racism. As faculty and supervisors training therapists and as students providing mental health services to community members, we share the commitment to address and counteract systemic issues of power and oppression that negatively impact individuals, families and the systems in which we work and live.
Highlights of our program include:
- The Couple and Family Therapy Center – You will train as a student therapist in our on-campus clinic with a faculty member as your supervisor. The clinic is equipped with one-way mirrors, every session is recorded, and the faculty supervisor is guiding you through your first cases.
- We are one of only five COAMFTE accredited programs in WA – As a graduate of an accredited program, you will have 500 of 1000 direct client contact hours required for licensure in WA.
- We place you for your practicum – We have established partnerships with six local community mental health agencies so that you do not have to go out and find one on your own.
- We value diversity – We value a diverse learning community. Together, we encounter and experience a rich variety of perspectives, ideas, belief systems and ways of thinking. In and out of class, we are enriched by each other’s stories, opinions, and personalities.
- Truly small class sizes of approximately 20 students– Our students get to know each other very well right away. Students find that the relationships they develop by working so closely together benefits both their professional and personal lives.
- 100% pass rate on the national MFT exam for our graduates – Further details about our program performance, including the number of students in the program, our graduation rate, and licensure rate can be found at: COAMFTE Student Achievement Data.
The relationships we build with each other as a cohort of graduate students make us more culturally aware human beings and more effective therapists-in-training. Our recent student body has included…
- Students from a range of racial, ethnic and cultural backgrounds.
- Students come from various social class backgrounds.
- Students from a variety of religious and spiritual backgrounds.
- Typical classes are 10% male and 90% female.
- Students work on projects together in the program and learn from one another’s life experience.
Dr. Elisabeth Esmiol Wilson discusses using iPads to create a culture of feedback in the Marriage and Family Therapy program at PLU.