Couple and Family Therapy (CFT)

The Couple & Family Therapy Program within the Kent School of Social Work is dedicated to developing professionals in couple and family therapy (CFT) to work with at-risk individuals & families within their community contexts.

The University of Louisville has a long history of involvement in this important area. The University began offering its first courses in the 1970s, and in 1983 offered students a post-Master’s certificate. In 1994, the Family Therapy Program became a part of the Kent School of Social Work.

This is currently one of only two programs in the nation officially recognized by AAMFT that is housed in a school of social work.COAMFTE Student Achievement Criteria (SAC) can be viewed at:   AAMFT website by clicking this link.

MSSW-CFT Graduates complete coursework and practicum hours and supervision to sit for MFT Licensure in addition to being able to become Licensed Clinical Social Workers.

The MSSW-CFT Specialization curriculum meets course requirements for Kentucky licensure and clinical membership in the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT). Coursework focuses on theoretical foundations, practical application, ethics, integration of research, theory and practice and supervised clinical practice.

What will I learn in the CFT Specialization?

The curriculum covers a broad spectrum of knowledge regarding individual, relational and family development, micro and macro level interventions, and research and policy issues.

Students also receive extensive training in the clinical skills necessary for the practice of individual, couple, family and group therapy through intensive supervised clinical experiences.

Who will teach me?

The CFT has nationally recognized, AAMFT-award winning faculty that value clinical work, and the practice of CFT with ethnically diverse and underserved populations.  The CFT faculty are scientist-practitioners who do real-world, practical research based in the community.

Meet the faculty

 

Emma Sterrett-Hong,  PhD, LMFT

Emma Sterrett-Hong is the Director of the Couple and Family Therapy Program. Emma has a broad research interest in the potential of relationships with adults and mentors in natural contexts (families, schools, communities) to reduce health disparities affecting ethnic minority, sexual minority, and low-income youth. Her teaching interests are clinical supervision, evidence-based practice, and psychopathology.

Click here for full bio.

Eli Karam, PhD, LMFT

Eli Karam is on the board of directors of AAMFT and is the past president for the Kentucky Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (KAMFT), and an Associate Professor in the Couple and Family Therapy Program. He studies CFT Common Factors, teaches and supervises therapists-in-training.

Click here for full bio.

Becky Antle, PhD

Becky Antle is a University of Louisville alum and graduate of the MFT program. In addition to teaching 703 Macro MFT Issues, 202 Family Relationships and 668 & 669 Adv. Research Practice I & II, Dr. Antle is on the Curriculum Committee, the Admissions Committee and is a University Scholar.

Click here for full bio.

What is the instruction structure in the CFT Specialization?

Small Class Size (12-14 students per cohort)

CFT Supervision

  • 5-6 supervisees per group
  • Meets 3 hours weekly
  • Share video of your work

CFT Classes

  • 3-hour classes once per week
  • Interactive and real-world applicable
  • Tuesdays & Fridays at Shelby Campus

Practicum

  • Practicum is 16 hours per week, offered as a two consecutive semester course for a total of 450 hours and 6 academic credits. All students enrolled in the 74 hour program are required to take this practicum.
  • First year practicum sites tend to focus on residential and in-home service delivery, specifically around the children/teen as the identified patient, while second year placements focus more on community mental health facilities treating individuals and families.
  • First year practicum sites include:

Home of the Innocents: Residential services

Maryhurst: Family treatment homes and psychiatric residential treatment facility

Brooklawn: Psychiatric residential treatment facility

Childplace: Residential treatment, foster care and counseling services

Seven Counties Services: Lighthouse Adolescent Recovery Program

Transformations: Home-based and group therapists, therapeutic child support specialists

Boys and Girls Haven: Residential services, community counseling programs, case management

St. Elizabeth Catholic Charities: CASA programs, counseling services and maternity home

Two-year MSSW-CFT Curriculum Plan

The 2-year program option is for students who are able to carry a rigorous academic course load and are able to make financial arrangements that will allow them to focus on their academic obligations without working more than very part-time. Courses listed in bold type are CFT Specialization courses.

Summer (1st year)

SW 700 Foundations of Family Therapy: Theory and Practice * (4 hrs)

Fall (1st year)

 

601 HBSE I (3)

602 Macro I (3)

604 Practice I (3)

701 FT Assessment (3)

670 SW Practicum (3)

721 FT Supervision I (1)

Spring (1st year)

 

605 Practice II (3)

619 HBSE II (3)

622 Macro II (3)

703 Macro MFT (3)

671 SW Practicum (3)

722 FT Supervision II (1)

Summer (1st year)

 

603 Diversity (3)

626 Research I (3)

723 FT Supervision III (4)

 

 

 

16 credit hrs16 credit hrs10 credit hrs

Fall (2nd year)

 

640 Advance Practice (3)

668 Research II (3)

672 SW Practicum (3)

702 Couple Therapy (3)

724 FT Supervision IV (1)

Spring (2nd year)

 

677 Advance Practice (3)

669 Research III (3)

673 SW Practicum (3)

704 Integrating MFT(3)

705 Prof Issues and Ethics in MFT (2)

725 Ft Supervision V (1)

 

 

Note: This program of

study fulfills all degree

requirements for the

MSSW and the CFT

Specialization.

13 credit hrs15 credits hrs

Three-year MSSW-CFT Curriculum Plan

The 3-year program allows a student to complete some of their foundational SW courses and continue to work before beginning their family therapy coursework. However, the course load increases each year, and in the second and third year it would be very difficult to maintain anything more than part-time work. Courses listed in bold type are CFT Specialization courses.

Fall (1st year)

601 HBSE I (3)

602 Macro I (3)

603 Diversity (3)


Spring (1st year)

619 HBSE II (3)

622 Macro II (3)


Summer (1st year)

700 Foundations of Family Therapy:

Theory and Practice (4)

9 credits6 credits4 credits

Fall (2nd year)

604 Practice I (3)

670 SW Practicum (3)

701 FT Assessment (3)

721 FT Supervision I (1)

Spring (2nd year)

605 Practice II (3)

626 Research I (3)(or summer)

671 SW Practicum (3)

703 Macro MFT (3)

722 FT Supervision II (1)

Summer (2nd year)

626 Research I (3) (or prior spring)

723 FT Supervision III (4)

 

 

 

10 credits10 or 13 credits 4 or 7 credits

Fall (3rd year)

640 Adv. Practice I (3)

668 Research II (3)

672 SW Practicum (3)

702 Couple Therapy (3)

724 Ft Supervision IV (1)

 

Spring (3rd year)

677 Adv. Practice II (3)

669 Research III (3)

673 SW Practicum (3)

704 Integrating MFT (3)

705 Prof Issues & Ethics in MFT (2)

725 FT Supervision V (1)

 

 

Note:  This program of study

fulfills all degree requirements

for the MSSW and the CFT

Specialization.

13 credits 15 credits

Advanced Standing MSSW/CFT Prep Option

Advanced Standing MSSW: CFT Prep sequence is not equivalent to the MSSW-CFT Specialization due to the shorter time frame available, but is designed to help the advanced standing student ad CFT training to their MSSW program, and provide the option of continuing to work on CFT licensure upon graduation.

Summer (before 1st year)

SW 700 Foundations of Family Therapy: Theory and Practice * (4 hrs)

SW 723 FT Supervision III (4)

8 credit hours

Fall (1st year)

SW 701 Assessment (3)

SW 642 Psychopathology (3)

SW 640 Practice (3)

SW 668 Research (3)

SW 672 Practicum (3)

Spring (1st year)

SW 703 Macro MFT (3)

SW 633: SW & Human Sexuality (3)

SW 677 Practice (3)

SW 669 Research (3)

SW 673 Practicum (3)

 

 

 

Graduate with MSSW (May)

15 credit hrs15 credit hrs

Optional Post-Master’s CFT Study


Fall (1st year)

 

SW 702 Couple Therapy (3)

 

Spring (1st year)


SW 704 Integrating MFT(3)

SW 705 Prof. Issues in MFT (2)

 


 

 

Upon Completion:

Apply for MFT-A

(Associate status of Licensure)*
3 credits hrs5 credits hrs

The CFT Specialization Application Process Requirements

Click here for a link to the Application for Specializations

When applying to the MSSW-CFT Specialization program, students should first apply to the Kent School for admission to the MSSW program. Click here for a link to the Application Checklist.

The following additional items should be emailed to Graduate Admissions:

  • A letter of intent explaining the applicant’s interest in the program, knowledge and understanding of family therapy, work experiences in human services (voluntary or paid) and professional goals and expectations.
  • A five-page summary of significant experiences about the applicant’s family of origin and how those are likely to affect his or her professional development.
  • Application deadline is January 30th.
  • Program finalists are invited to interview in-person at UofL Shelby Campus in February.

Advanced Standing MSSW-CFT Prep Track

Students with a BSW and applying for Advanced Standing Status (one-year program) are eligible for the Advanced Standing MSSW-CFT Prep Track. In this program, students will receive specialized, competency-based training in marriage and family therapy practice and service delivery. Beginning in their first summer, students will be placed in pre-approved clinical practicum settings with community agencies who have agreed to meet the requirements of our Clinical Affiliation Agreement.

In the Advanced Standing MSSW-CFT Prep Track, students begin their studies in Couple and Family Therapy, and then upon graduation, are eligible to complete the additional coursework needed as a postgraduate. This coursework completes their preparation to be a Marriage and Family Therapist; Associate Status.

Once they have their Marriage and Family Therapist; Associate Status, they are able to work under approved supervision to complete the full requirements for licensure as a Marriage and Family Therapist in the state of Kentucky (LMFT).

Graduates of the program are very competitive due to the rigor and comprehensiveness of their training.

Admissions to MSSW-CFT Prep Track

The following are the requirements for application to the specialization:

  • Eligibility: Eligibility to apply is limited to students with a BSW who have applied and been accepted to the Advanced Standing Program at the Kent School of Social Work.
  • Enrollment: Admission is achieved by students submitting the following additional materials to Graduate Admissions by January 30th.
  • A letter of intent explaining the applicant’s interest in the program, knowledge and understanding of family therapy, work experiences in human services (voluntary or paid) and professional goals and expectations.
  • A five-page summary of significant experiences about the applicant’s family of origin and how those are likely to affect his or her professional development.
  • Please notify the CFT department as a courtesy so that they are aware you have submitted these materials by sending an email to Danette Baker.

Contact Information

Emma Sterrett-Hong, PhD

Program Director

Burhans, 134, Shelbyhurst Campus

University of Louisville,

Louisville, KY 40292

Email Emma Sterrett-Hong


Danette Baker

Program Assistant

Burhans, 134A, Shelbyhurst Campus

University of Louisville

Louisville, KY 40292

502/852-0383

Email Danette Baker