The Family Therapy Program
The University of Louisville has a long history of involvement in this important area. It began offering its first Marriage and Family Therapy courses in the 1970s and in 1983 began offering students a post-master's certificate (no longer in operation) through the School of Allied Health. Eleven years later, the Family Therapy Program became a part of the Kent School of Social Work.
This is currently the only program of its kind in the nation - the only officially recognized and accredited MFT program housed in a school of social work. Students may pursue specialized study of MFT at the University of Louisville by one of two ways, by completing the Master of Science in Social Work with a specialization in marriage and family therapy (MSSW-MFT Specialization), or if they already have a BSW, they may complete their Master of Science in Social Work in the Advanced Standing MFT Prep Program.
Kent's Family Therapy Program prepares students to help families-at-risk by offering excellent education that focuses on strengthening individuals, families and communities. The program focuses on innovative applications of family systems, theory and practice. Both programs provide students with the concentrated knowledge and skills that will enable them to be effective practitioners and leaders in mental health community. Our graduates have the ability to plan, implement and evaluate mental health interventions, programs, and policies, ultimately benefiting social welfare of individuals, families, and communities throughout Kentucky, the region, and the nation.
Students who are accepted into the MFT Specialization earn their MSSW along with their credentials in MFT. The MSSW-MFT 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.
This Specialization gives social work students the opportunity to focus on families and incorporates MFT skills in their social work practice. Teaching social workers MFT skills fulfills Kent’s mission to effect durable change, not only for the families they work with, but also for the communities in which these families live and work.
The MSSW-MFT Specialization can be completed in either two or three years by taking some additional coursework and specialized supervision in marital and family therapy beyond the 60 hours required for the MSSW degree. Consideration for admittance into the MSSW-MFT Specialization is dependent upon prior acceptance into Kent School's MSSW Program. The two and three year curriculum plans can be downloaded from links found on the left side of this homepage
MSSW- Advanced Track MFT Prep Program (for applicants with a BSW)
Students enrolled in the Advanced Standing MSSW/ MFT Prep Track will receive specialized, competency based, training in marriage and family therapy practice and service delivery. This training will greatly enhance their clinical training in the area of Marriage and Family Therapy and enable them to qualify for MFT-A application within a year after graduation. Eligibility to apply to the Advanced Track MFT Prep Program 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. The Advanced Track curriculum plan can be downloaded from link found on the left side of this homepage
Admission materials for the Family Therapy Program must be submitted by January 15th:
- A letter of intent explaining the applicant’s interest in the program, knowledge of understanding of family therapy, work experiences in human services (voluntary or paid) and professional goals and expectations.
- A current resumé
- A five-page summary of significant experiences from the applicant’s family of origin and how those are likely to affect his or her professional development.
Consideration for admittance into the MSSW-MFT specialization is dependent on acceptance into Kent School's MSSW program. *Please see MSSW Admissions Checklist for additional admissions requirements here: Application Checklist (Word Document)
For More Information:
Consult the Kent School and Family Therapy Program web links in the left hand column of this page -
Program Assistant, Family Therapy Program
Dr. Dana N Christensen, Director, Family Therapy Program