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Course Descriptions


DMFT 8000 Professional Development Seminar 1 (3)

This is the first course that students will take and will help them navigate through the program. Self of the therapist and issues in the development of PhD-level professionals. Identification of program, college, and university academic resources. Identification of professional organizations. Discussions of Marianist values and Chaminade University mission. Additionally, students will be guided in preparing for the first qualifying exam (FCP).

DMFT 8010 Intro M/CFT (3)

This course focuses on research in couple and family therapy, and is designed to review contemporary family research methods through a multi-method approach. Additionally, students will also learn how to construct academic papers using APA formatting and scholarly writing standards. Students will learn about various ethical issues in research including the global movement toward decolonizing methodologies, especially those related to clinical research and work with underserved or high-risk populations. Students will be introduced to how Community Based Participatory Research and Action Research has been utilized in clinical MFT research. Students will learn about the IRB process.

DMFT 8012 Quantitative Research Methods (3)

This course identifies various strategies for utilizing quantitative research methodology in family studies, including difference in research design, sampling, instruments, and data collection. Focuses on survey research design and data analysis. Includes research idea development, relational hypotheses formation, survey planning and management, questionnaire and item design, sampling, systemic clinical data measurement, logic of analysis, and problems of statistical interpretation and threats to internal and external validity.

DMFT 8013 Qualitative Methods & Analyses (3)

This course identifies various strategies for utilizing qualitative research methodology in family studies, including differences in research design, sampling, and data collection. Prepares doctoral students to conduct qualitative research study or program evaluation relevant to family processes and/or clinical practice. Introduces qualitative research foundations and practical experience with qualitative research methods. Addresses philosophical foundations of research design, analysis, and interpretation, and evaluation and presentation of qualitative data and findings.

DMFT 8015 Psychotherapy Outcome and Process Research (3)

This course examines the methodological foundations of psychotherapy outcome and process research, specifically related to family based interventions. The course will define and demonstrate methods pertaining to efficacy, effectiveness, and dissemination/implementation science. This course provides an overview of seminal and current couple and family therapy clinical research. This course will review debates around the value, training and dissemination of empirically supported treatments and philosophical underpinnings of the scientific enterprise. We will also examine research from the perspective of culture, race and gender and how these sociopolitical issues impact the interpretation of science. The significance of the research process and empirical evidence to couple and family therapy practice will be explored, with reference to "common factors" and evidence-based research.

DMFT 8022 Portfolio Planning and Development (1)

The Portfolio Planning and Development course is intended to prepare students for their Supervisor, Educator & Leader Portfolio and ensure the student has support in 1) developing a feasible plan to meet the portfolio requirements of the Qualifying Exam 2 and 2) making progress on portfolio tasks that require long-term development across the final years of the program and 3) tailoring their portfolio to represent their professional goals. The capstone portfolio will represent professional development across four professional domains: 1)Scholarship, 2)Teaching/Supervision, 3) Clinical Practice, and 4) Citizenship, Leadership, and Service.

DMFT 8050 Advanced Relational Systemic Theory and Applications (3)

This course provides a metaperspective for analysis and development of systemic-relational theories guiding marriage/couple and family therapy practice. Conceptualization and deconstruction of philosophical, religious, political, sociological, and ecosystemic values as it pertains to one's theory of change. Preparation to critique and develop MFT theory with an emphasis on ethical and social-contextual aspects of case conceptualization and implications for systemic health.

DMFT 8051 Legal, Ethical, and Professional Issues in Couple/Marriage and Family Therapy (3)

This course focuses on professional orientation and ethical practice in couple and family therapy. Students will be introduced to the MFT profession through the examination of licensure and credentialing standards, and professional organizations. Additionally, students will understand ethical practice using the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy's Code of Ethics. Legal issues in MFT and the role of advocacy and social justice as they apply to ethics and the law will be understood.

DMFT 8052 Assessment and Diagnosis in Couple/Marriage & Family Therapy (3)

This course focuses on issues in the clinical assessment of individuals, couples, and families. It will provide students with a broad theoretical base for understanding psychopathology from not only an individual descriptive, symptomologic perspective as presented in the DSM-5, but also from a contextual, systemic perspective including developmental hallmarks, familial patterns and sociocultural contributors. Assessment will be considered through a multi-method approach that includes: qualitative interview, observational, clinician-rated or global rating scales, and self-report inventories.

DMFT 8055 Trauma Theory and Models with Vulnerable Populations and Systemic Approaches to Substance Treatment (3)

This course will provide an assessment of the impact of both acute and chronic trauma, including systemic trauma on family members and the response of the family system in addition to an in-depth exploration of the effects and consequences of addiction across multiple systems including family, community, and society. Its purpose in the program of study is to support the application and advancement of family therapy theory and practice in the prevention, treatment and recovery support for families impacted by substance use and addiction. This course reviews models of trauma and the various ways that trauma may intersects with various aspects of social location and identity, as well therapeutic models for the provision of trauma-informed and socially just mental healthcare services. This course will also consider a community and public health perspective of vulnerable families, health disparities, and oppressive systems in the transmission of trauma.

DMFT 8059 MFT through a Decolonized lens: Centering Indigenous Healing Practices in Families (3)

This course will provide a critique of how the field of systemic family therapy has historically been driven by evidenced based models and western family therapy concepts, which can marginalize indigenous cultural knowledge and emotional healing. This course will provide a framework for supporting decolonizing practices in family therapy and counseling that reflect values of human diversity, collaboration and participation, distributive justice, and self determination.

DMFT 8060 Couple Sex Therapy (3)

This course covers many different aspects of sexuality including: biological, developmental, medical, cultural, historical, and interpersonal, with a review of the psychosocial development of sexuality and gender from childhood through aging. This course covers gender and sexual orientation with special attention given to the intersection of race, class, culture, ethnicity, religion, age, and ability. Diversity in sexual expression, sexual orientation, relational orientation, and gender identities are reviewed. This course explores the definition of "normal" sexual functioning, and the assessment and treatment of sexual dysfunction in couples therapy. Issues of diversity and a commitment to multicultural exploration are demonstrated and interwoven throughout all discussions as students explore the specific areas of sex therapy in adult relationships. Students will learn both theory and methods of sex-related psychotherapy, including several different models and techniques of sex-related assessment and diagnosis of the 'Psychosexual Disorders' described in the current edition of the DSM.

DMFT 8062 Medical Family Therapy and Introduction to Psychopharmacology (2)

This course is designed to prepare family therapists to work collaboratively in addressing the unique psychosocial problems of individuals, couples and families with acute and chronic medically related concerns, such as childhood diabetes and cancer, breast and prostate cancer, chronic progressive illness like M.S. and chronic pain. This course also presents a history and the most current trends in biological treatments in psychiatric disorders and systemic considerations for families. Competencies in interpersonal and communication skills, patient-centered and family-focused care, and collaborative practice will be addressed in this course. This course will present an overview of neurobiology and the mechanisms of action, side effects, and relevant issues associated with the major psychotropic medications and will explore the role of gender, race, culture, age, comorbid psychological and medical disorders, and other variables that impact the use of, and response to, various psychopharmacological interventions. Topics covered will include: understanding physician training, focus and language, evidenced based practice, outcome based practice, levels of collaboration and an introduction to motivational interviewing framework and concepts.

DMFT 8070 Fundamentals of Supervision in Marriage and Family Therapy (3)

The educational requirement for the AAMFT Approved Supervisor Designation entails completion of a fundamentals of supervision course. This course can be used toward the requirements for certification as an AAMFT-approved supervisor. Research and theory regarding the supervision of marriage and family therapy trainees and interns. Preparation for supervising trainees in couple and family therapy, from a systemic perspective. Exploration of supervision models and modalities; development of a personal model of supervision. A philosophy of supervision paper must be completed.

DMFT 8071 Introduction to Teaching/ Consultation/ Leadership (Teaching Practicum begins) (3)

This course will examine theories and techniques of cutting-edge leadership as applied to the field of couple/marriage and family therapy. The course will review leadership models and help students identify an individualized plan for personal and professional development as an educator, mentor, consultant, and leader within the field of M/CFT. Course content areas include leadership styles and theories, instruction and teaching, navigating the job application process, licensure and certification, and key skills for leadership and administration in clinical organizations.

DMFT 8072 Advanced Supervision 1-6 (1)

Mentoring of supervision of MFT trainees and interns in a clinical setting. Hours earned apply toward certification as an AAMFT-approved supervisor. Must complete 30 hours of supervision and 5 hours of supervision mentoring. (36 hours of supervision for a minimum of 18 months by an Approved Supervisor Mentor).

DMFT 8073 Program Development, Design, and Evaluation for Families and Communities: Holistic Approaches to Prevention and Enrichment (3)

This course examines core components of systemic/relational programs designed to address mental health problems within the context of families and larger systems and also addresses formative and summative evaluations using quantitative, qualitative, and mixed method designs. Explains the elements of systemic programming that address clinical treatment problems/populations and areas of diversity impacting family and community systems. Using the systemic/relational paradigm of the field, students produce program design foundations, such as literature-based needs assessments, reflecting their areas of interest. Emphasizes program evaluation and collaboration with stakeholders to ensure evaluation reports meet intended purposes. Includes program methods for the development of a consistent program design and evaluation plan. Utilizes assessment of program needs to address theory and adherence, process and performance, outcomes, impact, and efficiency in program design, evaluation, and monitoring.

DMFT 8075 Family Healthcare Policy & Advocacy (3)

This course examines historical and contemporary trends in family healthcare policy, emphasizing healthcare disparities and the socio-political implications for families in different social positions while examining the intervene role of family therapy in larger eco-systemic issues. Furthermore, this course will explore individual and family health, specifically across the contexts of gender, race, and class. Factors influencing health policy will additionally bE explored, along with health disparities and health equality in the American health care system. Economic, social and relationship, health and mental health, barriers and access to mental health, measures of child and family well-being, immigration and migration, and housing policies are few of the key issues that might be examined through a lens of social justice.

DMFT 8999 Dissertation (9)

Each semester of your third year you will enroll in a 3-credit dissertation course, with the expectation that you would spend at least 10 hours/week working on your dissertation as a full time student. The dissertation is intended to be the final demonstration of research competence, and may involve either (or both) qualitative or quantitative methodologies. The Dissertation must be proposed, defended and submitted as a manuscript ready for journal submission. Students who do not complete the dissertation within three semesters must enroll in dissertation continuation.