Couples and Family Therapy Accreditation Information

UO CFT Program Goal and Mission

The overall goal of the Couples and Family Therapy Program is to produce highly competent, systemically minded clinicians. Successful completion of this degree entitles graduates to:

  • Apply for Associate Membership in the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT). 
  • Become licensed in the state of Oregon (or elsewhere) as a Marriage and Family Therapist. Graduates of the Couples and Family Therapy Program must complete three years of post-degree supervised clinical work totaling 2,400 client-contact hours (400 of which may come from hours earned while in the program), under the supervision of a Board-approved supervisor. For additional information about licensing, please see the Oregon Board of Licensed Professional Counselors & Therapists.

To achieve this broad goal, the CFT program offers a format that includes:

  1. the acquisition of knowledge by formal classroom learning
  2. the application of that knowledge in clinical settings under the supervision of qualified clinical supervisors

More specifically, our overall goal is related to the following five subcategories and associated goals and outcomes:

  1. professionalism and ethical conduct
  2. scientific inquiry and critical evaluation
  3. theoretical foundations
  4. social context and diversity
  5. clinical application

A NOTE ABOUT LICENSURE IN THE UNITED STATES. The University of Oregon’s CFT curriculum meets the program-level training requirements for licensure as a couples and family therapist in Oregon. Currently, all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia have a couples/marriage and family therapy licensure law and, because the University of Oregon’s program is accredited by COAMFTE, our curriculum also meets the requirements for licensure in many states. However, state laws vary. As a prospective student in our program, we urge you to contact the licensing body in the state(s) in which you plan to practice for information about the licensure requirements of that state(s). We also encourage you to raise any questions you may have about this at a program information session – and with your faculty advisor should you enroll in the CFT program. If enrolled in the program we can likely adapt your clinical hours plan to reflect the hours you need post-graduation.

UO CFT Program Educational Outcomes

Our program outcomes center in the following areas:

  1. professionalism and ethical conduct
  2. scientific inquiry and critical evaluation
  3. theoretical foundations
  4. social context and diversity
  5. clinical application

Appendix B maps AAMFT core competencies to our educational outcomes; it serves as an organizing framework for our curriculum.

The CFT program is guided by COAMFTE’s Outcome Based Education Framework.

Program Goal #1

Professionalism and Ethical Conduct:  Students will develop an understanding of professional conduct and ethical standards and will demonstrate an ability to effectively apply their knowledge in clinical practice.

Student Learning Outcomes:

SLO1.  Students will gain knowledge of couples and family therapy legal, ethical and professional standards and will demonstrate an ability to apply decision-making protocols and strategies in clinical and research contexts.

SLO2.  Students will investigate and clarify their beliefs and values with regard to clinical practice and ethical decision making.

SLO3.  Students will collaborate effectively with a variety of professionals, including for instance physicians, psychologists, social workers, family law specialists, teachers, school counselors, members of the legal system and clergy.

Program Goal #2

Scientific Inquiry and Critical Evaluation:  Students will develop an ability to critically evaluate the research literature and demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between research results and clinical decision-making. 

Student Learning Outcomes:

SLO4.  Students will develop an understanding of core principles of quantitative and qualitative research methodology and will demonstrate an ability to critically evaluate the merits of a given study.

SLO5.  Students will demonstrate an understanding of ethical issues associated with research, with particular emphasis on research with human subjects and social justice.

SLO6.  Students will be able to describe their procedures for incorporating empirically-supported and evidence-based literature in practice and will demonstrate an ability to critically evaluate this literature from a systemic framework.

Program Goal #3

Theoretical Foundations:  Students will gain an understanding of the core theoretical assertions of couples and family therapy and will critically assess their own systems-oriented theory of change.

Student Learning Outcomes:

SLO7.  Students will develop an understanding of systemic epistemologies and core systemic constructs.

SLO8.  Students will demonstrate an ability to apply systemic constructs in diverse settings and with diverse populations, with particular emphasis on clinical assessment, diagnosis, intervention and evaluation of practice.

SLO9.  Students will understand the distinction between eclecticism and theoretical integration and will demonstrate an ability to create a coherent theory of change that integrates systems theory, communications theory, and the evidence-based, common factors and trans-theoretical literatures.

Program Goal #4

Social Context and Diversity:  Students will develop attitudes that value human diversity, will practice culturally-sensitive analysis and critical self-awareness when counseling diverse populations, and will demonstrate cultural competence in all professional activities.

Student Learning Outcomes:

SLO10.  Students will adopt a practice framework that incorporates critical consciousness, self-awareness, and knowledge of the relationship between diverse life experiences, human development and the role of diversity in resolving conflict.

SLO11.  Students will demonstrate an ability to critically evaluate the role of social context in understanding and resolving human conflict, including issues such as social class, power, privilege, oppression, sexism, and injustice.

SLO12.  Students will thoughtfully incorporate their knowledge of social context and diversity when conducting a clinical assessment, constructing interventions, and evaluating practice.

Program Goal #5

Clinical Application:  Students will develop an understanding of the unique systemically-oriented assessment and intervention competencies, will apply them effectively in practice, and will critically evaluate their own practice.

Student Learning Outcomes:

SLO13.  Students will demonstrate an ability to competently assess and treat a broad spectrum of clinical issues and client configurations (e.g., individual, dyad, family) within a systemic framework – and skillfully adapt these applications for in-person and teletherapy contexts.

SLO14.  Students will demonstrate an ability to conceptualize client situations from a relational perspective (micro/macro orientations), develop relational goals and objectives, create an “expanded therapeutic alliance” and engage “expanded direct treatment systems” (Miller, Todahl & Linville, 2007; Sprenkle & Blow, 2004).

SLO15.  Students will demonstrate an ability to generate a systemic diagnosis of a given client system and tailor interventions drawing on their knowledge of the research literature, theoretical assumptions, client readiness, and diversity.

Faculty Outcomes

Based on the mission of the University of Oregon and the CFT program, in teaching, supervision, and interactions with students and community members, faculty are expected to:

FO1.  CFT faculty will consistently receive high ratings for effective and culturally competent course instruction and clinical supervision.

FO2.  CFT core faculty will meet high standards of scholarship including professional presentations, peer-reviewed publications, and the generation of knowledge through research.

FO3.  CFT faculty will foster a rich learning environment that demonstrates inclusion, critical consciousness, self-exploration, sensitivity to diverse populations, and commitment to social justice.

Program Outcomes

The overall goal of the University of Oregon CFT program is to graduate systemically minded, competent couples and family therapists.

We value the creation of an inclusive learning environment that fosters socially aware practitioners who, in partnership with their communities, promote social justice, systems change, and enhancement of individual well-being and community life.

At the time of graduation and beyond, our program outcomes will be demonstrated in these ways:

PO1. Employers will report that CFT alumni are highly competent and well prepared for clinical practice.

PO2. Students will demonstrate critical analysis of culturally competent, systemic practice.

PO3. Students will report high satisfaction with the CFT program, including cultural competency, high-quality instruction, and career preparation.

Program Anchors

The program anchors are part of CFT’s culture and values. These anchors inform the training environment that the Couples and Family Therapy program strives to create for all students.

  1. We all have multiple intersecting identities (that engender both experiences of oppression and privilege) and are embedded in diverse contexts that we affect and are affected by us.
  2. We are all responsible for learning about privilege and oppression and to be open to the discomfort that this learning can bring.
  3. We have the responsibility to learn how we react when we are uncomfortable (e.g., shut down, jump to conclusions, attack, turn away), and to endeavor/make efforts to engage/re-engage.
  4. We all have a shared responsibility in contributing to an open, collaborative learning community.

Student/Graduate Achievements

The Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education compiles and publishes student achievement data from all accredited programs, including:

  • Graduation rate (full time and part-time),
  • Job placement rate,
  • National exam pass rate, and
  • Licensure rate

This data is updated annually for all accredited programs. Prospective students can compare students’ achievement in our program with other accredited programs using the link above.

Graduate Achievement Data Table

Note: Typically, graduates need three years to accumulate enough post-graduation contact hours to qualify for licensure. Therefore, we do not expect to see high licensure rates for recent graduates.