Mission, Goals & Outcomes

Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy (MSMFT) Program

 

MSMFT Program Mission Statement

The mission of the MSMFT Program at Northwestern University is to educate students to become knowledgeable, competent, systemic, culturally sensitive, ethical, and empirically-informed Marriage and Family Therapists. Graduates of the program are expected to exhibit a beginning level of competence with a variety of presenting problems, utilize the Integrative Systemic Therapy (IST) framework to integrate knowledge from the field into practice, demonstrate multi-cultural sensitivity and ethical competence in their work, and have an appreciation for research, particularly research on family relationships and the process and outcome of therapy. With further education and experience, graduates of the program will go on to become outstanding practitioners and future leaders in the field of Marriage and Family Therapy. The program’s mission is embedded in that of The Family Institute (to strengthen and heal families and individuals from all walks of life through clinical services, education and research) and Northwestern University (excellent teaching, innovative research, and the personal and intellectual growth of its students). Accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE), the program reflects the Professional Marriage and Family Therapy Principles.

The following program goals and associated student learning outcomes operationalize the mission of the program.

 

Program Goals

1. Train entry level Marriage and Family Therapists who are knowledgeable, systemic, integrative, and empirically-informed.
2. Train competent entry-level therapists who are informed by a multicultural perspective and awareness of self.
3. Graduates achieve an identity as an MFT and observe the AAMFT code of professional ethics.
4. Advance Integrative Systemic Therapy (IST) as a basis for practicing and teaching marriage and family therapy.
5. Encourage leadership and scholarly activity in the field of Marriage and Family Therapy.

 

Program Goals and Associated Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)

 
Student Learning Outcomes Associated with Goal #1: Train entry level Marriage and Family Therapists who are knowledgeable, systemic, integrative, and empirically-informed.

Foundational knowledge base (SLO 1)

Outcome: Students will become knowledgeable of the core concepts, common factors and major models of marriage and family therapy.

Integration of concepts, models and techniques (SLO 2)

Outcome: Students will learn to utilize a systemic, integrative and empirically informed approach to planning and staging therapy.

Integration of research (SLO 4)

Outcome: Students will learn to be critical consumers of research, incorporate research findings into their clinical practice, and utilize progress research data to make informed clinical decisions.

 

Student Learning Outcomes Associated with Goal #2: Train competent entry-level therapists who are informed by a multicultural perspective and awareness of self.

Clinical competence (SLO 3)

Outcome: Students will develop a strong beginning level professional competence in the conduct of systemically-oriented family, couple and individual therapy.

Diversity and multi-cultural sensitivity (SLO 5)

Outcome: Students' clinical work will incorporate multi-cultural sensitivity and respect for diversity across a range of cultural contexts including race, ethnicity, class, religion, gender and sexual orientation.

Development of the self-of-the-therapist (SLO 8)

Outcome: Students will develop awareness of their own reactions to clients and clinical responsibilities and develop means of managing their reactions and using them, when appropriate, in the context of therapy.

 

Student Learning Outcomes Associated with Goal #3: Graduates achieve an identity as an MFT and observe the AAMFT code of professional ethics.

Professional ethical conduct (SLO 6)

Outcome: Students will develop an understanding of legal and ethical standards and demonstrate the ability and commitment to apply them in the professional practice of Marriage and Family Therapy.

Professional identity as marriage and family therapist (SLO 7)

Outcome: Students will clearly identify themselves with the profession of Marriage and Family Therapy.

 
Outcomes Associated with Goal #4: Advance Integrative Systemic Therapy (IST) as a basis for practicing and teaching marriage and family therapy.

Student understanding of Integrative Systemic Therapy

Outcome: Students will demonstrate comprehensive understanding of IST in their Capstone

Scholarly work by the faculty on IST

Outcome: Teaching faculty will publish and present on IST


Outcomes associated with Goal #5: Encourage leadership and scholarly activity in the field of Marriage and Family Therapy.

Leadership and scholarship: Students

Outcome: Student participation in research assistantships

Leadership and scholarship: Graduates

Outcome: Graduate entry into Ph.D. programs

Outcome: Graduate academic accomplishments

Leadership and scholarship: Faculty

Outcome: Scholarly work (presentations and publications) by faculty on MFT topics (faculty outcome, not an SLO)