American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (AAMFT) Pre-Approves Northcentral University's MFT Supervision Methods Course

Part of the University’s doctoral degree program in Marriage and Family Therapy, the MFT Supervision Methods Course is the first online course to be pre-approved by the AAMFT, who stated that the course establishes a "high bar” for others to follow.

PRESCOTT VALLEY, ARIZONA, March 21, 2011 — Calling it a course that potentially sets the bar and standard for any similar course requests it may receive in the future, the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (AAMFT) has pre-approved Northcentral University’s doctoral MFT Supervision Methods Course, according to an announcement made today by Dr. Branden Henline, Chair of Northcentral University’s Marriage and Family Therapy Programs.

"Our MFT Supervision Methods Course is the first online course to ever be pre-approved by the AAMFT,” Dr. Henline said today. "This is a groundbreaking achievement not only for this University but also for everyone everywhere who is dedicated to proving that an online educational platform can become a viable, secure, and ultimately productive way to prepare tomorrow’s generation of marriage and family therapists. The pre-approval of this course demonstrates that the national MFT community is interested in and committed to identifying high quality online solutions that meet the very real and growing need for new educational alternatives to traditional training methods.”

According to Dr. Henline, the AAMFT course review process took nearly two years to complete and is the result of the combined efforts of his work with the AAMFT, as well as Dr. Georgie Winter, Dr. James Billings, and Dr. Peter Bradley, all from Northcentral University. "This achievement is shared by all of us who have played a significant role in developing and revising the course to meet the AAMFT’s demanding requirements for rigor and interactivity.”

Indeed, in pre-approving the University’s MFT Supervision Methods Course, the AAMFT stated that it focused on a few critical aspects in making its decision. Does the course satisfy the component to ensure the confidentiality of the materials? Does the proposed use of technology ensure a secure environment? Does the online component have the technical ability to establish face-to-face interaction and a quality experience?

"So far, the AAMFT has not received a course proposal that has satisfied these concerns — until now,” stated Dorothy Bose, M.Ed., Member Specialist of the AAMFT. "We are pleased that your course proposal has taken all these considerations into account. We appreciate and admire your efforts to provide rigorous and comprehensive training for prospective supervisors in marriage and family therapy. This has been an unprecedented endeavor and this course will potentially set the bar and standard for any similar course requests we may receive in the future.”

Offered within the Northcentral University doctoral degree program in Marriage and Family Therapy, the MFT Supervision Methods Course introduces the fundamentals of systemic supervision with an emphasis on the importance of contextual variables such as culture, SES, and ethnicity. There is also an exploration of the impact of gender on the supervisory relationship. The design of the course meets the criteria for the 30-hour supervision fundamentals course for the AAMFT Approved Supervisor credential. The intention is for the course also to be useful for any professional who is actively engaged in clinical supervision. Learning methods include short writing exercises and 15 hours of participant involvement in videoconferences with colleagues and the course mentor. During the videoconferences there are also critiques of vignettes, role-playing exercises, and discussion of short papers.

This is the second recent major recognition accorded to Northcentral University’s Marriage and Family Therapy degree programs. Earlier this month, the California Department of Consumer Affairs Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS) announced that Northcentral’s Marriage and Family Therapy master’s degree program had been approved as meeting its educational requirements for licensure. In doing so, the University joined a select number of regionally accredited online universities, and the first university based outside of the state of California to meet the rigorous standards established by the BBS.

Northcentral University's clinically-focused Marriage and Family Therapy MA and PhD degree programs can lead to a career as a licensed therapist and can prepare students for therapeutic and educational careers in a variety of settings including private practice, mental-health centers, public-service agencies, correctional institutions, the military and schools.

These degrees provide an integrated learning experience that explores family and couple dynamics, family therapy models and interventions, therapy with children and adolescents, couple’s therapy, working with people in crisis, issues related to gender and diversity, individual and family development, ethics and current research in family therapy. Degree requirements also involve ongoing clinical work and supervision. The degree offerings prepare students for a professional practice consistent with their personal goals. The fact that the coursework is designed to meet the BBS’ rigorous requirements ensures that the education and training received reflects the highest academic and ethical standards.

Northcentral offers the following MFT graduate degree programs:

* Master of Arts (MA) in Marriage and Family Therapy
This program develops the personal and professional skills necessary for an effective practice and is designed to meet national standards so graduates can seek licensure in the area where they reside. Individuals are encouraged to review their own local licensure regulations in order to ensure that this program meets their needs.

* Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Marriage and Family Therapy
This program offers advanced clinical education and training, opportunities to develop specializations tailored to individual interests, research coursework and opportunities, and supervision training and experience. As a PhD graduate, individuals will be prepared to carry out advanced clinical work and supervision and/or education and research in the field of marriage and family therapy. Doctoral Specializations are available in General Family Therapy, Child and Adolescent Therapy, Couple Therapy, Medical Family Therapy, and Therapy with Military Families.