Marriage and Family Therapy - Masters Program

Students in the program will...
Graduates of MFT program
Program Requirements
Supervised Clinical Experience
Graduate Faculty

The Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) program at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) is designed to prepare students to become skilled marriage and family therapists. Choose the thesis or non-thesis option, depending on your career goals. This degree will prepare you for work as a Mental Health Therapist. Training in this program is accredited through the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT). The program is nationally accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE). The COAMFTE is the standard setting organization for family therapy training recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. The coursework for this degree meets the educational requirements for licensure as a Marriage and Family Therapist in Nebraska and in all but 2 of the 50 states where family therapy licensure is not available (Montana and West Virginia).

Students in this program will:

  • Learn assessment and treatment strategies based on best practices in mental health treatment
  • Learn culturally competent practices in family therapy
  • Work with a wide variety of individual and relational problems
  • Develop skills for working with other professionals
  • Learn to implement, evaluate, and improve family-centered programs
  • have the option to earn a Medical Family Therapy (MedFT) certificate
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Graduates of the Marriage and Family Therapy program have gone on to work in:

  • primary care medical clinics
  • hospitals
  • mental health agencies
  • community agencies
  • psychiatric clinics
  • private MFT practice settings
  • human service agency administration
  • clergy
  • other human relation capacities
  • or to doctoral programs
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Program Requirements: This program can be completed in 2 years (including summers) involving 51 credit hours of work (course requirements). The Masters Handbook explains all the details; however, the following is a short list of the program requirements:

  • Training involves academic course work (51 credits) and supervised clinical experience
  • Each trainee must complete a 12-month practicum experience in which the student works with clients both at the on-campus clinic and an off-campus community agency
  • Students must provide a minimum of 500 direct therapy hours, 250 of which must be with couples and/or families. 100 hours of supervision must be obtained during that clinical training
  • Complete a thesis or minor
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Supervised Clinical Experience: The supervision of clinical experience is essential during the training phase of providing therapy to individuals and families. All MFT faculty members are Approved Supervisors or Supervisor Candidates with the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT). Faculty supervisors meet with the students weekly in both group and individual supervision. Supervision with faculty supervisors typically involves students presenting videotapes of their clinical work, or live observation of providing therapy. The faculty supervisors work with the community agency supervisors throughout the practicum year.

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Graduate Faculty: Our program includes three full-time graduate faculty who are active in research and teaching. We also work closely with faculty in allied fields such as medical family therapy, family science, veterinary medicine, and counseling. Faculty members are:

Dr. Richard Bischoff, Professor and Department Chair. Research Interests: Underserved populations, especially rural and Hispanic populations.

Dr. Cody Hollist, Associate Professor and MFT Director. Research Interests: Latino adolescent mental health, family resilience and Brazilian families.

Dr. Allison Reisbig,
Associate Professor. Research Interests: Minority, underserved, and hard to reach populations such as transgendered families; mental health of students with highly demanding programs.

Dr. Paul Springer
, Associate Professor. Research Interests: Collaborative healthcare.

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Resources: The Family Resource Center (FRC), is a mental health treatment facility located on-campus through which MFT students receive clinical training and provide therapy. The FRC serves a clientele composed of university affiliated personnel and students as well as individuals, couples, and families from the larger community. Behavioral telehealth services are also offered through the FRC to clients in rural Nebraska counties. The FRC has four comfortable and private therapy rooms. All clinical services provided at the FRC are carefully supervised by Approved Supervisors of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. Therapy rooms are equipped for supervision purposes with video taping equipment and one-way mirrors.

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