Couples and Family Therapy Area of Emphasis

Couples and Family Therapy

Focus your training on working with couples and families.

Couples and Family Therapy is an area of emphasis in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC) Master's degree program. In addition to the core requirements of the CMHC program, it requires specialized courses in Couples and Family Therapy, which brings the degree requirements to 63 credits.

Our area of emphasis is called Couples and Family Therapy instead of Marriage and Family Therapy. We are intentional in the use of the name we selected because we are inclusive of all couples and all families, as not all couples are married. This area of emphasis does lead to licensure as a Marriage and Family Therapy (LMFT).

Counseling Program

Offered as part of our on-campus Clinical Mental Health Counseling program

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Watch our video about the Couples and Family Therapy area of emphasis.

What makes our family therapy program unique.

Dual Track Degree for Licensure as Both LMHC and LMFT

Graduates of this program will meet the educational and pre-master’s field experience requirements of the Massachusetts Board of Allied Mental Health and Human Services Professions to become licensed as a Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) as well as a Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT). This dual track makes graduates highly competitive for employment.

Students seeking licensure in other states must ensure that their degree program satisfies the licensure requirements in that state.

Clinical Field Experience as a Couples and Family Therapist

Our Field Education office works individually with students to secure supervised training opportunities beginning in the first semester. Students engage in a minimum of 360-hour practicum and 600-hour internship experience where they will practice their skills in counseling and couples and family therapy.

The Opportunity for Clinical Mental Health Counselors to Respecialize

The Couples and Family Therapy (CFT) Respecialization Certificate helps individuals with a graduate degree in clinical psychology or counseling obtain the necessary qualifications to pursue a license as a marriage and family therapist in Massachusetts. The respecialization certificate takes a minimum of one academic year, depending on the courses students need. Each applicant’s graduate academic background will be assessed and an individualized study plan will be created. Learn more about application requirements for respecialization.

Flexible Graduate Program for Full or Part-time Students

Our Clinical Mental Health Counseling Master's Program is built around a flexible delivery model that can be individualized for each student

Full-time Course Sequence (2 years)
Part-time Course Sequence (3 years)

A Commitment to Serving Diverse Populations

One of the distinctive characteristics of our curriculum is that the program focuses on and integrates multiculturalism, differences in race, ethnicity, religion, physical abilities and differences, class, sexual orientation, gender, and gender identity. Culturally responsive and respectful work with families and couples in urban and other underserved or marginalized communities will be central throughout academic courses and field placements.

Couples and Family Therapy Faculty

Our Clinical Mental Health Counseling faculty and staff are available to answer your questions. Please connect with Niko Wilson, the Director of the Couples and Family Therapy area of emphasis at, with any questions you have about the program.

Niko Wilson, PhD

Program Director
Niko Wilson, PhD, LMHC, NCC
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Heddshot of Yousef AlAjarma,

Yousef AlAjarma, PhD, REAT
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Headshot of David Haddad, EdD

David Haddad, EdD
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Headshot of Jenny D'Olympia, PsyD, LMHC

Jenny D'Olympia, PsyD, LMHC
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The American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) created the video below to help you understand the benefits of marriage and family therapy.

Career Outlook for Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists

Dual licensure (LMHC and LMFT) eligibility for graduates of this master's program provides professionals many career opportunities in settings such as:

  • Outpatient Community Mental Health Centers
  • Social Service Agencies
  • Youth and Adolescent Treatment Programs
  • Inpatient Psychiatric Facilities-Crisis Intervention Programs
  • Residential Treatment Facilities-Substance Abuse Treatment Facilities
  • Schools
  • Private Practice

The job and salary outlook for clinical mental health counselors, including licensed marriage and family therapists, is very promising.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics posts current data on median salary for Marriage and Family Therapists along with other data on job prospects for LMFTs.

You can review some current job postings for LMFTs on The American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy's website.

For first hand information about the master's program at William James College, you are welcome to contact any of our Student Ambassadors.