Program Curriculum

We currently offer 14 core courses that will continue to evolve as the field of marriage and family therapy evolve. A key component of the DFI training experience consists of clinical work at the DFI Clinic. All students enrolled to complete the COAMFTE accredited Marriage and Family Therapy Training Certificate complete a minimum of 375 direct clinical hours &  125 professional hours. The clinical work at DFI is supervised by AAMFT Approved Supervisors or experienced, licensed clinicians pursuing the approved supervisor status only. We only utilize licensed clinicians to provide supervision at DFI.

First Year Classes

Offered on Wednesday evenings from 5 to 9 p.m.

Family Therapy Assessment, Engagement and Treatment Planning (2 credit hours): The central importance of joining skills and relationship building in working with individuals, couples and families. Using first sessions for effective assessment, goal setting/contracting with clients and treatment planning systemically.  Instructor:  Michael Lopez-Jensen, LCSW

Applied Ethics (2 credit hours): Risk management, professional development, self care and working with complex ethical issues commonly faced in a variety of clinical settings. Builds upon and goes beyond graduate school ethics coursework. Includes a guest lecture by Denis Lane, Esq., attorney specializing in mental health practice legalities and ethics.  Instructor:  Rebecca Moravec, LPC

Integrated Family Studies Intensive I (3 credit hours): Theoretical foundations of family therapy and their application. Students build on any previous family therapy training by learning to assess families from core family therapy models and develop interventions from those views. Instructor:  Darin Wallis, LMFT

Integrated Family Studies Intensive II (2 credit hours): Continuation of intensive I, a highly interactional, experiential class. Learn to assess families using FACES IV and the Circumplex model, a heavily researched, validated family assessment tool, feminist approaches to assessment and intervention and narrative therapy.  Instructor:  Jamie Blair Echevarria, LMFT, LCSW

Multi-Problem Families (2 credit hours): Treating families with high-risk youth and other challenges, expanding family system to include working systemically from a strength-based perspective at multiple levels within the child’s system: parents, siblings, peers, extended family, social services, probation, schools, courts, etc. Emphasis is on maintaining therapeutic maneuverability and effectiveness using the whole “family” of the child or adolescent. Instructor:  Dave Blair, LCSW

Strategies and Techniques in Family Therapy: Families and Play Therapy (2 credit hours): Learn how to increase the effectiveness of family therapy by using play to integrate children into sessions.  Instructor:  Aleisha Maunu, LMFT

The Self of the Therapist (2 credit hours): TBA

Second Year Classes
Offered on Monday evenings from 5 to 9 p.m.
Couples I (2 credit hours): Introduction to the complexity of couples counseling, theoretical foundations in Bowenian theory and differentiation. Increasing therapist differentiation and ability to deal with and be in conflict, avoiding triangulation. Instructor:  William Bishop, LPC

 

Special Populations: Relational Treatment of Drug and Alcohol Abuse (2 quarter credit hours): This class will integrate relational approaches with the practical treatment of drug and alcohol abuse. Instructor: Janna Phillips, LCSW
Families and Trauma (2 quarter credit hours): This course with give students a solid understanding of the impact that early developmental trauma has on children’s development and subsequent attachment relationships. Instructor: Janelle Althen, LCSW
Couples II: Couples and Attachment (2 quarter credit hours): Understanding couples in primary, committed or attachment relationships based on their attachment dance and the primacy of emotions.Instructor: Misti Klarenbeek-McKenna, LMFT
Special Populations: Sexual Diversity (2 quarter credit hours): Treatment of special populations from a systemic perspective. This course builds on the multi-problem family course. Students learn ways to work within the DSM framework while maintaining a systemic/relational perspective.  Instructor: Dr. Neil Cannon, DHS, CST
Couples and Sex Therapy (2 quarter credit hours): This course teaches students to see how sexual issues occur in most couples seeking therapy and how to integrate marital and sexual therapy in their work. Instructor: Janelle Washburne, LCSW
Theoretical Integrity (2 quarter credit hours): Pulling coursework together as a capstone to the program experience, students integrate various models learned and practiced in courses and clinical work. Students must demonstrate the ability to develop systemic hypotheses on which they do their clinical work on cases.  Instructor:  Bob Kelsall

 

Supervision
The program includes individual and group supervision, which meets COAMFTE supervision requirements. Live supervision and viewing videotapes of students’ work is a hallmark of the program. All supervisors are approved supervisors or approved supervisors-in-training, AAMFT. We only utilize experienced, strong clinicians to provide supervision at DFI. DFI also provides supervision only to select students who have completed an MFT graduate program and who seek additional supervision or training to complete licensure requirements for the LMFT.

 

Clinical Experience
All students enrolled to complete the COAMFTE accredited Marriage and Family Therapy Training Certificate complete 375 hours of direct client contact and 125 professional hours. Clinical hours include time with families, couples and individuals from diverse backgrounds matching our definition of diversity in our diversity statement.

 

Collegial Support/Relationships
DFI students provide each other with collegial support in classes, supervision and through peer observation of sessions. The DFI community provides one of the extra benefits of the DFI experience.