Denver Family Institute

MFT Training Program

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Monthly information sessions: We have one final info session for 2024 on May 17th from 11:00-12:30p (MT). Sign up for an info session here.

Please note: There will be three opportunities to apply for the Fall 2024 cohort. However, we anticipate there will be a waitlist again this year for admission to the Fall 2024 cohort. As such, we encourage applicants to apply in the first or second round to increase the likelihood of being offered a spot.

DFI offers a COAMFTE-accredited, two year Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) post-graduate certificate program. DFI is one of only four accredited Post-Degree Institutes (PDI) in the country. DFI’s MFT Certificate program meets the educational equivalency requirements needed for MFT licensure in the state of Colorado.

DFI’s training model is defined by the following fundamental values:

  • Strength-based
  • Systemic
  • Anti-Oppressive
  • Relational
  • Experiential

We shape the future generation of mental health providers by training clinicians to think systemically and to help clients heal and change within the context of relationships and community. DFI’s therapists spend two years developing their own theory of therapeutic change with equity and justice at the forefront, transforming the way we practice and provide mental health care over time.

Our strength-based approach to mental health means that we fundamentally believe in the resilience and potential of those who seek care with us. We believe that mental illness and mental health challenges are not the fault of the person experiencing them and we do not locate pathology within the individual; rather, we train therapists to think systemically, recognizing and integrating the historical, generational, systemic, societal, cultural and intersectional factors at play when working with clients.

Our students are active participants in the learning process. At DFI, we teach, supervise, and practice therapy experientially and with a strengths-based focus, while building awareness around the intersectionality and impact of our own identities.

View our Graduate Achievement Data.

Hands-on and Experiential Learning Environment

Start Seeing Clients Right Away

(while receiving top notch supervision and training)

Complete Your COAMFTE-Accredited MFT Certificate in Two Years

Program Information

The Denver Family Institute MFT Training Program is a two-year program which consists of 16 total MFT courses. These courses cover a myriad of topics related to conducting the therapy process, and treating clients from a systemic and relational perspective. All courses at DFI are designed to be applicable and highly experiential through which students are continually asked to integrate the knowledge and skills gained in class into their work with clients at DFI’s clinics.

  • All instructors and supervisors at DFI are active in the MFT community and practicing clinicians, which means that 100% of the faculty are actively involved in offering the therapy services that they will be teaching and/or supervising. 
  • DFI is an outcome/competency based program. Instructors and supervisors hold the responsibility of guiding students on their journey toward becoming effective and confident therapists.
  • DFI is the only Post-Degree Institute (PDI) accredited by COAMFTE in the state of Colorado, and one of four accredited PDIs in the country. DFI’s certificate program meets the educational equivalency requirements needed for MFT licensure. DFI graduates do not need to go through the educational equivalency process; rather they are able to apply for their MFTC directly through DORA’s website upon graduating from DFI.* Many supervisors at DFI have an LCSW/LPC+LMFT so that supervision at DFI can count towards a LCSW, a LPC, or a LMFT once the student has earned their Master’s degree.
  • Additionally, the majority of  supervisors at DFI also have an LCSW/LPC+LMFT so that supervision at DFI can count towards a LCSW, a LPC, or a LMFT once the student has earned their Master’s degree.

*DORA is the licensing and regulatory body in the state of Colorado for mental health licensure and makes the final decisions related to education equivalency and approval for licensure. Therefore, DFI is not able to guarantee that graduates from the DFI program will ultimately be approved for licensure by DORA as the educational backgrounds of students vary, and licensure requirements are subject to change. Although DFI seeks to offer guidance and resources related to licensure, it is ultimately the responsibility of each student to navigate and pursue licensure. Click here to learn more about Certification and Licensure in the state of Colorado.

Who Is a Candidate for DFI's MFT Program?

Students begin the DFI program while in their last year of graduate school or as a post-graduate for students who have already obtained a Master’s degree in counseling or a related field. The program is a two year commitment for all students. All students attend weekly evening classes and set their own schedules for seeing DFI clients. All first year students at DFI receive weekly individual supervision and five group supervisions per quarter. In their second year, all students receive bi-weekly individual supervision and five group supervisions per quarter. There are currently 3 classifications of students:

Types of Students at DFI:

Post-Graduate (Already hold a Master's degree)

Post-Graduates already hold a master’s degree in mental health or a related field prior to starting at DFI. All second-year students and above are considered Post-Graduates at DFI. DFI’s MFT Certificate program meets the educational requirements needed to apply for MFTC and LMFT licensure in the state of Colorado.

Pre-Graduate Student

Pre-Graduates can utilize DFI as an internship placement site during their last year of graduate school, without taking on additional intake and administrative responsibilities. Tuition for Pre-Graduates is the same as Post-Graduates.

Interns (Grad Students)

DFI is an internship placement site for students in graduate school. Interns are generally required to commit to the full 2-year program at DFI with some exceptions.* In exchange for fulfilling approximately 10 hours a week of intake and administrative tasks, interns receive free supervision and three free DFI courses. Learn more about internship opportunities at DFI here.

To complete the program at DFI the students must:

  • Complete and pass all 16 courses 
  • Average a 4 on their final DFI competency evaluations (which are a self-evaluations that are confirmed by the individual supervisor and complete all relevant evaluations throughout the program) 
  • Maintain orderly client files 
  • Pay tuition in full 
  • Complete 7 quarters of group and individual supervision 
  • Complete 500 hours of clinical work (400 or more direct contact hours and up to 100 professional hours). DFI graduates are required to have conducted 250 psychotherapy sessions at the DFI clinic.
  • Pass the final capstone project

FAQs in light of COVID-19:

How has COVID-19 impacted DFI’s training program, internship, and client services?

Now that we have been navigating the pandemic for an extended period of time, DFI is equipped to effectively facilitate class, supervision and client sessions in a variety of formats: in-person, remote, and hybrid. Students have the option of participating in class in any format (in-person, hybrid, virtual) and clients can opt into Teletherapy or in-person services, or a combination of both.

What is the internship experience like in light of COVID-19?

Most of the intern activities such as intake shifts have returned to an in-person format whenever possible.

Check out our MFT Program Benefits.

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