Why Marriage & Family Therapy at BYU
Aiding in the University’s overall purpose of strengthening students in the tasks of home and family life, social relationships, civic duty, and service to mankind, the mission of the BYU MFT MS Program is to educate marriage and family therapists to advance a relational perspective on the practice and science of improving the health and well-being of individuals, couples, and families. In the program, students are instructed and challenged to develop competency in the areas of theory, clinical practice, and research. This is done in an environment that is committed to understanding and respecting multicultural diversity.
- Diversity of training. There are nine full-time clinical faculty in the program. Each of them represents a different orientation toward therapy. Students are exposed to a wide variety of theoretical models and are taught to apply them in treatment.
- Hands-on experience. The clinical training program emphasizes closely supervised and intense practicum experience. Students begin seeing clients during their first semester and are enrolled continuously for 24 months of practicum. For 1-4 hours each week during this time, faculty members use video recordings and live observation to supervise students’ clinical work.
- Training facilities. Our training program has the finest clinical and video tape facilities in the country. There are 16 on-site therapy rooms and a videotape operations center operated by video technicians who record each therapy session. In addition, 11 of the therapy rooms have one-way mirror observation capability for live supervision. The BYU Comprehensive Clinic also houses a computer lab with data analysis capabilities that MFT students frequently utilize for entering case notes on the clinic's confidential and secure system.
- Program selection. There are two degree programs designed to help students attain their career goals- the MS program and PhD program. All students will integrate research and clinical practice in their program. Generally, the MS program requires 2 full years including spring and summer terms. The PhD program typically takes about 3-4 years to complete (Typically longer when waiting for positive reviews from peer-reviews journals).
- Accreditation. Each program is fully accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE) of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.
- Licensing. Since Utah licenses Marriage and Family Therapy as a profession, our program of study helps students meet licensing requirements in Utah and transfers to other states. In addition there are many internship and employment opportunities available that are not available in unlicensed states. State licensure also qualifies family therapists for reimbursement from most insurance companies.
- Recreation and cultural activities. BYU is nationally recognized for several of its sports programs (football, volleyball, golf, and others) and is located near world-class skiing, fishing, and hiking areas. Symphonies, theaters, ballet, and opera are some of the many cultural activities available in Provo and nearby Salt Lake City.
- Non-Discriminatory Admission Process. Admission to Brigham Young University is nondiscriminatory. The university admits persons of any sex, race, creed, religion, or national origin who meet the university's academic requirements and agree to abide by its standards of behavior. Qualified handicapped students are also admitted. You can find our full Non-Discrimination and Diversity statements below.
- Financial Assistance. BYU is ranked #1 for financial assistance and affordability in the US
1/2 LDS Rate tuition scholarship for all admitted students ($5310/year)
10 hour/week paid assistantship (about $8,300/yr.) for all students
Full rate tuition scholarship for all LDS and non-LDS students (Tuition Rates)
20 hour/week paid assistantship (about $21,000/yr.) for all students
The Marriage and Family Therapy Graduate Program provides equal opportunity in couple, marriage, and family therapy education for all persons, including faculty and employees with respect to hiring, continuation, promotion and continuing faculty status (i.e. tenure), applicants for admission, enrolled students, and graduates, without discrimination or segregation on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, or disability. However, all students, faculty, and employees are required to abide by the Honor Code, a behavioral code of the university. This is consistent with the provision in the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education Accreditation Manual 11.0 Version, “Religiously affiliated institutions that have core beliefs directed toward conduct within their communities are entitled to protect those beliefs” (p. 3).
Further, the program’s non-discrimination statement is consistent with the BYU Comprehensive Clinic’s non-discrimination statement. Located in the Clinic’s brochure, it reads as follows: “Services are provided to otherwise qualified individuals within our screening criteria without regard to religious beliefs, gender, sexual orientation, age, race, culture, ethnicity, national origin, socioeconomic status, or physical and mental abilities.”
We esteem all individuals and families as valuable and worthy of understanding and respect. Although it can be difficult to acknowledge and affirm the experiences of those who are different than oneself, it is our belief that all are enriched by this process. As we work to understand each other across the diversities of cultural, gender, sexual orientation, ethnic, racial, and other socio-demographic groupings, we become better individuals and more capable as agents of therapeutic change. Along with the more traditional markers of diversity, we are also mindful of other factors that contribute to a better educational environment. These other factors may include, but are not limited to, international experiences, differential experiences of privilege and oppression, varying types of spiritual and religious faith, exposure to life challenges, and ability to consider the perspectives of others. Pragmatically, we realize that initial conversations between people (who are different from one another) are sometimes filled with conflict, disagreement and bias. However, given this relative inevitability, we work to foster an environment where continued dialogue is possible and encouraged in order to increase the possibility for life lessons to be shared.
In addition, we maintain that a culturally-diverse training environment is a culturally- and professionally-rich learning environment in the following ways:
- Diverse faculty, study body, and client populations help encourage careful and critical thinking. This facilitates the educational experience for all and helps our clients (current and future) receive a more customized treatment.
- Each individual and family has something to learn and something to teach. When we understand and respect the ideas of others, there is an increased possibility for cooperative efforts in accomplishing individual and shared goals.
- Students educated in a culturally-diverse environment are better able to function with adaptability, professionalism and creativity when serving others (in their respective roles as therapists, educators, supervisors, advocates, and so forth).
- Students and faculty who have discussed, read about, and interacted with others around topics such as power, privilege, and oppression, are more likely to be sensitive, self-aware, other-aware, and effective when working with clients from all backgrounds.”
It is our belief that quality training cannot occur if students are deprived of the opportunity to foster relationships with others that differ, particularly with regard to culture, race and gender. Furthermore, respect and understanding for diversity has been identified as one of our key educational outcomes, as noted across the program, student, and faculty levels.