Catalog 2012-2013 
    May 25, 2018  
Catalog 2012-2013 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Couple and Family Therapy: PsyD, Irvine, Los Angeles, Sacramento, and San Diego

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The Couple and Family Therapy doctoral program at Alliant International University is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE) of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) (112 South Alfred Street, Alexandria, VA 22314, Phone: (703) 838- 9808; Email:

Mission and Objectives

The mission of the Couple and Family Therapy programs is to provide the highest quality education, training, scholarship and service in the field of Marriage and Family Therapy. We train ethical professionals to foster the well-being of individuals, children, couples, families, organizations, and communities primarily through improving relationships. The program specifically focuses on the understanding and respect for the diversity of human relationships across different populations from a variety of multicultural, socioeconomic, international backgrounds. Students are inspired to respect multiple dimensions of human diversity, develop a mature personal and professional identity, stay current with professional knowledge and practice, and make a positive difference for clients and society.

Learning Objective 1: Comprehension of the systemic foundations and theories of couple and family therapy.

Student Learning Outcomes
1.1 Demonstrate the comprehension of various systemic theories of couple and family therapy (CFT) for a diversity of problems and people in a variety of settings.
1.2 Demonstrate the integration of CFT systemic approaches with foundational mental health knowledge for a diverse group of people in a variety of settings.
1.3 Demonstrate an in-depth comprehension of advanced systemic models of couple and family therapy (CFT) for a diversity of problems and people. (Doctoral Only)

Learning Objective 2: Competence in the application of CFT ethical and legal standards, assessment processes, and treatment methods.

Student Learning Outcomes
2.1 Use CFT interviewing, assessment, and treatment techniques in ways that are relevant to diverse people in a variety of settings.
2.2 Show an integrated application of CFT and foundational mental health knowledge.
2.3 Demonstrate legal and ethical knowledge and practice of CFT.
2.4 Demonstrate knowledge and skills in case management including appropriate referrals and documentation of treatment.
2.5 Demonstrate knowledge of and ability to effectively manage therapist biases and prejudices.
2.6 Demonstrate community engagement by providing direct service to individuals, couples, families, organizations and communities.
2.7 Demonstrate at an advanced level the use of CFT assessment and treatment methods, according to specific theoretical models in ways that benefit diverse people in a variety of settings. (Doctoral Only)
2.8 Articulate a personal philosophy of supervision based on AAMFT Approved Supervisor paper standards. (Doctoral Only)

Learning Objective 3: Competence in the practice (i.e., awareness, knowledge and application) of dimensions of diversity with a multicultural and international focus for people in diverse settings.

Student Learning Outcomes
3.1. Demonstrate an awareness of personal beliefs and attitudes about different dimensions of diversity.
3.2 Demonstrate a knowledge of diversity including differences, similarities, privilege, and power among class and economic status, disability and illness, gender, identity, migration, nationality, race, religion/spirituality, sexuality, sexual-orientation, and social and political issues.
3.3 Demonstrate diversity based practice skills in applying CFT theories, assessment and interventions to diverse groups of people in diverse settings.
3.4. Demonstrate the integration of diversity scholarship and practice with CFT theories, assessment, and interventions. (Doctoral Only)

Learning Objective 4: Knowledge of research methodologies and scholarship activities.

Student Learning Outcomes
4.1 Demonstrate knowledge of basic CFT research designs and procedures.
4.2 Demonstrate knowledge of peer-reviewed CFT literature.
4.3 Demonstrate advanced knowledge of a CFT topic. (Doctoral Only)
4.4. Engage with the field of couple and family therapy. (Doctoral Only)
4.5 Conducts research that contributes to the field of couple and family therapy. (Doctoral Only)

Training Model: A Scholar-Practitioner Program

The Doctor of Psychology in Couple and Family Therapy program is offered in Irvine, Sacramento, and San Diego and leads to a Doctorate of Psychology in Marital and Family Therapy degree. The CFT PsyD is based on the scholar-practitioner model. Students are trained to work with individuals, couples, and families from a systemic perspective. Skills are developed in the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of individuals and relationship systems. The program provides an integrative approach to the major systemic theories and interventions. The program provides the academic training for licensure either as a marriage and family therapist or as a psychologist in the State of California. However, licensure requirements are different in every state and country and change over time, particularly for psychology licensure. Those interested in licensure as a psychologist should carefully check the licensure requirements in the state or country where they wish to obtain licensure. Students may include concentrations in chemical dependency, Latino Family Therapy, and gerontology. Additionally, students may do a concentration in LGBT Human Services and Mental Health or Infant-Preschool Mental Health, both of which are done online. All of these concentrations require additional coursework.

Specialized Admissions Requirements: Credit for Previous Graduate Work

Entering CFT doctoral students may be eligible to receive credit for previous graduate work up to a maximum of 40 units from non-COAMMFTE MA programs and 50-55 hours for doctoral students from a COAMFTE MA program.

To be considered for credit in our program students’ graduate coursework:
(a) Must have been taken from a regionally accredited master’s or doctoral program.
(b) Must have been completed prior to the student’s entry to the Alliant CFT program.
(c) Must have resulted in grades of B or better and have been completed within the last seven years.

Procedures for transfers/waivers:
The student provides a list of the Alliant courses for which s/he is interested in receiving credit, along with course descriptions and syllabi. It is submitted in writing to the CFT site director for review/approval. Once approved it will be submitted to the registrar office for posting.

Curriculum and Degree Requirements

The CFT doctoral program includes all of the requirements in the CFT master’s program including the MA comprehensive exam. Practicum program requirements are described in the Master of Arts in Couple and Family Therapy program description and in the Couple and Family Therapy Clinical Training Manual. The doctoral program requires that students are continuously involved in the practice of couple and family therapy. The predoctoral internship consists of 1500 hours. The supervisor for at least 500 client contact hours (250 with couples and families) must be an AAMFT-approved supervisor. Students must supplement their program with 100 hours of professional development activities; 25 of these hours may involve personal counseling or psychotherapy with a licensed person who is not core faculty at Alliant. The program requires completion of a minimum of 117 units.

Curriculum Plan

Electives 9 units

Select from among the three certificate/concentration programs or from other classes in the Clinical Psychology, Industrial/Organizational Psychology, and Couple and Family Therapy programs.

Practicum/Internship Training 20 units

Dissertation 3 units

  • PSY 9901 - MFT Dissertation (3 units)
  • Note: If students need more than one semester for dissertation completion (typical for many students depending on the type and scope of the dissertation), they are expected to maintain continuous enrollment (during Fall and Spring semesters) in the dissertation extension course until they have achieved dissertation clearance.

Master’s Degree Options in Doctoral CFT Programs

Students in the CFT PsyD program can receive a licensable marital and family therapy master’s degree as part of their doctoral studies upon completion of the requirements for that degree.

Couple and Family Therapy Faculty:

Core faculty for the CFT programs are listed below:

Stephen Brown, PhD, Professor, Irvine

Benjamin Caldwell, PsyD, Associate Professor, Los Angeles

Liang-Ying Chou, PhD, Assistant Professor, Irvine

Sean Davis, PhD, Associate Professor and Site Director, Sacramento

Tatiana Glebova, PhD, Assistant Professor, Sacramento

Noah Hass-Cohen, PsyD, Associate Professor and Site Director, Los Angeles

Jeff Jackson, PhD, Assistant Professor, Irvine

Angela Kim, PhD, Assistant Professor, San Diego

Jessica E. Lambert, PhD, Assistant Professor, San Diego

Marcia L. Michaels, PhD, Associate Professor and Site Director, San Francisco

Marianne Miller, PhD, Associate Professor, San Diego

Martha Morgan, PhD, Assistant Professor, San Diego

Rajeswari Natrajan-Tyagi, PhD, Associate Professor, Irvine

Sesan Negash, PhD, Assistant Professor, San Diego

Janet L. Osborn, PhD, Assistant Professor, Sacramento

Jason Platt, PhD, Associate Professor

Karen Quek, PhD, Associate Professor, Irvine

Hye-Sun Ro, PhD, Assistant Professor, Los Angeles

Norma Scarborough, DMFT, Assistant Professor, Los Angeles

Brandon Silverthorn, PhD, Assistant Professor, Irvine

Linna Wang, PhD, Associate Professor and Site Director, San Diego

Scott R. Woolley, PhD, Distinguished Professor and Systemwide MFT Program Director, San Diego

For a detailed description of program faculty background and research interests, please see the alphabetical listing of faculty  for the California School of Professional Psychology.

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