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The Psy.D. Marital and Family Therapy (MFT) program is based on the practitioner-scholar model of education, integrating eight core competencies developed by the educational model of the National Council of Schools and Programs of Professional Psychology (NCSPP) and the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT). MFT Department faculty are actively engaged in practice and scholarship, and incorporate a wide variety of clinical examples into classroom activities. Students learn through rigorous coursework and applicable dissertation. The Psy.D. Marital in Family Therapy program strives to provide excellent training in culturally competent service provision and to offer students a wide variety of training opportunities. The program has two entry points, Post Master’s and Post Bachelors.
Post-Bachelor’s Entry Point
Application to The Chicago School of Professional Psychology’s M.A. Clinical Psychology, MFT Specialization program is open to any person who has earned a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution and who meets other entrance requirements. Applicants will be judged on their overall ability to do graduate work. Factors that are considered in admission are: GPA from undergraduate and any graduate schools, successful work history after completion of the baccalaureate degree, the required admission essay, and letters of recommendation from academic professors or professional or volunteer experience supervisors. Generally, an undergraduate GPA of a 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale is required for admission. Students must submit official transcripts from all schools where a degree was earned. It is recommended that transcripts are submitted from all schools where credit was received to enhance their applications. Based on the evaluation of these materials selected candidates may be invited to interview for further consideration of their application.
The MFT Specialization requires that all applicants have taken at least one course in psychology during their undergraduate program. Further they must have completed this course with a grade of “C” or better. The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is not required, however students who have taken the exam may submit their scores to enhance their application. Scores should be sent directly to the school (GRE School Code: 1119) for consideration. Please see the application for detailed instructions and information regarding application requirements, application deadlines, and letters of recommendation. Applications must be submitted with a $50.00 (USD) application fee in order to be evaluated.
Post-Master’s Entry Point
Application to The Chicago School of Professional Psychology’s Psy.D. Marital and Family Therapy (Post-Master’s) program is open to any person who has earned a (license eligible) master’s degree in a mental health field from a regionally accredited institution and who meets other entrance requirements. The program is primarily tailored to MFT interns and licensed MFTs. The school admits students whom it judges to possess sufficient academic aptitude, as well as the emotional and social maturity to function effectively as professional psychotherapists and academic psychologists. Applicants will be judged on their overall ability to do graduate work. Students must submit official transcripts from all schools where a degree was earned. It is recommended that transcripts are submitted from all schools where credit was received to enhance their applications.
Factors considered in admission are: GPA from undergraduate and any graduate schools, successful work history after completion of the baccalaureate degree, essays, and letters of recommendation from academic professors or supervisors from professional or volunteer experiences. Generally an undergraduate GPA of a 3.2 or higher on a 4.0 scale is required for admission to the Department.
The Psy.D. Marital and Family (Post-Master’s) program requires specific pre-requisite qualifying courses that must be completed in a student’s master’s program or completed as part of the elective options while enrolled in the doctoral program at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. Graduate coursework used to meet prerequisites will be considered for graduate waiver on a case-by-case basis. Based upon the evaluation of these materials, selected candidates may be invited to interview for further consideration of their application. Please see the application for detailed instructions and information regarding application requirements, application deadlines, and letters of recommendation. Applications must be submitted with a $50 (US) fee in order to be evaluated.
TOEFL or IELTS, International Credentials, and International Students
TOEFL or IELTS: If English is not your primary language, you must submit official TOEFL or IELTS scores with your application (TOEFL School Code: 7161). International students who received a bachelor’s degree from an accredited United States institution are exempt from this requirement. The minimum scores are: TOEFL - 550 paper based, 213 computer based, 79 internet based; IELTS - 6.5.
ELS Educational Services, Inc.: The Chicago School of Professional Psychology is a cooperative member of ELS Educational Services, Inc. which provides intensive English language programs. Students who have successfully completed ELS course 112 may be considered for admission in lieu of the TOEFL or IELTS.
International credentials: Applicants with international credentials must obtain and submit an official “course-by-course” evaluation through an evaluation agency such as World Education Services (www.wes.org) or Educational Credential Evaluators Inc (www.ece.org). In addition to the agency evaluation, all official graduate and undergraduate transcripts must be submitted.
International students: International students must submit a completed application by the general consideration deadline. In addition, once accepted, international students must submit the International Student Information form, a copy of their passport, and financial documentation showing sufficient funding for at least one year of study and all living expenses. This documentation must be submitted at least two months prior to the start of the semester in order to allow sufficient time for the school to issue an I-20 for the student to obtain an F-1 visa, if needed. An I-20 visa will not be issued without this documentation.
If, after initial review of all application materials and the Admission Committee so recommends, the applicant will be invited for an interview day with members of the Department faculty. Interviews are by invitation only and mandatory for full consideration.
Post interview, the applicant will be notified of the Admission Committee’s decision regarding his or her application. The Chicago School does not share information or provide any feedback regarding admission decisions.
If a student is offered admission, in order to secure a place in the incoming class, a non-refundable tuition deposit of $500 will be required by the deposit deadline indicated in the offer of admission. The non-refundable deposit will be applied in full toward the student’s tuition upon enrollment.
The following policies are located under Academic Policies and Procedures : Transfer of Credit, Waiver of Courses, Satisfactory Academic Progress, Grading Scale, Grade Change Requests, Degree Completion, Degree Conferral, Minimum and Maximum Timeframe requirements, and Credit Hours per semester for Financial Aid. Information on the Academic Success Program is located under Student Life .
Academic Development Plans
An Academic Development Plan (ADP) is initiated and created by the program in which the student is enrolled. When a student demonstrates deficiencies in competencies that interfere with academic performance, training competence, and/or professional behavior, the ADP is initiated. The completion of an ADP does not constitute disciplinary action, but failure to complete the plan may lead to disciplinary action.
Student Learning Assessment
The Chicago School of Professional Psychology (TCSPP) is committed to offering the highest quality undergraduate completion program and graduate programs in applied professional disciplines. To meet TCSPP’s standard for academic quality, program learning outcomes are aligned with course learning outcomes and guide assessment. Data collected from the results of student assessment and the aggregation of these data will inform how students are progressing towards achieving program outcomes.
All academic programs report annual assessments of student learning and other indicators of program effectiveness as part of the Academic Program Review process.
The Psy.D. Marital and Family Therapy program has adopted the practitioner-scholar model and the NCSPP/AAMFT Core Competency model of training. These models are predicated on the belief that competent practitioners must have both a broad knowledge of scientific and theoretical principles at the core of MFT, which includes a solid understanding of a variety of scholarly work, as well as the ability to apply their knowledge to specific clinical situations. The doctoral department does not advocate any single theoretical orientation. Rather, students learn conceptualization and technique across four general theory areas, and then choose a theoretical orientation in which to specialize. Students are continually challenged to reflect on the art and craft of professional practice, as well as on its scientific basis. Completion of the Psy.D. Marital and Family Therapy program does not qualify students for license.
The following program outcomes comprise two lists the first are those outcomes that either are already part of our incoming students’ capacities as a graduate of a masters program or those which they will develop while being the masters program the second are the outcomes developed exclusively in the doctoral program.
Masters Level Program Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this program students will be able to:
1. Utilize the scientific method for critical evaluation of research examining the practice of clinical psychology.
2. Analyze issues of racial and cultural diversities and show an awareness of the richness of human differences in ideas and beliefs.
3. Apply insight into personal attitudes and beliefs as they conduct clinical interviewing of clients, prepare individual treatment plans, and set appropriate psychotherapeutic goals.
4. Provide effective and ethical diagnostic and assessment services to a diverse set of clients.
5. Provide a wide range of effective and ethical psychotherapeutic interventions to a diverse group of clients.
6. Effectively communicate critical information in the field of clinical psychology to a wide range of individuals and groups
7. Foster the development of individuals and facilitate group interaction.
Doctoral Level Program Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this program students will be able to:
1. Apply the scientific method and the domains of quantitative and qualitative research methodologies to the creation the evaluation and creation of research in the areas pertaining to the practice clinical psychology and marriage and family therapy.
2. Have developed greater depth in their skills as clinicians allowing them to move from being a consumer of knowledge to being a provider of knowledge in their role as doctoral level practitioners
3. Have developed a growing expertise in the practices, conditions, and responsibilities inherent in agency management positions
4. Have a growing expertise in pedagogical practice and the practical aspects of teaching
Ethical and Professional Behavior
The Chicago School of Professional Psychology expects that all Psy.D Marital and Family Therapy students will be knowledgeable of and adhere to the CAMFT/APAAAMFT Ethical Guidelines as published by the American Psychological Association and the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists. Sound ethical reasoning and accountability to the larger community for adherence to guidelines for ethical behavior are the two things that mark a profession as distinct from a career or job. As a result, several expectations of students are derived from the ethical code.
In accordance with California state law, no student may serve under the title of “marital and family therapist” or any closely related title or job function until granted an appropriate license by the state after the awarding of the doctoral degree. Students may, however, work as MFT trainees or interns under the supervision of a professional psychologist, marital and family therapist, social worker or psychiatrist who is duly licensed or certified by the appropriate state agency.
A student shall not perform any function that exceeds his/her level of training. Students shall ensure that the appropriate malpractice insurance is in effect prior to their commencement of any clinical practice. In addition, a student may not establish or continue psychotherapy with any department or affiliate faculty member under any circumstances or with any adjunct faculty member while registered in his or her course or while under his or her supervision. A student who fails to adhere to this policy or otherwise fails to demonstrate the appropriate ethics required for practice in the field of marital and family therapy is subject to discipline.
A second derivation of the ethical code is that of integrity. The Chicago School of Professional Psychology (TCSPP) expects that all students demonstrate the highest form of academic integrity. This applies to all of their graduate work and studies ranging from coursework, to general scholarship, to interactions with faculty, staff, and students. Further, given that graduate students as part of their training gain access to extremely sensitive clinical information, TCSPP expects that students show the highest form of professional integrity in their training settings. These expectations range from client contact, to professional communications, to representation as a student of the school. Integrity is taken very seriously and a violation of academic and professional standards is grounds for remediation, suspension, or expulsion.
A final derivation of the ethical code is that of professional suitability. As a field, our primary responsibility is to the public we serve. As a result, should a student show signs that he or she is likely to cause harm to those we serve, swift action will be taken to mitigate that risk for harm. Such action could range from requiring additional education and remediation for the student to disciplinary action such as suspension or expulsion. Should a student demonstrate, over time and despite efforts to remediate, that he or she is not able to assume the responsibilities of the profession, he or she may be dismissed from the school. Professional suitability is defined in part by the school, in part by the field of psychology and in part by the larger society. Should a student’s ability to engage in professional practice change, for example through conviction of a crime that prevents licensure, the department may determine that completion of the program is not possible for the student.
Consistent with training department goals and the focus on ethical behavior, it is deemed inappropriate for Psy.D. Marital and Family Therapy students to engage in professional activities that may infringe upon a primary commitment to training, negatively affect quality of consumer mental health services, or are inconsistent with ethical and legal standards. Students’ participation in outside work activities should be secondary to training and should also uphold and be consistent with the ethical and legal standards of the profession. Engaging in independent practice in MFT prior to appropriate licensure, as a result, is viewed as inconsistent with these training objectives.
A student may hold a valid license in another profession (e.g., Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor or Licensed Clinical Social Worker) or may obtain such a license during her/his training at TCSPP. Such students may practice within the scope of their license consistent with the following:
- The demands of the practice in time or other resources must not jeopardize the student’s primary commitment to training in the department.
- The manner in which students represent themselves to colleagues, clients and the public (e.g. marketing materials and reports of service) should not create a belief that the practice is under the auspices of or sanctioned by TCSPP, that the practice is part of the school’s training, or that the practice is that of a trained and licensed clinical psychologist.
A student who fails to comply with the requirements of this section will be referred to the department chair for intervention, remediation, or disciplinary action, or for referral to the Student Affairs Committee for disciplinary action and possible dismissal.
Student Disclosure of Personal Information
Self-reflection, introspection, and an ability to examine personal reactions to clinical material are considered critical skills in student development. Students will be required to examine their personal reactions and the impact of their personal histories on the clinical services they are training to provide. Students will not be required to disclose personal information related to sexual history, history of abuse or neglect, personal psychotherapy or in-depth information regarding intimate relationships in course or department related activities. However, students are expected to actively reflect upon and effectively manage their personal reactions to people who are different from themselves along these and other dimensions, especially when such personal reactions negatively impact clinical work, professional interactions, and ethical responsibilities. Such reflection may be required within the context of an advising relationship at School, or a supervising relationship on internship or practicum.
Earning a Master of Arts Degree in Clinical Psychology, Martial and Family Therapy Specialization in the Post-Bachelor’s program
Those students in the post-Bachelors Psy.D. MFT program can be awarded a M.A. Clinical Psychology, Marital and Family Therapy Specialization following the successful completion of required coursework and specific program requirements. At the beginning of the semester in which a student expects to be eligible for the master’s degree, he or she is required to submit online a Petition for Program Completion to the Office of Academic Records. The petition is a request to conduct an audit to determine eligibility for the degree. Students who meet the requirements are eligible to participate in the next scheduled commencement. All students who file a Petition for Program Completion will be charged a fee.
The specific requirements are as follows:
- Good academic standing
- Completion of 250 hour of client contact hours
- Successful completion of the Clinical Competency Evaluation (CCE)
- Successful completion of the Written Competency Exam
- Successful completion of required coursework (60 credits)
The dissertation is an essential aspect of a student’s academic experience and clinical education at the school. The dissertation provides the school with the opportunity to formally evaluate the student’s ability to contribute to the field by applying theory and research to areas of clinical psychology, thinking critically and creatively about professional psychology, and demonstrating self-direction and professional/scholarly writing. The dissertation should clearly and concisely demonstrate the student’s command of the body of knowledge in a chosen area, as well as ability to critically evaluate and synthesize this knowledge. The student’s Dissertation Committee is responsible for assessing the student’s abilities and critical thinking, determining the professional standards the dissertation must meet, and giving final approval to the dissertation.
More specific information is located in the Program Guidebook.
All students are required to successfully complete the Written Comprehensive Exam. The information tested by the exam covers the program competencies. The comprehensive examination is generally administered twice a year and taken during the last year of enrollment in academic coursework. Students must be in good academic standing to be eligible to take the Written Comprehensive Examination. Students in the post-BA Psy.D. MFT program will take a WCE at the end of their third year following the successful completion of all coursework and practicum requirements. Successful completion of the WCE will qualify the student to be conferred a Master’s of Arts in Clinical Psychology, Marriage and Family Specialization and move forward to obtain an internship number with the BBS. Both post-BA and post-MA Psy.D. MFT programs require a final WCE at the end of all coursework and prior to dissertation phase. Additional information regarding registering, qualifying, format and dates of the exam can be obtained from the Department Chair of the program. Students who are unable to pass the Written Comprehensive Examination will be allowed to retake the exam a maximum of two additional times. The exam may be retaken during the next scheduled administration of the exam. Students will receive information from their faculty advisor concerning their performance on the examination. Assistance from faculty in constructing additional experiences and instruction aimed at enabling them to pass this program requirement can be offered. Any student who fails the Comprehensive Examination a third time will be referred to the Student Affairs Committee (SAC).