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program overview

COAMFTE Accreditation
The Marriage and Family Therapy Program at La Salle University is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE) of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, 112 South Alfred Street, Alexandria, Virginia  22314, Tel. No. 703.838. 9808. This accreditation is a measure of the program's excellence. With it comes national recognition as one of the nation's premium MFT training programs. AAMFT's Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE) is the nationally recognized accrediting agency that accredits master's degree, doctoral degree, and post-graduate degree clinical training programs in marriage and family therapy throughout the United States and Canada.

COAMFTE Accredited

What is Marriage and Family Therapy?
Marriage and Family Therapy is an approach to mental health care, which seeks to help people within the context of their families and their relationships, using family systems theories and interventions. Its practitioners hold a common assumption that if the individual is to change, the context must change. Therefore, the unit of treatment is no longer the person, even if only a single person is in treatment. It is the overall context of the client’s life and the set of relationships in which the person is embedded that is addressed as part of the treatment.

Who are Marriage and Family Therapists and what do they do?
Marriage and Family Therapists (MFTs) are mental health professionals trained in psychotherapy, family systems, and relationship issues. They are licensed to treat mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders within the context of individuals, couples, and marriage and family systems. Some of the problems that Marriage and Family Therapist help people with are as follows:

  • Communication between family members, intimate partners, friends, coworkers, or others.
  • Parental concerns such as learning effective approaches to discipline and how to effectively deal with children and/or adolescent's psychological, behavioral and emotional difficulties.
  • Marital or couple discord
  • Sexual difficulties and concerns
  • Feelings of depression, anxiety, or loneliness
  • Unmanageable anger, hostility, or violence

Marriage and Family Therapists are widely employed as clinicians and consultants in mental health clinics, hospitals, schools, drug and alcohol centers, and a variety of other settings. Marriage and family therapists with additional training in research method and design also conduct or direct research.

What is La Salle's Program?
The Marriage and Family Therapy program is a 60-credit hour degree that can be completed within four years on a part-time basis, or within three years on a full-time basis. The accelerated full-time weekend option can be completed in two years. Refer to the Schedule Options for more information.

The required courses (48 credits) fulfill the educational requirements for licensure in the state of Pennsylvania (and most other states) as well as for clinical membership in the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. There are several choices to complete the additional 12 credits for the 60-credit degree. Students can continue taking courses in marriage and family therapy, choosing from several electives, or students can choose a minor in Professional Clinical Counseling, Addictions Counseling, or Industrial Organizational Counseling and Consulting. Refer to the Curriculum for more information.

The MFT program progresses from a knowledge base of core courses in systems theory to a sequence of skills courses in assessment and intervention, to actual clinical practice, completed in a 12-month clinical placement (i.e., Internship) in the final year.

La Salle's MFT degree prepares students for licensure as marriage and family therapists (LMFT) in Pennsylvania and most other states and for employment in many professional settings. Upon graduation from the program, students meet the education eligibility requirement the national exam for licensure. The MFT degree also is excellent preparation for those students planning to pursue doctoral studies in marriage and family therapy or a related field. For more information about La Salle’s MFT Program, view the Mission Statement and Educational Outcomes and FAQs.

Why study Marriage and Family Therapy At La Salle?
La Salle University believes in a personal, practical, and professional graduate education that occurs in the context of the Lasallian tradition focusing on excellence in teaching and concern for both ultimate values and for the individual values of its students.

La Salle's Counseling and Family Therapy Master's Programs have been training counselors and therapists since 1979.  Its extensive resources include the following:

  • Accreditation by COAMFTE (Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education)
  • Diverse faculty possessing a wide range of disciplinary expertise dedicated to teaching, scholarship, and service
  • Connelly Library—a state-of-the-art library with extensive holdings in marriage and family therapy
  • An Assessment Laboratory that contains a wide variety of assessment materials and resources.
  • Affiliations with many excellent and recognized agencies and clinics in the Philadelphia area, which is especially rich in its mental health resources. These include the following:
    • Center for Families and Relationships (Philadelphia, PA)
    • Cora Services, Inc. (Philadelphia, PA)
    • Family Therapy and Consultation Services (Wenonah, NJ)
    • Family Therapy Treatment Center (Philadelphia, PA)
    • Lenape Valley Foundation (Doylestown, PA)
    • MCC Warwick Family Services (Hartsville, PA)
    • South Jersey Healthcare (Vineland, NJ)
  • One-on-one advisement and individualized plans of study that meet students' interests and career goals
  • Late afternoon and evening classes convenient for the full-time or part-time student, and the working professional.

The thoroughness of La Salle's training is widely recognized in the Philadelphia area and sets its graduates apart.

View the Admission Requirements for eligibility criteria and application deadlines.

Student Achievement

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Programs offered at:

For general program information, admission requirements or application status, please contact the CFT Graduate Admission Counselor, Stacey Vinci at

For advising, clinical or course-specific information, or registration, please contact the CFT office at

Francis Berna, OFM, Ph.D.

Donna A. Tonrey, Psy.D., LMFT, LPC

Counseling and Family Therapy
Master's Programs
Office: Wister Hall, Room 208
1900 West Olney Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19141 USA
Phone: 215.951.1767
Fax: 215.991.3585

La Salle University reserves the right to alter or change this information
at any time, without notice.

© Copyright 2014 La Salle University