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Medical Family Therapy Certificate








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Marriage and Family Therapy (M.S.)
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Course Descriptions
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Medical Family Therapy Certificate




The medical field is developing integrated health care teams in medical settings to address the physical, emotional, spiritual, and relational needs of patients. Due to rapid changes in the health care delivery system, which is struggling to provide a model to meet the needs of the consumer, payor and insurer, a growing need exists for sound training in integrative and collaborative health care.

Since 1995, the Lancet, the Journal of the American Medical Association, and the New England Journal of Medicine have published studies showing that an integrated treatment protocol resulted in prolonged survival rates, significant cost savings, and an increased quality of life for cancer and heart disease patients.

Seattle Pacific University has seen an increase in alumni obtaining jobs in different medical centers working with infertility, cancer, and diabetes. Master's level students with advanced training in medical family therapy can become a vital part of the collaborative health care team. This is an ideal time to join the movement toward integrated health care that focuses upon the needs of the whole person and family system.



In response to the fast-evolving field of integrated health care, Seattle Pacific University has developed a clinical specialization program in Medical Family Therapy. This is the only certificate program on the West Coast geared to training biomedical, psychosocial, and spiritual providers to work in medical settings as a part of an integrated health care team.

Now you can receive a post-master's Certificate in Medical Family Therapy to open doors in the growing field of collaborative health care. You'll learn skills to work within a health care environment, providing psychosocial and spiritual services to those suffering with chronic illness. And it's all offered from a university with a reputation for a century-plus commitment to academic excellence, faith, and service.


You have two options for obtaining the Medical Family Therapy Certificate:

  • If you are a graduate student already enrolled in the Marriage and Family Therapy program at SPU, you may add 14 additional credits focused on medical family therapy to receive the certificate.


The certificate in Medical Family Therapy, can be earned during or after completion of the MFT program.

  • If you are a professional who has a degree in Marriage and Family Therapy, you will needto complete only the core courses (12–16 credits) to receive the certificate. Classes may be taken individually, too.

If you have received graduate training in social work, behavioral science, theology, nursing, or medicine, you will need to review your prior classes. Depending upon past coursework, additional credits may be needed. For most students, the certificate can be completed over a two-year period.


In the late summer or early fall after all coursework is complete, you will be placed in a yearlong internship 10 hours a week in an outpatient medical clinic. You will have a chance to discuss internship placement possibilities prior to placement.

  • Clinics range from family medicine, oncology, rheumatology, women's health, and other specialty medicine sites.
  • Students will work alongside physicians, nurses, and staff providing on-site psychosocial care.
  • They will be actively involved in charting, consulting with medical team, program development, and clinical treatment.

Clinic schedule will be determined in consideration of clinic need, space restrictions, and your availability. During the internship year, you will also be enrolled in the practicum supervision course.

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