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Medical Family Therapy Certificate








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Marriage and Family Therapy (M.S.)
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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. Seattle Pacific University's Medical Family Therapy (MDFT) certificate program is opening doors in this emerging field, training professionals who can support individuals and families as they face and navigate illness and its implications.

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.



SPU's Medical Family Therapy Certificate program 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.

State-certificed/licensed psychologists, marriage and family therapists, mental health counselors, and social workers will be equipped to provide medical family therapy in out-patient medical clinics, in-patient hospital and hospice settings, and other clinics where health care is provided.

Physicians, nurses, and other health care professionals will be able to understand and effectively intervene in the psychological and spiritual implications of illness. Clergy will be equipped to provide medical family therapy as a spiritual provider when working with families facing illness.


Students have two options in obtaining the Medical Family Therapy Certificate:

  • Graduate students already enrolled in the Marriage and Family Therapy program at SPU may add 14 additional credits (6 seminar and 8 supervision) 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. For specific admissions information for current MFT students, visit our MDFT website for current students.

  • Professionals who have a degree in Marriage and Family Therapy will need to complete all core MDFT courses (16 credits) to receive the certificate. Classes may be taken individually as well.

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. For specific admissions information for professional/post-grad students, visit our MDFT website for post-grad admissions.

Continuing Education

Professionals looking to keep up-to-date with the latest information on specialized topics in medical family therapy may register to take MDFT classes as seminars for continuing education credits. We invite you to campus for the day to participate in a seminar and discussion, and we offer 5 hours of CEU credit per course at no additional cost.

For more information about individual seminars, or to register for a seminar, visit our Medical Family Therapy website.


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

Clinics specialties 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 are actively involved in charting, consulting with the 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, students will also be enrolled in the practicum supervision course.




The program begins in Autumn Quarter and admits students once a year. The application deadline is July 1. For more detailed information on admission, and to apply online, visit The Graduate Center. You can also email, or call 206-281-2091 or 800-601-0603 with additional questions.


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