If you hold a graduate degree in marriage and family therapy, you will only need to complete the core courses and the internship/practica to receive the Medical Family Therapy certificate. Classes may be taken individually, as well.
Physicians, allied health, and clergy
If you have received graduate training in social work, behavioral science, theology, nursing, or medicine, we will review your prior classes. Depending on past coursework, additional credits in systems theory and family therapy may be needed.
For most students, the certificate can be completed over a two-year period with two to three classes per quarter during the first year and internship/practica during the second year.
After all coursework is complete in late summer or early fall, you will be placed in a yearlong internship for 10-25 hours a week, usually in an outpatient medical clinic or a non-profit medical specialty mental health center. You will have a chance to discuss internship placement possibilities prior to placement.
Clinics specialties range from family medicine, oncology, women’s health, and other specialty medicine sites. You will work alongside physicians, nurses, and staff providing on-site care. You will be actively involved in charting, consulting with the medical team, program development, and clinical mental health treatment of patients and their families from a biopsychosocial-spiritual care model.
During the internship year, you will also be enrolled in the practicum course in which you will receive case-focused clinical supervision from an AAMFT Approved Supervisor or Supervisor Candidate.
Offered two to three times per quarter, these one-day, Friday seminars are designed for busy graduate students and post-graduate mental health professionals and chaplains with an interest in mental health education. Please check the SPU graduate courses current schedule for this year’s course dates (time of year might change in response to faculty availability).
MDFT 6633 BPSS Care and Collaboration in MedFT (1) - Required
This seminar reviews the nature of biopsychosocial-spiritual therapeutic and behavioral health interviews and interventions used to work with individuals, couples, and families dealing with a medical illness. We will examine brief biopsychosocial-spiritual interview formats and practice using them. We will review medical language, charting, and different levels of integrated care, and will examine communication and collaboration skills required to work successfully with healthcare providers. Graduate students outside MFT and MDFT, as well as CE professionals, may register with permission of the Medical Family Therapy program director or class instructor. Email email@example.com to register.
MDFT 6652 Motivational Interviewing for Patient and Family Health (1) - Required
This seminar will focus on the impact of harmful health behaviors on health and wellness. It will review the need for psychosocial providers who can work with providers to help patients and families as they make a significant lifestyle change. Topics will include: US statistics of diseases caused largely by lifestyle; and assessing values, priorities, and barriers and motivations to change of patient and families. The focus of the class will be the introduction and practice of motivational interviewing skills. Graduate students outside MFT and MDFT, and CE professionals, may register with permission of the Medical Family Therapy program director or class instructor. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to register.
MDFT 6648 Assessment and Tools for MedFT (1)
This course will cover several prevalent types of illnesses in children and adults, with a particular focus on the impact on the patient and family. Topics to be covered include: types of illness from a culturally responsive systemic and biopsychosocial perspective; family life cycle implications; family structure implications; several commonly used (in primary care) mental health assessment tools; the behavioral health consultation model; and health-focused systemic/relational family therapy. Graduate students outside MFT and MDFT, and CE professionals, may register with permission of the Medical Family Therapy program director or class instructor.
Email email@example.com to register.
MDFT 6649 The Brain Savvy Therapist (1)
This course reviews basic brain structure and human neural development within relationships, with an emphasis on the processes of attachment and psychotherapy. It touches on basic neurodiversity symptoms and professions to refer to for assessment and treatment (e.g., autistic spectrum and sensory integration). Students will learn about brain development in the first twenty years of life, including memory; the shaping the nervous system; left and right brain functions; emotional regulation; and other benefits of promoting metacognition skills and an integrated brain. Graduate students outside MFT and MDFT, and CE professionals, may register with permission of the Medical Family Therapy program director or class instructor.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to register.
MDFT 6651 Spirituality and Health (1)
This course explores the impact of individual and family beliefs/meanings regarding anticipatory grief, forgiveness, grief across the lifespan and in family process, and death. Course readings, resources, and discussion will focus on a variety of cultural and religious beliefs and practices. Both individual and family models of grief will be examined. Students will be expected to demonstrate openness, respect, and curiosity, as well as the capacity to discuss models of grief with respect to one’s own biases and in regard to potential fit with others’ values and beliefs. Graduate students outside MFT and MDFT, and CE professionals, may register with permission of the Medical Family Therapy program director or class instructor. Email email@example.com to register.
MDFT 6650 Grief, Death, and Families (1)
Review the latest information in brain science as it relates to psychotherapy. Learn about the basics in brain physiology and neurobiology; how to use the understanding of brain science to facilitate interventions with clients and families; treatment ideas; case reviews; and why therapists need to understand how a brain learns, changes, and functions. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to register.
MDFT 6632 Collaboration and Practice Roles in Integrated Care (1)
This course reviews the core concepts needed for medical family therapists to collaborate successfully with providers and interdisciplinary care teams. Topics covered will include levels of medical care, warm handoffs, continuity of care, referrals, and types/roles of other providers. The varied roles of the medical family therapist in primary care and specialty care will be reviewed. Students will practice teaching each other about the MedFT's role on a healthcare team. Graduate students outside MFT and MDFT, and CE professionals, may register with permission of the Medical Family Therapy program director or class instructor.
Email email@example.com to register.
MDFT 6653 Trauma-Informed Care in MedFT (1)
This seminar will examine the integration of trauma-informed biopsychosocial-spiritual (BPSS) care and medical family therapy. Topics may vary year to year based on the expertise and specialization of students enrolled in the course. The course will address important issues within trauma-informed care, such as definitions of trauma; biological experiences of trauma; vulnerabilities during and after trauma exposure (for individuals, families, and communities); possible roles for medical family therapists on trauma and crisis interventions teams (e.g., critical incident stress debriefing); and assessing barriers to medical and mental healthcare. By the end of the course, students will be able to describe how to apply a trauma-informed lens to their area of specialization in medical family therapy. Class is open to MFT graduate students and MDFT students. Other graduate students and CE professionals may attend with permission from the Medical Family Therapy program director or class instructor. Graduate credit requires registration, tuition payment, and completion of all assignments. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to register.