Advance family well-being as the foundation for a healthy society
The Couple and Family Therapy master’s program teaches students superior therapeutic skills, ethical integrity, intellectual curiosity and a sincere commitment to working with families from diverse populations.
- Imaginative, intelligent and highly motivated individuals with a desire for challenge, a commitment to excellence and a well-developed sense of social responsibility
- Those with past coursework in family studies, human development, abnormal psychology, and introduction to therapy or counseling
- Couple and family therapists
- Agency administrators
- Substance abuse counselors
- School counselors
- Human service project directors
- Child/couple/family researchers
Recognized among the top programs of its kind, the CFT program offers real-world experience through the Center for Healthy Families, a state-of-the-art training and research facility that provide reduced-cost counseling to hundreds of families annually.
The MS in Couple and Family Therapy (CFT) provides students with the coursework and supervised clinical training typically required in states with Marriage and Family Therapy licensure. The program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE) of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT). The comprehensiveness of our curriculum and the extensive clinical training with diverse clients prepare our graduates for employment in a wide variety of CFT positions. In addition, the program prepares students to perform well on the National Licensing Examination. Thus, the degree is highly portable and students go on to practice throughout the country, refer to the 50 States MFT Licensure Requirements document for the requirements for other states.
The Couple and Family Therapy MS program requires 48 credits for the non-thesis option and 51 credits for the thesis option. Maryland Board of Professional Counselors and Therapists, as well as many other licensing boards in the US, requires the completion of 60 credits to become licensed and therefore, our CFT provides the opportunity to complete that number of credits within the two-year period for those that wish to do so. Completion of the program, which includes the 2-year internship, generally requires 2 years.
The mission of the CFT Master's program is to prepare competent, effective therapists for clinical practice and advancement of the marriage and family therapy discipline. The program seeks to train professionals who demonstrate superior therapeutic skills, ethical integrity, intellectual curiosity, knowledge of the profession and a sincere commitment to working with families, couples, and individuals from diverse populations.
The CFT program is committed to diversity and inclusion among its students, faculty, and clients. The program’s definition of diversity includes, but is not limited to, age, gender, gender identity/expression, ethnicity, race, nationality, physical/cognitive/health ability or condition, international status, immigrant status, English language proficiency, accent, sexual orientation, military status, religious/spiritual views, political views, socioeconomic status, education level, relationship status, or family composition. The CFT faculty seek to include a diverse pool of applicants to be interviewed for the incoming class each year. View a complete breakdown of the program demographics.
Regarding diversity among full-time CFT faculty and the hiring of adjunct faculty and clinical supervisors, the Department of Family Science adheres to the School of Public Health’s statement of diversity and inclusion. The full statement can be found on the SPH Diversity and Inclusion webpage.
Application to the program is made through the University of Maryland Graduate School's Application Portal. The Department of Family Science admits students in the fall semester only. The deadline for submitting the Graduate School Application and the Couple and Family Therapy Application Form is December 3rd (this is the same deadline for international students and citizens living abroad). Students are strongly encouraged to apply before the deadline date.
The mission of the CFT Master's program is to prepare competent, effective therapists for clinical practice and advancement of the marriage and family therapy discipline. The program seeks to train professionals who demonstrate superior therapeutic skills, ethical integrity, intellectual curiosity, and a sincere commitment to working with families from diverse populations.
Program Goal 1: To educate and train culturally informed and culturally competent couple and family therapists.
- SLO 1A – Students will have a strong knowledge of the impact of social location (e.g., race, culture, ethnicity, sexuality, gender identity, religion, social class, ability, etc.) on individual and family functioning.
- SLO 1B – Students will apply knowledge of social location to conduct a culturally competent assessment and treatment.
- SLO 1C – Students will understand how the therapist’s social location will impact the course of therapy.
Program Goal 2: To educate and train ethical couple and family therapists.
- SLO 2A – Students will be knowledgeable of professional codes of ethics, state laws, and models of ethical decision-making regarding the practice of couple and family therapy.
- SLO 2B – Students will demonstrate ethical decision-making and case management in clinical practice.
- SLO 2C – Students will demonstrate knowledge of ethical principles governing human subjects research.
Program Goal 3: To educate and train couple and family therapists who utilize a systemic/relational approach in the process of therapy.
- SLO 3A – Students will have a solid knowledge of systemic-based models and techniques of family therapy.
- SLO 3B – Students will apply knowledge of systemic models and techniques of family therapy to assessment, treatment, and clinical decision-making regarding therapy process and termination.
- SLO 3C – Students will be able to utilize knowledge about normative and non-normative child, adolescent, adult, and family functioning to assess and treat presenting problems.
- SLO 3D - Students will utilize standardized tests and structured clinical interviews to apply formal diagnostic criteria (e.g. DSM-IV) in assessing and treating problems in individual family members’ functioning.
Program Goal 4: To train and educate couple and family therapists who understand and utilize public health and social science research findings regarding physical health, mental health, and family functioning in clinical practice.
- SLO 4A – Students will demonstrate an understanding of basic and applied research methods.
- SLO 4B – Students will demonstrate the application of current empirical findings to couple and family therapy cases.
The CFT curriculum has three parts: didactic coursework, clinical practica, and supervised client contact. The minimum total credits required are 48 for the non-thesis option and 51 for the thesis option. Didactic coursework is taken in conjunction with 15 credits of clinical practicum seminars and 9 credits of supervision of clinical work. In the clinical practicum, the theory is applied to specific case material, with faculty supervision providing support and oversight of assigned cases. The CFT program has a minimum length of two years and a maximum length of five years.
Supervised client contact begins in the student’s first semester. Clinical students are required to gain a total of 500 hours, 400 of which are of face-to-face client contact, and 250 of these hours must be relational (with couples or families). Of the total 500 hours, one hundred of the hours can be "alternative hours." Supervision in the Department’s clinic is provided through a range of techniques including case discussion, one-way mirror observation, video review, co-therapy, and telephone or real-time video consultation during live sessions.
All students adhere to the CFT Program Hours Policy that states any student who does not complete his or her required 500 hours of client contact by the end of the spring semester of the second year WILL NOT be allowed to continue seeing clients at the Center for Healthy Families beyond that time. Students will need to independently seek out alternative externship sites to gain the remainder of the client contact hours required to sit for the National Licensing Examination. No exceptions will be made.
**Due to the challenges created by COVID-19, the program has decided for students graduating by June 1, 2022 to require 300 hours total for graduation, 100 of which should be relational and no alternative hours counting towards those 300 hours. This is possible due to the program's intent to adopt the new COAMFTE Standards Version 12.5.**
Couple and Family Therapy students may pursue a thesis or a non-thesis (Advanced Clinical Project) option. For thesis option students, 6 semester hours are thesis research credits taken as FMSC 799. The thesis, involving original research supervised by a CFT or other Family Science faculty mentor, must be approved and then defended in an oral examination. Advanced Clinical Project option students take the 3 credit FMSC 789 and must complete a written and oral therapy case presentation. The ACP includes a description of the couple or family and their presenting problem with attention to cultural aspects, the theoretical model used by the therapist to treat them, a description of the assessment and any individual diagnoses, details regarding the therapeutic process, professional, cultural and ethical issues encountered in working with the case, and recommendations for future intervention. The student’s ACP work is supervised by a CFT program faculty mentor.
Students are required to have completed a graduate or advanced undergraduate level statistics course prior to enrolling in FMSC 610 (Research Methods) or initiating thesis research. This requirement can be fulfilled by completing a statistics course at the University of Maryland, College Park, or another academic institution. The student will submit the course syllabus and any associated course materials to the CFT Program Director for evaluation.
- SPHL600, Foundations of Public Health (3 credits)
- FMSC640, Family Therapy: Theory and Techniques (3 credits)
- FMSC650, Ethical, Legal, and Professional Principles in Couple and Family Therapy (3 credits)
- FMSC658, Supervised Clinical Practice in Couple and Family Therapy ( 9 credits)
- FMSC610, Research Methods in Family Science (3 credits)
- FMSC651, Treatment of Emotional and Mental Disorders in Family Systems (3 credits)
- FMSC745, Gender and Ethnicity in Family Therapy and Service Delivery (3 credits)
- FMSC645, Sexuality: Issues in Family Therapy and Service Delivery (3 credits)
- FMSC654, Clinical Marriage and Family Therapy Practice (3 credits)
- FMSC641, Couples Therapy, Theory, and Techniques (3 credits)
- FMSC642, Normal and Abnormal Individual and Family Development (3 credits)
- FMSC652, Psychopathology and Diagnosis in Family Systems ( 3 credits)
- FMSC653, Advanced Application of CFT Models and Techniques (3 credits)
CFT students have the option to take three elective courses listed below while in the program. While these elective courses are not required for graduation from the CFT Program, they are required in order to apply for and receive Marriage and Family Therapy licensure in the state of Maryland. Students who choose the ACP option will be required to take an additional elective graduate level course in the Department Family Science or in any other related discipline in order to satisfy the 60 credits Maryland State’s licensure requirement.
- FMSC 698A Advanced Topics in Family Science; Trauma and Addictions in Family Life (3 credits)
- FMSC 698T Advanced Topics in Family Science; Testing and Assessment in Couple and Family Therapy (3 credits)
- FMSC 698P Advanced Topics in Family Science; Play Therapy (3 credits)
Standard CFT Program Required Course Sequence:
Semester I (Fall)
- FMSC 640 Family Therapy: Theory and Technique (3 credits)
- FMSC 650 Ethical, Legal, and Professional Principles in Marriage and Family Therapy (3 credits)
- FMSC 745 Gender and Ethnicity in Family Therapy Service Delivery (3 credits)
- FMSC 658 Supervised Clinical Practice of Marriage and Family Therapy (At least 1 credit, 2 credits recommended)*
- FMSC 654 Clinical Marriage and Family Therapy Practice (3 credits)**
- FMSC 698P Advanced Topics in Family Science; Play Therapy (3 credits) (Elective)
- FMSC 698T Advanced Topics in Family Science; Testing and Assessment in Couple and Family Therapy (3 credits) (Elective)***
Semester II (Spring)
- FMSC 610 Research Methods in Family Science (3 credits)
- FMSC 641 Couples Therapy: Theory and Techniques (3 credits)
- FMSC 651 Treatment of Emotional and Mental Disorders in the Family Context (3 credits)
- FMSC 658 Supervised Clinical Practice of Marriage and Family Therapy (At least 1 credit)*
Summer Session I
- FMSC 645 Sexuality: Issues in Family Therapy and Service Delivery (3 credits)
- FMSC 658 Supervised Clinical Practice of Marriage and Family Therapy (At least 1 credit)*
Summer Session II
- FMSC 658 Supervised Clinical Practice of Marriage and Family Therapy (At least 1 credit)*
Semester III (Fall)
- FMSC 642 Normal and Abnormal Individual and Family Development (3 credits)
- FMSC 652 Psychopathology and Diagnosis in Family System (3 credits)
- FMSC 698A Advanced Topics in Family Science: Trauma and Addiction (3 credits) (Elective)
- FMSC 658 Supervised Clinical Practice of Marriage and Family Therapy (At least 1 credit, 2 credits recommended)*
- FMSC 654 Clinical Marriage and Family Therapy Practice (3 credits)**
- FMSC 698T Advanced Topics in Family Science; Testing and Assessment in Couple and Family Therapy (3 credits) (Elective)***
Semester IV (Spring)
- SPHL 600 Foundations of Public Health (3 credits)
- FMSC 653 Advanced Application of Marriage and Family Therapy Models and Techniques (3 credits)
- FMSC 658 Supervised Clinical Practice of Marriage and Family Therapy (At least 1 credit, 2 credits recommended)*
- FMSC 789 Non-thesis Research (Non-Thesis Option: Written and Oral Case Presentation) (3 credits)
- FMSC 799 Master's Thesis Research (Thesis Option: Thesis and Oral Examination of Thesis) (1-6 credits)
* For graduation, you need 9 credits in FMSC 658. You need to register for at least 1 credit per semester (excluding winter courses). Because registration for only 1 credit/semester makes a total of 6 credits, it is up to you how you will distribute the remainder of the three credits. In any given semester you can register for between 1 and 3 credits.
** You decide whether to register for winter courses in the first or second winter in the program.
*** Please note that the FMSC 698T is offered every other year and therefore, it is taken by students in both cohorts. This also means that for one cohort the class will be offered in the winter session of the first year and for the other cohort it will be offered in the winter session of second year. For the cohort starting in Fall 2020, FMSC 698T will be offered in the winter session of their first year.
The following is a list of all graduate courses offered in the Department of Family Science, including those required for the Ph.D. program in Family Science.
SPHL 600 Foundations of Public Health (3)
An overview of the goals, functions, and methods of public health. After an introduction to the core concepts and tools used in public health research and practice, applications of these methodologies are considered in the context of current controversies/problems in public health. Students work together to develop strategies for prevention and control that taken into consideration different points of view, outside research, and impacts on individuals and communities.
FMSC 610 Research Methods in Family Science (3)
Prerequisite: EDMS 645 or equivalent.
Research methods in family science. The role of theory, design, use of qualitative and quantitative measurement techniques, data collection and data analysis. Development of research proposals.
FMSC 640 Family Therapy: Theory and Techniques (3)
Fundamental theoretical concepts and clinical procedures in marital and family therapy. Emphasis on those therapies which operate from a family systems perspective.
FMSC 641 Couples Therapy: Theory and Techniques (3)
Prerequisite: FMSC 640.
Exploration of the dynamics of the couple relationship and methods of facilitating growth and interaction within that relationship. Emphasis on couples with conflicting needs and expectations, dysfunctional communication and conflict-negotiation skills. Alternative theoretical approaches and methods of marital therapy.
FMSC 642 Normal and Abnormal Individual and Family Development (3)
Prerequisite: FMSC 640.
Normal development and psychopathology and their effects on the family system: implications for assessment, diagnosis, and therapeutic interventions. Emphasis on families with school-age children, parent-child relationships, and the application of current DSM within the family context.
FMSC 645 Sexuality: Issues in Family Therapy and Service Delivery (3)
Prerequisite: a basic course in human sexuality and permission of instructor.
Typical, dysfunctional, and pathological sexual functioning: effects on individuals, couples, and family systems. Sensitizes students to sexual issues, explores how perceptions of such issues affect work with people, and emphasizes implications for marriage and family therapy.
FMSC 646 Sex Therapy: Theory, Skills and Practice (3)
Prerequisite: FMSC 645 or permission of the department.
Introduction to theory and practice of sex therapy, including information about human sexual function and dysfunction and appropriate intervention methods. Emphasis on the relationship system and the dynamics of sexual functioning within that system.
FMSC 647 Theory and Techniques of Family Mediation (3)
An introduction to family mediation as an approach to helping families deal effectively with the issues associated with separation and divorce. Theory, practice and techniques of negotiation, with an emphasis on custody, property division and constructive restructuring of the family relationship.
FMSC 650 Ethical, Legal, and Professional Principles in Marriage and Family Therapy (3)
Prerequisite: Permission of department. Limited to students admitted to the family therapy program.
An introduction to the basic principles and practices of family therapy. Emphasis on basic therapy skills applied to a family context and on professional ethics of the family practitioner. Addresses therapist's legal responsibilities and liabilities, certification, and licensure issues.
FMSC 651 FMSC 651 Treatment of Emotional and Mental Disorders in the Family Context* (3)
*Formerly, Psychopathology in the Family Context
Prerequisite: FMSC 650. Limited to students admitted to the family therapy program.
Initial application of family therapy skills and theoretical models to the practice of marriage and family therapy. Didactic focus on assessment and diagnosis of family process. Emphasis on treatment plans from different therapeutic models demonstrated in case presentations and supervision of therapy.
FMSC 652 Psychopathology and Diagnosis in the Family System* (3)
*Formerly, Diagnosis and Treatment of Mental and Emotional Disorders in Family Systems
Prerequisite: FMSC 651. Limited to students admitted into the family therapy program.
Integration of systematic assessment and intervention procedures with couples and families, within the context of the various family therapy models. Didactic emphasis is given to procedural issues, critique and utilization of current DSM, and specific problems encountered in family therapy work. Advanced professional responsibility as demonstrated in case presentations and supervision.
FMSC 653 Advanced Application of Marriage and Family Therapy Models and Techniques (3)
Prerequisite: FMSC 652. Limited to students admitted to the family therapy program.
Concluding course in the clinical therapy, assessment, diagnosis, and treatment series. Didactic focus on personal theory building, continued professional development, and extension of systematic intervention to community consultation with other mental health professionals. Emphasis on personal values and professional ethics as applied in case presentations and supervision.
FMSC 654 Clinical Marriage and Family Therapy Practice (3)
Prerequisite: FMSC 651.
Application of theory and technique to the clinical practice of marriage and family therapy. Emphasis on case management and clinic administration. Includes completion of 12 successive months and 500 hours of supervised, direct client contact with couples, families, and individuals from an integrative family systems perspective.
FMSC 658 Supervised Clinical Practice of Marriage and Family Therapy (1-3)
Prerequisite: FMSC 650
The supervision of marriage and family therapy client contact. Various family systems models of supervision applied via extant methods, including live, videotaped and audiotaped.
FMSC 689 Research Internship (1-3)
Prerequisite: Permission of instructor and department.
Research experience resulting in a scholarly article suitable for publication in a peer-reviewed journal.
FMSC 698A Trauma and Addictions in the Context of the Family (3)
Introductory course in Trauma and Addictions. Addictions will be viewed through a trauma lens with attention paid to the family context. Special attention will be paid to the importance of therapist self-care when working with traumatized individuals, families, and addictions, along with the overall ethical implications involved in this work.
FMSC 698P Play Therapy (3)
This course emphasizes the varied models which are practiced as “Play Therapy,” including child-centered, filial therapy, Theraplay®, and Circle of Security® models. Other expressive arts therapies will also be explored including art and sand therapies. Through didactic instruction and experiential activities, students will implement what they are learning in their work with children and their families.
FMSC 698T Testing and Assessment in Couple and Family Therapy (3)
This is a graduate course in family, couple, and individual testing and assessment. The course will cover typical procedures and instruments for assessing qualities of individual functioning and relationship functioning, in work with families and couples. Study of the assessment process will include the use of standardized tests, clinical interviews, and behavior rating scales. The use of assessment in treatment plans and treatment outcome evaluation, ethical considerations, and the dissemination of information to clients and others are covered.
FMSC 699 Independent Study (1-6)
Prerequisite: Permission of instructor and department. Repeatable to a maximum of 6 credits.
FMSC 700 Applications of Advanced Quantitative Methods to Family Research (3)
Prerequisite: FMSC 610 or equivalent; EDMS 651
Optimal use of various designs, statistical methods and procedures in behavioral research in families. Development of a research study, including theory selection, hypothesis development, data analysis and preparation of findings for publication.
FMSC 710 Maternal and Child Health from a Life Course Perspective (3)
Survey of current science in maternal and child health informed by a life course perspective. The surveyed topics include inutero exposure to toxins, feeding and growth, and effects of chronic stress, maternal and child health.
FMSC 720 Perinatal, Child, and Adolescent Health (3)
Examination of major problems and issues associated with the health status of women of reproductive age, infants, toddlers, children, and adolescents. Analysis of biological, environmental, psychosocial, and cultural determinants of health for the target populations. Overview of prevention and intervention programs for children and youth.
FMSC 745 Gender and Ethnicity in Family Therapy and Service Delivery (3)
Major critiques of sources of racial, cultural, and gender bias in marital and family therapy and family service delivery. Addresses these issues in program development, clinical practice, and policy.
FMSC 750 Family and Health Policy (3)
Development and analysis of public policies affecting the health and well-being of children, youth, and families, with an emphasis on low-income and ethnic minority populations. Examination of social, economic, and political dynamics that influence family and health policies and the delivery of health care. Introduction to health advocacy within the US public health system.
FMSC 760 Legal Issues & Families (3)
Analysis of marriage and family issues from a legal perspective. Review of legal decisions affecting families, including procreative rights, marriage, termination of marriage, parental and child rights, adoption, child custody, and child/family medical treatment. Relationship between family law and family policy.
FMSC 780 Qualitative Methods in Family and Health Research (3)
Theoretical perspectives and methodological tools to conduct research with individuals and families across the life span. Review of research designs, participant fieldwork, observation and interview projects, data collection, computer-assisted data analysis, and development of grounded theory.
FMSC 789 Non-thesis Research (1-3)
Non-thesis research papers.
FMSC 799 Master's Thesis Research (1-6)
FMSC879 Preparing Future Faculty and Professionals (1/semester-up to 4)
Development of skills necessary to obtain and succeed in academic and non-academic positions in family science and public health. Topics include: career mapping, networking, teaching/teaching portfolios, independent research, publishing, grant writing, program and policy evaluation, consulting, job search, interviewing and negotiation, mentoring, diversity, work-family balance, and ethical issues in the workplace. Periodic visits to universities and government/nonprofit employers.
FMSC 899 Doctoral Dissertation Research (1-12)
The Department seeks students who are imaginative, intelligent, and highly motivated men and women with a desire for challenge, a commitment to excellence, and a well-developed sense of social responsibility. Prior coursework in family studies, human development, abnormal psychology, introduction to therapy or counseling, and statistics courses are useful in preparation for graduate CFT work. In addition, computer literacy is essential. We are fortunate to attract gifted students who are concerned about social and ethical issues and who view their future profession in a broad context.
Students are selected on the basis of:
- a bachelor’s degree in family studies or a related discipline,
- a minimum 3.0 (out of 4.0) grade point average for the Baccalaureate degree,
- the quality of previous undergraduate and/or graduate coursework,
- letters of recommendation,
- relevant work experience,
- a Curriculum Vitae,
- a writing sample,
- international applicants are commonly required to submit TOEFL/IELTS/PTE scores,
- professional goals congruent with those of the program.
Students also have the option of applying jointly to the CFT program and the Department's Family Science PhD program. See the application procedures for the doctoral program on the PhD, Family Science program page.
Students who wish to apply for the CFT Program must complete the University of Maryland Graduate Application online, which includes 3 letters of recommendation, a statement of goals, a statement of purpose, and official transcripts from all institutions attended.
Application to the program is made through the University of Maryland Graduate School website. The Department of Family Science admits students in the fall semester only. The deadline for submitting the Graduate School Application and the Couple and Family Therapy Application Form is December 3rd (December 3rd is also the deadline for international students and citizens living abroad). Students are strongly encouraged to apply before the deadline date.
The top candidates for the program are invited to an interview (typically in February) with CFT faculty and current graduate students. Graduate fellowships, assistantships, and tuition waivers are available for the most qualified students.
Application Procedures for the Couple and Family Therapy (CFT) Program at the University of Maryland, College Park:
Step #1: Apply to the University’s graduate school
- Go to the TerpEngage Graduate Admissions System.
- Apply to the CFT program through UMD’s graduate school admission portal.
- A $75 non-refundable application fee will be processed with your application.
- Mail all transcripts reflecting all undergraduate and graduate work completed or in progress to:
University of Maryland at College Park
Enrollment Services Operations
Application for Graduate Admission
0130 Mitchell Building
College Park, MD 20742
- Letters of recommendation need to be submitted through TerpEngage.
- All information provided in this application will be directly sent by Graduate Admissions to the Department of Family Science for review (please do mail additional hard copies of the graduate school application to the department).
All application materials are due by December 3rd. For any questions about the application materials, contact the Department of Family Science at email@example.com.
Please note that for the Fall 2022 admissions, there is no GRE requirement.
INCOMPLETE APPLICATIONS WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED
Mariana Falconier, PhD
Associate Professor, Family Science
Director, Couple and Family Therapy Master's Program
Dr. Mariana Falconier is an Associate Professor in the Department of Family Science at the University of Maryland, College Park. She completed her master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) and her doctoral degree in Family Studies at the Department of Family Science at the University of Maryland, College Park. Before joining the University of Maryland she was an Associate Professor at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, serving first Director of the Center for Family Services (2008-2016) and later as Director of the Master's Program in Marriage and Family Therapy (2017-2018). Dr. Falconier, originally from Argentina, began her work as a therapist with individuals, couples, and families in 1992. She is a licensed marriage and family therapist in both states Maryland and Virginia and has been an approved supervisor by the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy since 2007. Dr. Falconier was also director of outpatient mental health clinics at WATS and Vesta, Inc. before joining Virginia Tech. She has taught in five different universities undergraduate and graduate courses in multicultural and diversity issues in MFT, couple therapy, MFT theories and
techniques, particularly post-modern approaches, and developmental psychology. Her research focuses on how couples cope with stress, primarily economic stress among low-income couples and immigration stress in Latinx couples. She has developed the evidence-based program TOGETHER, an interdisciplinary group program designed to help couples improve their communication, coping, and financial management skills. Dr. Falconier has received over $11 million dollars in federal funding to implement the TOGETHER program and initially to evaluate it in a randomized controlled trial. Dr. Falconier has published and presented nationally and internationally and is the leading editor of the book Couples Coping with Stress: A Cross-Cultural Perspective, recipient of the 2018 CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title Award.
Education and Training
2005 Ph.D., Family Studies
Department of Family Studies, University of Maryland, College Park
2002 M.S., Marriage and Family Therapy
Department of Family Studies, University of Maryland, College Park
1994 National Professor of English
Superior National Institute of Professorship Dr. J. V. Gonzalez, Buenos Aires, Argentina
1992 Licenciate in Psychology (equivalent to MA in Psychology)
School of Psychology, University of Buenos Aires, Argentina
- FMSC 641 - Couples Therapy: Theory and Techniques
- FMSC 658 - Supervised Clinical Practice of Marriage and Family Therapy
- FMSC 745 - Gender and Ethnicity in Family Therapy and Service Delivery
Falconier, M. K., & Jackson, J. (2020). Economic strain and couple relationship functioning: A meta-analysis. International Journal of Stress Management. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/str0000157
Falconier, M. K., & Khun, R. (2019). Dyadic coping in couples: A conceptual integration and review of the clinical literature. Frontiers in Psychology. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.00571
Falconier, M. K., Rusu, P., & Bodenmann, G. (2019). Initial Validation of the Dyadic Coping Inventory for Financial Stress. Stress & Health, 35, 367-381. doi: 10.1002/smi.2862
Hequembourg Policay, R., & Falconier, M .K. (2019). Therapy dogs in couple and family therapy– A therapist’s perspective. Contemporary Family Therapy, 41, (79-91). DOI:10.1007/s10591-018-9472-z
Escobar, J., Falconier, M. K., & Muruthi, B. (2019). “Se llevaron al padre de mis hijos”: Latina mothers coping with the deportation of their partners. Journal of Family Therapy, 41, 277-301. doi: 10.1111/1467-6427.12227
Arshad, Z., & Falconier, M. K. (2018). The experiences of non-Muslim Caucasian licensed marriage and family therapists who work with South Asian and Middle Eastern Muslim clients. Journal of Family Therapy, 41, 54-79. doi: 10.1111/1467-6427.12203
Rusu, P. P., Hilpert, P., Falconier, M., & Bodenmann (2018). How economic strain affects support in couples: The mediating role of positive emotions. Stress and Health, 34, 320-330.
Rick, J.*, Falconier, M. K., & Wittenborn, A. (2017). Emotion regulation and relationship satisfaction in clinical couples. Personal Relationships, 24, 790-803. doi: 10.1111/pere.12213
Kanti, K. M.*, & Falconier, M. K. (2017). The experience of Asian Americans caring for their elderly parents. Journal of Cultural Diversity, 24, 73-83.
Falconier, M. K., Huerta*, M., & Hendrickson, E. (2016). Immigration Stress, Exposure to Traumatic Life Experiences, and Problem Drinking Among First-Generation Immigrant Latino Couples. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 33, 469-492. doi: 10.1177/0265407515578825
Falconier, M. K., Jackson, J., Hilpert, J., & Bodenmann, G. (2015). Dyadic coping and relationship satisfaction: A meta-analysis. Clinical Psychology Review, 42, 28-46.doi:10.1016/j.cpr.2015.07.002
Regan, T. W., Lambert, S. D., Kelly, B., Falconier, M. K., Kissane, D., & Levesque, J. (2015). Couples coping with cancer: Exploration of theoretical frameworks from dyadic studies. Psycho-Oncology, 24, 1605-1617. doi: 10.1002/pon.3854
Falconier, M.K. (2015). Together – A Couples’ Program to Improve Communication, Coping, and Financial Management Skills: Development and Initial Pilot-Testing. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 41, 236-250. doi: 10.1111/jmft.12052
Falconier, M. K., Nussbeck, F., Bodenmann, G., Schneider, H., & Bradbury, T. N. (2015). Stress From Daily Hassles In Couples: Its Effects on Intra-Dyadic Stress, Relationship Satisfaction, and Physical and Psychological Well-Being. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 41, 221-235. doi: 10.1111/jmft.12073
Quach, A. S., Epstein, N. B., Riley, P. J., Falconier, M. K., & Fang, X. (2015). Effects of parental warmth and academic pressure on anxiety and depression symptoms in Chinese adolescents. Journal of Child and Family Issues, 24, 106-116.doi:10.1007/s10826-013-9818-y
Mojta, C.,* Falconier, M. K., & Huebner, A. (2014). Fostering Self-Awareness in Novice Therapists Using Internal Family Systems Therapy. American Journal of Family Therapy, 42, 67-68. doi:10.1080/01926187.2013.772870.
Falconier, M. K., Nussbeck, F., & Bodenmann, G. (2013). Immigration stress and relationship satisfaction in Latino couples: The role of dyadic coping. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 32, 813-843.
Falconier, M. K., Nussbeck, F., & Bodenmann, G. (2013). Dyadic coping in Latino couples: Validity of the Spanish version of the Dyadic Coping Inventory. Anxiety, Stress, & Coping, 26, 446-466. doi: 10.1080/10615806.2012.699045
Falconier, M. K., McCollum, E., Austin, J., Wainbarg, M., Hasbun, G., & Mora, S. (2013). IPV among Latinos: Community perceptions on help-seeking and needed programs. Partner Abuse, 4, 1-24. doi: 10.1891/1946-6518.104.22.1686
Falconier, M. K. (2013). Traditional Gender Role Orientation and Dyadic Coping in Immigrant Latino Couples: Effects on Couple Functioning. Family Relations, 62, 269-283. doi:10.1111/fare.12002.
Austin, J., * & Falconier, M. K. (2013). Spirituality and common dyadic coping: Protective factors from psychological aggression in Latino immigrant couples. Journal of Family Issues, 34, 323-346. doi: 10.1177/0192513X12452252.
Finkbeiner, N. M., Epstein, N. B., & Falconier, M. K. (2013). Low Intimacy as a moderator between depression and relationship satisfaction. Personal Relationships, 20, 406-421. doi:10.1111/j.1475- 6811.2012.01415.x
Falconier, M. K., & Epstein, N. B. (2011). Female demand/male withdraw communication in Argentinian couples: A mediating factor between economic strain and relationship distress. Personal Relationships, 18, 586-603. doi: 0.1111/j.1475-6811.2010.01326.x.
Falconier, M. K., & Epstein, N. B. (2011). Couples experiencing financial strain: What we know and we can do. Family Relations, 60, 303-317. doi: 10.1111/j.1741-3729.2011.00650.x
Falconier, M. K. (2010). Female anxiety and male depression: The link between economic strain and psychological aggression in a clinical sample of Argentinean couples. Family Relations. Special Issue: Finances, families, and hard times, 59, 424-438. doi: 10.1111/j.1741-3729.2010.00613.x.
Falconier, M. K., & Epstein, N. B. (2010). Relationship satisfaction in Argentinean couples under economic strain: Mediating factors and gender differences in a dyadic stress model. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 27, 781-799. doi: 10.1177/0265407510373260
Epstein, N. B., & Falconier, M. K. (under contract). Treatment plans and interventions in couple therapy. Guildford.
Falconier, M. K., Randall, A. K. , & Bodenmann, G. (2016). Couples coping with stress: A cross-cultural perspective. New York: Routledge. 2018 CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title
Veiga, R., Lapidus, R., & Falconier, M. K. (1999). Mediacion educativa [Educational Mediation].Buenos Aires: ISIP.
Bodenmann, G., Falconier, M. K., & Randall, A. K. (2019). Dyadic coping: The systemic-transactional model. In J. Lebow, A. Chambers, & D. Breunlin, Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy. Springer.
Epstein, N. B., & Falconier, M. K. (2019). Communication training in couple and family therapy. In J. Lebow, A. Chambers, & D. Breunlin, Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy. Springer
Falconier, M. K. (2019). Norman Epstein. In J. Lebow, A. Chambers, & D. Breunlin, Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy. Springer.
Falconier, M. K., & Epstein, N. B. (2019). Contingency contracting in couple and family therapy. In J. Lebow, A. Chambers, & D. Breunlin, Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy. Springer. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-15877-8_78-1
Falconier, M. K., Kim, J., & Conway, A. (2018). TOGETHER: A Couple’s Model to Enhance Relationships and Economic Stability. In S. Donato (Ed), When "we" are stressed: A dyadic approach to coping with stressful events, NOVA Publisher.
Epstein, N. B., & Falconier, M. K. (2016). Shame in Couples’ Therapy. In J. Fitzgerald (Ed.), Foundations of Couples’ Therapy: Research for the Real World. New York: Routledge.
Falconier, M. K., Randall, A. K., & Bodenmann, G. (2016). Introduction. In M. K. Falconier, A. K., Randall, & G. Bodenmann (Eds.), Couples coping with stress: A cross-cultural perspective. New York: Routledge
Bodenmann, G., Randall, A. K., & Falconier, M. K. (2016). Coping in couples: The systemic transactional model (STM). In M. K. Falconier, A. K., Randall, & G. Bodenmann (Eds.), Couples coping with stress: A cross-cultural perspective. New York: Routledge.
Falconier, M. K., Randall, A. K., & Bodenmann, G. (2016). Cultural considerations in understanding dyadic coping across cultures. In M. K. Falconier, A. K., Randall, & G. Bodenmann (Eds.), Couples coping with stress: A cross-cultural perspective. New York: Routledge.
Falconier, M. K. (2016). Dyadic coping in Latino couples. In M. K. Falconier, A. K., Randall, & G. Bodenmann (Eds.), Couples coping with stress: A cross-cultural perspective. New York: Routledge.
Falconier, M. K., Bodenmann, G., & Randall, A. K. (2016). Conclusion. In M. K. Falconier, A. K., Randall, & G. Bodenmann (Eds.), Couples coping with stress: A cross-cultural perspective. New York: Routledge
Epstein, N. B., & Falconier, M. K. (2014). Cognitive-behavioral therapies for couples and families. In J. L. Wetchler & L. L. Hecker (Eds.), An Introduction to marriage and Family therapy (2nd ed.) (pp. 259-318). New York: Routledge.
Epstein, N. B., & Falconier, M. K. (2011). Shame in couple therapy: Helping to heal the intimacy bond. In R. Dearing & J.P. Tangney (Eds.), Shame in the therapy hour (pp. 167-192). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association
Baucom, D.H., Epstein, N., Kirby, J.S., & Falconier, M.K. (2010). Couple therapy: Theoretical perspectives and empirical findings. In D.H. Barlow (Ed.), Oxford handbook of clinical psychology (pp. 789-809). New York: Oxford University Press.
Wainstein, M., & Falconier, M. K. (2000). Intervenciones constructivas [Constructivist interventions]. In M. Wainstein (Ed.), Intervenciones con individuos, parejas, familias y organizaciones [Interventions with individuals, couples, families, and organizations] (pp. 97-115). Buenos Aires, Argentina: EUDEBA.
Patricia Barros, PhD
Assistant Clinical Professor, Family Science
Director, Center for Healthy Families
Dr. Patricia Barros is the Clinic Director of the Center for Healthy Families. She has provided clinical services at school, home-based and community health clinics with a variety of populations. She sees the importance of self-of- the-therapist work as part of providing culturally sensitive services. She is particularly interested in life transitions and how multiple systems can facilitate the growth of culturally minority families and individuals throughout the lifespan.
Education and Training
Ph.D., Marriage and Family Therapy, Kansas State University, 2015
M.S., Marriage and Family Therapy, Kansas State University, 2012
M.S., Psychology, Kansas State University, 2010
B.S., Psychology, Universidade Catolica de Pernambuco, 2005
- FMSC 640 - Family Therapy: Theory and Technique
- FMSC 653 - Advanced Application of Marriage and Family Therapy Models and Techniques
- FMSC 654 - Clinical Marriage and Family Therapy Practice
- FMSC 658 - Supervised Clinical Practice of Marriage and Family Therapy
Brown, C. C., Barros-Gomes, P., Smith, E., Stith, S., Cafferky, B. (2017). The contextual role of depression within couples experiencing partner violence. Journal of Couple & Relationship Therapy. https://doi.org/10.1080/15332691.2017.1372832
Cornish, P. A., Berry, G., Benton, S., Barros-Gomes, P., Johnson, D., Ginsburg, R., ... & Romano, V. (2017). Meeting the mental health needs of today’s college student: Reinventing services through Stepped Care. Psychological Services, 14(4), 428. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/ser00001582.
Barros-Gomes, P., Kimmes, J., Smith, E., Cafferky, B., Stith, S., Durtschi, J., & McCollum, E. (2016). The role of depression in the relationship between psychological and physical intimate violence. Journal of Interpersonal Violence. doi: 10.1177/0886260516673628
Knapp, D., Durtschi, J., Clifford, C., Kimmes, J., Barros-Gomes, P., & Sandberg, J. (2016). Self-esteem and caregiving in romantic relationships: Self- and partner perceptions. Personal Relationships. doi: 10.1111/pere.12114
Mallory, A., Dharnidharka, P., Deitz, S. L., Barros-Gomes, P., Cafferky, B., Stith, S.., & Van, K. A meta-analysis of cross cultural risk markers for intimate partner violence. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 31, 116-126. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.avb.2016.08.004
Smith, E., Barros-Gomes, P. (2015). Soliciting strengths systemically: The use of character strengths in couple and family therapy. Journal of Family Psychotherapy, 26(1), 42-46.
Barros-Gomes, P., Baptist, J. (2014). Black women's ambivalence about marriage: A voice-centered relational approach. Journal of Couple & Relationship Therapy, 13(4), 284-311. doi: 10.1080/15332691.2014.929064
Baptist, J., Barros-Gomes, P., Cafferky, B., & Johannes, E. (2014). Resilience building among adolescents from National Guard Families: Applying a developmental contextual model. Journal of Adolescent Research, 1-29. doi: 10.1177/0743558414558592
Aducci, C. J., Baptist, J. A., George, J., Barros, P. M., & Goff, B. S. N. (2011). The recipe for a good military wife: How military wives managed OIF/OEF deployment. Journal of Feminist Family Therapy, 23, 231-249.
Cafferky, B., Barros, P., & Baptist, J. Collaborative supervision compass: A tool for well-rounded supervisee development.
Barros, P.M. (2013). Proposta de intervenção com casais em situação de violência doméstica: é possível no Brasil?. In: Garcia, M. L. D, & Seixas, M. R. (org.). (2013). Violência Doméstica: A prática da terapia familiar promovendo a cultura da paz. Editora Roca: São Paulo, Brasil.
Vilar de Melo, M. F., Alves, G. M. G., Barros, P. C. M., Azevedo, N. P. S. G. (2011). Discurso, funcionamento da linguagem e subjetividade em sujeitos com afasia. In: Azevedo, N. P. G., & Fonte, R. F. L. (2011). Aquisicão da linguagem, seus distúrbios e especificidades: diferentes perspectivas. Curitiba, Brazil: CRV.
Mona Mittal, PhD
Assistant Professor, Family Science
View Dr. Mittal's CV.
Mona Mittal is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Family Science, School of Public Health, at the University of Maryland, College Park. She received her PhD in Marriage and Family Therapy from Texas Tech University and a Masters in Clinical Investigation from the University of Rochester. As a clinical researcher, Dr. Mittal is engaged in prevention and intervention research aimed at improving the health outcomes of women with experiences of intimate partner violence (IPV). Her research interests include the physical, emotional, and sexual health of women with a specific focus on psychological trauma, interruption of the intergenerational cycle of violence, and physiological mechanisms linking IPV and adverse health outcomes across the lifespan. She is the recipient of a K01 Research Scientist Career Development Award funded by NIMH aimed at developing and testing an integrated HIV-IPV risk reduction intervention for women with experiences of IPV. Most recently, she has received NIH funding to extend the focus of her research to include couples. In her new project, Dr. Mittal is addressing the synergistic interactions between substance use, violence, and HIV/AIDS (SAVA syndemic) that have been closely linked with HIV acquisition in the African American population.
Education and Training
M.A., Clinical Investigation, University of Rochester Medical Center, 2014
Ph.D., Marriage and Family Therapy, Texas Tech University, 2002
M.A., Social Work, Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS),1998
B.S., Home Science, Lady Irwin College, Delhi University, 1996
- FMSC 432 Adult Development and Aging in Families
- FMSC 610 Research Methods in Family Science
- FMSC 651 Psychopathology in the Family Context
- FMSC 658 Supervised Clinical Practice of Marriage and Family Therapy
Mittal., M., *Porter, S. C., & *Skracic, I. (in print). Systemic interventions for prevention with HIV positives. In K. E. Wampler (Editor-in-chief). Handbook of Couple and Family Therapy. Wiley Publishing.
Stith, S., Mittal., M., & Spencer, C. (in print). Couple violence: In-depth assessment and systemic interventions. In K. E. Wampler (Editor-in-chief). Handbook of Couple and Family Therapy. WileyPublishing.
*Ballard, J., Witham, M., & Mittal, M. (2016). Partner violence among immigrants and refugees. In J. Ballard, E. Wieling, & C. Solheim (Eds.), Immigrant and Refugee Families (pp. 115-138). University of Minnesota Libraries Publishing, Minneapolis, MN.
Mittal, M., Maker. A. H., & Rastogi, M. (2004). South Asians in the United States: Developing a systemic and empirically-based mental health assessment model. In M. Rastogi and E. Wieling (Eds.), The voices of color: first person accounts of ethnic minority therapists (pp. 233-254). Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks, CA. Equal Contributors.
*Drew, L. B., Mittal., M., Thoma, M., Harper, C. C., Steinberg, J. (accepted) Intimate Partner Violence and Effectiveness Level of Contraceptive Selection Post-Abortion. Journal of Women’s Health.
Slopen, N., Zhang, J., Urlacher, S. S., DeSilva, G., & Mittal, M. (2018). Maternal experiences of intimate partner violence and C-reactive protein levels in young children in Tanzania. SSM- Population Health, 6, 107-115.
Mittal, M., *Resch, K., Nichols-Hadeed, C. A., Thompson Stone, J., Thevenet-Morrison, K., Faurot, C., Cerulli, C. (2018). Examining associations between strangulation and depressive symptoms in women with intimate partner violence histories. Violence and Victims, 33 (6), 1072- 1087.
*Schroder, A., Slopen, N., Mittal, M. (2018). Accumulation, Timing, and Duration of Early Childhood Adversity and Behavior Problems at Age 9. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 1-14.
Trabold, N., McMohan, J., Whitney, S., Alsobrooks, S., Mittal., M. (2018). A systematic review of intimate partner violence interventions: State of the field and implications for practitioners. Trauma, Violence, and Abuse.
Holland, M. L., Thevenet-Morrison, K., Mittal., M., Nelson, A. A., & Dozier, A. M. (2018). Breastfeeding and exposure to past, current, and neighborhood violence. Maternal and Child Health Journal, 22 (1), 82-91.
*Ali, B., Mittal, M., *Schroder, A., Ishman, N., Quinton, S., & Boekeloo, B. (2017). Psychological violence and sexual risk behavior among predominantly African American women. Journal of Interpersonal Violence. First Published July 27, 2017.
Mittal. M., Landau, J., Thevenet-Morrison, K., Cai, X., Gibson, L., *Schroder, A., Chaize, J., & Carey, M. P. (2017). An integrated HIV risk reduction intervention for women with a history of intimate partner violence: Pilot test results. AIDS and Behavior, 21(8), 2219-2232.
Mittal, M., *Schroeder, A., Thevenet-Morrison, K., & Carey, M. P. (2016). Condom use among abused women: An event-based analysis. Annals of Public Health and Research, 3 (2), 1039.
Blackmore, E. R., Mittal., M., Cai, X., Moynihan, J. A., Matthieu, M. M, & O’Connor, T.G. (2016). Exposure to intimate partner violence and proinflammatory cytokine levels across the perinatal period. Journal of Women’s Health, 25(10), 1004-1013.
*McGrane Minton, H. A., Mittal., M., *Elder, H., Carey, M. P. (2015). Relationship factors and condom use and women with a history of intimate partner violence. AIDS and Behavior 20 (1) 225–234.
McMahon, J. M., Chimenti, R., Fedor, T., Trabold, N., Mittal, M., & Tortu, S. (2015). Risk of intimate partner violence and relationship conflict following couple-based HIV prevention counseling: Results from the Harlem River Couples Project. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 32(24), 3709-3734.
Sabri, B., Renner, L. M., Stockman, J. K., Mittal., M., & Decker, M. R. (2014). Risk factors for severe intimate partner violence and violence-related injuries among women in India. Women & Health, 54(4), 281-300.
Morse, D. S., Cerulli, C., Bedell, P., Wilson, J., Thomas, S., Mittal, M., Lamberti, J. S., Williams, G., Silverstein, J., Mukherjee, A., Walck, D., Chin, N. (2013). Meeting health and psychological needs of women in drug treatment court. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 46(2), 150-157.
Mittal, M., Senn, T., & Carey, M. P. (2013). Fear of violent consequences and condom use among women attending a STD clinic. Women & Health, 53, 795-807.
Mittal, M., Stockman, J. K., Seplaki, C. L., Thevenet-Morrison, K., Guido, J., and Carey, M.P. (2013). HIV risk among women from domestic violence agencies: Prevalence and correlates. Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care, 24(4), 322-30.
Morse, D. S, Lafleur, R., Fogarty, C., Mittal, M., and Cerulli, C. (2012). They told me to leave: How health care providers address intimate partner violence. Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine, 25(3),333-342.
Mittal, M., Senn, T., & Carey, M.P. (2012). Intimate partner violence and condom use among women: Does the Information-Motivation- Behavioral Skills (IMB) Model explain sexual risk behavior? AIDS and Behavior, 16(4), 1011-1019.
Mittal, M., Senn, T., Carey, M. P. (2011). Mediators of the relation between partner violence and sexual risk behavior among women attending a sexually transmitted disease clinic. Sexually Transmitted Disease, 38(6), 510-515.
Landau, J., Mittal, M., & Wieling, L. (2008). Linking human systems: Strengthening individuals, families, and communities in the wake of trauma. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 34 (2), 193-209.
*Wang, M., Sandberg, J., * Zavada, A., Mittal, M., Gosling, A., * Rosenberg, T.,* Jeffery, A., & * McPheters, J. (2006).“Almost there”…Why clients fail to engage in family therapy: An exploratory study. Contemporary Family Therapy, 28 (2), 211 – 224.
Mittal, M. & Wieling, E. (2006). Training experiences of international doctoral students in marriage and family therapy. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 32(3), 369-384.
Mittal, M. & Hardy, K.V. (2005). A re-examination of the current status and future of family therapy in India. Contemporary Family Therapy, 27 (3), 285-299.
Mittal, M., & Wieling, E. (2004). The influence of therapists’ ethnicity on the practice of feminist family therapy: A pilot study. Journal of Feminist Family Therapy, 16(2), 1-24.
Mittal. M, & Wieling, E. (2002). Expanding the horizons of marriage and family therapists: Towards global interconnectedness. Journal of Feminist Family Therapy, 14(1), 53-63. *Equal Contributors.
Harris, S. M., Dersch, C. A., & Mittal, M. (1999). Look who is talking: Measuring self- disclosure in MFT. Contemporary Family Therapy, 21(3), 405-415
Amy Morgan, MS, PhD
Assistant Professor, Family Science
Dr. Amy Morgan is an Assistant Professor of Couple and Family Therapy in the Department of
Family Science in University of Maryland’s School of Public Health. She received her PhD in
Human Development and Family Science: Marriage and Family Therapy from Virginia Tech, and a master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy from the University of New Hampshire. As a scholar, Dr. Morgan is engaged in family science research focusing on the health, well-being, and resilience of families experiencing parental incarceration. In particular, Dr. Morgan’s research agenda seeks to understand factors that promote family resilience during parental incarceration in order to develop supportive interventions for formerly incarcerated individuals and their families. Most recently, Dr. Morgan was awarded grant funding from the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) Research and Education Foundation to investigate resilience processes after incarceration. Dr. Morgan is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) and an AAMFT-approved clinical supervisor. Dr. Morgan is also heavily involved in policy work, advancing research that explores mental healthcare policy and serving as a statewide legislative policy leader for organizations including AAMFT and the National Council for Behavioral Health.
Education and Training
Ph.D., Human Development and Family Science: Marriage and Family Therapy, Virginia Tech, 2020
M.S., Human Development and Family Science: Marriage and Family Therapy, University of New Hampshire, 2012
B.A., Psychology, University of New Hampshire, 2010
- FMSC 330 - Family Theories & Patterns
- FMSC 610 - Research Methods in Family Science
- FMSC 651 - Psychopathology in Family Context
- FMSC 58 - Supervised Clinical Practice of Marriage and Family Therapy
Morgan, A. A., *Thomas, M. E., & Brossoie, N. (2020). Trauma informed care as a framework for addressing the opioid epidemic in Appalachia: An exploratory integrative phenomenological analysis. Journal of Rural Mental Health, 44, 156-159. doi:10.1037/rmh0000137.
Morgan, A. A., Arditti, J. A., Spiers, S., & Buechner-Maxwell, V. (2020). “Came for the horses, stayed for the men”: A Mixed Methods Analysis of Staff, Community, and Reentrant Perceptions of a Prison Equine Program (PEP). Journal of Offender Rehabilitation, 59, 156-176. doi:10.1080/10509674.2019.1706688.
Arditti, J. A. , Morgan, A. A., Spiers, S., Buechner-Maxwell, V., & Shivy, V. (2020). Perceptions of rehabilitative change among incarcerated persons enrolled in a prison-equine program (PEP): Implications for Reentry into Family and Community Life. Journal of Qualitative Criminal Justice & Criminology, 8(2), 1-30. doi:10.21428/88de04a1.f0206951
Morgan, A. A., & Arditti, J. A. (2020). Incarceration and the family. In J. J. Ponzetti Jr., M. Blankemeyer, S. Horan, H. Lyons, & A. Shigeto. (Eds.), Macmillan Encyclopedia of Intimate and Family Relationships: An Interdisciplinary Approach. USA: Macmillan Reference.
Fullen, M. C., Wiley, J. D., & Morgan, A. A. (2019). The Medicare mental health coverage gap: How licensed professional counselors navigate Medicare-ineligible provider status. The Professional Counselor, 9, 310-323. doi:10.15241/mcf.9.4.310.
Wiley, J., Fullen, M. C., & Morgan, A. A. (2019). “Bearing the Burden”: Exploring the Implications of Licensed Professionals' Exclusion from Medicare on Rural Mental Health Disparities. Journal of Rural Mental Health, 43, 118-129. doi:10.1037/rmh0000119.
Landers, A., Morgan, A. A., Danes, S. M., & White Hawk, S. (2018). Does reunification matter? Differences in social connection to tribe and tribal enrollment among First Nations adults. Children and Youth Services Review, 94, 347-353. doi.org/10.1016/j.childyouth.2018.09.019
*Goodman, J., *Morgan, A. A., Hodgson, J., Caldwell, B. (2018). From private practice to academia: Integrating social and political policy into every MFT identity. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 44, 32 – 45. doi:10.1111/jmft.12298
Clinical Faculty Supervisors
Patricia Barros-Gomes, Ph.D., is a clinical fellow and approved supervisor in AAMFT, a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in DC, and a Graduate Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in the state of Maryland. Her special interests include gender and ethnicity issues, intimate partner violence, as well as on individual and family resiliency.
Mariana Falconier, Ph.D. is a clinical fellow and approved supervisor of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT), a Licensed Clinical Marriage and Family Therapist in Maryland, a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Virginia, and a Licensed Psychologist in Argentina. Dr. Falconier’s special interests include how couples cope with stress, with special focus on economic stress and immigration stress in Latino couples.
Mona Mittal, Ph.D., is a clinical fellow and approved supervisor in AAMFT, and a Licensed Clinical Marriage and Family Therapist in New York. Her special interests include racial and ethnic minority populations, relationship conflict, psychological trauma, and health outcomes.
Amy Morgan, M.S., Ph.D., is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and an AAMFT-approved clinical supervisor. Dr. Morgan is also heavily involved in policy work, advancing research that explores mental healthcare policy and serving as a statewide legislative policy leader for organizations including AAMFT and the National Council for Behavioral Health.
Reena Bernards, M.S., LCMFT graduated from the University of Maryland CFT program in 2008, and joined a private group practice providing therapy for children, adolescents, families, and individual adults. Reena approaches therapy from the perspective of building on the strengths of the individuals and creating a supportive environment for change within the family. She is certified in Emotionally Focused Therapy, an attachment-based clinical treatment for couples and families. Her other preferred models include Narrative Therapy and Child-Centered Play Therapy. She has a special interest in multicultural and adoptive families. She received a Masters in Public Administration from Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government, and a Bachelor of Arts from Brandeis University. Reena is an AAMFT Approved Supervisor, certified as a mediator, and has experience working as an organizational development consultant and a diversity trainer.
Merlene Blair-Brown, M.S., LCMFT is a licensed Clinical Marriage and Family Therapist who specializes with individuals ages two through a hundred-and-two. She is the founder of a holistic practice located in Baltimore County, Maryland called The Thusong-A Place of Help. Merlene is a clinical fellow of the American Association for Marriage & Family Therapy (AAMFT) and is also a Registered Nurse. Merlene is an AAMFT Approved Supervisor and has experience dealing with marital issues, anger problems, depression, and stress. Through the use of varied therapeutic techniques, Merlene encourages clients to build bridges; tear down communication barriers and begin on the road to wholeness with deeper levels of self-realization. She is a graduate of Southern Connecticut State University with a Bachelor of Nursing & Masters of Family Therapy
Jodi Cobb, Ph.D., LCMFT is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Maryland, an AAMFT clinical fellow and supervisor candidate, and a graduate of the University of Maryland CFT Program. She sees clients at her private practice, Peer Bridges, LLC in Ellicott City and at Gil Institute for Trauma Recovery and Education in Virginia. Jodi also holds graduate degrees in school psychology and was a School Psychologist with the Howard County Public School System before her MFT licensure. She has received training in Theraplay®, play therapy, interventions for children with problem sexual behaviors, Relationship Development Intervention (RDI®), trauma-focused play-based interventions, and the Extended Play-Based Developmental Assessment (EPBDA). She is also a Registered Circle of Security Parent Educator. Jodi has experience and interest in working with families impacted by autism spectrum disorders, attachment issues, adoption, foster care, sexual abuse, trauma, and LGBTQ issues.
Laura Golojuch, MS, LMFT is an AAMFT Approved Supervisor Candidate and a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who practices near Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Laura graduated from the University of Maryland's Couple and Family Therapy program and is currently completing her Ph.D. in the Department of Family Science. Her clinical interests include working with young adults through family of origin issues and life transitions, premarital therapy, and trauma. Laura's preferred models are Narrative and Solution-Focused, and DBT. Laura likes to incorporate mindfulness into her clinical practice and her supervising.
Wendy Wilcox, M.S., LCMFT is a graduate of the department’s Couple and Family Therapy Program and has been a supervisor with the Center of Healthy Families since 2007. She is a Licensed Clinical Marriage and Family Therapist in Maryland, as well as an AAMFT, Approved Supervisor and Clinical Fellow. Wendy is the Director of Bowie Youth & Family Services, where she has been on staff for twenty years. Her areas of professional interest include parenting issues, as well as the family treatment of addiction and traumatic experiences. Wendy also owns a private practice, where she specializes in EMDR and other treatments for trauma.
Jodi Cobb, Ph.D., LCMFT is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Maryland, an AAMFT clinical fellow and supervisor candidate, and a graduate of the University of Maryland CFT Program. She is currently an adjunct professor for the University of Maryland CFT graduate program where she teaches play therapy and provides clinical supervision. She sees clients at her private practice, Peer Bridges, LLC in Ellicott City and at Gil Institute for Trauma Recovery and Education in Virginia. Jodi also holds graduate degrees in school psychology and was a School Psychologist with the Howard County Public School System before her MFT licensure. She has received training in Theraplay®, Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP), play therapy, interventions for children with problem sexual behaviors, Relationship Development Intervention (RDI®), trauma-focused play-based interventions, and the Extended Play Based Developmental Assessment (EPBDA). She is also a Registered Circle of Security Parent Educator. Jodi’s professional interests include psychotherapy with parent-child dyads, children, teens, and families. She has experience and interest in working with families impacted by attachment issues, adoption, foster care, sexual abuse, trauma, and LGBTQ issues.
Marjorie Nightingale is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist specializing in couples and sex therapy in a private practice in Washington, D.C. She received her MA in Marriage and Family Therapy from LaSalle University. She is a doctoral candidate in Couple and Family Therapy at Drexel University where her research focuses on developing racially sensitive interventions for African American couples.
She has extensive clinical experience working with diverse couples. In addition, Ms. Nightingale spent several years as a family law and child welfare attorney in Baltimore where she worked with marginalized populations. As a scholar-practitioner, she has a special interest in addressing the intersection of sex and race in therapy for people of color. She recently received the 2020 AAMFT Foundation’s Outstanding Research Publication Award for her first academic article: Emotionally Focused Therapy: A culturally Sensitive Approach for African American Heterosexual Couples
Erica R. Turner, MS, is the Associate Clinical Director in the Virginia Tech Marriage and Family Therapy Program in Falls Church, VA. Ms. Turner is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, a Clinical Fellow of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, and an AAMFT Supervisor Candidate. She supervises therapist interns in the Center for Family Services, the program’s onsite clinic, and also provides supervision for interns in offsite placements.
Her clinical interests include working with couples who want to improve their connection and communication; adults who want to heal from highly difficult or abusive relationships; and providing tools to children and adults to manage anxiety. Ms. Turner is the owner of Rosewater Therapy, a private psychotherapy practice in Northern Virginia. She is passionate about advancing the mental health field and increasing public engagement in mental health and relationship topics. To that end, she is the co-founder of Therapy is Not a Dirty Word, an events and advocacy program that works to bridge the gap between therapists and the public.
Ms. Turner lives in Washington, DC with her husband, their two cats and dog.
MS, Couple and Family Therapy Students
Sabrina Alimi is from Gaithersburg, MD. She attended The University of Maryland where she received her Bachelor's degree in Family Science. While working toward her degree, Sabrina also interned at the Montgomery County Coalition for the Homeless, where she assisted faculty in onsite case management. She worked directly with residents of MCCH housing, assisted supervisors with case summaries, as well as organized group-work activities with the residents. Through her internship, she was able to gain a deeper understanding and knowledge of how economic circumstances affect families and how beneficial these programs are to them. Along with interning at MCCH and studying at the University of Maryland, Sabrina also worked as a child caregiver and worked part-time as a restaurant server. Her outside interests include interior decorating, biking, hiking, simulation gaming, and spending time with friends and family.
Neha Asif is from Dallas, Texas. She graduated from the University of Texas at Dallas with a double major in Psychology and Child Learning Development with a minor in Biology. As an undergraduate, she worked with many organizations with a focus on child development. She worked 3 years as a tutor, teaching children from K to 8th grade Math, Reading, and Writing skills and implementing behavioral management programs for children. She also worked in research focusing on couple conflict resolution, which sparked her interest in Couple and Family Therapy. Neha’s research interests include child cognitive and behavioral development, inter-generational relationships within immigrant families, couple conflict management, and parent-child attachment. In her free time, Neha likes to watch movies, read, and play board games with family and friends.
Naz Aydin is from Istanbul, Turkey. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Koc University. As an undergraduate, Naz was interested in research, social justice and child advocacy. Alongside working as a research assistant, she volunteered with the MAYA Foundation, where she worked closely with Syrian refugee children and assisted therapists in group therapy for kids with trauma. Naz also worked as a project team member in child advocacy projects and coordinator of Youth Volunteers Club for YORET Foundation. Most recently, she was the project coordinator of a funded child participation project with high school and middle school students. Her research interests include primarily working with children and families, trauma, and immigrant populations. Outside of work, Naz is a certified dance instructor. Her hobbies include dancing, watching movies, and traveling.
Sabrina Cermeno is a DC native. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Family Science from the University of Maryland, College Park. During her time as an undergraduate, Sabrina interned at A Wider Circle, where she assisted clients with a variety of adversities by providing need-based items and psychosocial support. She also spent time as a family law research assistant, focusing on the effects of Trump’s zero-tolerance policy on immigrant families. Over the summer, Sabrina interned at The Children’s Inn at NIH where she assisted in operating different therapeutic, recreational, educational programs and activities for families going through treatment. Sabrina’s research interests include parent-child relationships in Hispanic/Latino families as well as mental health issues surrounding immigrant communities in the US. Sabrina’s hobbies include watching documentaries, traveling, dancing with friends, and playing with her dog.
Regi Corbie is from Baltimore, MD. He graduated from Towson University with a Bachelor’s in Electronic Media & Film. After completing his undergraduate degree, Regi worked as a business development director for an architecture firm. Ardent for a greater purpose, Regi began to think about the ways in which he wanted to impact his community. Motivated by the lack of diverse mental health resources in the area, he co-founded the Pride Center of Maryland’s Coming Out Support Group in Baltimore City— a free, monthly resource for LGBTQIA+ individuals, providing support to those navigating the coming out process. He is also a repeat panelist invited to speak and answer questions, from Graduate students and faculty of the School of Social Work, regarding experiences and areas of improvement for mental healthcare in the LGBTQIA+ community. Regi’s experience running the support group inspired him to become a therapist so he can continue to serve and advocate for individuals and families in underrepresented communities. In his spare time, Regi enjoys cooking, watching films with his wife, and traveling.
Christopher Erb grew up in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania and moved to Brunswick County, North Carolina in high school. He attended the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics in Durham, before receiving a B.A. in Psychology and Communications from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. After obtaining his undergraduate degree, Chris spent some time working in the film industry in Los Angeles, acting as a personal script consultant to an A-list film director. Chris has worked as a certified personal trainer and Precision Nutrition coach before moving back east to become a therapist. His outside interests include strength training, screenwriting, rock climbing, and mindfulness meditation.
Camila Escamile is from Fairfax, Virginia. She earned her B.S in Psychology from Bowie State University in 2020. As an undergraduate, Camila joined project RISE and conducted research that explored factors that impact college students’ attitudes, beliefs, and experiences related to public speaking. She interned at Bowie State University’s Counseling Service department and became an assistant freshman counselor. Camila enjoyed facilitating freshman interviews that exhibited incoming students’ emotional and physical well beings as they transitioned into college. Her research interest includes machismo and family dynamics in Latinx culture. During her free time, Camila likes to go on long car rides, watch movies, and walk her dog, Peluche.
Ioanna Galani is originally from Athens, Greece. She graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a minor in Rhetoric. As an undergraduate, she has worked as a research assistant in the Culture Lab at the University of Maryland, College Park where she helped to investigate the impact of perceptions of immigrants, threats, and desire for stronger social norms. She was also a volunteer coach at the Girls on the Run program at the Fallsmead Elementary school in Rockville, Maryland where she was coaching girls from 3rd to 6th grade to prepare them to run a 5k running event. After graduating, Ioanna worked as a Student Services Manager at English Now! and Student Advisor at the Washington Center for International Education where she co-created different mental health programs, including a support group for international students and their families to talk about strategies for managing stressors and insight into the acculturation process. Ioanna’s research interests include couples and families who experience rare diseases, loss/grief, intimate partner violence, couple conflict management, parent-child attachment, and acculturation process stressors. Ioanna enjoys playing volleyball, running, traveling around the world, and hosting social events with friends.
Tamara Hull lives in Silver Spring. Tamara views her participation in the CFT program as an opportunity to experience her fullest potential while being of greatest service to others. Tamara earned a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering degree from the University of Delaware (Newark, Delaware), and her formative professional career was spent in Engineering Research and Development and Sales Account Executive roles for a Fortune 50 company. Tamara has since devoted countless hours working and volunteering in non-profit organizations - including serving as Central Maryland District President of an international women’s organization addressing social justice issues that disproportionately impact women, youth, and children; and as the leader for a faith-based group cultivating strong relationships across racial divides. The intersection of personal growth, talent for peer coaching, family leadership roles, witness to the impact family dynamics have on life’s trajectory, and experience with the value of therapy at critical life junctures are factors leading to Tamara’s professional pursuit of her passion to help families thrive. Tamara enjoys singing, photography, Bible study, beach-going, and organizing events that create joyful connections among family and friends.
Masha (Maria) Karteshev was born in Russia and moved to Israel at the age of seven. She earned a B.A. in psychology and education from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and her Masters in clinical child psychology at The Academic College of Tel Aviv-Yaffo. Masha practiced psychology in the Israeli public healthcare system and volunteered as a psychologist with Physicians for Human Rights in Israel helping refugees. She has been involved in research since her days as an undergraduate and her research interests include emotion regulation, attachment, culture, and social location. In her free time, she volunteers as an art representative in the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C, practicing art through various mediums, enjoys drag art, traveling, and wallowing in relaxation.
Samin Panahi is originally from Iran and moved to the U.S. in high school. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. As an undergraduate, she was involved in various research projects, with a focus on qualitative research. Most recently, she completed her post-bac fellowship at the National Institutes of Health, where she worked at the Pain and Palliative Care Service. She has been on several research projects and a contributing author on several papers. While there, she shadowed both individual and group sessions with a diverse patient population including seriously ill and individuals with alcoholism. Additionally, she ran supervised mindfulness-related groups for both employees and patients. Her research interests include exploring the trauma of chronic or life-threatening illnesses, its management, and various coping skills. In her free time, she enjoys learning the etymology of words in different languages, reading Dostoevsky’s novels, painting with bright colors, meditating, and playing with her cat.
Ann Pham graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park with a Bachelor of Science in Family Science. As an undergraduate, she interned at the TOGETHER Program, a research project between UMD and VT that provides free workshops to couples focusing on relationships and financial education. After earning her bachelor's, she was employed by Family Services Inc, part of the Sheppard Pratt Health System, and continued on as a case manager with the TOGETHER program. She has helped over 150 couples by providing local resources such as employment opportunities, financial education, and couple’s counseling. She is also a youth leader at her local parish and trains youth to become well-rounded individuals in society through faith-based practices. Her research interest includes the mental health of Asian American adolescents and families. In her free time, Ann enjoys making arts and crafts projects, learning about space exploration, and traveling to eat.
Claudia Roberts is from Chicago, Illinois. She graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a major in Human Development and Family Studies. Claudia was a Ronald E. Mcnair Scholar and conducted research titled Black mother’s Relationships in Coping with Role Strain. She also worked in research pertaining to trauma and resiliency. She took this interest abroad and was granted the opportunity to work with children at The Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital in Cape Town, South Africa. Most recently, Claudia contributed to the development and opening of a community wellness center through the STEM-Illinois initiative. During her undergraduate career, she worked directly with youth in Chicago Public Schools providing academic support and college application guidance. She also served as a teacher assistant for preschool-age children helping to support child development in the classroom setting. Claudia’s research interests include family relationships, trauma, and resiliency, and the effects of chronic stress on minority groups over the life course. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, making candles, and spending time with her dog.
Salwa Shan was born and raised in Maryland. She graduated with a dual degree from the University of Maryland, College Park in Biology and Secondary Education, along with an Honors Citation upon completion of the Gemstone Program. Throughout her time in college, she participated in a variety of research on campus and at Fort Detrick. After graduating, she served as a High School Science teacher in Prince George's County Public Schools for 3 years. Salwa has been involved in a number of nonprofit and service organizations in her local community and has a passion for mentorship and social justice. Her research interests include adolescents in minority families, immigrant families, resilience in marginalized youth, and adolescent identity formation, especially in Muslim Americans. In her free time, Salwa enjoys painting, running, cooking (and eating) East Asian cuisine, and spending time with her family and friends.
Emely Taveras is from Raleigh, NC. She graduated from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro with a B.S. in Human Development and Family Studies and minored in Psychology and Women and Gender Studies. As an undergraduate Emely interned at Act Together- Youth Focus Inc. in Greensboro NC, an emergency housing facility for at-risk youth who have run away, are experiencing a family crisis, and or are victims of abuse or neglect. There Emely provided direct client services to youth in an emergency crisis shelter setting; while also encouraging youth to plan, set, and achieve their personal goals. She also worked as an undergraduate research assistant on research focusing on parenting practices in Latinx families and levels of parental guidance and intrusiveness. Further exploring how parenting practices should be conceptualized and measured in Latinx families in contrast to the majority of findings in literature who have used parenting dimensions developed using White, middle-class family values. Emely’s current research interests include mental health disparities in minority families, especially in Afro-Latinx communities, intergenerational trauma, and the effects of colorism within BIPOC communities. Outside of school, Emely enjoys going on hikes, exploring new places, trying new foods, painting, and spending time with friends and family.
Mason Troupe is from Tampa, FL. He earned his bachelor’s degree studying philosophy at St. John’s College in Annapolis, MD. Some of his areas of interest are somatic psychology, trauma work, holistic medicine, Islamic psychology, and adult ADHD. In his free time, he enjoys traveling abroad, reading the works of Sufis and Platonists, and discussing philosophy. His favorite novel is The Brothers Karamazov.
Alexandra Simione is originally from Marlboro, New Jersey. She graduated with a Bachelor's and Master of Accountancy from The George Washington University. She worked as an auditor with PwC, where she spent time as a Corporate Responsibility Fellow volunteering with the Capital Area Food Bank, Wreaths Across America, and the Red Cross. She looks forward to the new volunteering opportunities at UMD. Alexandra continues to work as a treasurer for a nonprofit organization benefiting undergraduate musicians. Her current CFT research interests include open/polyamorous, LGBTQIA+, and alternative lifestyle couples. Alexandra's hobbies include hosting social events with friends, going to DC area museums, trying new restaurants, and reading romance novels.
September Stahly graduated from St. John’s College in Annapolis, MD in 2009 where she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy. September currently coaches couples with a desire to deepen their relationship through the national organization, Couples Coaching Couples. She obtained Level 1 Gottman Couples Therapy Training. Prior to attending UMD, September was a consultant to therapists transitioning from private practice to running a group practice. September’s research interests include families with teens who struggle with eating disorders as well as adoptive families. Inspired by being a yoga instructor, she also has an interest in the mind-body connection. September is an avid reader, though her focus has shifted from philosophers such as Kierkegaard and Kant to the likes of Sarah J Maas. In her free time, she enjoys traveling abroad with her husband, playing with her dogs, and beekeeping.
Katherine Tomlinson (Tee) (she/her/hers) earned undergraduate degrees in Intercultural Studies and Sociology. After graduating, she worked for a few years as a teacher and home visitor in programs focused on strengthening underserved families. Tee currently works as a Research Assistant in the Center for Early Childhood Education and Intervention and in the SOGI Health Lab at UMD. Her research interests broadly include family functioning, identity development, poverty and health, and play therapy. Outside of work and school, Tee enjoys reading, textile arts, and all things outdoors.
Amanda Wiggins is from Annapolis, Maryland. She graduated from the University of Arizona with a B.A. in Psychology and a minor in Intercultural Studies. While there she was involved in multiple research projects in the Child Cognition Lab and the Psychology, Policy and Law Lab, examining risk and protective factors of families that return to the child welfare system. She also interned at the non-profit community centers TRAK: the Therapeutic Ranch for Animals and Kids, and the Divorce Recovery Inc., in Tucson, Arizona. Additionally, she spent a summer working as a research assistant in UMD's Child Stress and Emotions Lab, working on the Preschool Emotions Project (PEP) and the Supporting Parent to Affirm Their Children's Experiences of Sexuality (SPACES) study. Outside of school, Amanda loves cooking, eating, being outdoors, and spending time with friends, family, and her pets.
What careers are CFT graduates qualified for and what are some typical jobs that graduates obtain?
CFT graduates are well trained to conduct couple and family therapy. In addition to working as couple and family therapists, past graduates have gone on to serve as agency administrators, substance abuse counselors, school counselors, human service project directors, and child/couple/family researchers.
What are the minimum requirements for entry to the program?
Applicants must have an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or better.
What academic and work experiences should students have before entering the program?
The clinical faculty considers applications to the program on a case-by-case basis. It is desirable for students to have had academic coursework in the areas of family studies, human development, research methods and statistics, abnormal psychology, and an introduction to therapy or counseling skills. Work or volunteer experience in human services (especially therapy-related experience) is highly recommended.
When is the application deadline?
All Department and Graduate School application materials for the master’s program in Couple and Family Therapy (CFT) program are due December 3rd.
What financial aid is available?
A limited amount of financial aid is available in the form of fellowships, graduate assistantships, and loans from federal, state, and private sources. Details regarding loan eligibility can be obtained from the Student Financial Aid Office. A small number of university fellowships may be available for outstanding students.
How do I apply for funding?
When you complete the Graduate School application, check the box indicating that you wish to be considered for a Graduate Assistantship. There is no additional form to complete; all students accepted into the program are considered for Graduate Fellowship and/or Assistantship support.
Do I have to take the GRE’s?
No As of right now, the GRE requirements are being waved for the 2021-2022 application cycle.
Do you accept students for the spring semester?
No, the CFT program accepts students for fall admission only.
How long does it take to complete the program?
It typically takes 2 – 2 ½ years to complete all of the requirements of the CFT program as a full-time student. The thesis option requires 51 credits; the non-thesis option requires 48 credits.
Can students hold outside jobs while attending the CFT program?
It is recommended that full-time CFT students work no more than 10 hours per week through assistantships or outside employment.
How many students are enrolled in the program?
There are currently about 20 students enrolled in the CFT program, and approximately 10 students are admitted each year. There are about 50 total students enrolled in the Family Science M.S. and Ph.D. programs.
What school of thought/model of therapy is emphasized in the CFT program and how might this emphasis differ from other training programs?
The CFT program uses an integrative systems approach. Students are exposed to all the major models in family therapy early in their course of study. These models include, but are not limited to: structural, strategic, intergenerational, feminist, cognitive-behavioral, client-centered, narrative, emotion-focused, and experiential. Although each faculty member emphasizes a particular model in his/her practice of therapy, students are not expected to adopt any one perspective. Rather, students are encouraged to experiment with various models of therapy in order to find the approach or combination of approaches that best suits them.
What types of supervision are offered by the CFT program?
Supervision in the departmentally operated clinic, The Center for Healthy Families, is provided through a range of techniques including case discussion in supervision groups, live observation through one-way mirrors, session video–tape review, and live supervision of sessions via telephone consultation or real-time video consultation during live sessions.
How does one apply to the program?
Apply to the CFT program through UMD’s graduate school admission portal.
Once ALL application materials have been submitted, the most qualified applicants are invited to an interview with the family therapy faculty and current students in the program. The interview allows the candidate to ask questions about training and other aspects of the program and provides an opportunity for the faculty to learn more about the candidate.
What are the requirements for completing a Master of Science degree in Couple and Family Therapy?
Requirements for the degree are outlined on this webpage. Students must complete 51 credit hours for the thesis option and 48 credit hours for the non-thesis option. Fifteen credits (5 courses) are seminar, nine credits are supervision of clinical work and the remaining are didactic courses. In conjunction with the series of marital and family therapy seminars, students must complete 500 hours of supervised client contact.
What is the difference between the thesis and the non-thesis option?
The thesis is an original research paper, which the student defends orally before a faculty committee. The thesis option is strongly encouraged for students interested in continuing in a Ph.D. program. The non-thesis option involves writing a clinical paper and conducting a clinical case presentation, both of which are evaluated by the full clinical faculty. The non-thesis option is available for those who see the master’s degree as their final degree and do not plan to conduct further research during their career.
How does the CFT program comply with AAMFT accreditation requirements?
The CFT program has been accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE) of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT). As a COAMFTE accredited program, the Couple and Family Therapy Program at the University of Maryland, College Park provides students with the standard curriculum of education and clinical training that is recognized across the country. The comprehensiveness of our curriculum and the extensive clinical training with diverse clients prepare our graduates for employment in a wide variety of CFT positions. In addition, the program prepares students to perform well on the National Licensing Examination. Thus, the degree is highly portable.
The clinical supervision provided by the family therapy faculty and adjunct supervisors meets AAMFT-approved criteria. Up to 100 of the 200 supervision hours required by AAMFT for clinical membership can be obtained during one's graduate work. Also, the 500 client contact hours completed during the program count toward the 1000 hours required for AAMFT clinical membership. One may complete more than the minimum hours of client contact and supervision (1 hour of supervision for each extra five hours of client contact) and these hours will also count toward AAMFT clinical membership.
Are CFTs eligible for licensure in the state of Maryland?
Yes. CFT graduates are eligible for licensure as a Licensed Clinical Marriage and Family Therapist (LCMFT) in the state of Maryland. The state requirements to sit for the licensing exam parallel the course curriculum of the University of Maryland CFT program. Two years of clinical experience and supervision are required after graduation. The Licensed Graduate Marriage and Family Therapist (LGMFT) designation was established for CFTs who have graduated and passed the licensing exam but are still accumulating the required post-graduate clinical hours.
What about licensure in other US states and territories?
The CFT program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education for the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) and provides the supervised clinical training typically required in states with Couple and Family Therapy licensure. While a detailed determination has not yet been made as to whether the program meets the requirements for professional licensure in states other than Maryland, state-by-state licensure requirements can be found on AAFMT's state resources website. Find more information about how our program specifically aligns with states. Please note that the course interpretation depends on the interpretation of each state board.
Does the CFT program encourage participation in conferences and workshops?
Students are strongly encouraged to participate in national professional conferences and the many educational events in the Washington area. In recent years, CFT students have presented their research at annual meetings of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT), the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT), and the National Council on Family Relations (NCFR). The Department makes every effort to award travel funds to graduate students presenting papers at professional conferences.
There are a variety of forms you may need to access during your graduate career here in the Department of Family Science, access all forms on the Department of Family Science student resources webpage.
Graduate Advising Information
Assignment of an Advisor
Each incoming student is assigned a faculty advisor to provide information and consultation regarding academic requirements, student services available on campus, etc. The role of a faculty advisor is differentiated from that of a mentor, a faculty member that the student selects to supervise his or her academic and professional work. A student may change advisors simply by informing the Department's Director of Graduate Studies in writing of the change.
Selecting a Mentor
All Couple and Family Therapy (CFT) students must complete a Master's thesis or a non-thesis Advanced Clinical Project (ACP). It is important to select a faculty mentor who is a good fit for your research and clinical interests to supervise your work. For more information on faculty including their research interests, projects, and publications, please click on their name: Dr. Mariana Falconier, Dr. Amy Morgan, Dr. Mona Mittal, and Dr. Patricia Barros.
Transfer and Application of Credit
Credits used to satisfy the requirements for another earned degree may NOT be applied toward the requirements for the Master of Science degree from this department.
With the approval of the Director of Graduate Studies, students may transfer up to six credit hours of graduate work not applied to a previous degree toward their FMSC degree. For further information on the transfer of credits, see the Graduate Catalog on the University of Maryland website.
If a student is inadequately prepared for some graduate courses, the Department's Graduate Committee may require the student to take additional courses. Such additional coursework is not considered part of the coursework required for the degree.
Course and Degree Time Limits
The Graduate School has specific limits on the number of years that courses are considered valid in counting toward the student's degree, and on the number of years, the student has to complete the M.S. degree.
The CFT program follows the Graduate School's policy on time length and limits. The minimum length for completing the CFT Program is 2 years, the advertised length is 2 years, and the maximum length is 5 years. The Graduate School does grant extensions of time limits in certain circumstances (usually a one-year extension for completing the degree; an additional one-year extension is much more difficult to obtain).
For a complete description of each student support service, please refer to the CFT Program Handbook and use the page guide below:
Adele H. Stamp Student Union page: 42
Dining Services page: 42
Eppley Recreation Center page: 43
Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center page: 43
Religious and Spiritual Services page: 43
Office of Student Financial Aid page: 43
Counseling Center page: 44
University Health Center page: 44
Library Services page: 44
Terrapin Tech page: 45
Writing Centers page: 45
Graduate Student Legal Aid page: 45
Office for Diversity Initiatives page: 46
LGBTQ Equity Center page: 46
Graduate Students in Public Health page: 46
Maryland Council on Family Relations page: 47
For a complete explanation of each program policy, please refer to the CFT Program Handbook and use the page guide below:
Student Recruitment Policy page: 31
Student Admission Policy page: 31
Course Waivers/Substitutions Policy page: 31
Course and Degree Time Limits Policy page: 32
Policy on Grading page: 33
Academic Integrity Policy page: 33
Code of Student Conduct page: 35
Policy on Remediation and Dismissal Regarding Ethical Violations page: 35
Policy on Faculty and Supervisor Ethical Behavior page: 35
Diversity Policy page: 35
Non-Discrimination Policy page: 36
Policy on Student Concerns, Complaints, and Grievances page: 36-37
Procedures for Review of Alleged Arbitrary and Capricious Grading page: 38-40
Retention Policy page: 40
Policy on Procedures for Clearance to Graduate page: 40
Policy on Technical Training for Students, Faculty, and Supervisors page: 41
Maryland Licensure page: 41
Portability of Degree Policy page: 41
Policy on Technology Requirements page: 42
The University has a nationally recognized Honor Code, administered by the Student Honor Council.
The University of Maryland Honor Pledge reads:
“I pledge on my honor that I have not given or received any unauthorized assistance on this assignment or examination.”
Unless you are specifically advised to the contrary, the Pledge statement should be handwritten and signed on the front cover of all your papers, projects, or other academic assignments submitted for evaluation in this course. Students who fail to write and sign the Pledge will be asked to confer with the instructor.
COAMFTE Student Achievement Criteria Data for University of Maryland, College Park Couple and Family Therapy Program
Advertised Program Length*: 2 years
|Cohort Year Students Entered Program||# of Students in Program (FT)||Advertised Graduation Rate (%)* (FT)||Maximum Graduation Rate (%)** (FT)||Job Placement Rate (%)*** (FT)||National Exam Pass Rate (%)**** (FT)|
|2018- 2019||8||50%||In Progress||100%||100%|
|2020-2021||10||In Progress||In Progress||In Progress||In Progress|
Programs are only required to provide data on the past 10 years/cohort or since the program was initial accredited, whichever is shorter.
* Programs should report graduation rates for program’s Advertised Length of Completion which is how long the program is designed to complete as written.
**Programs applying for initial or renewal of accreditation are required to publish the following in their SAC table: (1) the maximum length of program completion (years only) and (2) graduation rates for maximum length of program completion (maximum allowable time in which a student must finish the program). Programs in Maintenance of Accreditation are encouraged to continue publishing the graduation rates for maximum length of completion but are not required to do so.
*** Masters and Doctoral programs are required to provide this information. Job Placement Rates by cohort is defined as the percentage of graduates from the cohort year listed that are employed utilizing skills learned in the COAMFTE accredited program.
**** Masters programs are required to provide this information. Doctoral and Post-Degree programs are encouraged to share this with the public. For Master’s programs only, COAMFTE has established a benchmark of 70% pass rate for each cohort. Programs in California can use the California Law and Ethics exam for MFTs to meet this requirement. Masters programs can add a column if they have International students that do not take the exam or if they have students that take either the National Exam or the California Exam.
Demographic information about the MS, Couple and Family Therapy Program
Asian or Pacific Islander
Hispanic/ Latino/ Chicano
American Indian or Alaskan Native
Demographic information about the MS, Couple and Family Therapy Program
|||Male||Female||Transgender Female||Transgender Male||Non-binary||Total|
The Center for Healthy Families is a couple and family therapy clinic housed in the Department of Family Science at the University of Maryland, College Park. The Center serves as the primary clinical training site for the department's nationally accredited Couple and Family Therapy M.S. program. Graduate student interns from the Couple and Family Therapy program provide clinical services to residents of the surrounding communities. The Center serves approximately 400 area couples and families each year.
The Center for Healthy Families philosophy is to work with couples and families as a unit. Many problems and stresses are part of patterns of behavior that can best be addressed when the couple or family works together.
Operating as a non-profit clinic, the Center for Healthy Families offers services including: couple, family, and individual therapy, as well as parent education. The Center also conducts research on family relationships, interpersonal communication, treatment for domestic violence, minority couples and families, psychopathology in the family context, cultural factors affecting family life, and other problems facing today's families.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are providing teletherapy services to current and new clients.
The CHF has two major wings, one containing a waiting room for clients, ten therapy rooms (including a playroom for therapy with children), and observation rooms for live clinical supervision. All therapy rooms are equipped with comfortable furniture, digital video-recording equipment, and phones for supervisor call-in. The other wing of the CHF houses the large main office in which staff meetings are held, a clinical records storage room, a kitchen, a set of computers for record-keeping and data entry, and three seminar classrooms.
Center for Healthy Families therapists apply and integrate the latest research, theories, and methods in family therapy. All couple and family therapy services are supervised by clinical faculty of the Department of Family Science and adjunct supervisors. Supervisors are highly qualified, experienced family therapists who bring a variety of theoretical approaches and a broad experiential base to their supervision of graduate students.
The Department’s Couple and Family Therapy program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE).
Mariana Falconier, PhD is a Professor of Family Science and Director of the Couple and Family Therapy Program. She is a clinical fellow and approved supervisor of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT), a Licensed Clinical Marriage and Family Therapist in Maryland, a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Virginia, and a Licensed Psychologist in Argentina. Dr. Falconier’s special interests include how couples cope with stress, with special focus on economic stress and immigration stress in Latino couples.