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Course Offerings: MS, Couple and Family Therapy

This page is for this program only. For additional graduate courses in family science, please visit the PhD, Family Science page.


SPHL 600 Foundations of Public Health (3)

An overview of the theoretical frameworks and research findings in the field of Public Health. This course is required of all students enrolled in academic programs within the University of Maryland’s School of Public Health. 


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 630 Family Therapy with Children and Adolescents (3)
Prerequisite: FMSC 640. Limited to students admitted to the family therapy program.

Offered in the first winter session of the program. The course presents conceptual models and interventions for the assessment and treatment of children and adolescents in family therapy. Emphasis on play therapy, attachment-based therapy, developmental aspects, and common presenting problems in children and adolescents.


FMSC 635 Integrative LGBTQIA+: Clinical Knowledge and Techniques for Family, Couple, and Varied Relationship Dynamics

Prerequisite FMSC 745 and FMSC 640.

Course explores the physiological, psychological, and sociocultural variables associated with sexual expression, identity, orientation, and behavior for the LGBTQ+ population. Focus on clinical work with individuals, couples, and other varied relationship dynamics within the LGBTQ+ Community.

*Formerly "FMSC 698L Couple and Family Therapy for LGBTQ+ Clients (3 credits). Change in course name awaiting VPAC approval


FMSC 640 Family Therapy: Theory and Techniques (3)

Fundamental theoretical concepts and clinical procedures in couple 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 for facilitating growth and constructive interaction within that relationship. Theoretical models of couple therapy and their methods for assessment and treatment of distressed relationships. Applications with a variety of common problems experienced by couples. 


FMSC 642 Normal and Abnormal Individual and Family Development (3)
Prerequisite: FMSC 640.

Normal development and psychopathology, within the context of the family system: implications for assessment, diagnosis, and therapeutic interventions. Emphasis on families with school-age children, adolescents, parent-child relationships, and application of the current psychiatric diagnostic system (DSM) in work with families. 


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 couple and family therapy. 


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 Treatment of Emotional and Mental Disorders in the Family Context (3)
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 processes. Emphasis on treatment plans from different therapeutic models demonstrated in case presentations and supervision of therapy. Therapist burnout prevention and intervention. 


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 (1-2 credits per semester for a total of 9* credits) 
Prerequisite: FMSC 650.

Supervised couple and family therapy client contact. Various family systems models of supervision applied via extant methods, including live and video-recorded. 


FMSC 698A Trauma and Addictions in the Context of the Family (3)

Offered in the Fall semester of the second year in the CFT program. 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 698T Testing and Assessment in Couple and Family Therapy (3)

Offered in the second winter in the CFT program. This is a 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 745 Diversity and Social Justice in Couple and Family Therapy* (3)

Major critiques of sources of racial, cultural, and gender bias in couple and family therapy and family service delivery. Addresses these issues in program development, clinical practice, and policy. Previously named Gender and Ethnicity in Family Therapy and Service Delivery.

*Change in course name awaiting VPAC approval


FMSC 789 Non-thesis Research (1-3)
Non-thesis research papers.


FMSC 799 Master's Thesis Research (1-6)