For more than 25 years, the Department of Family Sciences has offered a master’s degree with an emphasis in marriage and family therapy. The program accredited through the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE) is now known as the couple and family therapy option. The CFT program contributes to all three missions of the University of Kentucky. As a public, land grant university, UK is focused on improving the lives of others through education, research, and service.
CFT students are required to take 53 credit hours of coursework. The courses are taught by family sciences and CFT faculty members who are focused on the academic and professional development of students. Jessica King, a current CFT student, stated, “The faculty members are supportive, but not overbearing. They focus on helping students enhance their own individual strengths.”
In addition to coursework, students in the CFT program are required to complete a thesis or scholarly project. Students are encouraged to research theories and models related to the field of marriage and family therapy. The research component contributes to professional development. Stephanie Armes, a current CFT student, stated, “After being in the work force, this program is helping me improve upon what I already know, while gaining new insights along the way.”
The CFT program trains students to go out and a make a difference. Students provide therapy services to UK employees and community members through the UK Family Center. The CFT students also reach out to the community by providing therapy in Fayette County schools and monthly co-parenting workshops. Prior to graduation, each CFT student must complete 500 hours of client contact. Approximately 1,500 client contact hours are provided by the CFT students per year. CFT students impact the community with each therapy hour.
The program receives approximately 50 applications each year, and approximately 20-25 applicants are invited for the interview process. Six new students will join the program this fall to bring CFT student enrollment to 14. The students are not only represented by alumni from universities and colleges across the state, but also from around the world.
Mike Sitton, a current CFT student, shared, “The program is challenging, but it’s a good challenge. I feel like we have made it to our future careers.” The CFT program provides real life experiences, research opportunities, and growth for students who want to make a difference in the lives of others.