The M.S. in Marriage and Family Therapy and Ed.S. in Marriage and Family Therapy at Seton Hall University are viable options for those seeking to pursue professional areas of psychology and counseling. However, among many other distinctions, the programs' focus on preparing clinicians to work with highly diverse populations also makes it appropriate for students majoring in criminal justice, allowing them to evaluate and address issues through tactical as well as responsive methodologies.
The program, furthermore, is the only master's program in New Jersey that fulfills educational requirements for dual licensure as Marriage and Family Therapists and Clinical Alcohol and Drug Counselors. It is also the only COAMFTE accredited program in the state and was one of the first in the nation.
Marriage & Family Therapy (MFT) is a two and one half year program that transforms students into effective, culturally informed clinicians, who work with diverse individuals, couples, families and groups in private practices, mental health agencies, schools, hospitals, treatment facilities, etc. MFT graduates work with a wide array of issues from mental, emotional difficulties to relational issues such as anxiety, depression, substance abuse, marital and family difficulties, and work-related stressors. The program emphasizes its practicality by requiring students to receive hands-on experience through the completion of 500 client contact hours, under the supervision of the program's faculty, at a nearby Newark's mental health agency. The clinical training prepares students to confront evolving issues like the national opioid crisis, and accessibility to culturally informed mental health services and support.
Students engage with clients from a broad spectrum of ethnic, racial and socioeconomic backgrounds and are taught to explore the underlying issues that may be the root cause of problems. The program distinguishes itself from others by approaching problems within the context of their client's situation: their relationships, societal norms, cultural implications and surrounding environment.
One of the hallmarks of a Seton Hall education is the individualized attention students receive throughout their studies. The MFT program's faculty promotes an atmosphere of mentorship and assists its students from the early steps of admission to the moments leading to licensure. The programs' graduates provide a strong network for students to utilize in order to learn more about their career options and offer further assistance. Other graduates have pursued further educational goals by enrolling in doctoral programs at schools such as Kansas State University and Antioch University New England.
The MFT program enables its students to pursue a vast number of opportunities. The dual licensure molds graduates into versatile, marketable applicants for employers and gives them a competitive edge against other graduate students. Additionally, by having dual licensure, graduates double their job eligibility by qualifying themselves for two different job pools as Marriage and Family Therapist, and Clinical Alcohol and Drug Counselor.
"Seton Hall's Marriage & Family Therapy program is rigorous and prepares students for the real field before they join the workforce. The training at the internship sites and the education and guidance of the faculty makes the program stand apart from others," said Arti Dhaon Kakkar, alumna and current Chief of Health and Human Services at New Community Corporation.
"Employers have said that students who graduate from the MFT program have been effectively prepared for a clinical setting when compared to students not in MFT," said Dr. Ben Beitin, Associate Professor of Marriage and Family Therapy. "I have found that the students who have chosen to enroll in this program are highly motivated individuals, passionate about that which they are learning. They understand that the work they do, as both a student and future therapist, is rewarding and has the potential to have a large impact on other's lives."