MA in Marital and Family Therapy

Relationships as a pathway to healing

Program Highlights: 

  • One of only 9 California schools with COAMFTE accreditation
  • Emphasis on integrated behavioral health
  • The only program that places MFT trainees in UCSD health centers 
  • Full-time students graduate in 2 years and accrue approximately 1,100 hours toward the 3,000 hours required for MFT licensure in California
  • 97% licensure rate (based on data from students entering program in 2019-2020)

The Marital and Family Therapy (MFT) program combines personalized instruction, hands-on clinical experience, and internationally renowned faculty. The MFT Program is accredited by the Board of Behavioral Sciences (California) and the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy (COAMFTE).

Students complete rigorous coursework and a 12-month clinical practicum in community sites, such as Rady Children’s Hospital Outpatient Psychiatry and the Eating Disorders Center for Treatment and Research at UCSD.  Full-time students graduate in 2 years and accrue approximately 1100 hours toward the 3,000 hours required for MFT licensure in California.  After graduation, students become Registered Associate Marital and Family Therapists and continue their training in preparation for licensure. 

Our biospsychosocial, systems approach centers on relationships, focusing on cultivating a deeper understanding of how family interactions and social connections affect our daily lives. Our approach to family therapy education has been described in our best-selling books, Essential Skills in Family Therapy, 3rd edition (Guilford, 2018) Clinician’s Guide to Research Methods: Foundations of Evidence-based Practice (Guilford, 2014), and Essential Assessment Skills for Couple and Family Therapists (Guilford, 2011).  We provide specialized training in medical settings, which is described in The Therapist’s Guide to Psychopharmacology (Guilford, 2006) and Mental Health Professionals in Medical Settings: A Primer (Norton, 2002).

Coursework that Covers Every Angle

As a program that deeply embraces diversity, it's fitting that our coursework explores diverse angles of therapeutic practice. Learn the specifics of how aging issues play out in family therapy, how to work with clients coping with substance abuse, and how to integrate research on social neuroscience.

Integrated Behavioral Health

Making an impact in the field. Many MFT students complete their clinical training in medical settings affiliated with UCSD, including family medicine, pediatrics, internal medicine, and reproductive medicine. Students collaborate with physicians in the care of patients and their family members. 

Alumni Spotlight

Lisa MarksLisa Marks, LMFT, '15

While working as the graduate assistant to Dr. JoEllen Patterson during her first year, Lisa collaborated on projects relating to global mental health, including developing a presentation made by Dr. Patterson at the annual convention of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (CAMFT). Lisa also traveled with a group of students to London and Lisbon, where they participated in global mental health conferences. As a licensed therapist, Lisa's treatment approach is emotionally focused and person-centered. She offers services to individuals, couples, and families. 

Meet SOLES Alumni

Faculty Spotlight

FLC.jpgDr. Florencia Lebensohn-Chialvo

Professor Lebensohn-Chialvo received her doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the University of Arizona and completed her predoctoral internship in clinical child psychology at UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute. She also holds a MA in Psychology and a BA in History and Latin American Studies from the University of Arizona. Her research and clinical interests focus on four related areas of systemic family theories and therapies, as well as pediatric psychology and integrated primary care. She teaches Practicum and Family Therapy Theories at SOLES.

Meet our Faculty

Ambassador Group 2019

SOLES Student Ambassadors 

SOLES ambassadors are graduate and doctoral students who have been selected to serve as official student representatives. Ambassadors support prospective and incoming students by assisting at graduate student events, providing campus tours, and interacting with students through email, online webinars, blog posts, and social media.

Be sure to connect with a Student Ambassador to learn more about SOLES and its programs!

View Ambassador Profiles