Marriage & Family Therapy-San Antonio

The Master of Science in Psychology degree with a concentration in Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) - formerly known as Family, Couple and Individual Psychotherapy - prepares practitioners to assist with mental health concerns in family and social contexts using relational strengths-based approaches to psychotherapy. In coursework and practice, students learn to work with clients from a wide variety of ethnic, economic, educational and religious backgrounds and develop proficiency in providing psychotherapy services to individuals, couples, families and groups. The MFT concentration is designed to meet the academic requirements for licensure as a Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) in Texas, and also meets the academic requirements for licensure as a Professional Counselor (LPC) in Texas. The degree program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE). OLLU is one of four universities in Texas with a COAMFTE accredited master’s program. COAMFTE accreditation allows graduates to seek employment as Marriage and Family Therapists within the federal government.

View degree plans and course descriptions:


The San Antonio Master of Science in Psychology with a concentration in Marriage and Family Therapy 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). The Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE) is responsible for establishing standards for competence in clinical education for the profession of marriage and family therapy, and for the review and recognition of programs successfully meeting these standards.

Student Achievement Criteria

From the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy website

The Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Consistent with CHEA Recognition Standards, accreditation organizations must establish standards that require accredited programs "to provide consistent information about academic quality and student achievement and thus to foster continuing public awareness, confidence, and investment" (Recognition of Accrediting Organizations: Policy and Procedures p.4). COAMFTE has established Accreditation Standards that require programs to report on student achievement. Additionally, COAMFTE collects student achievement data on graduation rates, exam pass rates, and licensure rates. Accredited programs are required to report student achievement criteria data on an annual basis.

Accredited programs report student achievement criteria data for each cohort in the program. A cohort is defined as the students who entered a program between a given time period (example: the students in the fall 2005-spring 2006 cohort, entered their respective programs between the fall of 2005 and spring of 2006).

The following link will lead to the AAMFTE COAMFTE page describing student achievement criteria of all accredited programs.

Notes about the program at Our Lady of the Lake University-San Antonio Campus:

Data for our FCIP program (now known as Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) program) shows in the attached table.

View 2016 Student Achievement Data for the San Antonio campus program.  

Cultural Competence Focus

The Program’s mission to prepare culturally competent professionals who are skilled in providing psychotherapeutic services to a diverse community and that have a deep and abiding respect for individual and cultural diversity, has long been one of its greatest strengths. A hallmark of our program is its emphasis on cultural as well as linguistic diversity. Our focus on cultural diversity evolved as a consequence of the University’s location in a predominantly low-income Mexican-American neighborhood, OLLU’s status as a Hispanic Serving Institution, and the long-standing commitment by the program’s faculty members to infuse this focus at all levels of the Program.

Practitioner Focus

Faculty members focus on designing classroom experiences that are relevant to the practice of systemic psychotherapy. Students are required to apply their knowledge in several courses that have a practical component. Thus, many courses go beyond awareness and knowledge to focus on skill development. Students begin their practicum training after completing a minimum of 18 hours of specified courses. Full-time students generally begin practicum in the summer of their first year. This experience begins with clinical teams at the Psychology Department's training clinic, the Community Counseling Service (CCS). The team approach provides a supportive environment. Up to six students and a faculty supervisor meet weekly as a team to deliver psychotherapy services. After the first semester, and with the approval of their supervisors, students may complete a portion of their required practicum hours at approved off-campus sites. Students are required to obtain a minimum of 500 hours of supervised, direct delivery of services.

Students in the MFT concentration are taught a variety of theories and professional skills. However, the program emphasizes a particular set of systemic therapy models. These models are described in various ways, such as: Relational Strengths-based, Postmodern, and Social Constructionist. While there are variations among these collaborative models, all of them have in common:
  • An emphasis on each person's strengths, resources and unique perspectives
  • An emphasis on a non-pathological view with skepticism regarding the usefulness of psychiatric diagnosis
  • An emphasis on collaborative practice in therapy
These Collaborative, Social Constructionist, and Competency-Based models include:
  • Solution-Focused Therapy
  • Narrative Therapy
  • MRI Strategic Family Therapy
  • Collaborative Therapy

These theoretical models are taught in our Systemic Approaches to Counseling courses, and strongly influence the perspective of many of our other courses.

In addition to these emphasized theories, students are provided a working knowledge of several other common and classical models of family and individual therapy and are taught necessary diagnostic skills to allow them to function as independent therapists.

Students are urged to become Student Affiliates of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT). Applications are available online at


Marriage and Family Therapy students take four semesters of practicum, which consists of intensive training in the University's Community Counseling Service (CCS) and off-campus sites. In the CCS practicum, students participate on treatment teams under the supervision of licensed professionals and use video recording and live supervision to enhance feedback and client services. Students in off-campus practicum sites are supervised by OLLU faculty or qualified professionals. Students in The Woodlands program take part in practicum at selected sties in the greater Houston area.

SBIRT Program

Students in the psychology program benefit from the Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) Competency and Dissemination project, a collaborative project between the Psychology and Social Work programs at OLLU. SBIRT serves as an early intervention for individuals struggling with substance abuse and those at risk of developing substance abuse disorders. SBIRT curricula is integrated into programs at the bachelor's, master's and doctoral levels. Read more about the SBIRT program at OLLU.

Community Counseling Service

OLLU's campus-run counseling service



View Psychology Department faculty