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Advanced Couples Therapy Certificate

class at a time
5- and 10-week blocks
Live classes
Learn from anywhere
10% partner discount

Why should I get this certificate?

Applying systems theory to real life

This four-course certificate takes a deep dive into advanced couples therapy. Grounded in solid systems-based principles of our Marriage and Family Therapy programs, the Advanced Couples Therapy certificate examines theories that facilitate systemic work and applies it specifically to couples.

Gain advanced credentials in a growing field

  • Learn about in-demand fields and advance your clinical position
  • Benefit from supportive faculty and peers
  • Apply course content that is valuable and practical
  • Apply your graduate certificate toward a PhD in Marriage and Family Therapy later
  • Check to see if your coursework is eligible for CEUs

What are the required courses?

This course will enable students to observe, analyze, and intervene in the communication processes of couples. Principles of communication theory and systemic processes of communication will be studied and applied to intimate human communication with the intent of being able to interrupt or modify dysfunctional patterns and establish healthy ones.

A systemic epistemology inclines us to perceive the world in a very different and non-linear process. From this perspective, we are primarily interested in exploring and understanding how patterns of interaction serve as the building blocks of our perception of reality.

In traditional developmental thought, individuals pass through set steps of development in an effort to become fully realized and developed human beings. In systems, development is understood to happen in a relational manner that may ebb and flow in an unpredictable but comprehensible form. This means that couples or families may also be described as developing and as having a life cycle.

This course will examine, analyze, and seek to apply this form of thought to facilitate effective and compassionate couples and family therapy.

A growing body of research over the past 60 years has compelled counselors, therapists, and psychologists to take into account the experience of attachment and differentiation in individuals and families. Additional study has revealed that the influence of attachment and differentiation on individual development has a profound effect on how a couple is able to form and provide healthy interactions and human bonding.

This course will seek to better understand how attachment theory is integral to couples’ happiness and function. It will also examine how to use this understanding to best affect change and growth in distressed or unhappy couples.

MFTs tend to experience two sorts of couples as initiators or seekers of therapy.

One type realizes that things are not going as well as they could be. They are unhappy and seek therapy as a possible resource to improve their relationship. Another type of couple is one that is in severe crisis and who present as needing a sort of “emergency” treatment. This may be as a result of domestic violence, a trauma experienced by one or another of the members, or a sudden and unexpected shift in attachment and relationship.

This course will train students to know how to assess and intervene in “emergency” situations presented by the second type of client. Students will learn what theories are most suited, what things to be cautious of, when to refer for more extensive or perhaps medical treatment, and the all-important, when to say no.

What are the next steps?

Mount Mercy offers competitive tuition and additional benefits for employees of our partner organizations.

Whether you’re pursuing a degree or a certificate, our 10% tuition discount for corporate partner’s employees will help you advance your education and career goals—while keeping the cost manageable.

Learn more about:

  • Tuition reimbursement from employers
  • 10% tuition discount for employees of partner organizations

We make it easy by accepting applications year-round! No deadline, no fee, no pressure.

  1. Complete your application.
  2. Request official transcripts from all schools previously attended. Mail to:

Graduate Programs
Mount Mercy University
1330 Elmhurst Drive NE
Cedar Rapids, IA 52402-4797

  1. Some programs require letters of recommendation and other materials. Please see program-specific requirements on our Admissions page.

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