Why Pursue an M.A. in Marriage and Family Therapy?
There is a growing need for Marriage and Family Therapists who are clinically skilled and who integrate their personhood as followers of Christ in their professional and personal lives; who value interpersonal justice and the diversity of clients and client systems; and who work toward the goal of healthy and whole relationships, giving specific attention to those on the margin of society and those who are underserved.
All of the faculty bring a unique relational piece to this program. They accept us as we are and they accept us where we are along our trajectory in life.— Billy Cleary, M.A., Marriage and Family Therapy
Why Study Marriage and Family Therapy at Wheaton?
We aim to form systemic clinicians who participate capably in the interactive process of assessing and treating clients and client systems, incorporate knowledge of individual and family life-cycle developmental stages, and conceptualize and integrate clinical/relational/contextual information. Students are instructed from an ethical, legal, and respectful standard of therapeutic practice in working with clients and greater systems. We seek to equip marriage and family therapists who intervene effectively to promote, restore, sustain, and/or enhance positive functioning in clients.
We strive to integrate theory with practice throughout the program through student involvement in pre-practicum training beginning in their first year and practicum placement in their second year. First year pre-practicum students observe live therapy at local clinics from behind a one-way mirror, while second year practicum students directly provide both individual and relational therapy. Graduates will be capable of working with individuals, couples, families, and groups.
We hold that relationships from a biblical, systemic, and personal perspective are vital to human development to initiate change in the family system. Our program is built upon a cohort model which includes personal and professional development within small groups that facilitate dynamic enrichment of the whole person within Christian community. As a part of their personal and professional development, students will demonstrate self-awareness and emotional regulation by processing through their experience of family background and cultural context. In doing so, students will learn to communicate effectively about such matters with clients, colleagues, faculty, and supervisors.
Faculty, students, and alumni seek recursive involvement through educational investment, living out our mission, and commitment to each other, our churches, and our greater communities.
Even with the rigor of academia, we implement ways we can be of service to those around us, whether that is in our local church, family, the academic program and cohort, or in the community. First year MFT students have the opportunity to observe live therapy, predominately at local community clinics. Second year MFT students obtain clinical practicum sites throughout the Chicagoland area and provide counseling to communities and populations who may otherwise not be able to receive such services.
How we understand and live out our faith, how our faith influences our practices, and what happens when faith and practice collide are all questions we tussle with together in class and outside of class. We discuss openly various views on the nature of God, personhood, brokenness, and healing so that we can understand how our faith and learning shapes our clinical practice.
We seek to foster an environment that supports personal and professional development and that is based in Scripture and orthodox Christianity. Students of the M.A. in MFT program are expected to affirm the Statement of Faith of Wheaton College and to voluntarily conform to the Community Covenant of Wheaton College, which together provide a framework for our life together as an academic and spiritual community. These commitments are far more than philosophical positions; they represent our firm belief that both unity and diversity add depth and richness to the community being developed at Wheaton and the MFT program.
For Marriage and Family Therapist Dr. David Van Dyke, who directs Wheaton College’s M.A. in Marriage and Family Therapy, Valentine’s Day is more than a romantic holiday...