After an 18-month process of comprehensive evaluation by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education, Valdosta State University’s Family Therapy program successfully met or exceeded all the criteria for full accreditation. This designation confirms the department’s high educational standards, excellence in clinical training, and commitment to integrating diversity into the curriculum.
The Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy prepares students to be highly qualified therapists, able to conduct thoughtful, creative therapy as well as become leaders in the field of Marriage and Family Therapy. The MFT curriculum builds the knowledge base and skills necessary for practitioners to provide high-quality, effective therapy. It prepares students to use an active, positive approach to therapy that will help individuals, couples, and families build on their strengths and resources, improve their relationships, and generate solutions to problems.
Through coursework, practica, and internships, our dedicated and accessible faculty members emphasize the value of diversity and individual uniqueness, the development of compassion for people and their environments.
The program prepares clinicians to provide therapeutic services to individuals, couples, families, and groups in ways that emphasize the ecological contexts (class, gender, race, etc.) of interpersonal relationships and unique meaning systems held by each client. This relational/ systemic perspective is underpinned by the belief that careful attention to the many contexts that shape and give meaning to clients’ experiences is imperative to clinical practice that aspires toward excellence and respectful, strength-based, and client-centered therapy.
“The faculty and staff in our department work tirelessly to create a cutting edge clinical training experience where students can learn the art and science of therapeutic change” Department Head, Dr. Kate Warner said. “Each day I am impressed with the dedication students and faculty members bring to the training process. I think that having a vibrant active family therapy clinic at the heart of our program and our clinical space coupled with students and faculty who are devoted to cherishing diversity and self-determination for all people creates an amazing synergy. COAMFTE holds high standards and our reaccreditation affirms for me the impressive work I see students and faculty conducting every day.”
The culmination of the re-accreditation process was a two day, on-site evaluation conducted by a three member site visitation team composed of Marriage and Family Therapy faculty and administrators from programs across the nation. The Site Visitors met with alumni, students, staff, faculty, and administrators to evaluate the department’s curriculum, policies, training procedures, physical resources, finances and infrastructure. In addition, the Site Visitors reviewed documented evidence to support the 350 page self-study submitted by the department. In November 2013, after a complete review of the self-study, the site visitor team report, and supporting documentation COAMFTE commissioners voted to fully accredit the Marriage and Family for another six years, the maximum length of time allowed.
Since its inception, the Valdosta State University MFT program was intended to serve exclusively as an academic graduate program dedicated to training and educating marriage and
family therapists. Its original design had eventual COAMFTE accreditation in mind. Nearly 25 years ago the program began as an inter-departmental concentration in the Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminal Justice, became an MS Sociology Post-Master’s Certificate in Marriage and Family Therapy, and, following Board of Regents approval in October 1999, transitioned to the current 60-credit MS in MFT. The program was first accredited by COAMFTE in 2006.