M.A. Marriage & Family Counseling

“Congratulations to our 2017 cohort on completion of their final classes this semester!”

Marriage & Family Counseling Mission Statement

The Marriage and Family Counseling Program promotes excellence in the practice of couples and family counseling through specialized training in the development of professionalism, service, and growth.

Marriage and family counseling students possess the knowledge, skills, and practices necessary to address a wide variety of issues in the context of relationships and families and are prepared to serve as advocates, educators, and leaders in strengthening individuals, families, and communities.

Qualified Candidates

The faculty are selective in their screening of prospective students. In addition to standard graduate school admission criteria, candidates must also meet with faculty in a comprehensive interview. The counseling program seeks individuals who present the highest potential as future practitioners.

Indicators of counselor success include:

  • High emotional intelligence
  • Demonstrated skills in conflict resolution
  • Consistent interpersonal behavior
  • Recognition of strengths and weaknesses
  • Clearly stated goals
  • Understanding of one's impact on others
Program Description

The Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Counseling is designed to train professional counselors to specialize in providing marital, couple, and family counseling for a variety of settings, including family counseling, social service and mental health agencies, college counseling centers, and private practice.  Qualified candidates are screened, using standard graduate school admissions and comprehensive interviews. Candidates are introduced to theoretical and practical academic teachings, which are woven together throughout the program to ensure a rich educational experience. Upon completion of the program, they are reintroduced to the communities as qualified counselors who will enhance their community through service and leadership.

A major focus of the program is developing and operationalizing the student's personal theory of counseling. Emphasis is placed on translating theory and research from course work to services for clients. Counselor training utilizes personal as well as multi-media instruction, carefully balanced to include didactic and experiential teaching.  Diverse internships are available in community agency settings with 100 hours of practicum (40 hours of direct service) and 600 hours (240 hours of direct service) of internship are required.  Approximately 200 hours of supervision are provided by onsite and University supervisors.  Core competencies are individualized to each internship setting.

Another major focus of the program is personal growth and development. It is the belief of the faculty that students must possess insight and awareness and must be clear about the boundaries between personal issues and those of the client. To that end, students are presented with a number of opportunities for self-discovery and process and are referred outside the program for counseling when necessary. Solid mental health is the foundation to providing of professional counseling services.

A primary goal of Gonzaga's counseling program is to identify and select students who present the highest potential for success as counselors. Indicators of counselor success are demonstrations of skills, emotional intelligence, conflict resolution, consistent interpersonal behaviors, recognition of strengths and weaknesses, a clear grasp of goals, and increasing knowledge of one's impact on others.

CACREP Accreditation

The Master of Arts in School Counseling, Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, and Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Counseling programs are accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP).