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5 Best Online PhD in Family & Couples Therapy Degrees

Do you want to enhance your career prospects in family and couples therapy? Earning a Ph.D. in this field could be the ticket to a great future. The need for family and couples therapists is rising, with a 22% increase in jobs by 2028, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. (BLS.gov).

If family and couples therapy is your passion, you may be pleased to know that you can now earn your degree online without leaving your home. Below are the five best online Ph.D. in family and couples therapy degree programs.

#1 Northcentral University

Northcentral University offers a Ph.D. in Marriage and Family Therapy with a specialty in Couple Therapy that will provide you with the knowledge and skills required for a successful career in family and couples therapy. You will be given quality education and counseling training experiences that will help you to develop your research and critical thinking skills. You also will apply what you learn to professional family and couples therapy. (NCU.edu).

At this university, the Director of Clinical Field Placement and other staff will work with each student to find a local site where you can complete your clinical training as well as a nine-month internship. Once you have been approved to start your clinical work and/or internship, you will work closely with a Northcentral professor to ensure that your face-to-face experiences follow program guidelines.

During this online Ph.D. program, you will complete the following requirements:

  • MFT standard curriculum courses
  • Integrated research training throughout the four-year curriculum
  • Focused clinical specialization content classes
  • Doctoral portfolio
  • Doctoral dissertation

Required classes include:

  • Emotion and Differentiation Focused Couple Therapy
  • Behavior Informed Couple Therapy Models
  • Systemic Sex Therapy
  • The Couple Life Cycle in MFT Practice and Supervision

#2 Alliant International University

Alliant International University offers a Psy.D. in Marriage and Family Therapy that enables students to holistically treat their clients. The field of family, marriage and couples therapy focuses on all aspects that make each of us who we are as people and also as members of our diverse communities.

Through a scholarship model melded with hands-on practice, students will have the skills they need to have a major impact on families, individuals, couples, and the social constructs that bind us. (Alliant.edu).

This program is unique in the following ways:

  • Offers flexible, part time, online options.
  • Fast track doctoral degree. You can apply coursework and practicum hours from your master’s program to the PsyD. program.
  • Customize your Psy.D with a specialization in chemical dependency, gerontology, or Latin American family therapy.
  • Financial aid includes stipends and scholarships.

Required courses for this online Psy.D. degree include:

  • MFT Law and Ethics
  • MFT Theories and Techniques
  • Diversity and the Family
  • Individual and Family Life Cycle
  • Preparing for Community Practice
  • Group Therapy
  • Parent-Child Therapy Techniques
  • MFT Research Methods
  • Couples Therapy
  • Trauma and Crisis Intervention
  • Chemical Dependency and the Family
  • Parent-Child Therapy Techniques

#3 Regent University

Regent University offers a Ph.D. in Counseling and Psychological Studies with a concentration in Marriage and Family Ministry. Students are prepared for a dynamic career in mental health counseling, couples therapy, research, education, and psychological science. This online Ph.D. is made for the counseling scholar who wants to affect the culture beyond the Ph.D. counseling field but does not require professional accreditation. (Regent.edu).

Highlights of this online Ph.D. program:

  • Grow confidence by researching critical areas, such as grace and forgiveness, inner healing, crisis and conflict management, eating disorders, and child behavior.
  • Enhance your counseling skills via 150 hours of on-site experiences and social services work.
  • Obtain doctoral credentials in family and couples therapy to advance into executive roles with greater salary potential.

Required classes include:

  • Information Research and Resources
  • Qualitative Research Methodology
  • Addictive Behaviors
  • Disaster Trauma and Psychological First Aid
  • Marriage and Relationship Counseling
  • Concepts of Family Systems
  • Indigenous Mental Health Care

#4 Amridge University

Amridge University offers an online Ph.D. in Marriage and Family Therapy that will provide the student with the skills and knowledge to be a thought leader in the field of family and couples therapy. You also will develop the counseling skills to provide the help that couples need at their lowest moments.

Upon completion of this online Ph.D. program, students will be able to do the following:

  • Create a comprehensive plan to address research, academic, and professional goals in family and couples therapy.
  • Show an excellent understanding of qualitative and quantitative research methods and statistical skills.
  • Create a counseling research plan that shows your ability to apply advanced understanding of professional counseling theories and techniques in professional environments.
  • Evaluate theories, principles, and techniques of families and couples counseling
  • Devise proper treatment plans based on major counseling theories and the circumstances of individual clients.

Required courses include the following:

  • Applied Adult Development
  • Relational Sexual Therapy
  • Strategies to Reduce Marriage and Family Dysfunction
  • Systemic Interventions in Abusive Relationships
  • Analysis of Substance Abuse Interventions
  • Systems of Relational and Intrapsychic Diagnosis
  • Consultation with Larger Systems
  • Quality Practice and Fiscal Systems
  • Supervisor Training
  • Research Methodology
  • Qualitative Research Methods
  • Quantitative Research Methods
  • Advanced Quantitative Design and Analysis

#5 Drexel University

Drexel University offers a hybrid Doctor of Couple and Family Therapy that is made for professionals who wish to assume executive roles in clinical facilities, program administration, and academia. (Drexel.edu).

The mission of this hybrid online program is to prepare couple and family therapy leaders who understand cultural humility and are skilled in socially just-informed programs and practices. Students also will be able to transfer their therapy knowledge to policy and practice and contribute to the development of the family and couples therapy field.

Students can complete the program in three years full time or four years part-time. Courses are offered online and on-campus during the day and evening.

Required courses are:

  • Clinical Education
  • Advanced Clinical Practice
  • Professional Development
  • Scholarship

Summary

Earning your online Ph.D. in Family and Couples Therapy will vastly increase your career possibilities in the growing field of marriage and family therapy. With job demand increasing quickly, having a coveted doctoral degree in family and couples therapy will put you in a position for a rewarding career both personally and financially.

NARROW YOUR PROGRAM SEARCH

Ann Steele, Ph.D.

Ann Steele, Ph.D.

Editor-In-Chief

Ann Steele, Ph.D., is Editor-In-Chief of PsydPrograms.org. Ann has training as a clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst who has worked with adults, couples, adolescents, and preteens throughout San Diego county.