Counseling: Marriage and Family Therapy/Counseling, Ph.D.

Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision: Marriage and Family Therapy/Counseling

About the Degree

Aligned with the current standards of the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) and the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE), doctoral students in Counselor Education and Supervision: Marriage and Family Therapy/Counseling (MFT/C) Track are expected to develop the identity of a professional counselor and marriage and family therapist, clinical supervisor, counselor educator, marriage and family therapy educator and researcher. This identity is intended to promote competence and professionalism as students begin careers in public and private sectors of mental health care, hospital settings and/or academia

Marriage and Family Therapy/Counseling (MFT/C)

The Counselor Education and Supervision Doctoral Program—Marriage and Family Therapy/Counseling Track consists of a 120 credit hour curriculum. The purpose of the Track is to facilitate the professional leadership roles of counselor education, marriage and family therapy education, supervision, marriage and family therapy/counseling practice, and research competencies of students to advance the marriage and family therapy/counseling profession.  Graduating students usually gain employment as counselor educators and/or marriage and family therapy educators in academic institutions (e.g., colleges and universities), administrators of mental health service agencies (e.g., community mental health centers), become part of an inter-professional treatment team in hospitals, work in private practices (solo and group) and function as advanced practitioners/supervisors (e.g., doctoral-level clinicians/supervising marriage and family therapist/counselors). 

The program provides advanced and cutting-edge training in the various schools of family therapy and counseling, focusing on evidence-based practice and the AAMFT and ACA Code of Ethics and ethical decision making dealing with complex clinical issues and supervision, advanced assessment, diagnosing and treatment of mental health and substance abuse problems as well relational issues. Focus is also given to advanced clinical skills development and inter-professional collaboration through joint training with NEOMED/Summa Psychiatry residents in our in-house fully functioning high tech counseling center and at a local hospital. Specialized course offerings in such areas as Medical Family Therapy, as well as advanced research skill development and clinical supervision, are all part of the degree program.

Salary and Career Outlook

As the program is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), graduates are competitive in the job market. In addition, counselor educators are in demand.

The starting salary, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor (2010), was $72,165. However salary might vary depending on the graduate’s past experience and qualifications, as well as institutions/employers and location.

Why Akron?

  • This is one of two doctoral programs in Marriage and Family Therapy in Ohio. The other marriage and family therapy doctoral program is at the Ohio State University (OSU). OSU’s marriage and family therapy program is very research-based, while our program provides an equally strong foundation/training in research as well as clinical training, creating more opportunities for our graduates to go either with an academic or clinical route post-graduation, or pursue a combination of both
  • Our doctoral Marriage and Family Therapy/Counseling (dually accredited) is the only dually accredited doctoral program in Ohio, and one of only two in the U.S., it has become a very strong recruitment tool, as it leads graduates to dual licensure opportunities, which is desirable when seeking a mental health position at an agency. Dual faculty appointments in Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy programs is another possibility
  • Inter-professional clinical training with NEOMED/Summa psychiatry residents, initially at our high tech in-house clinical training facility and later at a local hospital creates a rich learning opportunity and possible employment opportunity in inter-professional medical settings, such as hospitals and medical offices
  • Electives in specialty areas such as play therapy, medical family therapy and required courses in psychopharmacology not only expand students’ knowledge base, but also foster inter-professional learning
  • Faculty that is actively engaged in the research literature and teach from a research-based knowledge base, focusing on emerging trends, providing advanced cutting edge education, and clinical skill, and serve as research mentors and encourage publications and presentations on the local, state and national levels
  • American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) Diversity Fellowships have been awarded to several of our doctoral students (our students received the first fellowships in Ohio)

Contact Information

Program Coordinator:

Dr. Rikki Patton

Chima Family Building, Room 114

(330) 972-8158

Graduate School:

Heather Blake

Polsky Building, Room 467

(330) 972-7664