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Oklahoma State University


The faculty of the Marriage and Family Therapy Program at Oklahoma State University identified a list of competencies believed to be key to sound practice for new professionals in the field of marriage and family therapy. The activities, assignments, and learning experiences in courses throughout the program are focused on assisting students in the development of these fundamental competencies. The competencies are listed below by domain.

Domain 1: Executive Clinical Skills
  1. Students demonstrate competence in the skills of admitting and engaging clients in treatment.
  2. Students demonstrate competence in clinical assessment and diagnosis through.
  3. Students demonstrate competence with case management.
  4. Students demonstrate competence with therapeutic interventions with individuals, couples, and families.
  5. Students demonstrate competence with regard to ethical decision making in their clinical work.

Domain 2: Conceptual Skills

  1. Students demonstrate competence with regard to Conceptual Skills through formulating, with client input and from a systemic perspective, treatment plans that incorporate a summary of key issues.

Domain 3: Theoretical Skills

  1. Students demonstrate competence with regard to Theoretical Skills through developing and articulating a clear personalized and systemic model of family therapy that fully integrates theoretical concepts/perspectives from select models of family therapy.

Domain 4: Self of the Therapist

  1. Students demonstrate competence in the area of Self of the Therapist through showing understanding of and continually monitoring personal experiences, characteristics, (e.g., family of origin, culture, race, ethnicity, SES, personality, etc.), personal issues, and beliefs to ensure they do not impact the therapy process adversely or create vulnerability for misconduct.

Domain 5: Research

  1. Students demonstrate competence in the area of research by locating, critically evaluating, and synthesizing findings from key research articles on particular research topics and by writing a concise and well-organized description of research methodology (measures, sample, procedures, and data analysis) for an actual or proposed project.

Domain 6: Knowledge

  1. Students demonstrate knowledge of:
    1. Theorists, concepts, goals, and interventions of all major theories of family therapy.
    2. Major tenets, axioms, and concepts of systems theory, and communication theory.
    3. Diagnostic criteria for, mood, anxiety, disorders of childhood, personality disorders, eating disorders, substance-related disorders, schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders, sexual disorders, trauma and stress-related disorders, and adjustment disorders.
    4. AAMFT code of ethics and state licensure acts and regulations.
    5. Key milestones in child development and ages at which they are accomplished.