Fall 2024 Schedule of Classes and Syllabi are now available! Registration Begins Aug. 1st!

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Couples Therapy

This course will focus on the theory and practice of marital therapy. Relevant theories and techniques addressing the formation, growth and renegotiation of the couple relationship will be explored. Therapeutic approaches to understanding attraction, mate selection, couples therapy along with special issues such as extra-marital affairs, divorce, and attachment will be discussed. The ethical and professional role of the therapist in the process of couple’s therapy will be examined.


  • Examining the major theories of couple’s therapy including traditional approaches, integrative approaches and post-modern approaches.
  • Explain the major concepts of cognitive-behavioral couple’s therapy.
  • Describe the methods of clinical assessment in couple’s therapy.
  • Discuss the stages of couple’s therapy including initial contact, assessment and developing a treatment protocol, therapeutic contracts, and conducting therapy with a couple.
  • Explore strategies for restoring commitment and trust in a relationship.
  • Examine strategies for building effective communication skills in the couple relationship.
  • Discuss approaches to resolving conflict in marital interactions.
  • Identify approaches to problem solving, decision-making and the allocation of power in decision making with couples.
  • Explore the role of the family of origin in mate selection, attachment and the formation of the unconscious marriage.
  • Describe the theories of attraction, mate selection and the process of pre-marital counseling.
  • Describe the types of extra-marital affairs and the various treatment protocols appropriate to each.
  • Explain the process of separation and divorce and the role of therapy in the decision-making and reconstruction phases.
  • Discuss the impact of sexual abuse and trauma on marital interaction patterns.
  • Examine the role of neurobiological process as they impact the marriage.
  • Explore the role of the marriage and family therapist professionally and personally as a facilitator of growth in couple’s relationships.
  • Understand the AAMFT professional code of ethics and the Texas LMFT professional code of ethics in the practice of marriage and family therapy.


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