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A marriage counselor writes on a clipboard Marriage and Family Therapy

M.A. in Counseling Psychology

Marital and Family Therapy Concentration

  • Chicago, IL
  • Full-Time, Part-Time
  • 2 Years

Preparing students to for careers as professional counselors, the Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology, Marital and Family Therapy concentration builds diagnostic, therapeutic, and consultative skills in order to work with family and couples. Guided by practitioner faculty with years in the field, students at our Chicago Campus will learn about the dynamic conflicts that families […]

Preparing students to for careers as professional counselors, the Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology, Marital and Family Therapy concentration builds diagnostic, therapeutic, and consultative skills in order to work with family and couples.

Guided by practitioner faculty with years in the field, students at our Chicago Campus will learn about the dynamic conflicts that families face regarding domestic violence, divorce, and sexual relations—addressing the needs of populations ranging from children to the elderly, and with a variety of emotional, intellectual, and psychological conditions and problems.

Having established a broad knowledge of theory and applied it through their fieldwork, graduates of this program will have the training to work in a variety of clinical settings, and with required licensure, independent practice.

Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology, Marital and Family Therapy: Chicago Student Experience

The Chicago Campus provides students an opportunity to immerse themselves into a culturally diverse city with nearly unlimited academic resources as well as excellent networking opportunities. Chicago is also home to some of the nation’s finest dining, entertainment, museums, and other activities.

At our flagship campus, The Chicago School has demonstrated a continued commitment to a diverse student population and expanding mental health services to multicultural and underserved communities. Strategically located in the downtown area, students will experience real-world training in diverse facilities with experienced practitioners.

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Advanced Family and Couples Psychotherapy

This course provides an overview of advanced theory and technique, as well as skills training in family and couples therapy with an emphasis on the development of a personal model of counseling. Diagnostic skills, case analysis, and relationship strategies will be emphasized. Particular attention will be paid to engaging children and adolescents in the family therapy setting. The course will also explore the impact of macro systems issues such as gender, power, and economics on contemporary relationships.

Counseling Diverse Families

This course will provide an overview of counseling and treatment interventions with diverse families and diverse presentations. Attention will be given to the family developmental life cycle, as well as to contemporary family structure. Appropriate assessment of families and their level of acculturation and identity formation will be covered.

Intimate Relations in the Couple System

This course will explore the concepts of separation and divorce, intense conflict and sexual difficulties that couples present with in treatment. Evidence based models and interventions will be illustrated and discussed in the classroom.

The M.A. Counseling Psychology program aligns with degree and coursework requirements to be eligible for licensure as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in Illinois. Candidates for licensure must pass the National Counselor Examination for Licensure and Certification (NCE). All candidates are also required to complete the application process, which may include fees and/or a background check. For further information about licensure, please visit the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.

Licensure and Certification FAQ

The practicum and internship placement experiences serve to integrate the theoretical and practical aspects of the education of a professional counselor.  Students have the opportunity during the practicum and internship experiences to synthesize their knowledge, technique and skills learned in the classroom. These supervised field placements allow students to provide direct services to clients and demonstrate their understanding of key concepts in professional counseling in a clinical setting. Students are able to choose to apply to a wide variety of training sites that include community mental health centers, child welfare and family service agencies, substance abuse programs, college counseling centers, as well as private group practices. The sites available for the training experience are chosen based on their ability to serve diverse populations that will offer the best possible experience to equip students for working in the counseling field. Students are required to complete a minimum of a 9 month placement experience and complete at least 700 hours with 280 direct service hours during the placement to meet the Illinois licensure requirements.

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Admissions Operations
c/o The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
203 N. LaSalle Street, Suite 1900
Chicago, IL 60601

Application to The Chicago School of Professional Psychology’s M.A. Counseling Psychology program is open to any person who has earned a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution and who meets other entrance requirements. Students applying to the M.A. in Counseling Psychology program must submit the following:

  • Application
  • Application Fee: $50
  • Resume or Curriculum Vitae
  • Essay – Please answer the following question within three double spaced typed pages (approximately 500-750 words). Essay must specifically address the program/specialization for which you are applying.
    • Psychology is a vast discipline with many career options. In an essay format, please describe:
      • Why you chose this particular program/specialization making sure to cite specific experiences and examples.
      • Why it is important to you to study this discipline at a school that emphasizes cultural awareness, competence, and understanding of diversity (see our Commitment to Diversitystatement).
      • Your professional career goals as they relate to this specialization.
      • Why you believe this program will assist you in reaching these goals.
    • Official College/University Transcripts
      • Students must submit official transcripts from all schools where degrees have been earned. The Chicago School requires that all schools be regionally accredited higher education institutions. Official transcripts may be sent directly from the institution or with your application for admission as long as they are official, sealed, and signed across the envelope flap when they arrive.
    • 3 Letters of Recommendation
      • Appropriate recommendations are from professors and/or supervisors from significant work or volunteer experiences, who can appraise your academic or professional performance. If you are mailing in your letters, they should arrive in a sealed envelope, signed across the seal. You can also submit the letters online via the applicant portal.
    • Previous Coursework
      • Earned grade of C or better in the following undergraduate courses:
        • Psychology
        • Research Methods
      • Applicants without these courses must complete them in accordance with the policies outlined in the Progression requirement section of the catalog
  • Optional:  Official GRE scores may be used to enhance your application
    • You must arrange for your official GRE scores to be sent to the school. Our school code is 1119.
    • Students who have yet to take the GRE examination should contact them at to register for an exam date.
    • Students who have taken the test within the last five years should contact them at, to have their scores forwarded directly to the school.

International Application Requirements

The Chicago School is dedicated to keeping our professional degree programs accessible to anyone regardless of financial status. In addition to the scholarships that may be available, our Financial Aid Department will help provide you with information to determine what financial arrangements are right for you.

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