For those who have a passion for providing competent counseling to individuals, married couples and families while taking into account a Christian perspective, obtaining a Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy from Oklahoma Baptist University could be the right first step into a fulfilling career.
No family is perfect, and many marriages and families have underlying issues that contribute to frequent problems and arguments. The job of a marriage and family therapist (MFT) is to identify those contributing factors and work with the family to try and resolve them. The MFT listens to the family and assists in identifying where certain problems may lie.
After getting to the root of some of these problems, the therapist can offer guidance and assistance to family members to help the family work through their issues. A marriage and family therapist can help bring families together, teach effective communication methods, and work through differences in an effective way.
“A lot of people choose marriage and family therapy because they understand that when people have problems, they can’t move forward alone,” said Dr. Canaan Crane, director of the MFT program at OBU. “Involving their relationships and their families is the important part of the therapeutic work. If we’re thinking about how we can help people, we want to help them in a way that takes into account those relationships and support systems.”
“Our program equips students to provide high-quality, competent care to families. Our students learn to work with people on both the individual level as well as within their relationship systems. We help equip them to be confident and compassionate as they help people,” Crane said.
The marriage and family therapy program at OBU has a strong focus on combining a Christian education with a solid marriage and family therapy foundation. Christian values are strongly emphasized and integrated into all of the courses and clinical experiences.
Because of this, students may choose to work in a private practice, a social service office, or a mental health facility. Other options can include working for a church, a Christian-based agency or on the mission field.
“At OBU, all courses are taught from an MFT perspective by MFT professionals. Since we are also a faith-based institution, we can have regular conversations about the role that faith has in our clients’ lives and in the therapists’ lives, too. We want to answer the call to help heal people in a broken world,” Crane said.
At OBU, students are taught by expert faculty who are not only experienced in the field but also are American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy Approved Supervisors and licensed as marital and family therapists. OBU’s class schedules allow students to complete this degree in 2-, 3-, or 4-year tracks.
OBU currently offers the MFT program on its campus in Shawnee and will begin offering classes in Oklahoma City and Broken Arrow in January. For more information, visit www.okbu.edu/graduate/therapy/mft.