CSU Marriage and Family Therapy Program provides unique, hands-on training to students

Elyse Elliker, a student in the Marriage and Family Therapy graduate program, has been honing her skills working in the Colorado State University Center for Family and Couple Therapy in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies. In her work with the CFCT, Elliker dedicates her time to empowering families, couples, and individuals to strengthen their relationships, resolve troubling issues, and achieve personal well-being, while she trains to become a professional therapist upon completion of the two-year degree.

Marriage and Family Therapy Program

Elyse Elliker standing in front of sandstone blocks.
Elyse Elliker

CSU’s accredited MFT program promotes multi-cultural, ethical competency of graduates. The small cohorts allow Elliker and other students to capitalize on the opportunity to form supportive relationships with the faculty and other students.

“I’ve really appreciated becoming close to my cohort members and having them to rely on during especially stressful times,” said Elliker.

Part of what makes this program so distinctive is the 500 client contact hours and over 200 supervision hours in practicum and internship courses. Elliker explained that this instills students with the importance of critical thinking and maintaining a growth mindset.

“The most impactful moment for me thus far was being able to lead a trauma assessment at the Child Trauma and Resilience Center,” said Elliker. “I felt so supported by my fellow students and the whole CTRAC team, and had amazing guidance from clinicians and supervisors.”

‘Unique training’

“The training here is incredibly unique,” said Elliker. “We begin seeing clients in the second semester of the program at the CFCT. Our supervisors are extremely well-trained and provide live supervision and feedback to us as we are seeing clients. Their insight is invaluable and has helped us grow so much as clinicians. Each supervisor has different expertise and models of therapy they prefer to use, so we get to have lots of diversity in the type of supervision we receive.”

Young Couple With A Psychologist

The MFT students see clients in both a traditional therapy setting at the CFCT and they interact with youth from the community through the Child Trauma and Resilience Center as well as Campus Connections. This variety of hands-on clinical experience is important to preparing students for their future careers.

“Working in different clinical settings allows us to see what we really like and connect with, and helps us get a realistic picture of what working in a therapy practice or trauma assessment center might look like,” said Elliker.

To learn more about the therapy services offered to the Northern Colorado community, see the Center for Family and Couple Therapy website. For more information on the master’s degree in Human Development and Family Studies, Marriage and Family Therapy specialization, see the HDFS website.

The Marriage and Family Therapy Program is in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies, part of CSU’s College of Health and Human Sciences.