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Explore the major theories, central concepts and foundational approaches of couple and family therapy practice.

Through interactive teaching and learning processes—including whole class and small group discussions, role-playing, research, assignments, and reflection from your own personal experience—you are better equipped to translate theory into practical methods for your practice.

While a strong focus is placed on the historical development of systemic therapy, you have many opportunities to study and compare a wide variety of therapy models, such as Cognitive-Behavioural, Experiential, Bowenian, Contextual, Structural, and Strategic.

With a total of six courses to complete, you can stay up to date with key topics, approaches, and methods in therapy. 

The courses I took as part of the Advanced Certificate in Couple and Family Therapy program were informative, intriguing, and addressed current issues. It has helped me to grow in myself awareness as a therapist, gain a clinical understanding of situations involving couples and families, and strengthened my clinical skills and professionalism. Most importantly, it gave me a rich opportunity to learn with and from my peers.

Samuel Williams, PhD., RP, Hopeful Presence, Individual and Couple Therapy

I am amazed by the program and the opportunities it has to offer, both professionally and personally. I am positive that I will take a few more courses after graduation and hope to contribute to the program in the future.

Anna Swain, 2021 Graduate

Learning Outcomes 

Upon successful completion of this program, you will be able to: 

  • Explain and utilize the major theories and central concepts that form the foundations of couple, family and marriage therapy
  • Compare and contrast therapy models, such as Cognitive-Behavioural, Experiential, Bowenian, Contextual, Structural, and Strategic, Emotionally Focused as well as the historical development of systemic theory
  • Implement systemic practices and various therapy tools into an integrated framework for clinical practice
  • Critique practices to ensure approaches are ethically sound and, where possible, research-based, while upholding organizational practices that are client-centred


The Advanced Certificate in Couple and Family Therapy Studies program provides an opportunity to: 

  • Take one or more courses for professional development or successfully complete six courses (three required courses and three elective courses) for the advanced certificate 
  • Explore a new field and gain practical skills, if you are not yet a practitioner 
  • Acquire specialization in couple and family therapy to enhance your current practice, if you are currently practicing 
  • Keep abreast of key topics, approaches, and methods in therapy, as a seasoned professional 
  • Network with professionals in your field 
  • Complete your CACFT and/or AAMFT membership educational requirements 

This program requires the completion of three required and three elective courses within a five-year period. Courses are taught at the graduate level. Each course is comprised of 36 hours of instruction delivered over four to six days. Students must achieve a passing grade of 70% in each course to earn the advanced certificate. Some organizations (e.g., AAMFT) require a minimum of a 75% final grade per course. 

Completion of the certificate program does not imply clinical competence, nor does it imply acceptance or course equivalency in the graduate program in couple and family therapy offered by the Department of Family Relations and Applied Nutrition, University of Guelph.


Advanced certificate applicants must hold a minimum of an undergraduate degree. Applicants are required to have their graduating institution send an official transcript to OpenEd, documenting the successful completion of their highest level of education and credential received (e.g., BA, MSW). Transcripts should be sent via email to our main office, rather than mailed. Course registration closes several days prior to the course start date.

For students who do not hold a master’s degree in a related helping profession, please confirm your eligibility and requirements to become a Registered Marriage and Family Therapist with Canadian Association for Marriage and Family Therapy directly.

A maximum of two credit transfers may be granted to those who have successfully completed graduate degree courses equal to the program's course offerings. As part of the discernment, applicants are required to provide a course outline(s). Please submit you course syllabus(es) through the OpenEd Student Portal or via email to our main office.

Course availability changes each semester. It is recommended you submit notification requests for each course in the program to be informed when registration opens.

Complete three (3) required courses and three (3) elective courses. Request your parchment through the OpenEd Student Portal once all requirements are met. You must receive a passing grade of 70% or more for each course. Some organizations (e.g., AAMFT require a minimum of 75% final grade per course.

Within a five-year period.

The price per course is currently $895. Course prices are subject to change and are not guaranteed. The total cost of the program may vary depending on available discounts* and the length of time to completion.

*There are early bird and alumni tuition discounts available for this program.

Additional Information 

If you would like additional information about this program, please contact our main office

Sponsoring Partner 


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