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Courses in the Advanced Certificate in Couple and Family Therapy Studies cover the theory, concepts and approaches of couple and family therapy practice. 

The courses introduce major theories and central concepts that are foundational to couple and family therapy and focus on the historical development of systemic therapy. While system therapy is central to the program, the program also explores other models of therapy, such as Cognitive-Behavioural, Experiential, Bowenian, Contextual, Structural, and Strategic. A comparative analysis of the different models will place the various therapy tools into an integrated framework. 

The courses use a variety of interactive teaching and learning processes—including whole class and small group discussions, role-plays, research, and assignments to effectively translate theory into practical methods for contemporary therapists. Discussions and interactive methods require reflection from one's personal experience. 

With a total of six courses to complete, you will 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: 

  • Demonstrate an understanding and knowledge of the major theories and central concepts that form the foundations of couple, family, and marriage therapy 
  • Demonstrate an ability to compare and contrast therapy models such as Cognitive-Behavioural, Experiential, Bowenian, Contextual, Structural, and Strategic, as well as the historical development of systemic theory 
  • Implement practices and various therapy tools into an integrated framework in your practice 


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 CAMFT 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 (eg. BA, MSW). Due to COVID-19, transcripts should be sent electronically to OpenEd, rather than mailed. Please direct all transcripts to Course registration closes several days prior to the course start date.

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 may be required to provide course outline(s).

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 

Canadian Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (CAMFT) 


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