Assessment, Diagnosis, and Treatment Planning in Marriage and Family Counseling – CEFS 602

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 09/05/2023

Course Description

This course is an experiential exploration of selected, major treatment approaches utilized in marital and family therapy. The development of practical skills and techniques constitutes the primary focus. The intent is to make practical application of systemic theories presented in CEFS 601. Students will have significant engagements in assessment, diagnosis, and treatment planning through role-play of clinical practice with various marriage and family therapy methods. Additionally, the impact of addiction, crisis, disasters, and other trauma-causing events on diagnosis and treatment planning in marriage and family therapy will be addressed. Students will learn to apply systemic interventions as treatment for various mental health problems that occur with individuals, couples, and families.

For information regarding prerequisites for this course, please refer to the Academic Course Catalog.


This course is a required course in the licensure programs. The purpose of the course is to expand upon the concepts and philosophy of 601 by the teaching and practice of marriage and family therapy skills and techniques. The student will be required to understand and demonstrate counseling skills as they relate to the systems philosophy and major theoretical frameworks within the marriage and family therapy field.

This course is designed to meet COAMFTE Developmental Competency Components:

Area I: Theoretical Knowledge, and the AAMFT Marriage and Family Therapy Core Competencies conceptual, perceptual, and executive domains.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings and lecture presentations/notes

Course Requirements Checklist Assignment

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in the Course Overview. 

Advising Acknowledgement Quiz

Discussions (4)

Discussions are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student is required to create a thread in response to the provided prompt. Each thread must be 250–400 words and demonstrate course-related knowledge. The exception to this is Discussion: Tynesha Video Response, in which the student is required to submit a 3–5-minute video for his or her thread. In addition to the thread, the student is required to reply to 2 other classmates’ threads. Each reply must be at least 200 words. The instructor may also require that the student reply to follow-up ideas, which will also be included in the student’s grade (CLO: A, B, E, and L).

Journal Article Review Assignment

The student will select an article from a provided list of peer-reviewed journal articles, or select a different article with instructor approval. The student will then write a 3–5-page research-based paper in current APA format that focuses on case conceptualization, clinical assessment, and/or treatment planning in marriage and family therapy. The Journal Article Review will have 3 Level 1 Heading sections: Summary, Interaction, and Application, an introduction paragraph is required. A title page and reference page are required and are not included in the page count (CLO: E, H, I, and K). 

Quizzes: Cengage Videos (10)

After completing the required Gehart reading assignments in Modules 3–6, the student will watch a couple/family counseling session video clip. These video clips are designed to illustrate a clinical application of the assigned reading. Following each clip, the student will be presented with a few questions which will assess the student’s understanding of the application (CLO: A, B, D, E, H, and J).

Movie Case Study Assignment

The student will watch the movie Rabbit Hole and work with the information as though addressing the main couple in the movie for the first time. The student will develop a Case Conceptualization for the main couple (CLO: C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, and L).

Therapy Session Case Study Assignment

The student will watch a brief therapy session clip to discover the family issue for the assignment. The student will develop a Case Conceptualization for the son Galen, keeping in mind the family dynamics (CLO: E, H, I, K, and L).

Quizzes (12)

Each quiz will cover the Gehart Textbook material for the assigned module: week. Each quiz will be open-book/open-notes, contain 10–15 multiple-choice and true/false questions, and have no time limit (CLO: A, B, D, E, H, and J).

Quiz: Final

The final quiz will cover the Learn material from the Schwitzer and Rubin text and Chapters 14–15 of the Gehart text (Cengage/MindTap), and the narrated PowerPoint presentations (Modules 1-3: Weeks 1–3). The final quiz will be open-book/open-notes, contain 50 multiple-choice questions, and have a time limit of 1 hour and 30 minutes (A, B, D, E, H, and J).

Quiz: Dispositions Reflection

The student will will rate him/herself on the nine dispositions required for this program. The quiz will contain 9 multiple-choice questions and 1 essay question and is limited to 60 minutes. The student is allowed 1 attempt to complete the quiz.