San Diego’s Finest

San Diego, often referred to as America’s finest city, also includes one of California’s few COAMFTE-accredited* Marriage and Family Therapy Master’s Degree Programs.

Indeed, our standards are high. Standards that we take pride in. Ever since the founding of the California School of Professional Psychology in 1969, the San Diego MFT Degree Program has strived for greatness – providing experienced professors, specialized graduate certificate opportunities, various practicum locations, and the necessary tools required to become a life-changing licensed marriage and family therapist.

Why do we claim to be one of San Diego’s finest Marriage and Family Therapy Degree Programs? We’re glad you asked.

1. Accreditation

It starts with COAMFTE accreditation, as CSPP’s Marriage and Family Therapy Master’s Degree is one of few other COAMFTE-accredited programs in all of California*.

COAMFTE accreditation carries many benefits for MFT students that can be read about here.

2. Balanced Emphasis on Classroom and Real-World Experience

Your journey begins in the classroom, studying a variety of MFT theories, methodologies, and research and promotes inclusivity of diverse cultures, age groups, religions, socioeconomic statuses, and the LGBT community.

You will then take your education and apply it to real-life situations: 500 hours of supervised direct-client contact, 200 of which provide counseling to couples or families; and 100 hours of individual and group supervision, 50 of which are directly observed or video-taped.

You may find that your growth as a marriage and family therapist is enhanced by your classmates as you collectively exchange ideas, compliments, and constructive criticisms. This group involvement is integral to the success of your MFT degree and your career as a marriage and family therapist in San Diego or anywhere else in the country.

CSPP’s San Diego MFT Degree Program offers multiple professional training opportunities to fulfill your practica requirements and your interests as a therapist. Our network of practica opportunities is diverse, both in number of organizations and types of clientele. Our students have provided services for:

  • Families facing general relational issues
  • Victims of sexual assault and domestic violence
  • Low-income children and adolescents who meet seriously emotionally disturbed (SED) criteria
  • Youth ages 5 to 21 enrolled in Juvenile Court and Community School Districts with the goal of returning to mainstream education
  • Young students who are struggling with academic success, anxiety, depression, ADHD, substance abuse, and other emotional hardships
  • Students enrolled at a local San Diego college seeking therapy for a variety of individual or familial issues
  • Homeless and at-risk of being homeless individuals requiring counseling
  • Bereaved families struggling with grief and loss of the recent death of a loved one
  • Children caught in the middle of custody disputes

Concerned about not receiving a practicum opportunity? Don’t be. Using a combination of our strong networking opportunities and practicum agency fairs, the San Diego MFT program can help you find a practicum location specific to your interests and career goals.

3. Experienced and Passionate MFT Faculty

Our San Diego students benefit from learning and practicing from a diverse group of MFT professors, many with their own specializations.

Have a question about our Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT) degree program in general? A particular class he or she teaches? About a particular specialty or theory you’re interested in pursuing? Feel free to email them at the addresses provided below.

  • Susan Johnson, Research Professor – (based in Canada); B.A., Hull-Yorkshire; M.A., Ed.D., University of British Columbia
    • Specialty areas and research interests: Emotionally focused therapy, process and outcome research. Dr. Johnson is the primary developer of Emotionally Focused Therapy and is an internationally recognized leader in couples’ therapy, theory, and research. Johnson resides in Ottawa, Canada and visits the San Diego Alliant campus to lecture and engage in research activities.
  • Angela B. Kim, Associate Professor and Interim Site Director – B.A., Occidental College; M.A., California State University, Los Angeles; Ed.M., Ph.D., Teachers College, Columbia University
    • Specialty areas and research interests: Cross-cultural psychology; multicultural counseling competency; Asian American mental health and coping behaviors; immigrant youth and families’ cultural adjustment; acculturation and enculturation differences between parent and child; culturally appropriate interventions and services.
  • Marianne McInnes Miller, Associate Professor – B.A., University of Colorado at Denver; M.MFT, Abilene Christian University; Ph.D., Texas Tech University
    • Specialty areas and research interests: Spirituality in therapy and MFT training, mindfulness, eating disorders, MFT theories, gender, diversity, and qualitative methodology.
  • Alba Nino, Associate Professor – B.S., Universidad de Los Andes; M.S., University of Maryland at College Park; Ph.D., Drexel University
    • Specialty areas and research interests: Person of the therapist training and supervision; immigrant therapists; immigrant families; attachment based therapies; attachment focused therapies.
  • Sarah K. Samman, Assistant Professor – B.S., University of Oregon; M.S., Capella University; M.A., Lewis & Clark College; PMC-MedFT, Loma Linda University; Ph.D., Loma Linda University.
    • Specialty areas and research interests: Multiculturalism, gender, and power in couple and family relationships, integrating MFTs in health care settings; student clinical and research preparedness; qualitative research.
  • Linna Wang, Professor – B.S., Shandong University, China; M.A., Concordia College; Ph.D., Brigham Young University
    • Specialty areas and research interests: cross-cultural issues, women’s issues, marriage and family evaluation, survey research, impact of family factors on children.
  • Roberto Weiss, Clinical Training Coordinator, San Diego and Graduate Faculty — M.A., New School for Social Research; M.A., United States International University
    • Specialty areas and research interests: community mental health services and administration; training and supervision; treatment of Latino population; bilingualism in psychotherapy; effective integration of treatment modalities; health psychology; mind-body interaction; and gambling problems.
  • Scott R. Woolley, Distinguished Professor – B.S., M.S., Brigham Young University; Ph.D., Texas Tech University
    • Specialty areas and research interests: Emotionally Focused Therapy, courtship, marriage, couples therapy, MFT process and outcome research, observational research, cultural issues in couple relationships, MFT supervision processes, domestic and international MFT therapy training, chemical dependency.

4. Comprehensive Degree Program

The San Diego Master’s in MFT Degree strives to prepare students with everything they need to become effective therapists:

  • Education, theory, and methodology in the classroom from distinguished faculty members
  • Skill-based practicum training in real-world settings
  • Eligible coursework and practicum hours may apply toward the San Diego MFT PsyD Program, as well as other MFT PsyD programs offered at our other California campuses

We here at Alliant believe the journey is often just as important as the destination. It’s our job to make your journey of becoming a marriage and family therapist one of the most transformative experiences of your life.

Your journey will include learning from faculty who truly care about the success of their students; working in the field to provide counseling services to individuals, couples, or families; and interacting with fellow classmates to support one another’s growth as therapists.

The destination is earning the skills needed to treat trauma, abuse, chronic pain, marital conflicts, substance abuse, eating disorders, and the many other challenges faced in our society. So you can positively impact individuals, families, and the world around you.

For more information about our San Diego Master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy Degree, contact the California School of Professional Psychology today.

*The Marriage and Family Therapy Program at Alliant International University in San Diego is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE), 112 South Alfred Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314, (703) 838-9808,