A family therapist counsels a couple

Master of Relational and Family Therapy

Become a relational and family therapist and graduate job-ready

Mental health professionals are in demand in your community. Make a difference with the Master of Relational and Family Therapy (MRFT) program at the University of Guelph.

The Master of Relational and Family Therapy is a two-year immersive clinical training program that integrates theory into the practice of relational and systemic psychotherapy, where therapists work with a client in the context of their many relationships and broader social systems.

The MRFT is a recognized education, training and clinical experience program with the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario (CRPO) and is provisionally accredited by the Canadian Association for Couple and Family Therapy (CACFT) and prepares you to practice psychotherapy upon graduation.

The Master of Relational and Family Therapy is part of the Relational and Psychotherapy Training Program (RPTP) at the University of Guelph, along with the Master of Psychotherapy and the Master of Arts in Mental Health.

One of a Kind
The only secular, systemic relational education and training program in Ontario
Systemic-Relational Focus
Learn relationship therapy with a foundation in systemic relational training
Career-Ready Training
Clinical experience and supervision through an EDI lens to prepare you for your career

The Master of Relational and Family Therapy Program Timeline

The Master of Relational and Family Therapy program is a two-year full-time only immersive course of study beginning in May each year.

The first academic summer semester prepares you to begin your five-semester internship placement in the fall. In the final semester of the program, you'll be registered with the CRPO as a Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying) and you'll be on track to be become a Registered Marriage and Family Therapist (RMFT) with the CAMFT.

The front doors of the Maplewoods Centre

Training Facilities

All practicum classes, clinical work, and supervision in the MRFT program take place in the Maplewoods Centre for Family Therapy and Child Psychology.

Maplewoods is a newly-built and innovative centre on the University of Guelph campus that provides a range of clinical therapy services for youth, adults, and families in the community.

Maplewoods is equipped with a state-of-the-art video capture system, allowing for digital recording and real-time observation of clinical work.

Dr. John Beaton has been training graduate students to be therapists for over 15 years. His research and clinical interests focus on men's health and fatherhood, and families with children with disabilities and chronic health conditions.

John Beaton, PhD, RP, RMFT-S
Associate Professor, Family Relations and Applied Nutrition

Dr. Tuuli M. Kukkonen is an expert in the field of sexual psychophysiology. Her research focuses on the interaction between biological and psychosocial factors involved in sexual health, and aging and sexual health.

Tuuli M. Kukkonen, PhD, C.Psych
Associate Professor, Family Relations and Applied Nutrition

Applying to the Master of Relational and Family Therapy

  • Completion of an honours (four-year) baccalaureate degree or equivalent in the social or applied human arts or sciences (e.g. family relations, sociology, psychology, social work), with a minimum 75% average in the last two years of study.
  • Completion of a social science research methods course with a grade of 70% or higher.

Note: Applicants who demonstrate relevant work or volunteer experience are preferred, however, we will not accept applicants who are regulated in Ontario to practice the profession of psychotherapy or its equivalent.

Prospective graduate students must apply to the University of Guelph online, through the Ontario Universities Application Centre (OUAC). Please visit the Graduate Studies website to learn more and begin your application process.

After submitting an online application for the MRFT program, you will be invited to submit required documents through the University of Guelph's online system, WebAdvisor. Download the MRFT Application Checklist.

Information for the 2025 cohort coming soon.

Questions about applying to the program? Email rptp@uoguelph.ca.

The Master of Relational and Family Therapy is a new program and tuition is still being finalized. Please check back for regular updates.

The Department of Family Relations and Applied Nutrition offers financial support to qualified graduate students through a combination of financial planning support, scholarships, Graduate Teaching Assistantships, Graduate Research Assistantships, and other employment.

Search entrance scholarships for graduate students at the University of Guelph.

You are also encouraged to apply for government-funded awards and external awards.

Learn more about funding your graduate education on the Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies website.

A therapist counsels a couple

Other Programs

Master of Psychotherapy

The Master of Psychotherapy program has a more traditional psychotherapy focus. Students complete two in-person practica at the Maplewoods Centre and a one-year externship, gaining direct clinical experience in a placement with a community-based service provider.

Master of Arts in Mental Health

The Master of Arts in Mental Health is an online course-based program designed for professionals who want non-clinical mental health training infused with systemic thinking and Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI).

Program Info Webinar | Fall 2023

Interested in applying to the Master of Relational and Family Therapy, the Master of Psychotherapy, or the Master of Arts in Mental Health?

Watch our webinar, recorded November 24, 2023, to learn more about the programs and how to apply!

Download the webinar transcript

Watched the webinar? Consider completing the webinar feedback survey to let us know how we can improve.

Get in Touch

Questions about the Master of Relational and Family Therapy program? Contact:

Shauna Porter
Graduate Program Assistant
Department of Family Relations and Applied Nutrition
Email: rptp@uoguelph.ca