Family Financial Therapy

Graduate Certificate Program


Areas of conflict within relationships commonly involve financial issues, which are the most prevalent, reoccurring, and longest lasting challenges in relationships. Thus, in an effort to improve overall well-being and relationships, financial therapy aids individuals, couples, and families in thinking, feeling, and behaving differently with regard to money. In particular, financial therapists address issues related to money such as past financial trauma, financial abuse, transgenerational transmission of values and beliefs around money, improving communication around money between spouses, money disorders, underlying causes of negative financial behaviors, navigating a large-scale change in financial culture, financial socialization practices, issues around money and identity formation, and much more. The content of this certificate adds depth of clinical knowledge regarding the practice of family financial therapy beyond that offered in any other mental health profession.

Demonstrating the growing nature of the field, the New York Times recently published an article discussing financial therapy in August 2022, "Where Money Meets Feelings: Financial Therapy Finds Its Footing."

Target Audience

The target audience for this certificate program includes (a) graduate students who are currently enrolled in an academic program specific to the mental health field (e.g., clinical psychology, counseling psychology, professional counseling, clinical social work, psychiatry, or couple and family therapy) and would like additional training specific to the practice of family financial therapy, and (b) professionals who are already licensed in a mental health profession and would like to gain specialized training. Those who do not meet these qualifications are encouraged to consider our couple and family therapy master's program, through which this and the play therapy certificates can be earned as part of the master's degree program.

Online versus Face-to-Face

Dual-modality instruction is employed, which allows students to complete this certificate online or face-to-face. All the students enrolled in the certificate will take classes together synchronously, with online students remotely joining students the face-to-face students in the classroom. Instruction will take place in a classroom specifically equipped with the technology necessary to ensure that all students—online and face-to-face—will have a similarly engaging experience, both with the instructor and with one another. This provides opportunities for the online students to work with each other as well as students within the classroom, and ensures that both online and face-to-face students receive the same training.


The 12-credit-hour curriculum was designed to provide students a deeper understanding of family dynamics, couple and family therapy, family financial theory, and how to blend these fields together in the form of family financial therapy.

1. Three required courses:

    • FAM 686: Theory and Methods in Couple and Family Therapy
    • FAM 668: Allocation of Family Resources
    • FAM 746: Family Financial Therapy

2. One elective course (choose one of the following):

    • EDP 600: Life Span Development [not available to fully-online students]
    • FAM 601: Family Processes
    • FAM 652: Readings in Family Theory and Research
    • FAM 654: Life Course Theory
    • FAM 740: Couple and Sex Therapy


If starting in the Fall semester of an odd-numbered year (e.g., Fall 2023), the certificate can be completed in as few as two semesters (or more slowly, if preferred). The anticipated upcoming offerings of the certificate courses is as follows (required courses in black bold, optional courses from which you must choose one in gray italics):

Fall 2023
FAM 686
FAM 668
FAM 652
FAM 654
Spring 2024
FAM 746
EDP 600

Fall 2024
FAM 686
FAM 601
FAM 654

Spring 2025
FAM 740
EDP 600


Generally speaking, the cost is roughly $2,250 per course x 4 courses = $9,000 for the certificate. Please see for current tuition rates.


Dr. Nate Wood ( advises all family financial therapy certificate students and will be happy to answer your questions via email.

Ready to Apply?

You will need:

  • Curriculum vitae
  • Personal statement that addresses:
    • what led you to consider pursing this additional training at the University of Kentucky.
    • your educational/professional goals
    • how this certificate fits into your career and/or practice goals
  • A writing sample that you believe is representative of graduate level work
  • A copy of your clinical license/permit

Submit an application to the Graduate School. The application deadline to start Fall 2023 is July 21, 2023. If only seeking the certificate (i.e., not a master's or doctoral degree) then apply as a post-baccalaureate student. Current UK graduate students do not have to pay the application fee. Successful program applicants must:

  • be either licensed mental-health professional or be actively working toward a master's or doctorate in a mental health specialization
  • have a minimum 3.0 GPA on all previous graduate-level courses

Note: Some (but not all) courses in the family financial therapy curriculum can be taken prior to formal admission into the program.