Mental Health and Wellness: Family Dynamics

Master of Science in Mental Health and Wellness with an Emphasis in Family Dynamics

Offered By: College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Focus Your Mental Health & Wellness Master of Science Degree on Family Dynamics

The family is an interactive, ever-evolving system comprised of complex and dynamic relationships, roles and boundaries. The Master of Science in Mental Health and Wellness with an Emphasis in Family Dynamics degree at Grand Canyon University is an intensive survey of the family, its structures and its life cycle. By earning a mental health and wellness degree, you could blend your passion with a purpose for helping others. Learn how to help families identify, understand and resolve conflicts, work toward functional relationships and embrace healthy, balanced family roles.

This degree is offered by the College of Humanities and Social Sciences as an online program. Using our interactive, digital learning platform, students will benefit from the diverse experiences and perspectives of their peers and fully qualified instructors. Students will closely examine multiple aspects of human nature, including behavioral, mental, spiritual, interpersonal and cognitive aspects. This MS in mental health and wellness degree focuses intensely on family dynamics, including the practical applications of theories to promote health and wellness within the family system.

Study Family Dynamics, Function and Structure

GCU graduates are accomplished communicators who understand how to convey key information to a range of stakeholders. When you earn your degree, you will have a sharp understanding of core mental health and wellness concepts such as professional ethics and effective advocacy practices. There is an emphasis on the role of faith and spirituality as they are applied to the professional field. Students are encouraged to expand upon their Christian worldview and develop a strong sense of servant leadership.

The Master of Science in mental health and wellness – family dynamics degree includes courses such as the following:

  • Ethics and Cultural Diversity in Mental Health and Wellness
  • Introduction to Family Dynamics and Systems
  • Families in Contemporary Society
  • Family Development
  • Mental Health, Wellness and Health Care Integration

As you work through these courses, you will closely examine the family life cycle, the development of individuals within families and the transitions between family life cycle stages. You will gain an appreciation for the cognitive, moral and psychosocial developmental theories as they pertain to family dynamics. Using a systematic lens, you will explore relationships, interactional patterns and communication among family members. Other core competencies include the following:

  • How parenting changes throughout the lifespan and in various family contexts
  • Evidence-based parenting practices to promote character development and positive behaviors
  • How modern phenomena, such as technology and nontraditional family structures, have affected 21st century families
  • Common mental health disorders, treatments and supportive services

In addition, students will complete the Mental Health and Wellness Capstone. It provides a real-world look at the mental health and wellness fields.

Lead Families Toward Optimal Mental Health and Wellness with an MS in Family Dynamics Program

An in-depth knowledge of family dynamics and mental health will serve you well as you pursue a career in the mental health field. Graduates may choose to pursue work in the following settings:

  • Social service agencies
  • Outpatient or inpatient care facilities
  • Schools and universities
  • Mental health facilities
  • Military settings, including VA facilities

Some GCU graduates decide to apply for positions in churches and religious institutions, while others pursue careers in community health organizations. Some career opportunities may require additional qualifications or credentials.

This degree does not lead to counseling or psychology licensure. This degree is geared toward individuals who are currently working in or plan to work in an administrative position, in a leadership role, or in a mental health specialist position that does not require licensure.

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Total Credits: 34
Online: 8 weeks
[More Info]
Up to 12 credits or 1/3 of the total program requirements in transfer (whichever is less)
Online: $565 per credit [More Info]

Course List

34 credits
Total Degree Requirements:
34 credits

Core Courses

Course Description

This course is designed to prepare students for the graduate learning experience at Grand Canyon University. Students have opportunities to develop and strengthen the skills necessary to succeed as graduate students in the liberal arts. Emphasis is placed on utilizing the tools for graduate success.

Course Description

This course is an introductory course in mental health and wellness practices. The purpose of the course is to develop a basic understanding of mental health and wellness practices and wellness approaches. An overview of mental health disorders, basic overview of treatment practices, and the Dimensions of Wellness are covered.

Course Description

This course covers ethics and cultural diversity as it relates to mental health and wellness. The history of ethics is addressed, including how early ethical models evolved into modern ethical codes in the mental health and wellness professions. How ethics relates to legal standards and issues such as records and billing are addressed. Cultural diversity, sensitivity, and competence are covered.

Course Description

This course introduces students to the dynamics of the family unit. The family is examined as an interactive system of individuals whose roles and boundaries constantly shift to accommodate the needs of the collective family unit. The influence of relationships, interactional patterns, and communication among family members is covered through a systemic lens. Considering the function of behaviors will determine how problems are formed, perpetuated, and resolved within families.

Course Description

This course examines the family life cycle, the development of individuals within the family, and the family system as a whole. It includes a survey of how cognitive, moral, and psychosocial developmental theories relate to family development and the transitions between family life cycle stages.

Course Description

In this course, students examine the many facets of parenting. The historical and theoretical influences of parenting in the United States are covered. How parenting changes throughout the life span as well as how parenting is different in various family contexts is investigated. Research and evidence-based parenting practices regarding character development and promoting positive behavior are covered as well as how various factors affect parenting such as drugs and alcohol, poverty, and medical and psychological diagnoses.

Course Description

This course takes a holistic look at the structure and function of the family in contemporary society as well as the many societal influences that affect the family. It examines how modern phenomena such as nontraditional family structures, and the proliferation of technology have impacted today’s families and the way they interact with other community systems. Modern governmental guidelines and ethical challenges, including systems such as foster care, are also addressed. Additionally, the role of cultural norms in family systems and the importance of cultural awareness in working with families in the mental health care system is addressed.

Course Description

This course provides a comprehensive understanding of mental health, wellness, and health care, including the integration of these three fields. The course covers common mental health disorders, treatments, and supportive services, as well as an integrated focus on the mind and the body. The course examines the health challenges often faced by individuals with behavioral or mental health disorders, and it reviews appropriate services, interventions, preventative services, and treatments to achieve and maintain health and wellness.

Course Description

This course provides a practical, real-world exploration of the mental health and wellness field. Special focus is given to careers in mental health and wellness. The common duties and tasks performed by workers in the mental health and wellness field are investigated. Concepts covered throughout the program are examined through practical application. This course is the last course in the program of study; all other course work must be completed before this course.


GCU Online Student

Pursue a next-generation education with an online degree from Grand Canyon University. Earn your degree with convenience and flexibility with online courses that let you study anytime, anywhere.

GCU Evening Student

Grand Canyon University’s evening programs cater to the demands of working professionals who prefer an in-person learning environment. Our night classes meet just once per week and offer the interaction and discussion of a typical college classroom.

* Please note that this list may contain programs and courses not presently offered, as availability may vary depending on class size, enrollment and other contributing factors. If you are interested in a program or course listed herein please first contact your University Counselor for the most current information regarding availability.

* Please refer to the Academic Catalog for more information. Programs or courses subject to change.

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