In Focus: Matthew Jon Mangiapane
M.A. in Marriage and Family Therapy ‘11
Tell us about your background and what led you to be interested in the Marriage and Family Therapy program (MFT)?
I grew up on Long Island and attended Long Island University’s C.W. Post campus for my undergraduate degree in Psychology and found myself fully invested in the field. After some research into various graduate programs, Hofstra’s program in Marriage & Family Therapy jumped out at me, even though it was a field I hadn’t heard much about. After orientation and having in depth discussions with faculty, I was hooked and wound up in a program that was perfect for my educational and career goals.
What attracted you to Hofstra University’s MA in MFT program?
I had plans to attend a master’s program somewhere in New York State. Eventually I came across Hofstra’s MFT program and began my research. After learning more about it and hearing great things about Hofstra from alumni, I decided to apply. With the strong focus on couple and family counseling, plus an extensive internship, I found the program to be better than I even anticipated.
Describe your experience working and studying with faculty in the Department of Counseling and Mental Health Professions.
All of the faculty members directly involved in the MFT program went above and beyond in many ways throughout my years there. The class atmosphere was always friendly and open discussion was encouraged as much as possible. Role playing scenarios as potential therapists was a great learning experience. Interning at the on-campus Saltzman Center Clinic involved hands-on supervision and guidance by licensed marriage and family therapists, and I can’t see myself having learned better at any other program. Some of my professors continue to be helpful contacts after leaving Hofstra, and I’ll always remember those who taught me during those years.
Tell us how the program prepared you for employment.
My experience at the on-campus Saltzman Center Clinic was a great way to learn about working with clients and how to handle more basic practicalities like confirming appointments, directing them to the billing department, and even how to handle a C.P.S. report if needed. Supervision and guidance from the clinic supervisor and the program professors was helpful in many ways, including reviewing counseling sessions. Any questions I had could be asked without resignation, and we were always encouraged to share and collaborate with our peers.
What is your advice for prospective students looking for a degree in Marriage and Family Therapy?
I would encourage anyone with an interest to research the program and put your all into it if you decide to pursue it. Both the faculty and other students were amazing in so many ways, and I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything. As scary as the comprehensive test is, or how intimidating it seems to take the licensure test, Hofstra’s program prepared me tremendously well. Opportunities are out there; you just have to look, and the MFT program will set you up for success in an ever-growing field that can help so many people.