Marriage and family therapists are mental health professionals who treat individuals, couples, and families with an emphasis on family and family relationships. Their treatment focuses on the interaction between individuals, and sessions typically include two or more family members at a time. Marriage and family therapists are trained to address a variety of mental health issues, including stress, different types of addiction, and low self-esteem. They work in mental health facilities, private practices, and government agencies. Some of the job responsibilities of marriage and family therapists include:
- Diagnosing and treating mental health disorders and substance abuse problems
- Helping clients communicate their emotions and experiences
- Helping clients develop ways to change destructive behavior and cope with difficult situations
- Coordinating treatment with other professionals
The BLS reports the jobs for marriage and family therapists are expected to increase by 41% from 2010 to 2012. Population growth as well as the fact that more people are comfortable seeking treatment for mental and emotional problems than in previous decades is increasing the demand for marriage and family therapists. More insurance companies are providing coverage for marriage and family therapy as a less expensive alternative to psychiatric and psychological counseling.Read More
Job Growth for
Marriage and Family Therapist
Becoming a Marriage and Family Therapist
Marriage and family therapists must hold a master's degree in marriage and family therapy. Marriage and family therapy degree programs teach students how interpersonal relationships affect mental and emotional health and typically include supervised clinical experiences with individuals, couples, and families. Full-time students can usually complete a master's degree in two years time.
Online master's degree programs in marriage and family therapy will include an on-site supervised fieldwork work requirement. Students may need to locate an appropriate setting in their community and propose it as a setting for fieldwork. A sampling of classes you may take in a marriage and family therapy degree program, drawn from course listings for Touro University Worldwide's master of arts degree in marriage and family therapy program, include the following:
- Development Within the Family Life Cycle
- Research Methodology
- Studies in Human Communication
- Ethics & Law for Marriage & Family Therapy
Marriage and family therapists must complete a master's degree and two years of supervised clinical experience before they can be state licensed. Before enrolling in a degree program, students should check to see if the program complies with the requirements for state licensure and will prepare them to sit for the state's licensure exam. The Association of Marital and Family Therapy Regulatory Boards provides contact information for each state's regulating boards.