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Marriage And Family Therapists picture    Marriage And Family Therapists image

Family Therapists

Family therapists provide counseling to families or couples that want help with solving conflicts, changing behavior or improving communications. They provide counseling to the entire family or sometimes with individual family members.

A family therapist uses family systems theory, principles and therapeutic techniques to improve communication and understanding among family members and to modify's client's perceptions and behavior. They try to prevent family or individual crises.

While counseling couples that are considering a divorce, marriage and family therapists strive to determine the underlying reasons for the divorce and determine if reconciliation is possible.

Marriage counselors typically provide counseling sessions that include both the husband and wife. However, sometimes they will talk with the husband and wife separately. Marriage counselors also provide counseling to groups of married couples, groups of wives and groups of husbands.

Responsibilities

  • Encourage family members to develop and use strategies and skills for dealing with problems in a constructive manner
  • Collect information about clients via interviews, tests, observations and discussions
  • Make referrals to psychiatric resources
  • Maintain case files
  • Ask appropriate questions to help clients identify their feelings and behaviors
  • Determine if clients should be referred to other specialists
  • Develop plans with clients for post-treatment activities
  • Follow up with clients to determine the effectiveness of counseling

Job Characteristics

Marriage and family therapists often have flexible hours in order to accommodate families in crisis or working couples who need evening or weekend counseling sessions. Those working for agencies, particularly marriage counselors, usually work two or three evenings per week. They provide therapy sessions which last for approximately one hour.

Family therapists need excellent interpersonal and communication skills. They need to be attentive, considerate and sometimes critical in order to accomplish objectives.

Employment Outlook

The Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts 30 percent growth from 2006 to 2016 for employment of marriage and family therapists which is much faster than average for all occupations. The average annual earnings for marriage and family therapists in 2008 was $44,590. Some of the highest paid marriage and family therapists are self-employed counselors with well-established practices and those employed by state government, and general medical and surgical hospitals.

Family therapists have opportunities to work as directors of agencies and departments. Some therapists advance by achieving a doctorate or by completing additional postgraduate courses. Experienced counselors have opportunities to work as teachers and trainers of new counselors.

Education, Certification, and Licensing

Educational requirements for family therapists vary depending on State licensure and certification requirements. Typically, marriage and family counselors need a master's degree in counseling or in marriage and family therapy along with two years or three thousand hours of supervised clinical experience. They also need to pass state recognized exams. Some states require counselors in public employment to have earned a master's degree and some states require a bachelor's degree with appropriate counseling courses.

Usually, coursework in a marriage and family therapy master's degree program includes counseling therapy and practice, research and evaluation in psychology, clinical applications of human development and family therapy theories.

Resources

Major Employers

The top employment sectors are individual and family services, State government, local government, outpatient care centers, health clinics, institutions, private practices and hospitals.

Schools for Marriage And Family Therapists are listed in the Browse Schools Section.

Metro Areas Sorted by Total Employment for:
Marriage and Family Therapists

Listed below are metro areas sorted by the total number of people employed in Marriage and Family Therapists jobs , as of 2015

Source: 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

     
Metro Area (Alabama) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Hoover 70 $43,660
Birmingham 70 $43,660
     
Metro Area (Arizona) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Scottsdale 710 N/A
Mesa 710 N/A
Phoenix 710 N/A
Prescott 100 $59,950
Tucson N/A $42,710
Flagstaff N/A $47,640
     
Metro Area (California) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Long Beach 3770 $46,360
Los Angeles 3770 $46,360
Anaheim 3770 $46,360
Oakland 1130 $54,180
Hayward 1130 $54,180
San Francisco 1130 $54,180
Carlsbad 830 $46,210
San Diego 830 $46,210
Arden 460 $48,580
Arcade 460 $48,580
Roseville 460 $48,580
Sacramento 460 $48,580
Santa Clara 150 $55,660
San Jose 150 $55,660
Sunnyvale 150 $55,660
Santa Barbara 140 $56,640
Santa Maria 140 $56,640
Thousand Oaks 130 $43,940
Oxnard 130 $43,940
Ventura 130 $43,940
Fresno 130 $54,690
Santa Rosa 110 $73,680
Chico 80 $48,300
Fairfield 80 $81,810
Vallejo 80 $81,810
Redding 70 $62,860
Porterville 70 $67,560
Visalia 70 $67,560
Bakersfield N/A $47,140
Lodi N/A $47,500
Stockton N/A $47,500
Paso Robles N/A $55,850
Arroyo Grande N/A $55,850
San Luis Obispo N/A $55,850
Ontario N/A $56,940
Riverside N/A $56,940
San Bernardino N/A $56,940
     
Metro Area (Colorado) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Lakewood 340 $49,380
Aurora 340 $49,380
Denver 340 $49,380
Colorado Springs 50 $51,740
     
Metro Area (Connecticut) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Stamford 90 $39,250
Norwalk 90 $39,250
Bridgeport 90 $39,250
New Haven 80 $51,080
West Hartford 70 $49,550
East Hartford 70 $49,550
Hartford 70 $49,550
Danbury 30 $59,520
     
Metro Area (Delaware) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Dover 70 $50,070
     
Metro Area (Florida) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
West Palm Beach 1260 $40,600
Miami 1260 $40,600
Fort Lauderdale 1260 $40,600
St. Petersburg 300 $33,690
Tampa 300 $33,690
Clearwater 300 $33,690
Sanford 210 N/A
Orlando 210 N/A
Kissimmee 210 N/A
Jacksonville 120 $36,180
Ormond Beach 90 $40,360
Deltona 90 $40,360
Daytona Beach 90 $40,360
Winter Haven 60 $39,850
Lakeland 60 $39,850
Bradenton 60 $45,390
Sarasota 60 $45,390
North Port 60 $45,390
Ocala 40 $41,960
Port St. Lucie 40 $46,570
Naples N/A $43,780
Immokalee N/A $43,780
Marco Island N/A $43,780
     
Metro Area (Georgia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Roswell N/A $54,440
Sandy Springs N/A $54,440
Atlanta N/A $54,440
     
Metro Area (Hawaii) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Urban Honolulu N/A $46,990
     
Metro Area (Indiana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Fort Wayne 70 $46,590
Anderson N/A $76,730
Indianapolis N/A $76,730
Carmel N/A $76,730
     
Metro Area (Iowa) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
West Des Moines 70 $46,920
Des Moines 70 $46,920
     
Metro Area (Kentucky) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Bowling Green N/A $32,350
     
Metro Area (Maryland) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Towson 540 $52,000
Columbia 540 $52,000
Baltimore 540 $52,000
     
Metro Area (Michigan) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Dearborn N/A $38,810
Warren N/A $38,810
Detroit N/A $38,810
     
Metro Area (Minnesota) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Rochester 70 $34,780
     
Metro Area (Nevada) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Paradise 310 $49,820
Henderson 310 $49,820
Las Vegas 310 $49,820
Reno 100 $70,310
     
Metro Area (New Jersey) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Trenton 410 $75,740
     
Metro Area (New York) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Niagara Falls N/A $35,940
Cheektowaga N/A $35,940
Buffalo N/A $35,940
     
Metro Area (North Dakota) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Bismarck N/A $42,450
     
Metro Area (Ohio) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Elyria N/A $42,620
Cleveland N/A $42,620
Akron N/A $65,090
     
Metro Area (Oklahoma) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Oklahoma City 200 $36,710
Tulsa 50 $43,690
     
Metro Area (Pennsylvania) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Pittsburgh 270 $39,590
Lancaster 50 $47,340
Altoona N/A $47,600
     
Metro Area (Tennessee) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Murfreesboro 170 $34,270
Franklin 170 $34,270
Davidson 170 $34,270
Nashville 170 $34,270
Knoxville 140 $32,540
Johnson City 40 $35,090
     
Metro Area (Texas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Arlington 600 $41,700
Fort Worth 600 $41,700
Dallas 600 $41,700
Houston 140 $48,820
The Woodlands 140 $48,820
Sugar Land 140 $48,820
New Braunfels 70 $39,900
San Antonio 70 $39,900
     
Metro Area (Utah) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Clearfield 60 $45,990
Ogden 60 $45,990
Salt Lake City 50 $45,390
Provo 40 $52,930
Orem 40 $52,930
St. George 30 $58,400
     
Metro Area (Virginia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Roanoke N/A $39,340
Richmond N/A $44,390
     
Metro Area (Washington) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Bellevue 180 $47,020
Tacoma 180 $47,020
Seattle 180 $47,020
     
Metro Area (West Virginia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Charleston 120 $35,360
Morgantown 50 $46,410
     
Metro Area (Wisconsin) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
West Allis 440 $32,790
Waukesha 440 $32,790
Milwaukee 440 $32,790
Madison 120 $45,240

Most Popular Industries for :
Marriage and Family Therapists

Industries representing at least 1% of total jobs for the occupation.

Source: 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

Industry Jobs Percent Annual Median Salary
Social Service 10,010 40% $39,230
Government 6,930 28% $50,310
Medical Office 5,140 21% $45,080
Nursing And Residential Care 980 4% $36,800
Hospital 700 2% $51,270
Education 370 1% $54,840
Non-profit 280 1% $38,570
These schools offer particularly quick info upon request, and we have written detailed profiles for each (click school names to see the profiles). Request info from multiple schools, by clicking the Request Info links.
 
Results:  10
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  • MA in Marriage and Family Therapy
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CityTownInfo Career and College Resources

We have some additional detailed pages at the state level for Marriage and Family Therapists.

Numbers in parentheses are counts of relevant campus-based schools in the state; online schools may also be available.

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