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What is Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT)?
Marriage counseling and family therapy deals with the stress and experiencing couples and families go through. Individuals working in this field will counsel couples and families, assisting them in working through issues and providing techniques for managing through problems in the future. Counselors may work for public agencies or through private practices, with public counselors primarily working primarily with families.
Marriage counseling and Family Therapy degrees allow individuals to work with families and spouses to resolve problems and issues. Students interested in this degree will have to learn the skills necessary to achieve success with patients. Typically those pursuing a master's degree in marriage counseling and family therapy will have a degree in social work, psychology, counseling, or have pursued a career in those fields prior to changing focus. A therapist needs patience, understanding, public speaking skills and knowledge of therapy techniques.
Such techniques include:
- Communication Theory
- Relationship Education
- Systems Theory
- Reality Therapy
Employment Opportunities and Licensure
Marriage counseling and family therapy specialists may work in a variety of institutions, including schools, hospitals, public agencies, clinics, private practices and others. Individuals in this field will work closely with couples, parents and children in order to provide the means for productive communication and conflict resolution. Such counselor are often sought after to resolve minor issues, or growing problems, though some may be provided by the state if certain issues, such as abuse, are brought to light. Additionally, many seminaries and theological schools offer degrees in this field as the role of priest or pastor often involves providing guidance and counseling for couples and families.
Marriage counseling and family therapy licensing requirements will vary from state to state, though most will require a degree and 3000 supervised internship hours.
Job Growth, Salary and Related Fields
Marriage counseling and family therapy is a growing field and demand is expected to grow in the coming years. The average yearly income for a marriage counselor is approximately $47,000, with lowest 10% receiving $27,000 and the highest $72,000.