For those seeking a master’s in marriage and family therapy, it is more than a degree; it is a calling to make a positive difference in the lives of those who need it most.
What is an MFT?
Graduates with an MFT (Marriage and Family Therapist) degree are highly-trained mental health professionals who bring a family-oriented perspective and treatment approach to health care related to mental, emotional, behavioral, and interpersonal disorders. Addressing a wide range of relationship issues that affect the family dynamic and communication between loved ones, a MFT also provides premarital, relationship, separation, and divorce counseling, as well as child counseling.
As the first MFT degree program with distance education to receive accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (112 South Alfred Street Alexandria, VA 22314-3061 Phone: (703) 253-0473) Northcentral University provides rigorous training to help develop competent, ethical, culturally sensitive and licensable marriage and family therapists who will make a difference in the communities where you live and work.
What is the Job Outlook for an MFT?
According to the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT), more than 6.1 million people annually are seen by a marriage and family. By 2022, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts this occupation will grow by 30.6 percent – much faster than the average for all other occupations in the U.S. The median annual salary for marriage and family therapists was $49,170 in May 2016. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $31,600, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $81,960. The median annual salaries for marriage and family therapists in State government, excluding education and hospitals, was $72,180, in outpatient care centers $48,900, in offices of other health practitioners $47,650, and averaged for those working at individual and family services $44,560.
Employment of marriage and family therapists is projected to grow 23 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all other occupations. Growth is expected due to the increasing use of integrated care. Marriage and family therapists generally work full time. Some therapists work evenings and weekends to accommodate their clients’ schedules.
What Types of Career Paths are Available for an MFT?
MFT's have careers in the legal and correctional systems, HMO's, the government and military, with an emphasis in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) facilities. MFT’s also are called to work for churches and many religious settings. From medical centers and mental health centers, to state and county behavioral health departments, to Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs), nursing and residential care facilities, MFT’s are needed to serve an important function in society’s well-being.
A source of employment for marriage and family therapists is at outpatient care centers. As mental health professionals, therapists treat everyone from children and adolescents to adults and seniors battling depression, substance abuse, or serious mental illness. They perform clinical services like patient and family education, lead therapy sessions, assessments, case management, and acting as a liaison between patients and their physicians in addition to community health services providers. Therapists also coordinate patient discharge from inpatient programs to transition into outpatient settings.
MFT degree holders often work with teams of healthcare personnel, serving as inpatient therapists at medical facilities. Serving as case managers, they develop treatment plans for patient in crisis admitted on a short-term basis. MFT's provide therapy to married couples dealing with a terminal illness; families who are care providers for an elderly parent; and parents caring with children suffering from a life-threatening illness.
One of the fastest growing fields for those with an MFT is at substance abuse & addiction treatment centers, providing education about addiction, and assisting clients pinpoint the contributing factors that lead to the abuse of alcohol, drugs, food, gambling among other vices. Therapists develop treatment plans and help clients establish a solid support system of friends and family.
MFT's are employed as school counselors at all levels of the school system dealing with troubled youths of many ages. They know that early intervention is the key to heading of major issues later in life. In addition, MFT's are hired to work at government, non-profit, and for-profit agencies that provide social services to children, youth, families, seniors, and communities. Sometimes, marriage and family therapists are hired to take on administration roles, such as supervising other school counselors and social service staff. Conducting individual, group, and family therapy sessions, MFT's may also split their time between private practice work, and providing counseling at other community locations, such as a social service agency.
MFT's can establish their own private practice, or join a team of therapists in private practice. Private practice therapy deals with a wide range of issues plaguing children, married couples and families, such as anxiety, grief, anger management, substance abuse, depression, and problems that affect job and school performance. These issues may originate out of the home, school, work or develop between specific relationships, and an MFT may spend months to several years treating the same clients.
What to Expect from Northcentral University’s Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy
Northcentral University’s MFT program will help you develop key skills and facilitate the personal and professional growth needed for effective practice in the field of marriage and family therapy. In our marriage and family therapy master’s program, you will gain rigorous training and coursework to help you develop into a competent, ethical, culturally-sensitive and licensable marriage and family therapist who will make a difference in the communities where you live and work — while gaining a wealth of experience from your mentoring professors. NCU's MFT degree courses are primarily online, however, practicum/internships/and clinical supervision activities include traditional engagement in the communities our students reside.
Learn more about Northcentral University’s Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy or contact us by filling out the form below.