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Best Online Master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy Programs

By BestCounselingDegrees.net Staff
Last Updated: February 2020

Best Counseling Degrees - Top Online Programs

If you're looking for a career helping couples and families resolve problems in their relationships, consider pursuing a master's in marriage and family therapy online. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 22% increase in job growth for marriage and family therapists (MFTs) from 2018-28, which is much higher than the rate for all occupations.

Best Online MFT Programs 2020

  1. LeTourneau University – Longview, TX
  2. Messiah College – Mechanicsburg, PA
  3. John Brown University – Siloam Springs, AR
  4. Concordia University – Saint Paul – Saint Paul, MN
  5. Pepperdine University – Malibu, CA
  6. Concordia University – Wisconsin – Mequon, WI
  7. Amridge University – Montgomery, AL
  8. Touro University Worldwide – Los Alamitos, CA
  9. City University of Seattle – Seattle, WA
  10. Fresno Pacific University – Fresno, CA

This guide lists the best online MFT programs and provides information on the admissions process, typical online MFT master's courses, available resources, and how to become licensed, along with data on salaries and career opportunities.

 


 

20

University of West Alabama

Livingston, AL

Livingston-based University of West Alabama (UWA) operates as a public school with about 5,000 students, over half of whom enroll as distance learners. UWA offers a master of science in family counseling for online graduate students. The program does not prepare students for state licensure as therapists or counselors. Instead, the program trains individuals exempt from counseling, such as clergy.

The degree consists of 33 credits, including courses on lifespan development and learning, systems of psychotherapy, and therapeutic relationships. Students also complete a three-credit internship in counseling psychology at the end of the program.

UWA runs five terms during the year, each lasting eight weeks. Since full-time distance learners may enroll in two courses at a time, the family counseling degree may take 1-2 years for students to complete. Learners can also transfer in up to nine credits of previous graduate coursework.

University of West Alabama is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

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19

Brandman University

Irvine, CA

Based in Irvine, California, Brandman University began as a school serving the troops at Marine Corps Air Station El Toro. Since then, Brandman has opened up its enrollment to non-Marine students as well. Now, professional and nontraditional learners take advantage of the school's online and hybrid programs. One of those programs includes the master's degree in marriage and family therapy.

The program prepares students for licensure in California and 39 other states. Distance learners can pursue this degree entirely through online coursework. The curriculum consists of 60 credits. Courses cover topics such as domestic violence, substance abuse, and group counseling. Additionally, students must complete three practicum courses. Brandman maintains a list of active practicum sites to help students choose a location for this supervised work experience.

Brandman University is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission.

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18

Liberty University

Lynchburg, VA

Based in Lynchburg, Virginia, evangelical-affiliated Liberty University enrolls most of its more than 100,000 students in online programs. This includes Liberty's master's in marriage and family therapy, which learners can pursue through web-based instruction.

The degree consists of 60 credits, although incoming students can transfer in up to 30 credits. On average, master's candidates finish the program in 2.5 years. Even though distance learners can fulfill most requirements online, they must visit the Lynchburg campus for two one-week intensive sessions. These sessions consist of in-person classes, allowing students to meet their professors and peers.

Distance learners must complete a three-credit practicum and two-semester internship. They also must pass a comprehensive exam to qualify for graduation. Ultimately, the degree prepares graduates to become licensed professional marriage and family therapists. The school offers tuition discounts for military veterans and first responders.

Liberty University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

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17

Prescott College

Prescott, AZ

Established in 1966, Arizona-based Prescott College prioritizes liberal arts, the environment, and social justice in its academic offerings. Like all of its degrees, Prescott's master's in counseling program incorporates these values into its curriculum.

Requiring 60 credits of coursework, the degree includes an emphasis in marriage, couple, and family counseling that prepares students for licensure. Coursework covers foundational theory and skills needed for marriage and family counseling, in addition to topics unique to Prescott. Some of these specialized courses include social justice in counseling and mindfulness in clinical practice.

To graduate, master's candidates must fulfill practicum hours and an internship requirement. They must also pass a comprehensive exam that evaluates their knowledge of the entire curriculum. Additionally, students can supplement their degrees with postgraduate certificates in adventure-based psychotherapy, ecotherapy, expressive art therapy, or equine-assisted mental health. Prescott holds specialized accreditation from the Association for Experiential Education.

Prescott College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

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16

Regent University

Virginia Beach, VA

Based in Virginia Beach, Virginia, Regent University offers undergraduate and graduate students a private, Christian-affiliated education. The school offers an online master's in marriage, couple, and family counseling.

Students complete most courses online, but Regent requires master's candidates to complete two residencies as well. These residencies occur on the Virginia Beach campus and last seven days. Learners participate in an orientation, intensive teaching, and workshop events.

In addition to core courses focusing on counseling families and couples throughout the lifespan, distance learners can choose from course offerings such as sexual abuse, counseling women, and treating compassion fatigue and PTSD. Students must spend two semesters participating in a family and marriage counseling internship. They can also choose to complete a practicum. Graduates qualify to apply for Viriginia's licensed marriage, couple, and family therapist licensure.

The degree is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs.

Regent University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

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15

University of Massachusetts - Boston

Boston, MA

Located in one of the country's largest cities, the public University of Massachusetts Boston (UMass Boston) educates a student body of about 16,000 learners. The school offers a master of education in counseling that students can finish in two years.

The 60-credit program follows a cohort format, which means students progress through the degree along with their classmates who began at the same time. Even though distance learners complete most coursework online, they start the program with a two-week intensive session on campus at UMass Dartmouth. This session, which involves two clinical courses, usually occurs in June and July.

Besides an internship toward the end of the program, students complete the rest of the curriculum online. Courses cover topics such as group counseling for children and adolescents, trauma and crisis counseling, and lifespan human development.

University of Massachusetts Boston is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.

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14

Houston Baptist University

Houston, TX

Houston Baptist University (HBU) began educating students in 1960. Today the school enrolls about 3,500 learners in online and on-campus programs. Aspiring marriage and family therapists can enroll in HBU's online master's in marriage and family therapy.

The full MFT online program requires 60 credits of coursework and 700 supervised counseling hours. The core curriculum incorporates courses from the university's Baptist affiliation, including spirituality, theology, and counseling. Courses focus on premarital counseling and therapy for children, adolescents, and adults. Students complete their onsite practicum hours over three semesters.

To graduate, learners must maintain a 3.0 GPA and pass a written comprehensive examination. This degree prepares graduates to apply for the licensed marriage and family therapist credential in Texas.

Houston Baptist University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

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13

Mid-America Christian University

Oklahoma City, OK

Mid-America Christian University (MACU) enrolls about 2,000 students. Learners can attend courses on the university's Oklahoma City campus or enroll in one of MACU's distance learning programs. The online master of science in counseling includes a concentration in marital, couples, and family counseling and therapy.

The degree prepares students for marriage and family therapy licensure in Oklahoma. Because of MACU's Christian affiliation, curriculum approaches the subject from a biblical worldview. The total program consists of 60 credits, including 42 credits of core courses and 18 concentration credits. Curriculum covers marital and family treatment techniques, and clinical issues related to old age and death.

Students must also complete a practicum and participate in an internship. These experiences help learners apply their knowledge through online coursework to real-world settings.

Mid-America Christian University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

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12

Lee University

Cleveland, OH

With a campus at the foothill of the Appalachian Mountains in Cleveland, Tennessee, Christian-affiliated Lee University offers several online programs for distance learners. One of those programs is the master of science in marriage and family studies.

Full-time students can complete the 36-credit program in two years. The curriculum focuses on human growth and development, cross-cultural communication, and guiding special needs populations. The degree does not prepare learners for marriage and family therapist licensure. Instead, graduates go on to work for family-related church ministries.

Lee offers online courses in seven-week sessions. Students can expect both asynchronous and synchronous elements to their courses, as classes may meet at scheduled times. Online courses usually involve video lectures, web-based discussion forums, and assignments that distance learners work on independently.

Lee University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

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11

Abilene Christian University

Abilene, TX

Texas-based Abilene Christian University (ACU) opened its doors to 25 students in 1906. Today, ACU educates more than 5,000 learners and offers both undergraduate and graduate degrees, including an online master's degree in marriage and family therapy.

The curriculum for this online MFT program consists of 60 credits, which students can complete in 33 months. Distance learners may opt to pursue a concentration in medical family therapy, treatment of trauma, and child and adolescent therapy. In their online classes, learners gain practical skills in working with patients suffering substance abuse, mental illness, and addiction. They also learn about assessment and diagnosis. At the end of the program, learners can practice these skills in a real-world setting through a 500-hour internship.

This program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education.

Abilene Christian University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

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10

Fresno Pacific University

Fresno, CA

Located in Fresno, California, Fresno Pacific University (FPU) runs a biblical seminary that offers graduate degrees and certificates. Among these programs, the master of arts in marriage and family therapy teaches students how to become counselors from a Christian perspective. It also prepares students for state licensure as a marriage and family therapist.

The 65-credit program operates in a blended format, meaning students complete both online and on-campus coursework. Courses explore topics such as grief counseling, family violence, and substance abuse. The curriculum also integrates bible-related courses, such as theology for integration and discipleship and ethics. Learners can opt to study in Israel during the summer or attend FPU's Hispanic Summer Program. Degree-seekers must participate in at least two practicum courses.

The marriage and family therapy program is accredited by the Association of Theological Schools.

Fresno Pacific University is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission.

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9

City University of Seattle

Seattle, WA

As a private, nonprofit institution, City University of Seattle (CityU) offers several on-campus, hybrid, and online programs to its 7,000 students. The hybrid master's degree in counseling allows students to pursue a marriage, couple, and family counseling track for individuals hoping to become marriage and family therapists.

The degree consists of 90 credits. Students will complete coursework both on campus and online. CityU provides a full-time option, which students can finish in two years, and a part-time option for working professionals, which typically takes three years to complete. Students take four practicum courses and three internship courses to fulfill their clinical requirements. At the end of the program, they must also complete a capstone project and pass a comprehensive exam that evaluates their curriculum knowledge.

The program is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs.

City University of Seattle is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

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8

Touro University Worldwide

Los Alamitos, CA

Touro University Worldwide operates as the distance learning institution within the Jewish-affiliated Touro University system. The school offers an online master's in marriage and family therapy.

The program includes clinical, nonclinical, and licensed professional clinical counseling tracks. Students must complete 72-82 credits, depending on their chosen track. While distance learners complete their coursework entirely online, they must also fulfill practicum hours onsite at a therapy clinic. Candidates pursuing the clinical and licensure tracks must complete 500 direct contact hours with clients. Students on the nonclinical track can avoid these practicum requirements. The California Board of Behavioral Sciences approves the marriage and family therapy program, so master's graduates qualify for state licensure.

The marriage and family therapy program is also currently in the process of applying for accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education.

Touro University Worldwide is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission.

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7

Amridge University

Montgomery, AL

Amridge University, based in Montgomery, Alabama, was one of the earliest higher education institutions to offer online courses, first offering distance learning through the web in 1993. One of the online programs offered at this private university is a master's degree in marriage and family therapy.

The online MFT program trains students in the clinical practice of marriage and family therapy, preparing them for licensure in the field. The curriculum includes 60 credits of coursework, with courses such as counseling for abusive relationships and marital and family systems.

Required courses include two clinical training practicums. Distance learners must independently make arrangements for their supervised clinical work. Students can enroll part time or full time. Many learners graduate after seven semesters. Master's candidates who also enroll in the professional counseling program can pursue a dual degree.

Amridge University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

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6

Concordia University - Wisconsin

Mequon, WI

Part of the nine-institution Concordia University system, Concordia University Wisconsin (CUW) is affiliated with the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. The school offers distance learning degrees, including a master of science in family life.

The program, which teaches students how to work as family life educators with a Christian perspective, consists of 36 credits. Courses include family law and public policy, human sexuality, and individual and group counseling. Master's candidates must complete a thesis in addition to 120 practicum hours. CUW runs an academic resource center for online students, including a writing lab and tutoring services. The university also offers several uncommon scholarships for adult and nontraditional learners.

Although the program does not possess a certified family life educator designation from the National Council on Family Relations, CUW is in the process of applying for this designation.

Concordia University Wisconsin is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

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5

Pepperdine University

Malibu, CA

Nearly 9,000 undergraduate and graduate students attend Pepperdine University, a private, Christian university in Malibu, California. The school offers an online master's degree in clinical psychology with an emphasis in marriage and family therapy.

The program prepares students to apply for licensure in California as licensed marriage and family therapists or licensed professional clinical counselors. Distance learners complete 62-68 credits of coursework. Courses cover topics such as diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders as well as topics within family and marriage therapy. Learners examine individual, couple, and family development throughout the lifecycle.

Degree-seekers complete four clinical practicum terms. Learners must fulfill 700 clinical hours. Candidates hoping for clinical counselor licensure need 280 face-to-face clinical hours with patients, while those aiming for marriage and family therapist licensure must spend 225 clinical hours with patients.

Pepperdine University is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission.

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4

Concordia University - Saint Paul

Saint Paul, MN

As a Christian liberal arts institution affiliated with the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, Concordia University, Saint Paul (CSP) enrolls nearly 5,000 students. Aspiring family educators can pursue CSP's online master's degree in family science.

The program consists of 36 credits, and the curriculum explores systemic dynamics of families, family decision-making and communication, and intimate relationships. Master's candidates can choose either a certified or noncertified track, depending on whether they want to obtain the certified family life educator credential. All students end the program with a three-credit capstone course which takes a comprehensive look at the entire curriculum.

Online courses last seven weeks. Learners can study abroad, which allows them to gain first-hand experience as a family educator in a foriegn country. The master's program holds approval from the National Council on Family Relations.

Concordia University, Saint Paul is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

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3

John Brown University

Siloam Springs, AR

Founded in 1919 in the northwest Arkansas town of Siloam Springs, John Brown University (JBU) operates as a private Christian school. JBU offers several undergraduate and graduate programs, including a master of science in marriage and family therapy.

The 64-credit degree features a hybrid format. This means that students may attend courses on JBU's Little Rock, Rogers, and Siloam Springs campuses, in addition to completing one-third of courses online. Learners can choose the play therapy emphasis, which focuses on using play and creative therapy techniques to help children communicate. Degree-seekers can also opt for a double degree, which allows them to simultaneously pursue a master's in clinical mental health counseling along with their marriage and family therapy degree.

Over the course of two practicum and two internship courses, students complete 500 direct client contact hours. At the end of the program, learners sit for a national certification exam in marriage and family counseling. Students can then apply for state licensure.

John Brown University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

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2

Messiah College

Mechanicsburg, PA

With an interdenominational Christian affiliation, Messiah College enrolls students both on its Mechanicsburg campus in central Pennsylvania and online through distance learning. At Messiah, students pursue a master's degree in marriage, couple, and family counseling.

The online MFT program prepares graduates to become licensed marriage and family therapists in Pennsylvania and other states. The full program consists of 60 credits, which students can complete in 2-4 years. Courses last eight weeks and follow a synchronous format, which means students must log on at specific times. In addition, distance learners must also travel to campus for one-week intensive courses in January and July.

Curriculum covers group counseling, human sexuality, and lifespan development. Master's candidates also participate in a counseling practicum, which involves an initial 100-hour field placement. They then must complete two 300-hour internship experiences. Finally, Messiah requires all students to attend one conference.

Messiah's counseling master's program is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs.

Messiah College is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.

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1

LeTourneau University

Longview, TX

Based in Longview, Texas, LeTourneau University (LETU) operates as an interdenominational Christian institution of over 3,000 students. LETU offers a fully online master of arts in clinical mental health counseling.

The degree prepares students for the Texas licensed marriage and family therapist (MFT) credential, allowing graduates to work professionally in the state. The full curriculum consists of 66 credits, including six hours of clinical theology coursework. Core courses focus on human lifespan development, psychopharmacology, and counseling methods. Students specializing in marriage and family counseling also take courses such as family assessment and couples therapy.

The program includes a one-semester practicum and two-semester internship, where learners can apply their theoretical knowledge to real-world situations under professional supervision. Students need at least a 3.0 GPA to graduate.

LeTourneau University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

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Online MFT Program Admissions

Admissions processes for online MFT programs vary but typically entail the same criteria as traditional programs. Before applying to MFT online programs, students should check with their state licensing requirements to ensure that their choices comply. For example, applicants should confirm that online programs hold accreditation.

Prerequisites

Master's programs generally require undergraduate GPAs in the 2.5-3.0 range. Typical prerequisite classes include introductory psychology, human development, statistics, and abnormal psychology. Most schools allow enrollees to transfer credits, and some may accept additional clinical or professional experience in place of one or more prerequisites.

Admission Materials

Application

Almost all MFT programs offer their applications online. Most require their own institutional applications, and some take as little as ten minutes to complete.

Transcripts

MFT programs typically require official transcripts from all institutions you've attended. Students can order them online and have them sent directly to MFT admissions offices.

Letters of Recommendation

Applicants should request letters of recommendation from former professors or applicable professional supervisors as far in advance as possible. Most MFT programs typically require two letters.

Test Scores

Some MFT programs do not ask for test scores. Those that require scores typically request GRE or MAT results. Check with admissions offices for required scores.

Application Fee

Application fees vary widely by school. Most colleges and universities allow applicants to request a fee waiver, and low-income students are eligible for up to four college application fee waivers through the College Board.

 

Online MFT Program Requirements and Outcomes

The main difference between online and on-campus programs center on the virtual classroom experience, delivered through video and audio technology. Less interactive programs feature pre-recorded lectures. Another difference lies in the possibility of an accelerated program, particularly as part of a self-paced program. Prospective students should review the technological requirements for online study carefully.

Online MFT Program Length

Earning your MFT degree online offers opportunities for flexible study options, self-paced study through accelerated programs, and avoiding campus commutes. MFT online programs generally require 60 credit hours and 2.5 years of study. Enrolling in an accelerated degree can reduce that time to two years or less. In-person clinical, practicum, and internship experiences can affect program length. In general, graduate students must log at least 500 hours of supervised, direct client contact experience as part of their curriculum.

In addition to accelerated programs, students looking to complete their degrees quickly and save costs can transfer credits from prior institutions or earn prerequisite credits at less expensive schools, including those with online programs.

Curriculum for an Online MFT Program

While exact course content and titles differ by program, the list below features a sampling of classes online MFT master's students can typically expect to take.

  • Couples Counseling: This introduction to the theories and techniques used in marriage therapy lays the groundwork for counseling couples. Topics include communication, experiential, humanistic, integrative, and psychodynamic models, along with sociocultural issues in development, assessment, and intervention. Students learn to utilize recovery-oriented therapies, such as narrative and solution-focused approaches.
  • Ethics and Professional Identity: Usually taken in the first year of study, this course introduces students to the laws and ethical rules applicable to the practice of marriage and family therapy. Enrollees develop an understanding of how confidentiality, professional malpractice, and counselor-as-witness standards influence and guide professional practice.
  • Family Therapy: This class explores theories in family studies and therapy in areas of conceptual framework, empirical investigation, and interdisciplinary study of marriage and family behavior. Students learn to bring theory into practical application with knowledge of assessment tools and therapeutic strategies that provide the foundation for comprehensive clinical training.
  • Human Sexual Development: Often listed as a required course for licensure, this class examines physiological-psychological and sociocultural components of sexual behavior, disorders, and identity. Students learn the methods and acquire the skills to assess and treat psychosexual dysfunction.
  • Theories of Counseling and Psychotherapy: Degree-seekers learn about the major theoretical approaches in counseling and psychotherapy, along with goals and strategies of affecting positive changes, key assumptions of different theories, and the therapeutic relationship. The course emphasizes cross-cultural application in terms of ability, ethnicity, gender, race, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, and spirituality.

 

Marriage and Family Therapist Licensure Requirements

Every U.S. state requires practicing MFTs to hold licenses. While licensing requirements may vary from state to state, many follow the licensing guidelines of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.

Generally, each applicant must hold a master's degree in marriage and family therapy, psychology, or a similar mental health discipline. Aspiring MFTs should make sure to pursue programs accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education. If they earn a degree in psychology or a related field, degree-seekers should attend programs with accreditation from the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs or the Master's in Psychology and Counseling Accreditation Council.

Licensure also requires 2,000-4,000 hours of postgraduate, supervised field experience through an internship or residency. Once completed, applicants sit for an examination. Most states require a passing score on the MFT national exam.

In most jurisdictions, practitioners hold the title of licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT). Some offer licenses at the associate or intern levels, which typically allow for practice under supervision.

Each degree-seeker should verify their state licensing requirements prior to beginning an MFT master's program to ensure appropriate preparation and training.

Skills Gained in an Online MFT Program

MFT graduates attain and develop skills to aid them as practitioners. Through classwork and field experiences, students acquire leadership skills to guide couples and families toward resolving conflicts and overcoming difficulties. MFTs develop patience and empathy through experience with face-to-face client interaction and practice.

  • Leadership: Strong leadership skills result in effective facilitation and guidance during emotional therapy sessions. MFTs must maintain control of the sessions without being overbearing or stifling communication.
  • Patience: MFTs counsel diverse personality types, so they must possess skills in patient listening and remaining calm during difficult discussions, particularly with children who may be traumatized, stressed, or afraid.
  • Sensitivity: Many courses in the MFT curriculum address sensitive issues, such as culture, gender, and sexual orientation, to help practitioners effectively understand these concerns to better aid families and couples work through problems surrounding them.
  • Empathy: Family members often enter counseling with issues relating to their roles in the family. MFTs use empathy to recognize the dominant member, the peacemaker, or someone who has become detached, to help each of them succeed in the relationship.
  • Conflict Resolution: Therapists must also possess the ability to resolve issues by suggesting possible alternative behaviors that will result in realistic goals and outcomes.

 

Marriage and Family Therapy Career Outlook

LMFTs can pursue positions in hospitals, private practice, treatment centers, or in collaboration with other mental health practitioners, such as psychologists and social workers. Some practitioners work primarily with families, while others focus on couples and individuals.

Successful therapists often share personality traits that include compassion, listening, and communication. Organizational skills allow MFTs to effectively manage their caseloads, work with insurance companies, and coordinate with other healthcare providers.

  • Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

    LMFTs identify psychological issues, such as abuse, addiction, low self-esteem, and stress in families, couples, and individuals. These therapists employ treatment options that may include group or one-on-one talk therapy, behavioral strategies, or crisis intervention. At minimum, an LMFT must hold a master's degree.

  • Licensed Professional Counselor

    By providing therapy to all age groups, these practitioners help patients overcome disorders, mental illness, and other concerns. They often counsel couples, families, and individuals in clinical settings. Their licensing usually requires a master's degree. A marriage and family therapy degree provides a solid foundation for this career.

  • Mental Health Therapist

    These professionals provide therapy to patients under the title of clinical psychologist, school counselor, or social worker. They use techniques like psychoanalysis and cognitive-behavioral therapy to help patients. School counselors and social workers must earn a master's degree, while clinical psychologists must hold a doctorate. An MFT degree prepares graduates for these careers or a doctoral programs.

 

MFTs' Median Salaries by Experience

  Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Licensed Professional Counselor Mental Health Therapist
Entry Level
(0-12 Months)
$44,000 $40,000 $40,000
Early Career
(1-4 Years)
$50,000 $44,000 $42,000
Mid Career
(5-9 Years)
$56,000 $49,000 $48,000
Experienced
(10-19 Years)
$61,000 $51,000 $50,000

PayScale

 

Common Employers for MFT Professionals

  • Outpatient Care Center: Outpatient facilities employ MFTs at one of the highest levels, where they treat patients of all ages with depression, serious mental illnesses, and substance abuse issues. Treatment includes assessments, therapy sessions, family education, and coordination with other healthcare providers. They may also coordinate transfers from inpatient to outpatient care centers.
  • Hospitals and Inpatient Care Facilities: MFTs work closely with physicians and other healthcare staff in these environments to provide treatment plans for patients in crisis who have been admitted to the hospital on a short-term basis. They also counsel clients with terminally or chronically ill family members.
  • Private Practice: MFTs in private practice work on their own or with a team of other therapists. They see patients in an office setting, where they conduct family, couple, or individual counseling sessions. MFTs work with patients of all ages who struggle with issues affecting their relationships or arising from the relationships themselves.

 


MFT Professional Organizations

The organizations listed below bring together students and professionals to share knowledge, theories, and experience. With networking opportunities and topic-specific information, these associations support their members at all levels of their education and careers with advocacy and mentoring opportunities.

  • American Association for Marriage and Family Therapists: This community of marriage and family practitioners, educators, researchers, and students offers membership options that align with their members' interests, including advocacy, education, leadership, and networking.
  • International Association for Marriage and Family Therapists: This worldwide organization offers publications, a family-related issues forum, and advocacy efforts. Member benefits include online discussions, local chapters, and professional development resources on a variety of marriage and family topics.
  • The International Marriage and Family Therapy Honor Society: This organization offers membership to students and graduates of accredited MFT programs, along with professionals conducting research or professional training of new practitioners. Members develop and participate in scholarly forums and share up-to-date research.

 


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