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Become A Family Therapist

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Working As A Family Therapist

  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Assisting and Caring for Others
  • Documenting/Recording Information
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Getting Information
  • Deal with People

  • Unpleasant/Angry People

  • Mostly Sitting

  • Stressful

  • $40,493

    Average Salary

What Does A Family Therapist Do

A Family Therapist works with couples and families to help ameliorate marital and family issues. They can work in hospitals, treatment programs, government agencies, health organizations, and private practices.

How To Become A Family Therapist

Mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists are typically required to have a master’s degree and a license to practice.

Education

To become a mental health counselor or a marriage and family therapist, applicants typically need a master’s degree in psychology, clinical mental health counseling, marriage and family therapy, or a related mental health field. A bachelor’s degree in most fields is acceptable to enter a master’s program.

Counseling programs prepare students to recognize symptoms of mental and emotional disorders and to use effective counseling strategies. Marriage and family therapy programs teach students about how marriages, families, and relationships function and how these relationships can affect mental and emotional disorders.

Many employers prefer to hire counselors who have graduated from programs accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs.

Training

Candidates gain hands-on experience through postdegree supervised clinical work, sometimes referred to as an internship or residency. In training, they learn to provide family therapy, group therapy, psychotherapy, and other therapeutic interventions, under the supervision of a licensed counselor.

Licenses

All states require mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists to be licensed in the state in which they practice. Licensure requires a master’s degree and 2,000 to 4,000 hours of postdegree supervised clinical experience, sometimes referred to as an internship or residency. In addition, counselors and therapists must pass a state-recognized exam and complete annual continuing education classes.

Contact information for state boards regulating mental health counselors is available through the National Board for Certified Counselors.

Contact and licensing information for marriage and family therapists is available through the Association of Marital and Family Therapy Regulatory Boards.

Important Qualities

Compassion. Counselors and therapists often work with people who are dealing with stressful and difficult situations, so they must be compassionate and empathize with their clients.

Interpersonal skills. Being able to work with different types of people is essential for counselors and therapists. They spend most of their time working directly with clients and other professionals and must be able to encourage good relationships.

Listening skills. Good listening skills are essential for mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists, both of whom need to give their full attention to their clients to understand their problems, values, and goals.

Organizational skills. Good organizational skills are especially important for counselors and therapists in private practice, who must keep track of payments and work with insurance companies.

Speaking skills. Mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists need to be able to communicate with clients effectively. They must express ideas and information in a way that clients can understand easily.

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Family Therapist jobs

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Real Family Therapist Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Family Therapist Glass & Associates, A Psychological Corporation CA Oct 02, 2009 $125,220
Family Therapist Ocala Physician Associates Ocala, FL Apr 05, 2012 $72,650
Family Therapist/Organizational Development Specia Central Iowa Psychological Services Ames, IA Sep 15, 2012 $60,000 -
$75,000
Family Therapist/Organizational Development Specia Central Iowa Psychological Services Ames, IA Sep 20, 2012 $60,000 -
$75,000
Family Preservation Therapist Griffith Centers for Children Westminster, CO Mar 23, 2010 $53,219 -
$26
Family Therapist Seneca Family of Agencies San Francisco, CA Aug 22, 2016 $50,000
Family Therapist Seneca Family of Agencies San Francisco, CA Jul 06, 2016 $50,000
Functional Family Therapist Strengthening Foundations Counseling LLC Longview, WA Dec 10, 2016 $48,630
Functional Family Therapist Strengthening Foundations Counseling LLC Longview, WA Dec 10, 2016 $48,040
Family Therapist Ujima Family Recovery Services San Pablo, CA Sep 15, 2014 $46,561
Family Therapist East Bay Family Institute Oakland, CA Jun 08, 2012 $46,300
Family Therapist Franklin & Associates Oakland, CA Feb 01, 2011 $45,184
Family Therapist Franklin & Associates Oakland, CA Feb 15, 2011 $45,100
Family and Marital Therapist University of Rochester Rochester, NY Feb 28, 2011 $43,375
Therapist II-Family Wesley Spectrum Services Greensburg, PA Nov 14, 2014 $36,998
Therapist II-Family Wesley Spectrum Services Greensburg, PA Feb 02, 2016 $36,400 -
$40,000
Family Therapist Ujima Family Recovery Services San Pablo, CA Sep 15, 2011 $36,189
Family Therapist Family Development and Intervention Services, Inc. Oklahoma City, OK Oct 01, 2012 $36,000
Maarriage and Family Therapist Dallas Sigma Counseling Services Dallas, TX Apr 15, 2010 $35,630
Marraige and Family Therapist Reinicke Counseling Associates San Diego, CA May 28, 2008 $35,479
Family Based Therapist NHS Human Services Kennett Square, PA May 01, 2012 $34,978

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Top Skills for A Family Therapist

IndividualTreatmentPlansCrisisInterventionServicesChildAbuseMentalHealthIssuesIn-HomeFamilyTherapySubstanceAbuseIssuesGroupTherapySafetyPlansCommunityResourcesIndividualTherapyTraumaAngerManagementDomesticViolenceCognitiveBehavioralTherapyFamilySystemsFFTTherapeuticServicesDischargePlanningSocialServicesTreatmentGoals

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Top Family Therapist Skills

  1. Individual Treatment Plans
  2. Crisis Intervention Services
  3. Child Abuse
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Developed and completed Individual Treatment Plans with clients participation.
  • Provide crisis intervention services when required.
  • Perform at least 8 hours of continuing education in child abuse related issues.
  • Worked with school staff to increase their understanding of mental health issues and effectiveness managing challenging behavior.
  • Provided intensive in-home family therapy to juvenile justice referred youth and their families weekly.

Top Family Therapist Employers