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.

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Family Therapist Responsibilities

Here are examples of responsibilities from real family therapist resumes representing typical tasks they are likely to perform in their roles.

  • Complete documentation to medicaid standards.
  • Create maximum billable Medicaid hours and submitting necessary paperwork for Medicaid billing.
  • Apply behavioral analysis instruction for a student with autism concentrating on communication, socialization, self-help skills and community skills.
  • Receive and process referrals from DCF and community-base case managers for individuals suspect as substance abusers.

Family Therapist Job Description

Perhaps the hardest question to answer when deciding on a career as a family therapist is "should I become a family therapist?" You might find this info to be helpful. When compared to other jobs, family therapist careers are projected to have a growth rate described as "much faster than average" at 22% from 2018 through 2028. This is in accordance with the Bureau of Labor Statistics. What's more, is that the projected number of opportunities that are predicted to become available for a family therapist by 2028 is 12,300.

On average, the family therapist annual salary is $50,774 per year, which translates to $24.41 an hour. Generally speaking, family therapists earn anywhere from $37,000 to $67,000 a year, which means that the top-earning family therapists make $31,000 more than the ones at the lower end of the spectrum.

It's hard work to become a family therapist, but even the most dedicated employees consider switching careers from time to time. Whether you're interested in a more challenging position or just looking for a fresh start, we've compiled extensive information on becoming a substance abuse counselor, intensive in-home counselor, mental health professional, and alcohol and drug counselor.

Learn More About Family Therapist Job Descriptions

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12 Family Therapist Resume Examples

Family Therapist Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 27% of Family Therapists are proficient in Social Work, Patients, and Rehabilitation. They’re also known for soft skills such as Listening skills, Speaking skills, and Compassion.

We break down the percentage of Family Therapists that have these skills listed on their resume here:

  • Social Work, 27%

    Maintain constructive and mutually beneficial relationships with state social workers and other mental health professionals.

  • Patients, 6%

    Enable patients to function effectively in professional environments by initiating specialized counseling approaches, strategies, and techniques.

  • Rehabilitation, 4%

    Co-coordinated family therapy program for adolescents in therapeutic community (TC)/residential drug rehabilitation facility.

  • Community Resources, 4%

    Conduct intensive individual and family based therapy in a home setting for children and adolescent families referred by multiple community resources

  • Mental Health Issues, 4%

    Conduct individual, family and group therapy for a variety of clients dealing with a variety of mental health issues.

  • Group Therapy, 3%

    Focus treatment using Structural Family, and Attachment-based Family Therapy while providing individual, family and group therapy.

"social work," "patients," and "rehabilitation" aren't the only skills we found family therapists list on their resumes. In fact, there's a whole list of family therapist responsibilities that we found, including:

  • Listening skills can be considered to be the most important personality trait for a family therapist to have. According to a family therapist resume, "marriage and family therapists need to give their full attention to their clients to understand their problems, values, and goals." Family therapists are able to use listening skills in the following example we gathered from a resume: "communicated with social workers weekly and other professionals as needed. "
  • Another trait important for fulfilling family therapist duties is speaking skills. According to a family therapist resume, "marriage and family therapists need to be able to communicate with clients effectively." Here's an example of how family therapists are able to utilize speaking skills: "completed biopsychosocial assessments for predominantly spanish-speaking clients for the outpatient department. "
  • Another skill that is quite popular among family therapists is compassion. This skill is very critical to fulfilling every day responsibilities as is shown in this example from a family therapist resume: "marriage and family therapists often work with people who are dealing with stressful and difficult situations, so they must be compassionate and empathize with their clients." This example from a resume shows how this skill is used: "provided compassionate individual therapy to adults with anxiety and mood disorders. "
  • A thorough review of lots of resumes revealed to us that "organizational skills" is important to completing family therapist responsibilities. This resume example shows just one way family therapists use this skill: "marriage and family therapists in private practice must keep track of payments and work with insurance companies." Here's an example of how this skill is used from a resume that represents typical family therapist tasks: "participate in on-going mental health and organizational trainings to improve client care and professional development. "
  • As part of the family therapist description, you might find that one of the skills that might be helpful to the job is "interpersonal skills." A family therapist resume included this snippet: "marriage and family therapists work with different types of people" This skill could be useful in this scenario: "facilitated group therapy and psycho-educational classes based in dbt, emotional regulation, interpersonal skills, and depression. "
  • See the full list of family therapist skills.

    After discovering the most helpful skills, we moved onto what kind of education might be helpful in becoming a family therapist. We found that 47.0% of family therapists have graduated with a bachelor's degree and 46.8% of people in this position have earned their master's degrees. While most family therapists have a college degree, you may find it's also true that generally it's impossible to be successful in this career with only a high school degree. In fact, our research shows that one out of every ten family therapists were not college graduates.

    The family therapists who went onto college to earn a more in-depth education generally studied psychology and social work, while a small population of family therapists studied school counseling and counseling psychology.

    Once you're ready to become a family therapist, you should explore the companies that typically hire family therapists. According to family therapist resumes that we searched through, family therapists are hired the most by Sevita, Cook Children's Medical Center, and The Children's Village. Currently, Sevita has 27 family therapist job openings, while there are 19 at Cook Children's Medical Center and 16 at The Children's Village.

    Since salary is important to some family therapists, it's good to note that they are figured to earn the highest salaries at Dignity Health, East Alabama Health, and Cook Children's Medical Center. If you were to take a closer look at Dignity Health, you'd find that the average family therapist salary is $66,884. Then at East Alabama Health, family therapists receive an average salary of $65,626, while the salary at Cook Children's Medical Center is $64,501.

    View more details on family therapist salaries across the United States.

    We also looked into companies who hire family therapists from the top 100 educational institutions in the U.S. The top three companies that hire the most from these institutions include Private Practice, Apple, and Youth Villages.

    In general, family therapists fulfill roles in the non profits and health care industries. While employment numbers are high in those industries, the family therapist annual salary is the highest in the health care industry with $50,267 as the average salary. Meanwhile, the government and professional industries pay $50,267 and $49,490 respectively. This means that family therapists who are employed in the health care industry make 6.8% more than family therapists who work in the non profits Industry.

    The three companies that hire the most prestigious family therapists are:

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    What Substance Abuse Counselors Do

    Substance abuse counselors act as a support system for people with drug and alcohol problems and other behavioral issues. They help the patients control their behavior until they achieve a full recovery. The mental health counselors aid patients to overcome their chemical dependencies and become self-sufficient individuals. Part of their duty includes meeting clients to evaluate their health and substance issues while creating goals and treatment plans. They teach clients coping mechanisms, refer them to support groups, and engage them in group therapy sessions. Once the patient is stable, they help them re-establish their careers and give updates and reports of progress to the courts. Requirements for the job include a master's degree in counseling and social work.

    We looked at the average family therapist annual salary and compared it with the average of a substance abuse counselor. Generally speaking, substance abuse counselors receive $7,705 lower pay than family therapists per year.

    While the salaries between these two careers can be different, they do share some of the same responsibilities. Employees in both family therapists and substance abuse counselors positions are skilled in social work, patients, and rehabilitation.

    There are some key differences in responsibilities as well. For example, a family therapist responsibilities require skills like "group therapy," "child abuse," "mental health," and "foster care." Meanwhile a typical substance abuse counselor has skills in areas such as "substance abuse treatment," "excellent interpersonal," "criminal justice," and "individual sessions." This difference in skills reveals how truly different these two careers really are.

    Substance abuse counselors really shine in the non profits industry with an average salary of $41,273. Whereas family therapists tend to make the most money in the health care industry with an average salary of $50,267.

    On average, substance abuse counselors reach lower levels of education than family therapists. Substance abuse counselors are 22.2% less likely to earn a Master's Degree and 0.8% less likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.

    What Are The Duties Of an Intensive In-Home Counselor?

    An Intensive In-Home Counselor conducts individual counseling sessions for parents and deals with delicate issues like sexual addiction. They also prepare progress reports for clients.

    The next role we're going to look at is the intensive in-home counselor profession. Typically, this position earns a higher pay. In fact, they earn a $654 higher salary than family therapists per year.

    While the salary may be different for these job positions, there is one similarity and that's a few of the skills needed to perform certain duties. We used info from lots of resumes to find that both family therapists and intensives in-home counselor are known to have skills such as "community resources," "mental health issues," and "group therapy. "

    In addition to the difference in salary, there are some other key differences that are worth noting. For example, family therapist responsibilities are more likely to require skills like "social work," "patients," "rehabilitation," and "child abuse." Meanwhile, a intensive in-home counselor might be skilled in areas such as "intensive in-home," "medication management," "treatment strategies," and "direct clinical services." These differences highlight just how different the day-to-day in each role looks.

    Intensives in-home counselor may earn a higher salary than family therapists, but intensives in-home counselor earn the most pay in the utilities industry with an average salary of $56,398. On the other side of things, family therapists receive higher paychecks in the health care industry where they earn an average of $50,267.

    On the topic of education, intensives in-home counselor earn lower levels of education than family therapists. In general, they're 23.0% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree and 0.8% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    How a Mental Health Professional Compares

    The duties of a mental health professional will revolve around observing the behavior of patients. They are responsible for knowing their medical history, conducting consultations and assessments, diagnosing conditions, devising particular treatments and prescribing medication, and providing emotional support to patients. Furthermore, a mental health professional must coordinate with families and other mental health experts to monitor patients' behavior and develop care plans to help them in their road to recovery.

    The third profession we take a look at is mental health professional. On an average scale, these workers bring in lower salaries than family therapists. In fact, they make a $1,655 lower salary per year.

    While looking through the resumes of several family therapists and mental health professionals we discovered that both professions have similar skills. These similarities include skills such as "social work," "patients," and "rehabilitation," but they differ when it comes to other required skills.

    Some important key differences between the two careers are a few of the skills necessary to fulfill responsibilities. Some examples from family therapist resumes include skills like "group therapy," "child abuse," "fft," and "family systems," whereas a mental health professional might be skilled in "cpr," "excellent interpersonal," "taking care," and "mental health treatment. "

    Mental health professionals make a very good living in the finance industry with an average annual salary of $49,393. Whereas family therapists are paid the highest salary in the health care industry with the average being $50,267.

    Mental health professionals typically study at lower levels compared with family therapists. For example, they're 13.3% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree, and 0.5% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    Description Of an Alcohol And Drug Counselor

    A drug alcohol counselor treats addicts in either one-on-one or group settings. They help by educating and developing possible treatment plans for patients to support them in coping with their addictive personalities. A drug and alcohol counselor will evaluate to determine the progress has been successfully made towards recovery. They help patients better understand and overcome their addictions. Counselors help through offering support, rehabilitation, and guidance by using various techniques. Drug alcohol counselors seek to help an addict find the source of their addiction.

    Alcohol and drug counselors tend to earn a lower pay than family therapists by about $5,016 per year.

    According to resumes from both family therapists and alcohol and drug counselors, some of the skills necessary to complete the responsibilities of each role are similar. These skills include "social work," "patients," and "rehabilitation. "

    Even though a few skill sets overlap, there are some differences that are important to note. For one, a family therapist might have more use for skills like "group therapy," "child abuse," "mental health," and "foster care." Meanwhile, some alcohol and drug counselors might include skills like "substance abuse treatment," "treatment services," "asam," and "drug abuse" on their resume.

    Now, let's take a closer look at the financials in each career. The professional industry tends to pay more for alcohol and drug counselors with an average of $44,333. While the highest family therapist annual salary comes from the health care industry.

    In general, alcohol and drug counselors reach lower levels of education when compared to family therapists resumes. Alcohol and drug counselors are 24.7% less likely to earn their Master's Degree and 0.3% less likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.