Where do Marriage and Family Therapists Work?
Today, society is experiencing increased anxiety, depression, and other psychological, social, and mental health issues.
But there has also been a rising awareness of the importance of well-trained and qualified therapists and counselors to help people navigate various mental health challenges.
Marriage and family therapy is one of the most innovative and effective forms of treatment to help individuals and families develop healthy communication strategies and overcome challenges.
What is Marriage and Family Therapy?
Marriage and family therapy (MFT) addresses individual well-being in terms of the systems in which an individual operates, whether it be the workplace, family, friendships, or their greater community.
This form of counseling focuses on mental health as it relates to patients’ close relationships. By honing in on these connections, marriage and family therapists help individuals explore the correlation between their human challenges and the systems around them, encouraging people to find growth and healing amid these ongoing relationships.
MFT also helps to address anything from behavioral challenges in children to loss and trauma within families. It also extends beyond individual families to work within the community on issues of homelessness or caring for newly arrived refugee families.
As opposed to traditional forms of therapy, the length of treatment time for marriage and family therapy is usually brief. Like other therapies, sessions are solution focused and seek to improve patient well-being holistically.
Where do Marriage and Family Therapists Work?
With therapy focused on familial and community health, marriage and family therapists can hold various job positions in all areas of society. Careers with a master’s in marriage and family therapy are rewarding, ever-changing and challenging.
Here are some of the most common places you’ll find marriage and family therapists working:
- Community agencies: MFTs in community agencies work closely with those around them to help the community run smoothly. They make their services available for local families to help their relationships be the best they can be, ultimately positively impacting the greater community.
- Medical health centers, private practices, and group practices: Some MFTs work in dedicated mental health and therapy centers. Within these spheres, they can conduct individual or group therapy sessions and provide targeted care for those in longer-term stays in health centers.
- Medical settings: In some cases, the issues that individuals face in their families and marriages lead to the need for more significant medical intervention. The connection between mental and physical health often calls for therapy in addition to physical care in these situations. MFTs who work in medical settings are the ones to provide this therapy, working with doctors to set the patient up for a triumphant return home.
- Community colleges and schools: MFTs who work in schools may help with behavioral issues faced by children, or they may provide counseling for issues happening at home. In colleges, MFTs may support students as they transition to college work and life and help them navigate any issues that may arise with such sudden changes.
- Churches: As staples of communities, churches draw a variety of people with many different backgrounds and struggles. MFTs can work in churches to provide counseling and guidance for those in the congregation who need extra support and tools to deal with relational issues.
Since family and community are vital to life and whole-person health, marriage and family therapists fill critical roles in their areas of influence. There are countless opportunities to use your care and compassion for others within marriage and family therapy.
What is the Job Outlook for Marriage and Family Therapists?
Marriage and family therapy is growing as awareness of the importance of mental health grows. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the field will see a 14 percent increase in the next 10 years.
The average salary for an MFT in the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue area is approximately $56,000.
Ready to Start Caring for Families and Communities in Effective Ways? Consider PLU's Master's in Marriage and Family Therapy!
Your compassion and concern for the wellness of marriages and families can help impact long-term change and good in your community. Pacific Lutheran University graduate programs equip you to help others in tangible ways by addressing their most profound needs with competent care.
There are various PLU programs to choose from, but the Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy will help you serve family units in any area. Some program highlights include an on-campus clinic, diverse and small classes, and a nearly 100 percent pass rate for our graduates on the national MFT exam.
Pro Tip: Learn more about the expert therapists teaching the master’s in MFT here.
See how you can make a difference in your community through careers with a master’s in marriage and family counseling today.