People seeking the counsel of a marriage and family therapist often experience a range of issues in addition to marital problems. Many involve their relationship with parents, children, extended family, friends, and co-workers. That’s why marriage and family therapy doesn’t just focus on marital issues but also a patient’s complex tapestry of relationships.
This is true even if just one person is engaged in therapy. A marriage and family therapist offers solution-focused services with specific, attainable therapeutic goals. The focus on creating a healthy marriage and dealing with other relationship dynamics makes earning an online Master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy degree (MFT) an attractive option for those motivated for a career in helping people create healthy relationships.
From a career standpoint, it’s also a secure field that is rapidly growing because of the success MFT degree holders have with clients. The American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy reports that clients are highly satisfied with MFT services, with the benefits extending beyond their marriage.
“Clients report marked improvement in work productivity, co-worker relationships, family relationships, partner relationships, emotional health, overall health, social life, and community involvement,” the association noted.
Growth in the MFT Field
Job growth for marriage and family therapists continues to outpace the average job growth for all professions in the country. The most recent figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimate that the field will grow 14% over the next decade, much faster than the average 5% growth for all professions.
Between new MFT jobs and retiring therapists, the BLS projects about 6,400 job openings yearly through 2031. Federal data also suggests that the increased use of integrated care, which involves treating multiple issues by different therapy specialists, partly drives the increase in MFT positions.
The average salary for marriage and family therapists reached $63,300 in May 2022.
Why People Seek Marriage and Family Therapist Services
Working as an MFT is one of many careers open to professional therapists. It has become increasingly popular as more people find that MFT services improve their lives in various ways.
An MFT prepares professionals to treat patients with various issues. Behind most relationship challenges lie problems with the individuals, relationship dynamics, and familial difficulties.
For example, many couples or families struggle with effective communication leading to misunderstandings, conflicts, and an overall breakdown in relationships. Others may need help with conflict resolution, learning ways to resolve disagreements, and preventing the escalation of arguments.
Another common challenge includes intimacy, sexual satisfaction, and differing relationship expectations. Other couples may be dealing with infidelity or breaches of trust. A MFT works with these couples to rebuild trust and help partners address underlying issues.
Life transitions can also lead to relationship challenges. These transitions can include career change and relocation. Some couples seek pre-marriage counseling because marriage is a significant life transition. Perhaps the most considerable transition is the birth of a child. Parents may seek counseling on how parenting impacts their relationships.
Couples also seek counseling to manage blended families and integrate stepfamily members, cultural and interpersonal differences, individual mental health concerns, grief over losing a loved one, and substance abuse or addiction.
The Touro University Worldwide Marriage and Family Therapy Degree
Touro University Worldwide offers an online MFT degree and a Doctorate of Marriage and Family Therapy. Both programs help graduates work at the highest levels in the marriage and family therapy profession.
The TUW graduate MFT program meets the requirements for state licensure in 42 states, including California. Students can concentrate on one of three tracks: clinical, non-clinical, and licensed professional clinical counseling. The TUW program has earned Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE) accreditation, meaning TUW’s program meets or exceeds established marriage and family therapy program standards and criteria. It also indicates that TUW faculty actively contribute to the body of knowledge in the field.
TUW online degree programs also offer students the flexibility of an online program, allowing them to balance earning an advanced degree with ongoing personal and professional obligations. For those who aspire to work in marriage and family therapy, the graduate program is an essential step toward achieving their goal.