A mother and her pre-teen daughter talk with a family counselor

What Can I Do with a Master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) Degree?

A Master of Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) degree opens doors to diverse career paths in healthcare, education, government, and private practice. Those who earn an MFT degree are equipped to address complex relational issues within families and couples and provide therapy to individuals and groups dealing with a variety of psychological issues.

Graduates from a Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy degree program are prepared with the expertise to address mental and emotional issues within the context of relationship and family dynamics. MFTs assess and treat a wide range of serious clinical problems, including depression, marital problems, and child-parent issues. Their approach is unique in that they consider challenges within the familial environment, emphasizing relationships as an essential factor in mental and emotional health.

What Does a Graduate from an MFT Degree Program Do?

MFTs conduct sessions with individuals, couples, families, and groups to work through relational issues. They apply various techniques tailored to their client’s specific needs. The goal is to help improve communication and understanding, allowing patients to resolve conflicts better. 

MFTs often work in private practices, mental health centers, and hospitals. They also work with other healthcare professionals to develop treatment plans targeting their clients’ psychological, emotional, and relational well-being.

An MFT degree program is rooted in the belief that individuals and their problems cannot be fully understood or treated without considering the larger relational context. This holistic approach helps clients achieve improved mental health and healthier, more satisfying personal relationships.

Potential Career Paths with an MFT Degree

One of the most direct applications of an MFT degree is in clinical settings where therapists counsel couples, families, and individuals. They deal with a range of issues, such as marital conflicts, parent-child relationships, depression, and anxiety. Therapists can work in private practice settings or as part of healthcare teams in hospitals and clinics.

Other settings for MFT jobs include the following.

Substance abuse and addiction treatment. MFTs are vital in addiction treatment centers, where they help clients understand and overcome substance dependencies. Their role often involves developing treatment plans and supporting the creation of a healthy environment for recovery, including family therapy, which is crucial for the patient’s long-term recovery​.

Educational settings. MFTs often work in educational institutions, providing counseling services to students, faculty, and families. They help address issues like bullying, academic stress, and social anxiety.

Mental Health Centers. MFTs also work in mental health centers, where they provide therapy for severe mental illnesses and emotional disorders. Their work is critical in managing conditions like schizophrenia, eating disorders, and severe depression, helping patients manage symptoms within the context of their family dynamics.

Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs). Some companies employ MFTs within their EAPs to help employees with personal problems that impact job performance. This can include counseling for relational issues, stress, grief, and other personal challenges.

Government and legal systems. MFTs also contribute to legal and correctional systems, counseling families involved in custody cases or working with individuals reintegrating into society after incarceration. They may provide expert testimony in court or develop therapy programs for prisons.

Research and teaching. An MFT degree can lead to opportunities in research and teaching at the university level. Many who choose this route may go on to earn a Doctorate of Marriage and Family Therapy (DMFT).

Are Marriage and Family Therapists in Demand?

Marriage and family therapists are among the fastest-growing professions in the country. According to projections from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the number of people working in the profession will increase 15% by 2032. 

States with the highest demand include California, New Jersey, and Maryland. California employs 30,890 marriage and family therapists, more than any other state.

Nationwide, the median salary for MFTs is $58,510. However, salaries vary depending on location, with higher-than-average salaries available in metro areas that employ the most MFTs. They include Los Angeles ($63,420), San Diego ($62,980), San Francisco ($92,370), New York City ($80,990) and Minneapolis ($67,970).

The TUW MA in Marriage and Family Therapy

All MFTs earn a master’s degree. They then obtain proper licensing before entering the profession. It is crucial to ensure that an MFT degree program offers what is needed to become licensed in your state.

The Touro University Worldwide online MFT degree program is designed for aspiring therapists who want to earn their degrees on a schedule that works around their busy personal and professional lives. The program offers strong support for students, including academic guidance and support when transitioning from school to a job. 

TUW MFT degree graduates are skillful, ethical, culturally aware, and systems-focused. They are proficient in evaluating, diagnosing, and treating a varied client base of individuals, couples, and families. Possible career titles with an MFT degree include Marriage and Family Therapist, Couples Therapist, Family Therapist, Child and Adolescent Therapist, Addiction Counselor, Clinical Supervisor, and Community Mental Health Counselor.

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