Scope and Demand for Family Therapists
Family and marriage therapists and counselors help strengthen relationships. They also help individuals reignite their relationships by helping them through hurdles. These hurdles can be:
- Communication issues
- Lack of connection
- Emotional or physical distance
- Violent outbursts
- Financial distress
- Couples dealing with the loss of their child
- Couples facing trouble conceiving
These are typically the reasons for a broken family or divorce. Pursuing a career in family therapy will prove meaningful. Knowing that you are contributing towards mitigating family issues can be fulfilling. Divorce rates in the US are increasing significantly. It will help you understand the root causes of a broken family if you want to pursue a career in family therapy.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), demand for marriage and family counselors will increase by 16% from 2020 to 2030. This rate is higher than any other occupation in the US and Canada. According to this percentage rise, about 8,500 job openings are estimated yearly. Family therapy is the second-best field in social services and twentieth overall. These numbers and ranks suggest that it is easier to get high-ranking jobs in the field. In addition, the field has higher potential and growth opportunities.
Career Paths for MFTs (Marriage and Family Therapists)
Learn how to become a marriage counselor and open doors to career paths in family therapy. It helps to earn a relevant Bachelor’s degree. You will also need to specialize in the field. There are Master’s and Doctoral degrees in clinical psychology, family therapy, and counseling. After that, you will need to complete the required number of supervised hours to gain experience. The number of required hours differs from state to state. Only then will the state grant you a license.
Let us look at career paths for you to pursue as a licensed family therapist.
Marriage and Family Counselor
A marriage and family counselor helps families and couples overcome their issues. They may also mediate meetings between family members. This helps resolve conflicts among them. They also help people overcome personal challenges. These may include depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, or personality disorder.
Marriage and family counselors can also diagnose disorders within groups or individually. This depends on the patient’s behavior alone and with their family members or spouses. To do this, the counselor may conduct sessions individually and in groups.
When it comes to married couples, they may also help them through a difficult divorce process. Divorce can strain one’s mental health, emotional stability, and financial stability. They also provide counseling after the divorce.
Marriage and family counselors can provide their services in:
- Social service agencies
- Private practice
- Mental health facilities
Marriage and Family counselors earn $51,000 on average. This salary range is statistically expected to grow at 4% every year.
A clinical director is responsible for the management of the clinic. This includes:
- Hiring and training therapists
- Ensuring that patients receive top-quality therapy care services
- Evaluating staff performance
- Keeping a record of patient treatments
- Managing daily tasks of the clinical department
- Determining budgets and preparing financial reports
- Ensuring quality maintenance of the clinic
The average salary for a clinical director is $68,000. According to AAMFT, this figure is expected to grow at 5% every year over the next ten years.
A marriage counselor or couples’ counselor helps married couples deal with marital issues. These issues can include:
- Fear of intimacy
- Lack of communication
- Emotional and physical distance
- Unaligned interests and goals
- Emotional distress of being unable to conceive
- Emotional distress of losing a child
- Financial troubles that put a strain on the couple
- Troubles getting along with the spouse’s family
Couples’ therapists use emotionally focused therapy to mitigate the chances of fighting. It helps discover ways to communicate openly with the spouse. This leads to a deeper understanding of one another and deepens emotional connections. This also helps build mutual trust, giving the couple a chance to be vulnerable without fear.
A marriage counselor works in hospitals, clinics, mental healthcare facilities, rehab centers or runs a private practice. Couples’ counselors earn $50,680 on average in the US. Indeed.com lists around 11,271 jobs for a marriage counselor. In Canada, the number of marriage counselor jobs is 9,789 on average.
You can also opt for a school counselor after obtaining a degree in family therapy. School counselors cater to the psychological needs of the student body. They help students deal with their issues at home. If students are facing family problems, their school progress can deteriorate. Therefore, school counselors are there to help them sort out their issues.
School counselors also arrange meetings with the parents of the students. They help parents understand their child’s psychological stress due to any reason. They do this so that parents can help their children deal with and overcome these issues.
Moreover, they also help students deal with peer pressure. The teenage student body feels a heavy burden of peer pressure throughout high school. School counselors help students manage peer pressure and help them fit in with other students. The more comfortable a student feels around other students, the more involved they will be in school activities.
In addition, the school counselors work with the school administration to plan and develop relevant programs. These programs are directed towards improving the student body’s overall school performance. Such programs focus more on intrinsic motivation rather than on irrelevant. It may include speaker sessions, team-building activities, or group activities.
The average salary range for a school counselor is $50,000-$70,000 in the US.
There is high growth potential in marriage and family therapy. The rising divorce rates leading to broken families suggest a great need for family counselors. As a family therapist and counselor, you can work in hospitals, clinics, mental healthcare facilities, schools, outpatient or inpatient facilities, or rehabs. The average salary range for career paths in family therapy starts from $50,000-$60,000 a year. This figure is expected to grow at a much higher rate in the coming years. This suggests a high demand and a greater scope in the field.
Therefore, obtaining a professional qualification and license in the field can be highly beneficial. A licensed therapist can work anywhere, given certain jurisdictional conditions. This way, you will contribute to your community and help solve major social issues in society. This will lead to satisfaction and motivation as well.