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Marriage & Family Therapist

Overview and Key Facts

counseling session
Education
Education
Master's degree
Median Pay
Median Pay
$49,880
Job Growth
Job Growth
13.90%
(Above US Average)
Jobs in 2031
Jobs in 2031
74,300

What Do They Do?

A marriage and family therapist could...

Overview Listen to this section

Families and couples face many problems, from difficult child behaviors, depression, and compulsions to anger-management issues and eating disorders. Sometimes these problems get repeated generation after generation, whereas other times they arise spontaneously. Marriage and family therapists can help break the cycles of maladaptive behaviors. They provide goal-oriented counseling that focuses on the family and close relationships. They diagnose mental health problems, give psychological tests, provide counseling services, and refer patients who need medication to psychiatrists.
Watch this video to see what a marriage and family therapist does who specializes in helping children whose parents are going through separation or divorce.

Do You Have the Skills and Characteristics of a Marriage & Family Therapist?


  1. Active Listening: ?
  2. Social Perceptiveness: ?
  3. Speaking: ?
  4. Service Orientation: ?
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Core Tasks

Think about if you'd like the typical tasks a Marriage & Family Therapist might do:
  • Encourage individuals and family members to develop and use skills and strategies for confronting their problems in a constructive manner.
  • Ask questions that will help clients identify their feelings and behaviors.
  • Develop and implement individualized treatment plans addressing family relationship problems, destructive patterns of behavior, and other personal issues.
  • Maintain case files that include activities, progress notes, evaluations, and recommendations.
  • Collect information about clients, using techniques such as testing, interviewing, discussion, or observation.
  • Counsel clients on concerns, such as unsatisfactory relationships, divorce and separation, child rearing, home management, or financial difficulties.
  • Confer with clients to develop plans for posttreatment activities.
  • Confer with other counselors, doctors, and professionals to analyze individual cases and to coordinate counseling services.
  • Determine whether clients should be counseled or referred to other specialists in such fields as medicine, psychiatry, or legal aid.
  • Provide instructions to clients on how to obtain help with legal, financial, and other personal issues.
  • Provide public education and consultation to other professionals or groups regarding counseling services, issues, and methods.

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Steps to Get There: Becoming a Marriage & Family Therapist

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