What Do Marriage and Family Therapists Do (including Their Typical Day At Work)

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Job Description, Daily Responsibilities, and Work Life

Marriage and Family Therapists

Marriage and Family Therapists diagnose and treat mental and emotional disorders, whether cognitive, affective, or behavioral, within the context of marriage and family systems. Apply psychotherapeutic and family systems theories and techniques in the delivery of services to individuals, couples, and families for the purpose of treating such diagnosed nervous and mental disorders.

Salary
$56890
Becoming One
Very Hard
Education
Master's degree
Job Satisfaction
Job Growth

Personality



Job Description

Job Description

Marriage and Family Therapists diagnose and treat mental and emotional disorders, whether cognitive, affective, or behavioral, within the context of marriage and family systems. Apply psychotherapeutic and family systems theories and techniques in the delivery of services to individuals, couples, and families for the purpose of treating such diagnosed nervous and mental disorders. They also ask questions that will help clients identify their feelings and behaviors.

Other tasks include:

  • Counsel clients on concerns, such as unsatisfactory relationships, divorce and separation, child rearing, home management, or financial difficulties.
  • Encourage individuals and family members to develop and use skills and strategies for confronting their problems in a constructive manner.
  • Maintain case files that include activities, progress notes, evaluations, and recommendations.
  • Develop and implement individualized treatment plans addressing family relationship problems, destructive patterns of behavior, and other personal issues.
  • Collect information about clients, using techniques such as testing, interviewing, discussion, or observation.
  • Confer with clients to develop plans for posttreatment activities.

We asked Marriage and Family Therapists how satisfied they are with their job. Here is what they said.

Job satisfaction

75%

How meaningful is this job

86%


75% of them said they were satisfied with their job and 86% said they find that their job makes the world a better place or helps to make someone else’s life better.



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Typical Day At Work

On a daily basis, Marriage and Family Therapists ask questions that will help clients identify their feelings and behaviors. They maintain case files that include activities, progress notes, evaluations, and recommendations.

A typical day for a Marriage and Family Therapist will also include:

  • Counsel clients on concerns, such as unsatisfactory relationships, divorce and separation, child rearing, home management, or financial difficulties.
  • Supervise other counselors, social service staff, and assistants.
  • Collect information about clients, using techniques such as testing, interviewing, discussion, or observation.
  • Encourage individuals and family members to develop and use skills and strategies for confronting their problems in a constructive manner.
  • Develop and implement individualized treatment plans addressing family relationship problems, destructive patterns of behavior, and other personal issues.

We asked some Marriage and Family Therapists a few questions to find out what else does their work day look like. Here is what we found.

Do you have telephone conversations everyday in this job? 99% said yes
How important is it to work in a team in this job? 70% said very important
Do you have group discussions everyday in this job? 99% said yes
Do you talk or work with customers everyday in this job? 39% said yes
Do you have to deal with angry customers everyday in this job? 20% said yes
Do you have to make decisions everyday in this job? 53% said yes

Other responsibilities

Besides their typical day, Marriage and Family Therapists also provide instructions to clients on how to obtain help with legal, financial, and other personal issues. They may also confer with other counselors, doctors, and professionals to analyze individual cases and to coordinate counseling services.

On a weekly to monthly basis, Marriage and Family Therapists Confer with clients to develop plans for posttreatment activities. They might also Write evaluations of parents and children for use by courts deciding divorce and custody cases, testifying in court if necessary.

In addition, they Gather information from doctors, schools, social workers, juvenile counselors, law enforcement personnel, and others to make recommendations to courts for resolution of child custody or visitation disputes.

Although specific duties may vary, many of them Determine whether clients should be counseled or referred to other specialists in such fields as medicine, psychiatry, or legal aid.

To some Marriage and Family Therapists, it is also their responsibility to Follow up on results of counseling programs and clients’ adjustments to determine effectiveness of programs.


Working life

Working hours

More than 40 hours per week

Working schedule

Regular schedule like a 9 to 5

In a typical work week as a Marriage and Family Therapist, you can expect to work more than 40 hours per week.

Do Marriage and Family Therapists work in an office-style work environment?

Every day
100%


Once a month
0%


Do Marriage and Family Therapists work outdoors?

Never
52%


Once a month
20%



Is this right for me

Best personality for this career

The Helpers and The Artists

People who are suitable for this job tends to like working with, communicating with, and teaching people. They like helping or providing service to others..

They also like working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.

You can read more about these career personality types here.



Learn more about Marriage and Family Therapists

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Related to Marriage and Family Therapists Job Description

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Additional resources

http://www.bls.gov/OOH/community-and-social-service/mental-health-counselors-and-marriage-and-family-therapists.htm
http://www.amhca.org/
http://www.cacrep.org/
http://www.aamft.org/


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