Marriage and Family Therapist

About the job:

What you do

As a Marriage and Family Therapist, your job is to help people deal with and manage problems that are occuring in their marriage or family. You apply theories and techniques in the delivery of services to individuals, couples, and families for the purpose of treating their disorders or disfunctions. 

The tough stuff

As a Marriage and Family Therapist, you may face: 

  • Ethical challenges when the desires and interests of their clients conflict. For example, if a husband is physically or verbally abusive to his wife and has no real hope of changing his behavior, it may be unethical for you to advise the wife to stay in the relationship
  • Business challenges - You need to have sufficient office space to see clients privately. If you share office space, they must coordinate their schedules with coworkers
  • Occupational stress and may even burnout, which is a syndrome characterized by mental distress and physical health problems
  • High financial investment since you need to study 6 years and you won't have much time to work in parallel to your studies
The cool stuff

As a Marriage and Family Therapist, you will get to:

  • Work with people from all types of backgrounds 
  • Enjoy tremendous satisfaction from the fact that you are able to help people work through mental and emotional stresses and disorders
  • Work flexible hours, particularly if you operate your own private practice
  • See immediate impact of your interventions in your clients
Typical work hours
  • 40 hours a week
  • May include evenings and weekends in order to meet your client's schedules

Are you the right fit?

Classes you should be good at
  • Psychology
Best high school track(s)
  • Any Track
Personal qualities
  • Understanding what you hear
  • Understanding written information
  • Problem Sensitivity
  • Reasoning & Problem Solving
  • Critical Thinking

Will you make money?

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Education stuff:

Education required

In order to become a Marriage & Family Therapist, you will need to complete a total of around six years of study:

  • 4 years for your Bachelor’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy, Psychiatry, Clinical Social Work, Psychology, or related field
  • 2 years for your Master’s degree

Many Marriage & Family Therapists, however, which means they have also completed a doctorate degree (Ph.D. or Psy.D.), generally requiring a further five to seven years of study.

Helpful resources
Local universities
International universities