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Overview of Master of Arts (MA) Degree Program in Marriage and Family Therapy

Majors Overview November 27, 2017

This article talks about the Master of Arts (M.A.) degree program in Marriage and Family Therapy and their coursework, job and wage outlook, and continuing education options.

Master of Arts Program in Marriage and Family Therapy

Students enrolled in the Master of Arts (M.A.) in Marriage and Family Therapy program explore the systemic and relational interactions between families and couples. To complete the program, they must first attain licensure to practice as a family and marriage therapist.

The program incorporates participation in fieldwork and clinical training, along with lecture-based coursework in counseling techniques. Admission criteria require incoming students to hold a baccalaureate degree from an accredited school.

Coursework

Enrollees in a Master of Arts (M.A.) degree program in Marriage and Family Therapy learn about ways of examining, assessing and improving their clients’ interpersonal relationships via psychotherapy. Students are taught therapy fundamentals, including wellness, recovery, systemic thinking, collaborative treatment, and community mental health practice. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:

•Cultural diversity
•Substance abuse in the family
•Family violence
•Law and ethics of therapy
•Psychopathology diagnosis
•Family dynamics
•Human sexuality
•Personality theories

Job and Wage Outlook

Marriage and family therapists are expected to see a faster than average job growth of 20% over the 2016 – 2026 decade. Marriage and family therapists brought in an average annual wage of $49,170 in 2016 (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). This growth is due to the increased willingness of insurance companies to reimburse this type of therapy.

Continuing Education Options

Students who are enrolled in the Marriage and Family Therapy program are trained to become licensed family and marriage therapists. The basis of the standards established by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy determines this.

State licensure is compulsory for prospective marriage and family therapists. However, licensure requirements may vary by state (BLS). A certain amount of supervised clinical training, an approved master’s degree, and passage of the state exam will qualify candidates for licensure. Professional and ethical practices may also be requirements for licensed marriage and family therapists along with completing continuing education credits every year.

Program graduates from a Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy program can pursue continuing education by earning a doctoral degree. Requirements also include taking more advanced courses and completing additional clinical training. Enrollees in a doctoral program may conduct research studies. Continuing education may also be pursued through enrollment in post-graduate certificate programs with a focus on military families, trans-formative counseling, youth and other specialties.

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