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Career and Education Opportunities for Marriage and Family Therapists in Little Rock, Arkansas

If you want to be a marriage and family therapist, the Little Rock, Arkansas area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. The national trend for marriage and family therapists sees this job pool growing by about 14.5% over the next eight years. Marriage and family therapists generally diagnose and treat mental and emotional disorders, whether cognitive, or behavioral, within the context of marriage and family systems.

The average wage in the general category of Counseling and Therapy jobs is $18 per hour or $38,106 per year in Arkansas, and an average of $20 per hour or $40,620 per year nationwide. Marriage and family therapists work in a variety of jobs, including: behavioral specialist, group counselor, and behavioral analyst.

There are two schools within twenty-five miles of Little Rock where you can study to be a marriage and family therapist, among twenty-five schools of higher education total in the Little Rock area. Marriage and family therapists usually hold a Master's degree, so you can expect to spend about six years studying to be a marriage and family therapist if you already have a high school diploma, or just 2 years if you have a Bachelor's degree.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Marriage and Family Therapist

Marriage and Family Therapist video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, marriage and family therapists diagnose and treat mental and emotional disorders, whether cognitive, or behavioral, within the context of marriage and family systems. They also apply psychotherapeutic and family systems theories and techniques in the delivery of professional services to individuals, couples, and families for the purpose of treating such diagnosed nervous and mental disorders.

Marriage and family therapists ask questions that will help clients identify their feelings and behaviors. They also design and implement individualized treatment plans addressing family relationship problems. Equally important, marriage and family therapists have to maintain case files that include efforts and recommendations. They are often called upon to encourage individuals and family members to evolve and use skills and strategies for confronting their problems in a constructive manner. They are expected to collect data related to clients, using techniques such as testing and observation. Finally, marriage and family therapists follow up on results of counseling programs and clients' adjustments to establish effectiveness of programs.

Every day, marriage and family therapists are expected to be able to articulate ideas and problems. They need to listen to and understand others in meetings. It is also important that they piece together evidence to, in some sense, diagnose what is going on in a situation.

It is important for marriage and family therapists to furnish public education and consultation to other professionals or groups regarding counseling services and methods. They are often called upon to gather data from doctors, schools, social staff, juvenile counselors, law enforcement personnel, and others to make recommendations to courts for resolution of child custody or visitation disputes. They also write evaluations of parents and children for use by courts deciding divorce and custody cases, testifying in court if needed. Somewhat less frequently, marriage and family therapists are also expected to supervise other counselors, social service staff, and assistants.

And finally, they sometimes have to encourage individuals and family members to evolve and use skills and strategies for confronting their problems in a constructive manner.

Like many other jobs, marriage and family therapists must have exceptional integrity and have a strong concern for others.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Little Rock include:

  • Career Advisor. Counsel individuals and provide group educational and vocational guidance services.
  • Health Education Specialist. Promote, maintain, and improve individual and community health by assisting individuals and communities to adopt healthy behaviors. Collect and analyze data to identify community needs prior to planning, implementing, and evaluating programs designed to encourage healthy lifestyles, policies and environments. May also serve as a resource to assist individuals, other professionals, or the community, and may administer fiscal resources for health education programs.
  • Mental Health Counselor. Counsel with emphasis on prevention. Work with individuals and groups to promote optimum mental health. May help individuals deal with addictions and substance abuse; family, parenting, and marital problems; suicide; stress management; problems with self-esteem; and issues associated with aging and mental and emotional health.
  • Rehabilitation Counselor. Counsel individuals to maximize the independence and employability of persons coping with personal, social, and vocational difficulties that result from birth defects, illness, or the stress of daily life. Coordinate activities for residents of care and treatment facilities. Assess client needs and design and implement rehabilitation programs that may include personal and vocational counseling, training, and job placement.
  • Substance Abuse Specialist. Counsel and advise individuals with alcohol, tobacco, or other problems, such as gambling and eating disorders. May counsel individuals, families, or groups or engage in prevention programs.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Marriage and Family Therapist Training

Philander Smith College - Little Rock, AR

Philander Smith College, One Trudie Kibbe Reed Drive, Little Rock, AR 72202-3799. Philander Smith College is a small college located in Little Rock, Arkansas. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 584 students and an admission rate of 91%. Philander Smith College has a bachelor's degree program in Social Work which graduated nine students in 2008.

University of Arkansas at Little Rock - Little Rock, AR

University of Arkansas at Little Rock, 2801 S University Ave, Little Rock, AR 72204. University of Arkansas at Little Rock is a large university located in Little Rock, Arkansas. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 11,694 students. University of Arkansas at Little Rock has 2 areas of study related to Marriage and Family Therapist. They are:

  • Social Work, bachelor's degree and master's degree which graduated twenty-one and eighty-one students respectively in 2008.
  • Marriage and Family Therapy/Counseling, postbaccalaureate certificate which graduated 5 students in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Distance Credentialed counselor: A Distance Credentialed Counselor (DCC) will be nationally recognized as a professional with training in best practices in Distance Counseling.

For more information, see the Center for Credentialing & Education, Inc. website.

International Board Certified Lactation Consultant: An IBCLE or International Board Certified Lactation Consultant is a specialist that has taken and.

For more information, see the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners website.

LICENSES

Counselor, Associate (LAC)

Licensing agency: AR State Board of Examiners in Counselors and Marriage-Family Therapist
Address: 124 South Jackson, McAlester Building, Suite #312, P. O. Box 70, Magnolia, AR 71754-0070

Phone: (870) 901-7055
Website: AR State Board of Examiners in Counselors and Marriage-Family Therapist

Counselor, Professional (LPC)

Licensing agency: AR State Board of Examiners in Counselors and Marriage-Family Therapist
Address: 124 South Jackson, McAlester Building, Suite #312, P. O. Box 70, Magnolia, AR 71754-0070

Phone: (870) 901-7055
Website: AR State Board of Examiners in Counselors and Marriage-Family Therapist

Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT)

Licensing agency: AR State Board of Examiners in Counselors and Marriage-Family Therapist
Address: 124 South Jackson, McAlester Building, Suite #312, P. O. Box 70, Magnolia, AR 71754-0070

Phone: (870) 901-7055
Website: AR State Board of Examiners in Counselors and Marriage-Family Therapist

Marriage and Family Therapist, Associate (LAMFT)

Licensing agency: AR State Board of Examiners in Counselors and Marriage-Family Therapist
Address: 124 South Jackson, McAlester Building, Suite #312, P. O. Box 70, Magnolia, AR 71754-0070

Phone: (870) 901-7055
Website: AR State Board of Examiners in Counselors and Marriage-Family Therapist

LOCATION INFORMATION: Little Rock, Arkansas

Little Rock, Arkansas
Little Rock, Arkansas photo by Broooooooce

Little Rock is located in Pulaski County, Arkansas. It has a population of over 189,515, which has grown by 3.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Little Rock, 87, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Little Rock cost $236,400 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, three hundred sixty-one new homes were built in Little Rock, down from seven hundred thirty-one the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Little Rock are health care, educational services, and public administration. For men, it is health care, professional, scientific, and technical services, and construction. The average commute to work is about 20 minutes. More than 35.5% of Little Rock residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 13.4%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Little Rock is 6.1%, which is less than Arkansas's average of 6.9%.

The percentage of Little Rock residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 59.1%, is more than both the national and state average. Macedonia Spiritual Church, Baseline Christian Church and Baseline Missionary Baptist Church are all churches located in Little Rock. The largest religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Little Rock is home to the Rock Creek Golf Course and the Barton Coliseum as well as McArthur Park Historic District and Meriwether Park. Shopping malls in the area include Mainstreet Market Shopping Center, Market Street Plaza Shopping Center and Markham Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Little Rock can choose from LA Quinta - Inns- Medical Center Area, Hampton Inn & Suites and Acme Motel for temporary stays in the area.