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Career and Education Opportunities for Marriage and Family Therapists in Los Angeles, California

For those living in the Los Angeles, California area, there are many career and education opportunities for marriage and family therapists. There are currently 6,400 working marriage and family therapists in California; this should grow by 22% to 7,800 working marriage and family therapists in the state by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for marriage and family therapists are expected to grow by about 14.5%. 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.

Marriage and family therapists earn about $22 hourly or $47,560 annually on average in California and about $21 per hour or $44,590 annually on average nationally. Marriage and family therapists earn more than people working in the category of Counseling and Therapy generally in California and more than people in the Counseling and Therapy category nationally. Jobs in this field include: clinical therapist, behavior therapist, and mental health therapist.

The Los Angeles area is home to 274 schools of higher education, including fifteen within twenty-five miles of Los Angeles where you can get a degree as a marriage and family therapist. The most common level of education for marriage and family therapists is a Master's degree. You can expect to spend about six years training to become 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 Los Angeles 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

California State University-Los Angeles - Los Angeles, CA

California State University-Los Angeles, 5151 State University Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90032. California State University-Los Angeles is a large university located in Los Angeles, California. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 20,856 students and an admission rate of 62%. California State University-Los Angeles has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Social Work which graduated 211 and 103 students respectively in 2008.

Pacific Oaks College - Pasadena, CA

Pacific Oaks College, 5 Westmoreland Pl, Pasadena, CA 91103. Pacific Oaks College is a small college located in Pasadena, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 738 students. Pacific Oaks College has a master's degree program in Marriage and Family Therapy/Counseling which graduated forty-six students in 2008.

Whittier College - Whittier, CA

Whittier College, 13406 E Philadelphia Street, Whittier, CA 90601. Whittier College is a small college located in Whittier, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,895 students and an admission rate of 72%. Whittier College has a bachelor's degree program in Social Work.

University of California-Los Angeles - Los Angeles, CA

University of California-Los Angeles, 405 Hilgard Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1405. University of California-Los Angeles is a large university located in Los Angeles, California. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 37,782 students and an admission rate of 24%. University of California-Los Angeles has a master's degree and a doctor's degree program in Social Work which graduated ninety-one and five students respectively in 2008.

Chapman University-University College - Orange, CA

Chapman University-University College, One University Dr, Orange, CA 92866. Chapman University-University College is a medium sized university located in Orange, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 6,071 students. Chapman University-University College has 2 areas of study related to Marriage and Family Therapist. They are:

  • Social Work, bachelor's degree which graduated 9 students in 2008.
  • Marriage and Family Therapy/Counseling, master's degree which graduated 123 students in 2008.

California State University-Long Beach - Long Beach, CA

California State University-Long Beach, 1250 Bellflower Blvd, Long Beach, CA 90840-0115. California State University-Long Beach is a large university located in Long Beach, California. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 37,891 students and an admission rate of 47%. California State University-Long Beach has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Social Work which graduated forty-nine and 192 students respectively in 2008.

Chapman University - Orange, CA

Chapman University, One University Dr., Orange, CA 92866. Chapman University is a medium sized university located in Orange, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 6,131 students and an admission rate of 50%. Chapman University has 2 areas of study related to Marriage and Family Therapist. They are:

  • Social Work, bachelor's degree which graduated 6 students in 2008.
  • Marriage and Family Therapy/Counseling, master's degree which graduated 20 students in 2008.

California State University-Northridge - Northridge, CA

California State University-Northridge, 18111 Nordhoff St, Northridge, CA 91330. California State University-Northridge is a large university located in Northridge, California. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 36,208 students and an admission rate of 69%. California State University-Northridge has a master's degree program in Social Work which graduated thirty-one students in 2008.

California State University-Dominguez Hills - Carson, CA

California State University-Dominguez Hills, 1000 E Victoria St, Carson, CA 90747-0005. California State University-Dominguez Hills is a large university located in Carson, California. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 12,842 students and an admission rate of 12%. California State University-Dominguez Hills has 2 areas of study related to Marriage and Family Therapist. They are:

  • Social Work, master's degree which graduated 11 students in 2008.
  • Marriage and Family Therapy/Counseling, master's degree which graduated 22 students in 2008.

University of La Verne - La Verne, CA

University of La Verne, 1950 Third St, La Verne, CA 91750-4401. University of La Verne is a medium sized university located in La Verne, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 7,331 students and an admission rate of 65%. University of La Verne has a master's degree program in Marriage and Family Therapy/Counseling which graduated twenty-eight students in 2008.

Argosy University-Orange County - Santa Ana, CA

Argosy University-Orange County, 3501 West Sunflower Avenue, Suite 110, Santa Ana, CA 92704. Argosy University-Orange County is a small university located in Santa Ana, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 882 students and an admission rate of 79%. Argosy University-Orange County has a master's degree program in Marriage and Family Therapy/Counseling which graduated one student in 2008.

Azusa Pacific University - Azusa, CA

Azusa Pacific University, 901 E Alosta, Azusa, CA 91702-7000. Azusa Pacific University is a medium sized university located in Azusa, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 8,501 students and an admission rate of 73%. Azusa Pacific University has a bachelor's degree program in Social Work which graduated twenty-six students in 2008.

Fuller Theological Seminary in California - Pasadena, CA

Fuller Theological Seminary in California, 135 N Oakland Ave, Pasadena, CA 91182. Fuller Theological Seminary in California is a small school located in Pasadena, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 2,957 students. Fuller Theological Seminary in California has a master's degree and a doctor's degree program in Marriage and Family Therapy/Counseling which graduated fifty-eight and zero students respectively in 2008.

University of Southern California - Los Angeles, CA

University of Southern California, University Park, Los Angeles, CA 90089. University of Southern California is a large university located in Los Angeles, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 33,747 students and an admission rate of 22%. University of Southern California has 2 areas of study related to Marriage and Family Therapist. They are:

  • Social Work, bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree which graduated zero, 293, and eight students respectively in 2008.
  • Marriage and Family Therapy/Counseling, bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree which graduated zero, thirty-two, and zero students respectively in 2008.

Loyola Marymount University - Los Angeles, CA

Loyola Marymount University, One Lmu Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90045-2659. Loyola Marymount University is a medium sized university located in Los Angeles, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 9,011 students and an admission rate of 50%. Loyola Marymount University has a master's degree program in Marriage and Family Therapy/Counseling which graduated nineteen 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

Marriage Family Counselor (MFC), License

Licensing agency: Department of Consumer Affairs
Address: Board of Behavioral Sciences, 400 R Street, Suite 3150, Sacramento, CA 95814-6240

Phone: (916) 445-4933
Website: Department of Consumer Affairs Board of Behavioral Sciences

Marriage Family Therapist (MFT), License

Licensing agency: Department of Consumer Affairs
Address: Board of Behavioral Sciences, 400 R Street, Suite 3150, Sacramento, CA 95814-6240

Phone: (916) 445-4933
Website: Department of Consumer Affairs Board of Behavioral Sciences

Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT), License

Licensing agency: Department of Consumer Affairs
Address: Board of Behavioral Sciences, 400 R Street, Suite 3150, Sacramento, CA 95814-6240

Phone: (916) 445-4933
Website: Department of Consumer Affairs Board of Behavioral Sciences

Marriage and Family Therapist Intern (IMF), Registration

Licensing agency: Department of Consumer Affairs
Address: Board of Behavioral Sciences, 400 R Street, Suite 3150, Sacramento, CA 95814-6240

Phone: (916) 445-4933
Website: Department of Consumer Affairs Board of Behavioral Sciences

LOCATION INFORMATION: Los Angeles, California

Los Angeles, California
Los Angeles, California photo by Diliff

Los Angeles is located in Los Angeles County, California. It has a population of over 3,833,995, which has grown by 3.8% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Los Angeles, 166, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Los Angeles are valued at $361,500 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, seven hundred twelve new homes were built in Los Angeles, down from 1,551 the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Los Angeles are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. The average travel time to work is about 30 minutes. More than 25.5% of Los Angeles residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 9.1%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Los Angeles is 13.9%, which is greater than California's average of 12.3%.

The percentage of Los Angeles residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 58.1%, is more than both the national and state average. All Peoples Christian Church, All Saints Episcopal Church and All Saints Roman Catholic Church are some of the churches located in Los Angeles. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the LDS (Mormon) Church.

Los Angeles is home to the Balboa Municipal Golf Course and the Angels Flight Railway as well as Hazard Park and State Street Recreation Center. Shopping centers in the area include Encino Junior Shopping Center, Encino Oaks Shopping Center and Encino Town Center Shopping Center. Visitors to Los Angeles can choose from Best Western Mid-Wilshire Plaza, Best Western Westwood Pacific and Alma Lodge for temporary stays in the area.