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Career and Education Opportunities for Marriage and Family Therapists in Riverside, California

Marriage and family therapists can find many career and educational opportunities in the Riverside, California area. About 6,400 people are currently employed as marriage and family therapists in California. By 2016, this is expected to grow by 22% to 7,800 people employed. 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 approximately $22 per hour or $47,560 per year on average in California. Nationally they average about $21 hourly or $44,590 per year. Earnings for marriage and family therapists are better than earnings in the general category of Counseling and Therapy in California and better than general Counseling and Therapy category earnings nationally. Marriage and family therapists work in a variety of jobs, including: family counselor, mental health therapist, and therapist.

There are twenty-three schools of higher education in the Riverside area, including one within twenty-five miles of Riverside where you can get a degree to start your career as a marriage and family therapist. The most common level of education for marriage and family therapists is a Master's degree. It will take about six years to learn 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 Riverside include:

  • Career Advisor. Counsel individuals and provide group educational and vocational guidance services.
  • 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.
  • 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

La Sierra University - Riverside, CA

La Sierra University, 4500 Riverwalk Parkway, Riverside, CA 92515-8247. La Sierra University is a small university located in Riverside, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,899 students and an admission rate of 55%. La Sierra University has a bachelor's degree program in Social Work which graduated fourteen 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: Riverside, California

Riverside, California
Riverside, California photo by SoCal L.A.

Riverside is located in Riverside County, California. It has a population of over 295,357, which has grown by 15.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Riverside, 123, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Riverside cost $328,500 on average, which is well above the state average. In 2008, sixty-nine new homes were built in Riverside, down from three hundred forty-two the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Riverside are educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, educational services, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 29 minutes. More than 19.1% of Riverside residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.9%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Riverside is 15.2%, which is greater than California's average of 12.3%.

The percentage of Riverside residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 43.0%, is less than both the national and state average. All Saints Episcopal Church, All Souls Universalist Church and Allen Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church are all churches located in Riverside. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Southern Baptist Convention.

Riverside is home to the Riverside Art Museum and the Riverside Municipal Auditorium and Soldiers Memorial Building as well as Evans Park and Fairmount Park. Shopping malls in the area include Adams Plaza Shopping Center, Jurupa Grand Center Shopping Center and Five Points Shopping Center. Visitors to Riverside can choose from Airport-Inn, Arlington Motor Inn and Best Western of Riverside for temporary stays in the area.