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Career and Education Opportunities for Marriage and Family Therapists in San Diego, California

If you want to be a marriage and family therapist, the San Diego, California area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. There are currently 6,400 working marriage and family therapists in California; this should grow 22% to about 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%. Marriage and family therapists generally 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 per year 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: therapist, group counselor, and licensed professional counselor .

The San Diego area is home to sixty schools of higher education, including four within twenty-five miles of San Diego 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 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 San Diego 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.
  • 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

University of San Diego - San Diego, CA

University of San Diego, 5998 Alcala Park, San Diego, CA 92110-2492. University of San Diego is a medium sized university located in San Diego, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 7,832 students and an admission rate of 52%. University of San Diego has a master's degree program in Marriage and Family Therapy/Counseling which graduated thirty-six students in 2008.

San Diego State University - San Diego, CA

San Diego State University, 5500 Campanile Dr, San Diego, CA 92182. San Diego State University is a large university located in San Diego, California. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 34,889 students and an admission rate of 44%. San Diego State University has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Social Work which graduated fifty-two and ninety-three students respectively in 2008.

Alliant International University - San Diego, CA

Alliant International University, 10455 Pomerado Road, San Diego, CA 92131-1799. Alliant International University is a small university located in San Diego, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 4,097 students. Alliant International University has a master's degree and a doctor's degree program in Marriage and Family Therapy/Counseling which graduated sixty-three and fifteen students respectively in 2008.

Point Loma Nazarene University - San Diego, CA

Point Loma Nazarene University, 3900 Lomaland Dr, San Diego, CA 92106-2899. Point Loma Nazarene University is a small university located in San Diego, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,681 students and an admission rate of 78%. Point Loma Nazarene University has a bachelor's degree program in Social Work.

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: San Diego, California

San Diego, California
San Diego, California photo by FlickreviewR

San Diego is situated in San Diego County, California. It has a population of over 1,279,329, which has grown by 4.6% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in San Diego, 141, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in San Diego are valued at $323,700 on average, which is well above the state average. In 2008, six hundred forty-one new homes were constructed in San Diego, down from seven hundred forty-eight the previous year.

The three big industries for women in San Diego are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, accommodation and food services, and construction. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 35.0% of San Diego 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 San Diego is 10.5%, which is less than California's average of 12.3%.

The percentage of San Diego residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 43.7%, is less than both the national and state average. Penasquitos Nazarene Church, Peace Lutheran Church and Paul E Kidd African Methodist Episcopal Church are some of the churches located in San Diego. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Southern Baptist Convention.

San Diego is home to the Zlac Rowing Club and the Rancho Los Penasquitos Golf Course as well as Adobe Bluffs Park and John F Kennedy Park. Shopping malls in the area include San Diego Factory Outlet Shopping Center, San Carlos Shopping Center and Montgomery Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to San Diego can choose from Best Western Posada at the Yac, Beachfront San Diego and Banana Bungalow Hostel San Diego for temporary stays in the area.