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Career and Education Opportunities for Marriage and Family Therapists in Santa Clara, California

Marriage and family therapists can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the Santa Clara, California area. Currently, 6,400 people work as marriage and family therapists in California. This is expected to grow 22% to about 7,800 people by 2016. This is better than the national trend for marriage and family therapists, which 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.

Marriage and family therapists earn approximately $22 hourly or $47,560 yearly on average in California. Nationally they average about $21 per hour or $44,590 per year. 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: marriage and family counselor, behavioral specialist, and group counselor.

There are thirty-five schools of higher education in the Santa Clara area, including one within twenty-five miles of Santa Clara 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. 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 Santa Clara include:

  • 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

San Jose State University - San Jose, CA

San Jose State University, 1 Washington Sq, San Jose, CA 95192-0001. San Jose State University is a large university located in San Jose, California. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 32,749 students and an admission rate of 64%. San Jose State University has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Social Work which graduated one and 136 students respectively 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: Santa Clara, California

Santa Clara, California
Santa Clara, California photo by Coolcaesar

Santa Clara is located in Santa Clara County, California. It has a population of over 110,200, which has grown by 7.7% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Santa Clara, 158, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Santa Clara cost $196,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, forty-three new homes were constructed in Santa Clara, down from eighty-five the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Santa Clara are computer and electronic products, professional, scientific, and technical services, and educational services. For men, it is computer and electronic products, professional, scientific, and technical services, and construction. The average commute to work is about 22 minutes. More than 42.4% of Santa Clara residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 16.6%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Santa Clara is 10.9%, which is less than California's average of 12.3%.

The percentage of Santa Clara residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 43.2%, is less than both the national and state average. Peace Lutheran Church, Good News Community Church and Universal Church of the Master are some of the churches located in Santa Clara. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Muslim Estimate.

Santa Clara is home to the Santa Clara Unified School District Office and the Santa Clara Municipal Golf Course as well as Westwood Acres Park and Washington Park. Shopping centers in the area include Moonlite Shopping Center, Fairway Glen Shopping Center and Youth Shopping Center.