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Career and Education Opportunities for Marriage and Family Therapists in Thousand Oaks, California

For those living in the Thousand Oaks, California area, there are many career and education opportunities for marriage and family therapists. Currently, 6,400 people work as marriage and family therapists in California. This is expected to grow by 22% to 7,800 people 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.

Income for marriage and family therapists is about $22 hourly or $47,560 per year on average in California. Nationally, their income is about $21 per hour or $44,590 per year. Compared with people working in the overall category of Counseling and Therapy, people working as marriage and family therapists in California earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Counseling and Therapy nationally. Jobs in this field include: behavioral specialist, clinical services director, and group counselor.

The Thousand Oaks area is home to fourteen schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Thousand Oaks 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. 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 Thousand Oaks 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

California Lutheran University - Thousand Oaks, CA

California Lutheran University, 60 W Olsen Rd, Thousand Oaks, CA 91360-2787. California Lutheran University is a small university located in Thousand Oaks, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,499 students and an admission rate of 65%. California Lutheran University has a master's degree program in Marriage and Family Therapy/Counseling which graduated twenty-seven 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: Thousand Oaks, California

Thousand Oaks, California
Thousand Oaks, California photo by Tdv294

Thousand Oaks is situated in Ventura County, California. It has a population of over 123,091, which has grown by 5.2% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Thousand Oaks, 133, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Thousand Oaks are priced at $499,900 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, ten new homes were built in Thousand Oaks, down from seventy-one the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Thousand Oaks are educational services, health care, and finance and insurance. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, construction, and finance and insurance. The average commute to work is about 26 minutes. More than 42.2% of Thousand Oaks residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 15.6%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Thousand Oaks is 8.6%, which is less than California's average of 12.3%.

The percentage of Thousand Oaks residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 44.6%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. King of Glory Lutheran Church, Kingdom Hall of Jehovahs Witnesses and Temple Adat Elohim are all churches located in Thousand Oaks. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Thousand Oaks is home to the Rockwell International Science Center Library and the Lang Ranch as well as Joel McCrea Wildlife Preserve and Evenstar Park. Shopping centers in the area include Jeffries Center Shopping Center, Evergreens Shopping Center and Westoaks-Hampshire Shopping Center. Visitors to Thousand Oaks can choose from Best Western Oaks Lodge, Best Western Thousand Oaks Inn and Best Value Inn - Thousand Oaks for temporary stays in the area.