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Career and Education Opportunities for Marriage and Family Therapists in Atlanta, Georgia

If you want to be a marriage and family therapist, the Atlanta, Georgia area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. Currently, 250 people work as marriage and family therapists in Georgia. This is expected to grow by 30% to 320 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.

The average wage in the general category of Counseling and Therapy jobs is $22 per hour or $44,783 per year in Georgia, and an average of $20 per hour or $40,620 per year nationwide. Marriage and family therapists work in a variety of jobs, including: licensed professional counselor , clinical therapist, and licensed marriage and family therapist .

The Atlanta area is home to ninety-one schools of higher education, including four within twenty-five miles of Atlanta 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 starting with 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 Atlanta 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.
  • 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.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Marriage and Family Therapist Training

Argosy University-Atlanta - Atlanta, GA

Argosy University-Atlanta, 980 Hammond Drive, Suite 100, Atlanta, GA 30328. Argosy University-Atlanta is a small university located in Atlanta, Georgia. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,481 students and an admission rate of 81%. Argosy University-Atlanta has a post-master's certificate and a doctor's degree program in Marriage and Family Therapy/Counseling which graduated three and zero students respectively in 2008.

Kennesaw State University - Kennesaw, GA

Kennesaw State University, 1000 Chastain Rd, Kennesaw, GA 30144-5591. Kennesaw State University is a large university located in Kennesaw, Georgia. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 21,340 students and an admission rate of 59%. Kennesaw State University has a master's degree program in Social Work which graduated thirty-three students in 2008.

Clark Atlanta University - Atlanta, GA

Clark Atlanta University, 223 James P Brawley Drive, S.W., Atlanta, GA 30314-4391. Clark Atlanta University is a small university located in Atlanta, Georgia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 4,067 students and an admission rate of 57%. Clark Atlanta University has bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree programs in Social Work which graduated fifteen, sixty-five, and six students respectively in 2008.

Georgia State University - Atlanta, GA

Georgia State University, 33 gilmer st, Atlanta, GA 30303-3083. Georgia State University is a large university located in Atlanta, Georgia. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 28,182 students and an admission rate of 53%. Georgia State University has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Social Work which graduated sixty-two and twenty-five 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 and Family Therapists

Licensing agency: Ga Composite Board of Prof. Counselors, Soc Wkrs, & Mar and Fmly Thrp
Address: 237 Coliseum Drive, Room 320, Macon, GA 31217-3858

Phone: (478) 207-1670
Website: Ga Composite Board of Prof. Counselors, Soc Wkrs, & Mar and Fmly Thrp

LOCATION INFORMATION: Atlanta, Georgia

Atlanta, Georgia
Atlanta, Georgia photo by Evilarry

Atlanta is located in Fulton County, Georgia. It has a population of over 537,958, which has grown by 29.2% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Atlanta, 94, is below the national average. New single-family homes in Atlanta cost $173,200 on average, which is well above the state average. In 2008, five hundred two new homes were constructed in Atlanta, down from 1,247 the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Atlanta are educational services, professional, scientific, and technical services, and health care. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, construction, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 28 minutes. More than 34.6% of Atlanta residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 13.8%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Atlanta is 11.1%, which is greater than Georgia's average of 10.1%.

The percentage of Atlanta residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 58.7%, is more than both the national and state average. Aarons Tabernacle Church, Welcome Home Baptist Church and Adair Park Church are some of the churches located in Atlanta. The largest religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Atlanta is home to the Martin Luther King Junior Community Center and the Diuid Hills Golf Club as well as Alexander Park and Wesley Avenue Park. Shopping malls in the area include Rio Mall Shopping Center, Collier Heights Plaza Shopping Center and Northside Parkway Shopping Center. Visitors to Atlanta can choose from Country Inn-Stes Atl Dwntwn S, Comfort Inn and Comfort Inn Buckhead North for temporary stays in the area.