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Career and Education Opportunities for Marriage and Family Therapists in Jackson, Mississippi

Jackson, Mississippi provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for marriage and family therapists. The national trend for marriage and family therapists 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 $17 per hour or $36,324 per year in Mississippi, and an average of $20 per hour or $40,620 per year nationwide. Marriage and family therapists work in a variety of jobs, including: marriage and family therapist , psychiatric social worker, and psychologist.

The Jackson area is home to seventeen schools of higher education, including three within twenty-five miles of Jackson 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 Jackson 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.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Marriage and Family Therapist Training

Jackson State University - Jackson, MS

Jackson State University, 1440 J R Lynch St, Jackson, MS 39217. Jackson State University is a medium sized university located in Jackson, Mississippi. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 8,530 students and an admission rate of 36%. Jackson State University has bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree programs in Social Work which graduated forty-seven, nineteen, and five students respectively in 2008.

Wesley College - Florence, MS

Wesley College, 111 Wesley Cir, Florence, MS 39073-1070. Wesley College is a small college located in Florence, Mississippi. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 140 students. Wesley College has a bachelor's degree program in Clinical Pastoral Counseling/Patient Counseling which graduated one student in 2008.

Mississippi College - Clinton, MS

Mississippi College, 200 South Capitol Street, Clinton, MS 39058. Mississippi College is a small college located in Clinton, Mississippi. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 4,788 students and an admission rate of 62%. Mississippi College has 2 areas of study related to Marriage and Family Therapist. They are:

  • Social Work, bachelor's degree which graduated 11 students in 2008.
  • Marriage and Family Therapy/Counseling, master's degree.


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.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Jackson, Mississippi

Jackson, Mississippi
Jackson, Mississippi photo by Yassie

Jackson is situated in Hinds County, Mississippi. It has a population of over 173,861, which has shrunk by 5.6% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Jackson, 83, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Jackson cost $101,700 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, four hundred fifty-six new homes were built in Jackson, up from two hundred twenty-three the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Jackson are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and educational services. The average travel time to work is about 20 minutes. More than 27.1% of Jackson residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.2%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Jackson is 9.2%, which is less than Mississippi's average of 9.5%.

The percentage of Jackson residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 55.4%, is more than both the national and state average. Bibleway Baptist Church, Saint Johns Missionary Baptist Church and Saint John Deliverance Temple Number 2 are some of the churches located in Jackson. The most common religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Jackson is home to the Riverhills Country Club and the Colonial Country Club as well as Smith-Wills Stadium and Lefleurs Bluff State Park. Shopping malls in the area include North Terry Road Shopping Center, Northside Shopping Center and Northtown Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Jackson can choose from Days Inn-Coliseum, Econo Lodge and Regal Sales Office for temporary stays in the area.