Marriage and Family Therapists

Description

Diagnose and treat mental and emotional disorders, whether cognitive, affective, or behavioral, within the context of marriage and family systems. Apply psychotherapeutic and family systems theories and techniques in the delivery of services to individuals, couples, and families for the purpose of treating such diagnosed nervous and mental disorders.

Tasks

  • Ask questions that will help clients identify their feelings and behaviors.
  • Counsel clients on concerns, such as unsatisfactory relationships, divorce and separation, child rearing, home management, and financial difficulties.
  • Encourage individuals and family members to develop and use skills and strategies for confronting their problems in a constructive manner.
  • Maintain case files that include activities, progress notes, evaluations, and recommendations.
  • Develop and implement individualized treatment plans addressing family relationship problems, destructive patterns of behavior, and other personal issues.
  • Collect information about clients, using techniques such as testing, interviewing, discussion, and observation.
  • Confer with clients to develop plans for posttreatment activities.
  • Confer with other counselors, doctors, and professionals to analyze individual cases and to coordinate counseling services.
  • Determine whether clients should be counseled or referred to other specialists in such fields as medicine, psychiatry, and legal aid.
  • Follow up on results of counseling programs and clients' adjustments to determine effectiveness of programs.
  • Write evaluations of parents and children for use by courts deciding divorce and custody cases, testifying in court if necessary.
  • Provide instructions to clients on how to obtain help with legal, financial, and other personal issues.
  • Provide public education and consultation to other professionals or groups regarding counseling services, issues, and methods.
  • Gather information from doctors, schools, social workers, juvenile counselors, law enforcement personnel, and others to make recommendations to courts for resolution of child custody or visitation disputes.
  • Supervise other counselors, social service staff, and assistants.
  • Provide family counseling and treatment services to inmates participating in substance abuse programs.

Knowledge

Foreign Language
Knowledge of the structure and content of a foreign (non-English) language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition and grammar, and pronunciation.
Building and Construction
Knowledge of materials, methods, and the tools involved in the construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.
Physics
Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.

Skills

Equipment Selection
Determining the kind of tools and equipment needed to do a job.
Installation
Installing equipment, machines, wiring, or programs to meet specifications.
Operation and Control
Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
Equipment Maintenance
Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.
Troubleshooting
Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.
Repairing
Repairing machines or systems using the needed tools.

Abilities

Stamina
The ability to exert yourself physically over long periods of time without getting winded or out of breath.
Trunk Strength
The ability to use your abdominal and lower back muscles to support part of the body repeatedly or continuously over time without 'giving out' or fatiguing.
Dynamic Strength
The ability to exert muscle force repeatedly or continuously over time. This involves muscular endurance and resistance to muscle fatigue.
Speed of Limb Movement
The ability to quickly move the arms and legs.
Wrist-Finger Speed
The ability to make fast, simple, repeated movements of the fingers, hands, and wrists.
Rate Control
The ability to time your movements or the movement of a piece of equipment in anticipation of changes in the speed and/or direction of a moving object or scene.
Multilimb Coordination
The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
Control Precision
The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
Manual Dexterity
The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
Arm-Hand Steadiness
The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.

Interests

Social
Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
Artistic
Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.
Investigative
Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
Enterprising
Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
Conventional
Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
Realistic
Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

Work Style

Concern for Others
Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Stress Tolerance
Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
Cooperation
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Self Control
Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Persistence
Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
Initiative
Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
Adaptability/Flexibility
Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
Independence
Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.

Work Values

Relationships
Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
Independence
Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
Achievement
Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
Working Conditions
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
Recognition
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.
Support
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.

Lay Titles

Behavior Therapist
Behavioral Analyst
Behavioral Specialist
Child and Family Counselor
Clinical Services Director
Clinical Therapist
Clinician
Family Counselor
Family Therapist
Group Counselor
Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT)
Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC)
Marriage and Family Counselor
Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT)
Marriage Counselor
Marriage Therapist
Mental Health Therapist
Play Therapist
Psychiatric Social Worker
Psychologist
Psychotherapist
Therapist

National Wages and Employment Info

Median Wages (2008):
$22.44 hourly, $46,670 annual.
Employment (2008):
34,270 employees