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Marriage and Family Therapists

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.   (O'Net 21-1013.00)

 
Reported job titles:   Advanced Clinical Specialist, Behavior Therapist, Behavioral Analyst, Behavioral Specialist, Behavioral Therapist, Child and Family Counselor   (view all job titles)
 
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  • Industries of Employment
  • Tasks
  • Knowledge
  • Skills
  • Abilities
  • Work Activities
  • Interests
  • Work Styles
  • License Information
  • Education & Training Requirements
  • Schools
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    Wages
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    No wage data for this occupation.
     


    Employment Trends
    for Marriage and Family Therapists
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    No trend data for this occupation.
     


    Industries of Employment
    for Marriage and Family Therapists
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    Industry Percent of Total
    2014
    Social assistance 32.9%
    Ambulatory healthcare services 24.4%
    State government, excluding education and hospitals 15.8%
    Local government, excluding education and hospitals 6.8%
    Self-employed workers, all industries 6.6%
    source: Employment Projections, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, National Employment Matrix, released July 2016.
     


    Tasks
    for Marriage and Family Therapists
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  • 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.
     
    source: Occupational Information Network: Marriage and Family Therapists  updated July 2012
     


    Knowledge
    for Marriage and Family Therapists
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  • Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
     
  • Therapy and Counseling - Knowledge of principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and for career counseling and guidance.
     
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
     
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
     
  • Clerical - Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
     
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
     
  • Medicine and Dentistry - Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
     
  • Personnel and Human Resources - Knowledge of principles and procedures for personnel recruitment, selection, training, compensation and benefits, labor relations and negotiation, and personnel information systems.
     
  • Philosophy and Theology - Knowledge of different philosophical systems and religions. This includes their basic principles, values, ethics, ways of thinking, customs, practices, and their impact on human culture.
     
  • Sociology and Anthropology - Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.
     
    source: Occupational Information Network: Marriage and Family Therapists  updated July 2012
     


    Skills
    for Marriage and Family Therapists
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  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
     
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
     
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
     
  • Service Orientation - Actively looking for ways to help people.
     
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
     
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
     
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
     
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
     
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
     
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
     
    source: Occupational Information Network: Marriage and Family Therapists  updated July 2012
     


    Abilities
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  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
     
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
     
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
     
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
     
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
     
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
     
  • Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
     
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
     
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
     
  • Fluency of Ideas - The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
     
    source: Occupational Information Network: Marriage and Family Therapists  updated July 2012
     


    Work Activities
    for Marriage and Family Therapists
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  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships - Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
     
  • Assisting and Caring for Others - Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
     
  • Documenting/Recording Information - Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
     
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems - Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
     
  • Getting Information - Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
     
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work - Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
     
  • Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others - Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
     
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates - Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
     
  • Thinking Creatively - Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
     
  • Coaching and Developing Others - Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.
     
    source: Occupational Information Network: Marriage and Family Therapists  updated July 2012
     


    Interests
    for Marriage and Family Therapists
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  • 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.
     
    source: Occupational Information Network: Marriage and Family Therapists  updated June 2008
     


    Work Styles
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  • 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.
     
  • Persistence - Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
     
  • Self Control - Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
     
  • Adaptability/Flexibility - Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
     
  • Initiative - Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
     
  • 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.
     
    source: Occupational Information Network: Marriage and Family Therapists  updated July 2012
     


    State of Vermont License Information
    that may be required for Marriage and Family Therapists
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    License Name Licensing Agency
    Marriage & Family Therapist Vermont Secretary of State
    Office of Professional Regulation
    Board of Allied Mental Health
    Psychotherapist, non-licensed and non-certified Vermont Secretary of State
    Office of Professional Regulation
    Board of Allied Mental Health
     
    source: Vermont Department of Labor, Licensed & Certified Occupations in Vermont, 2015.
     


    Education and Training Requirements
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  • Job Zone Five: Extensive Preparation Needed
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  • Education: Most of these occupations require graduate school. For example, they may require a master's degree, and some require a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D. (law degree).
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  • Training: Employees may need some on-the-job training, but most of these occupations assume that the person will already have the required skills, knowledge, work-related experience, and/or training.
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  • Experience: Extensive skill, knowledge, and experience are needed for these occupations. Many require more than five years of experience. For example, surgeons must complete four years of college and an additional five to seven years of specialized medical training to be able to do their job.
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    source: Occupational Information Network: Marriage and Family Therapists  updated July 2012
     


    Schools
    offering instructional programs related to Marriage and Family Therapists
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      Related Instructional Programs
     
    • Clinical Pastoral Counseling/Patient Counseling.
     
    • Marriage and Family Therapy/Counseling.
     
    • Social Work.
     
     Search for schools offering these programs at
     
     
     
    source: National Center for Education Statistics 2000 Classification of Instructional Programs .
     


    Other Resources
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  • Labor Exchange Information
  • A source for occupational characteristics, such as age, gender, race, and years of education and an alternative source for occupational wage rates. Limited to people looking for jobs and the jobs advertised through VDOL Vermont Job Link.
  • Look for statewide information over the latest 12 months for Marriage and Family Therapists.
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  • Occupational Outlook Handbook
  • The Occupational Outlook Handbook is a nationally recognized source of career information, designed to provide valuable assistance to individuals making decisions about their future work lives. Revised every two years, the Handbook describes what workers do on the job, working conditions, the training and education needed, earnings, and expected job prospects in a wide range of occupations.
    Go to Occupational Outlook Handbook
    Handbook occupations related to Marriage and Family Therapists :
  • Mental Health Counselors and Marriage and Family Therapists
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    Related Occupations
    Occupations with skill requirements similar to Marriage and Family Therapists
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  • Clinical Psychologists
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  • Counseling Psychologists
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  • Education Teachers, Postsecondary
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  • Foreign Language and Literature Teachers, Postsecondary
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  • Instructional Coordinators
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  • Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers
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  • Mental Health Counselors
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  • Middle School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education
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  • Neuropsychologists and Clinical Neuropsychologists
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  • Special Education Teachers, Secondary School
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    source: Occupational Information Network: Marriage and Family Therapists 
     

     
     
     
    Vermont.gov State of Vermont Department of Labor