Marriage and Family Therapist Job Description

Marriage and Family Therapist Job Description, Skills, and Salary

Are you searching for a marriage and family therapist job description? Get to know about the duties, responsibilities, qualifications, and skills requirements of a marriage and family therapist. Feel free to use our marriage and family therapist job description template to produce your own marriage and family therapist job description. We also provide you with information about the salary you can earn as a marriage and family therapist.


Who is a Marriage and Family Therapist?

In our daily lives, the closest people to us are our family members, they have a vacuum in our lives that cannot be replaced by anyone. Our spouses, parents, and children have a significant impact on our mental well-being generally. A marriage and family therapist has an in-depth understanding of this perspective and he or she knows how to approach therapy to individuals, couples, and clients. He also serves as the mediator of a relationship.

A Marriage and a Family Therapist (MFT) is a mental health professional that assists clients or individuals to conquer or manage their disorders or illness which can lead to substance abuse, low self-esteem, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. They take into consideration the effect that a client’s family has on his or her mental health by assessing a client’s family roles. They also help clients to settle interpersonal issues or disputes within relationships.

As a result of a diverse range of physical and psychological disorders, the demand for a marriage and family therapist is high. The MFT as they are fondly called deals with issues such as marital and couple conflict, alcohol and drug abuse, sexual dysfunction, parent and child conflict, grief, eating disorders, children’s behavior problems, distress, and issues with the aged parents such as coping with parent’s or grandparent’s dementia. MFTs partner with mental health practitioners to resolve issues such as anxiety, a family member’s depression, and the resultant impact these issues have on the family.

MFT is usually a short-term therapy consisting of an average of 12 solution-focused sessions.  More sessions may be added but this solely depends on the client’s condition.  The therapists start the marriage counseling by meeting with the entire family before meeting one on one with individual family members. The first session of the therapy is to collect data so that the therapist can understand the background of the problem and everyone involved. You should also be able to get a clear sense of the therapist’s role and competence, the rules of the therapist’s session, and also the confidentiality of any information obtained among friends and family members and the therapist. Over time, you will also get to observe individual and family roles, and behaviors that to conflicts. You will also need to look for ways to resolve issues and identify specific challenges.

Whereas traditional therapist focuses on individuals, MFT examines how individuals’ behavior impacts both the individual and their relationships as members of the family. The theory behind MFT is that despite if a situation appears to be within an individual or the family, getting the family members is very essential to bring about an effective solution to the problem. Marriage and family therapist is goal oriented and they always want to see the result of the efforts they have put in place to resolve a situation, MFT experts have been encouraged to apply traditional MFT training that incorporates more realistic practices to harmonize other therapists and become more inclusive of non-heterosexual couples and families.


Marriage and Family Therapist Job Description

What is a marriage and family therapist job description? A marriage and family therapist job description is simply a list of duties and responsibilities of a marriage and family therapist in an organization. Below are the marriage and family therapist job description examples you can use to develop your resume or write a marriage and family therapist job description for your employee. Employers can also use it to sieve out job seekers when choosing candidates for interviews.

The following are the duties and responsibilities of a Marriage and family therapist:

  • Deliver strength-based, intensive ( depending on the client program) mental health services to families, individuals, couples and children utilizing the principles of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy complemented with  Solution Focused Therapy
  • Conduct intake and needs assessment of veterans and their significant orders and establish helping relationships with their clients
  • Conserve accurate, thoroughly documented client records with quality documentation and meets facility and licensing standards
  • Commit to planning execution and evaluation of treatment programs for each client
  • Collaborate with staff and other community agencies in carrying out treatment plans
  • Attend and partake in weekly scheduled Clinical Team meetings and Reflective Supervision
  • Examine and notes thoughts on intra-familial functioning
  • Clarify the client’s perception about disruptions with their structures
  • Elucidate the existence of helpful environmental resources
  • Unearth latent determinants of dysfunction and then ameliorate such issues
  • Help clients with their processing of grief and other variations of negative effects
  • Notify on stabilizing home and schooling provisions
  • Propose reports for admission as reliable expert evidence
  • Give balanced expert testimonies once called upon



  • A bachelor’s degree in Psychology, Guidance, and Counseling, Social Work, or any related field to marriage and family therapy
  • Appropriate therapist’s license
  • Exemplify experience as a marriage and family therapist
  • Intimately familiar with local ideas about familial interactions
  • Terrific verbal communication skills
  • Capacity to exude your expertise under cross-examination
  • Impartial, emotionally intelligent, and judicious
  • Computer and technological skills
  • Meet the minimum age requirement
  • Pass a background check that is free from any criminal record


Essential Skills

  • Communication: this is a core skill that marriage and family therapists need to possess because their job description is mostly about communicating with individuals, families, and couples who are experiencing behavioral disorders or family conflicts.  They must ensure they possess both verbal and writing skills to be able to carry out their job responsibility as appropriate.

In addition, they need to possess strong listening skills to be able to listen to what their clients have to say and analyze the situation based on the data they have gathered.

  • Interpersonal Skills: this is also a requisite because therapists need to establish a bond with their clients so that their clients can feel free to communicate with them. Once a bond is established between marriage therapists and a client; a client can even reveal the deepest of all secrets to the therapist. Most couples, families, and individuals who are victims of a broken home or they have lost a loved one and it is the responsibility of the therapist to fill that vacuum.  Trust is earned and not made; ensure you build a bond with your clients that they can trust you and ensure you keep their issues confidential.
  • Service Orientation; it is very good to help people but not everyone loves to help. As a therapist helping people is part of your discipline and it is highly essential for you to love to help others. Always be at a client’s service whenever they need you; you should never shut them off but accommodate them no matter the situation they are passing through.
  • Critical Thinking: this is the core aspect of what being a marriage therapist is all about. As a  marriage and family therapist, people will present their problems to you, it is your responsibility to brainstorm what is the cause of the problem, the parties in the problem, and how it can be achieved. To achieve this, you must first of all brainstorm by asking questions, conducting one on one interviews with family members, and interacting with other eyewitnesses.
  • Problem-solving: this is also a crucial stage, you must, first of all, identify a problem before you can map out strategies to resolve it. Individuals may visit your office as a therapist and disclose the painful situation they are facing; do your best not to become overly emotional about the situation but look for a way out of this situation. You must ensure that the strategy you have mapped out is accurate to solve the problem that is at hand.
  • Organizational Skills: Marriage and family therapists must be very organized to keep records of files, case notes, and paperwork of clients. It is very requisite for them to document a client’s information so that they can refer to it when necessary especially if the client is manifesting the same signs he demonstrated in the past. They should also be able to manage billing and insurance claims which are paramount.
  • Computer and technological Skills: they should be able to use a wide range of technologies to reach out to clients. They can utilize modern interaction technologies such as accounting software, multi-line telephone systems, video conferencing, email, medical software, and spreadsheet software.


How to Become a Marriage and Family Therapist

The first step to becoming a marriage and family therapist is to enroll in a bachelor’s degree in Psychology, Social work, Guidance, Counseling, or any related field. This is a top-notch position that demands expertise and skills and so a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy is often required to practice this field. In the course of your undergraduate degree, you will be mandated to do coursework that will enable you to learn how to manage marriage, families, and any dysfunctional relationship that affects mental health. Participation in supervisory training under a licensed professional is often required and it is considered an internship.

In addition, you need to also obtain a license to practice marriage and family therapy, and the criteria are that you must enroll for two years of clinical experience under a state-licensed therapist and you need to also pass the exams. To retain your licensure, you need to continually take courses annually to renew your license. In the United States, the state regulatory board issues licenses and you can also use the search engine to search the Association of Marital and Family Therapy Regulatory Boards websites for a list of sate-recognized boards.

Some states also have a specific age requirement for an individual to become a marriage and family therapist and you must also ensure that you complete coursework on child abuse laws, domestic violence, and AIDS prevention.


Where Can a Marriage and Family Therapist work?

A marriage and family therapist can work in diverse employment areas such as:

  • Individual and family services: The family is one of the smallest units in society and if it is chaos in the family it will result in chaos in society because the family constitutes society. A marriage and family therapist serve as a relationship mediator in broken homes and also helps individuals dealing with behavioral disorders.
  • Schools: Most individuals misbehave at schools due to the family they come from. It is the responsibility of a marriage and family therapist to reach out to students that are alcoholics misbehaving in school. The marriage and family therapist achieves this by reaching out to the families of those students to ascertain why the student is behaving that way.

In addition, in universities students are mostly victims of drug abuse and most universities employ a marriage and family therapist to work in the department of the school counseling unit. Students that have any psychological challenges can just visit the office and any time of their choice to share their challenges.

  • Private Practice: A graduate of psychology and counseling can set up a private marriage and family therapist. This private practice can help him to reach out to individuals, families, and other clients.  This will enable you to get more in touch with clients because you are the one in charge and there are no restrictions that can stop you.
  • They can also work in the following places: local and state government, colleges, universities, health clinics, outpatient care centers, inpatient mental health facilities, private practices, and offices of health providers.


Marriage and Family Therapist Salary Scale

  • In Nigeria, A person working in marriage and family therapy in Nigeria typically earns around 375,000 NGN per month. Salaries range from 136,000 NGN (lowest average) to 554,000 NGN (highest average, the actual maximum salary is higher). This is the average monthly salary including housing, transport, and other benefits.
  • In the United States, The average annual pay for a Marriage And Family Therapist Job in the US is $85985 a year. The average marriage and family therapist (MFT) gross salary in San Diego, California is $88,843, or an equivalent hourly rate of $43.
  • In Canada, The average family therapist’s salary in Canada is $72,500 per year or $37.18 per hour. Entry-level positions start their career at $63,212 per year, while most experienced workers make up to $83,500 per year.
  • In the United Kingdom, The average marriage family therapist’s salary is £34754, or an equivalent hourly rate of £17
  • In South Africa, The average therapist’s salary is R 222 000 per year or R 114 per hour. Entry-level positions start at R 150 000 per year, while most experienced workers make up to R 3 820 769 per year.
  • In the Philippines, The average marriage and family therapist (MFT) gross salary is ₱538,409, or an equivalent hourly rate of ₱259

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