Related job titles are: Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT), Clinical Therapist, Psychologist, Counselor, Psychotherapist, Chemical Dependency Therapist, Counseling Services Director, Applied Behavior Science Specialist (ABSS), Therapist, Clinical Counselor, College Counselor, or Counseling Psychologist, or Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW).
How Much Does a Counselor and Therapist Make? | Counselor and Therapist Salary
The median yearly salary for mental health counselors was $38,150 in May 2010 (the most recent data available). This median salary is simply the salary where half the employees earned more and half earned a lesser amount. Employees in the lower 10 percent had an annual salary less than $24,180, and those employees in the top 10 percent earned greater then $63,630.
The median yearly salary for marriage and family therapists was $45,720 in May 2010 (the most recent data available). Employees in the lower 10 percent had an annual salary less than $23,870, and those employees in the top 10 percent earned greater then $72,280.
What Does a Counselor and Therapist Do? | Job Description
School Counselor, School Psychologist, Mental Health Counselor, and Marriage & Family Therapist are four of U.S. News and World Report "100 Best Jobs of 2013." Counselors and marriage and family therapists help people manage or overcome mental and emotional disorders and problems with their family and relationships. They listen to clients and ask questions to help the clients understand their problems and develop strategies to improve their lives.
Mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists use a variety of techniques and tools to help their clients. Many apply cognitive behavioral therapy, a goal-oriented approach that helps clients understand harmful thoughts, feelings, and beliefs and replace them with positive, life-enhancing ones. Furthermore, cognitive behavioral therapy teaches clients to eliminate unwanted or damaging behaviors and replace them with more productive ones.
Mental health counselors provide treatment to individuals, families, couples, and groups. Some work with specific populations, such as the elderly, college students, or children. Mental health counselors deal with a variety of issues, including anxiety, depression, grief, low self-esteem, stress, and suicidal impulses. They also help with mental and emotional health issues, and relationship problems.
Marriage and family therapists work with individuals, couples, and families. Unlike other types of mental health professionals, they bring a family-centered perspective to treatment, even when treating individuals. They evaluate family roles and development to understand how clientsí families affect their mental health. They treat the clientsí relationships, not just the clients themselves. They address issues such as low self-esteem, stress, addiction and substance abuse.
Marriage/Family Therapist is one of CNNMoney.com "100 Best Jobs in America."
How to Become a Counselor and Therapist?
All states require both mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists to have a masterís degree and a license to practice. Marriage and family therapists must be licensed. Licensure requires a masterís degree and 2 years of supervised clinical experience. Like counselors, marriage and family therapists must pass a state-recognized exam and complete annual continuing education classes.
Counselor and Therapist Classes and Courses | Degree Programs
A masterís degree in counseling or marriage and family therapy is required. A bachelorís degree in most fields is acceptable to enter a masterís-level program. Counseling programs prepare students to recognize symptoms of mental and emotional disorders and to use effective counseling strategies. Marriage and family therapy programs teach students about how marriages, families, and relationships function and how they affect mental and emotional disorders. Both programs typically require a period of supervised experience, such as an internship.
Counselor and Therapist Jobs | Who is Hiring?
Employment of mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists is expected to grow by 37 percent from 2010 to 2020, much faster than the average for all occupations. Employment of mental health counselors is expected to grow by 36 percent from 2010 to 2020, much faster than the average for all occupations.
Employment of marriage and family therapists is expected to grow by 41 percent over the same period, much faster than the average for all occupations.As the population grows, the number of individuals entering therapy is expected to increase as well. This trend will cause a continued demand for counselors in mental health centers, hospitals, and colleges.
Get information on paying for college using Federal Student Financial Aid Programs.