California Doctorate in Marriage and Family Therapy on Campus Programs | PsyD PhD MFT DMFT Degrees

Doctorate in Marriage and Family Therapy on Campus​ Programs | PsyD PhD MFT DMFT Degrees General Info

Graduate students or current professionals who are looking to specialize in the field of Counseling Psychology might be interested in earning a Doctorate in Marriage and Family Therapy on Campus, which is a very fast-growing field.

Campus Marriage and Family Counseling Doctorate Degree Program Information

Marriage and Family Therapists diagnose and treat mental and emotional disorders, whether cognitive, affective, or behavioral, within the context of marriage and family systems. Whereas in general counseling psychology the individual is the center of focus, MFT professionals deal with the family or marital couple as the client. They apply psychotherapeutic and family systems theories and techniques to individuals, couples, and families for the purpose of treating their issues, whether diagnosed emotional or mental disorders.

A Marriage and Family Therapy PhD program is also a great way for professionals to deepen one aspect of working with marriages and couples, for instance, they may want to specialize in treating Veterans or families with members who are critically ill, a specialty called Medical Family Therapy. Other common areas of specialization are children and adolescents, couples counseling or pastoral counseling, which would take a theological perspective to deal with marriages and families.

Choosing a Doctorate in Marriage and Family Therapy on Campus PhD MFT program

Searching for a campus PhD program in Marriage and Family Therapy is made easier if you use the location tabs on GradSchools.com. This way, you get a list of colleges and universities in a particular city, state or country.

Studying on campus offers face-to-face interactions with professors and classmates. This comes in handy, since most PhD programs in Marriage and Family Therapy are research intensive, and usually involve meeting with faculty to discuss your findings. Plus, you get access to all the facilities that the school has. Sometimes colleges have support services that are able to assist you in terms of career search as well.

Since Doctorate degrees in MFT may require about 1000 hours, an internship, practicum and dissertation, finding a campus that meets your criteria is important. Compare schools by requesting information on the site, this way you are able to make a list with things like admission requirements, tuition, curriculum and faculty. Some of the listings you might be reviewing might include: Marriage and Family Therapy DMFT, Doctor of Couple and Family Therapy, PsyD Marital and Family Therapy, and PhD in Marriage and Family Therapy

Choosing a Campus Based PsyD PhD MFT DMFT Degree

Typically, a doctorate level MFT program has several components: clinical practice, teaching/supervision, and research. The programs may vary between schools, so it is best not to verify exact curriculums, however, there are 3 main designations for degrees at this level. You should choose a degree that will help bring you towards your vocational aspirations. Perhaps you are have been a counseling professional for a while and are now ready for a role in academia, or managing a team of therapists. Or, you are ready to learn new skills in order to enter this growing niche counseling market.

If you are interested in MFT teaching, researching, supervising or practicing, a PhD in Marriage and Family Therapy is considered the track to clinical teaching and leadership. For instance, you might be prepared for a role such as Clinical Services Director or Advanced Clinical Specialist.

If you are interested in understanding behavior without losing sight of the individual, a PsyD in Marriage and Family Therapy may provide present counselors the opportunity to broaden their skill-sets in dealing with couples and family units. For instance, you might become a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT).

The Doctor of Marriage and Family Therapy (DMFT) degree is less research focused that other PhD counseling programs, and gives students the tools for working in private practice, or for a government agency

Potential Career Trends in Marriage and Family Therapy

Graduates with a PhD level education in Marriage and Family Therapy are highly-trained mental health professionals who bring a family-oriented perspective and treatment approach to health care, and issues that are related to mental, emotional, behavioral, and interpersonal disorders.  Some of the relationship issues that might affect the family dynamic and communication between loved ones, include:

  • Premarital issues
  • Relationship issues
  • Separation and Divorce
  • Children and Adolescents in the family
  • Substance abuse issues
  • Behavioral issues
  • Depression, anxiety
  • Chronic disease
  • Military families
  • Anger management
  • Job dissatisfaction

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Marriage and Family Therapist are employed in:

Outpatient Care Centers: MFTs in this setting might provide carious clinical services such as leading group therapy sessions, or case management

Inpatient Care Facilities and Hospitals: An MFT in this environment might work with a team of doctors or other healthcare personnel

Offices of Health Practitioners: This is one of the top industries of employment for MFT professionals

Schools: A doctorate degree in marriage and family therapy entitles a professional to work in academia as an undergraduate or graduate professor, or researcher at a college or university. It also means that some MFT’s might work in schools to counsel parents with troubled children for instance

Social Service Agencies: Hired as government workers, they may take on administrative roles in agencies that provides social services to children, youth and families

Private Practice” Many MFTs see clients in their own offices for a variety of reasons that plague couples and family units

Ready To Pursue a PhD in Marriage and Family Therapy

Marriage and Family Therapists face many potential opportunities of employment.  With experience, further training, and education, new areas or advancement with a current organization is a possibility. Why not begin your search for the right PhD program in this growing field on GradSchools.com


Sources: bls.gov/oes/current/oes211013.htm | http://www.bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/mental-health-counselors-and-marriage-and-family-therapists | bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/psychologists | onetonline.org/link/summary/21-1013.00

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