Although most families have problems and many of them have frequent arguments, it can often be hard to pinpoint the underlying causes of these arguments. This, however, is often one of the first duties of a marriage and family therapist. In order to do so, a marriage and family therapist will first need to meet and talk with all members of a family involved in the therapy. Most of the time, the therapist will meet with the couple or family together. Depending on the nature of the problem and the family situation, they may meet just with a married couple or with the family as a whole. This can help them see how each family member reacts to the others. In some circumstances, however, a therapist may choose to meet with members of a family separately.
During therapy sessions, talking is usually the job of the family members rather than the therapist. A marriage and family therapist will often do more listening than talking during these meetings. The therapist will also watch the members of a family closely for non-verbal body language, or clues to where certain problems may lie. For instance, a marriage and family therapist that witnesses a teenager rolling her eyes might deduce that actions such as these might make her parents feel disrespected.
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, marriage and family therapists earned an annual average salary of $51,730 as of May of 2014. The top 10 percent of the profession earned an annual average salary of $78,920. Those that working in the state government or local government are the marriage and family therapists who usually make the most. And New Jersey and California are examples of two states that pay marriage and family therapists more than the national average.
Christian/Biblical counselors can expect to meet with patients on an ongoing basis depending on each person’s needs. You may meet once a week or more/less regularly depending on each individual’s situation. You will sit, listen, take notes and offer suggestions for coping and self-care. You may administer diagnostic tests, recommend courses of treatment, and you may meet with others related to the issues at hand (such as in family or group counseling.) You will also need to be able to keep a detailed file for each patient and complete paperwork or data entry on a computer. Depending on your specialty, there may be other job duties such as training or conducting research. You will also be expected to keep up on the newest studies and research in your field. If your state requires you to take additional credits each year to keep your license, you will have to fit that into your work life as well.
There are various positions you can obtain once you have your degree and are licensed to practice counseling in your state. According to Payscale.com, a psychologist earns an average salary of $68,474 yearly, a licensed professional counselor earns an average of $43,929, and a pastor earns an average of $46,956 per year. The pay for someone with a Christian background and training is on par with the pay for someone who works from a secular worldview.
Have a good choice!