Marriage and family therapists work with individuals, couples, and families to help them process and adjust to life situations such as divorce, unemployment, and serious illness. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there is a high demand for marriage and family therapists, with 23% job growth expected from 2016-2026. Those who wish to pursue this career can expect to prepare at the master's degree level. Read on to learn about programs offering degrees in marriage and family therapy in and around New York City, and the admissions requirements to enter these programs.
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Marriage and Family Therapy Master's Programs
At Hofstra University's Long Island campus, students can pursue a Master of Arts (M.A.) in Marriage and Family Therapy. This program can typically be completed in three years of full-time study. Hofstra's program focuses upon understanding of the family unit and its interactions as opposed to individual clients. Courses may include Sexual Issues in Marriage and Family, Couples Therapy, and Research Methodology. Students' first experience with clinical training is at the on-campus Health Professions Clinic, and then are placed in approved outpatient settings. Upon completion of the program, students will have a minimum of 300 hours of practice, which can be counted towards overall certification requirements as a marriage and family therapist.
A Master of Science (M.S.) in Marriage and Family Therapy can be pursued at LIU Brooklyn through the Department of Education. The program focuses on understanding the individual clients in the context of their relationships, including their marriage, family, and work. An advanced certificate in marriage and family therapy is also available.
Students can pursue the M.S. in Marriage and Family Therapy at Manhattan College, which is located in the Riverdale area of the Bronx. This 60-credit program prepares students to provide a family-centered treatment modality for individuals or families. During their coursework, students will consider a range of family factors, including culture, ethnicity, gender, and life span development; as well as understanding the legal and ethical issues that play into family therapy. Class sizes are limited to twenty students, which gives the opportunity to develop close relationships with faculty and classmates. A range of internship sites are available to give students hands-on practice experience, and 700 hours of clinical practice is expected.
At Nyack College, students are trained as Christian therapists to provide intervention and therapy for individuals, couples, and families. This program can be completed in two years of full-time study, or three years as a part-time student. The program provides opportunities to focus on preventative and proactive practices; as well as consider the integration of Christian spiritual theories. Students can choose areas of specialization including play therapy, sex therapy, and medical therapy.
Mercy College offers an M.S. in Marriage and Family Therapy that can be completed in 2.5 years of part-time study at campuses in the Bronx or Dobbs Ferry. Coursework ensures that students have knowledge of family systems theory, couples therapy, and preventing emotional problems that may stem from a range of family concerns. Some courses may include Domestic Violence, Couples Therapy, and Family Law. Mercy maintains connections with local hospitals and outpatient clinics to ensure that students have a range of clinical opportunities in which to hone their skills.
Admission Requirements to Marriage and Family Therapy Programs
Typically, to apply to marriage and family therapy master's degree programs, students must possess a bachelor's degree. While no specific undergraduate major is required, it is recommended to have courses in psychology, abnormal psychology, counseling theories, and sociology or anthropology. Most schools will require a statement of interest, interviews, and letters of recommendation. Some may require specific academic tests such as the GRE, or psychological tests such as the MMRI-2 and MCMI-IV.
Marriage and family therapy can offer a satisfying career to individuals interested in the helping professions. New York City offers a range of programs to enter the field, which may interest a diverse range of students.