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Needing some reassurance about MFT

Discussion in 'Psychology [Psy.D. / Ph.D.]' started by krnlady, Aug 3, 2011.

  1. krnlady

    2+ Year Member

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    Hi all!

    After much consideration and research, I've decided to apply to MFT programs this year. My primary goals are to counsel couples/families and if possible, to teach either at the community college or state level. (no research interests)

    Just to give some background, I graduated from UCLA in 2009 with a 3.9 GPA. I got a 790 on the Psych GRE and reasonably well on the GRE (i took it in 2009, don't remember exactly). I had experience in college working in a OCD clinic with patients, some research assistant experience, and 3 years working as an counselor for incoming students. the only thing is, I've been living in Korea since I graduated for a little "off time." (I am ethnically Korean and really wanted to spend some time living here ever since i was young). I've been teaching here, and haven't exactly done anything strictly psych-related since the end of 2009. Is this going to be a problem for MFT programs? I'm still not quite sure exactly how competitive MFT programs are in comparison to Phd/Psyd programs, which I know are VERY competitive to get into.

    I would love to someday come back to korea to practice psychology here (or teach it) because it is so needed in Asian countries and so ignored here...I do have a lot of insight into korean culture that i know i could talk about in my application/interviews, but im just wondering if my lack of psych work in the past year or so will be an issue.

    Just as a sidenote...are the MFTs on this board happy in their field? ive just become so discouraged after reading some of the posts on here about lack of money, "dying field..." etc. I would appreciate any feedback and especially advice from MFT students :) Thanks!
     
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  3. 2012PhD

    2012PhD Psychology Resident

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    MFT programs are not as competitive as clinical psychology programs by any means Many master's programs accept 30-50% of students. I looked into master's programs before deciding on the clinical psychology doctorate route. Your stats look very competitive for MFT programs.

    You should really post in the M.A. forum if you want feedback about MFT programs. One thing i know is that they still need to get 3,000 hours for licensure so you should find out which state you would like to practice in and whether you can get MFT licensure in that state. I know that the MSW is more versatile than the MFT.
     
  4. krnlady

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    ah, shoot, i didnt realize there was a Masters forum. Ill post there, sorry about that!
     
  5. futureapppsy2

    futureapppsy2 Assistant professor
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    Moving to the Masters-level forum.
     
  6. BlackSkirtTetra

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    I know two LMFTs and both of them have told me they wish they'd gone for their MSWs instead. Granted, that's just a sample population of 2, but I think the sentiment might be more common than that.

    In my state (Kentucky) at least, there is a lot more MSWs can do (including marriage and family therapy) whereas an MFT can do only MFT, so cash-strapped clinics, hospitals, and other organizations want to hire MSWs instead of MFT to "get the most bang for their buck," so to speak.

    One school in Kentucky (University of Louisville) even offers the MFT and MSW as part of the same degree plan, I think for those people who want to do marriage and family therapy but want the versatility of an MSW degree.
     
  7. Gradstudent07

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    Hi,
    Currently I am a MFT Graduate student in PA and I couldnt be any happier with my choice thus far.
    I would like to say that your scores are very competitive indeed and that you wouldnt have a problem getting into any educational track you choose. Contrary to what has been said in an earlier post, being accepted to any program can be either easier or hard, however, getting into my program was quite challenging.
    MFTs are the new kids on the block but we should not be discounted for what we are able to perform within family systems. You will see in the years to come that MFTs will soon be able to bill out on the same level if not greater than LCSWs because we require more clinical training. In addition, much of the research on therapy with families (systems thinking) have showed that people are getting better when you help everyone around them as opposed to just the person with the "problem".
    Even now, MFTs are being employed by the government in VA hospitals as recognized therapists for individuals coming back from the wars overseas.

    A degree in Marriage and Family Therapy will open many doors for you and set you aside as something very special.
    As for job opportunities after school, many of the places which you conduct your Practicum or Internship will offer you employment with competitive pay rates.

    Just remember its easier for someone outside of the MFT realm to not understand what we do, however, our field is to not be discounted. Rarely you hear about incorporating an individuals or family's culture and belief system into how you conduct therapy but MFTs highlight this in every approach that we take. In my opinion, dont push this field aside and apply to a MFT program especially if you are taking classes in California.
     
  8. socwrkr

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    I agree with Gradstudent07. I'm a social worker who works with MFT's, and for the most part, they are wonderful clinicians and are very well-trained. An LMFT who supervised some of my hours graduated from a humanistic-existentialist program, and I really love her view of working with clients and family. Another one is a great patient and family advocate, even more so than some social workers. An LMFT that came on board a few months ago trained as a Jungian analyst. An MFT that was hired recently was trained in the assessment and treatment of infants 0-3; she has challenged some of my views about working with children this young. They all bring wonderful qualities and expertise to our work. Your credentials look very competitive for an MFT program and your chances of being accepted are very good, I believe (but don't quote me on that!). One thing to consider is whether the MFT degree will be recognized by your country's counseling board if you were to move there after completion of your training. Good luck!
     
  9. G Costanza

    G Costanza Psychologist - Private Practice
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    I'm a limited licensed MFT. My experience thus far is that it's excellent training but not practical without another license to bill under (LPC). In my state, MFT's have zero street cred and MSW want to keep it that way. I'm glad I went the MFT/LPC route because it fits with how I see clients but it's useless for getting paid.
     
  10. wigflip

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    Would you be willing to say which state you are in? I'm curious because I'm considering this path as well. I was in a well-regarded, clinically-oriented MSW program years ago and quit because I thought the training was terrible. I couldn't imagine spending another year and a half paying a fortune NOT learning to do therapy so I could get licensed to do therapy.
     
  11. Otter56

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    nm
     
    #10 Otter56, Aug 18, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2011
  12. 2012PhD

    2012PhD Psychology Resident

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    I know a couple of MFT graduates in California. One of them is still not licensed after 4 years because she is unable to get enough clients in private practice to obtain her 3,000 hours before licensure. The other two MFTs that I know are recent graduates who are doing unpaid full-time internships. Apparently, there are very few PAID internships/jobs after you graduate with an MFT. This is totally bull to me. What is the point of getting this degree if you are going to end up with an unpaid full-time job?

    In clinical psychology, we also have unpaid internships and post-docs, but i don't think they are common as of yet. This is an alarming trend to me because undergrads are not even willing to work in an unpaid full-time position. I certainly wasn't when I was in college.
     
  13. BlackSkirtTetra

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    Not willing, or not able? I think it's sometimes both. When I was in undergrad, I had to work full-time. There would have been no way I could have afforded to support my family working without pay! It's an unreasonable thing to ask of many undergrads.
     
  14. 2012PhD

    2012PhD Psychology Resident

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    I think its a bad idea even if you can afford it, particularly a full-time position. When you get paid, your employers are more invested in you and value you more.
     
  15. G Costanza

    G Costanza Psychologist - Private Practice
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    I am in MI. I suspect the quality of the training you receive has more to do with the insitution rather than the degree. I'm sure there are MSW programs that are incredible and MFT programs that are a joke. If you are thinking of a particular program, talk to the current students or recent graduates.
     
  16. wigflip

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    Thanks! Yeah, I agree, I'm just not sure that any of the MSW programs close to me live up their reputations, and I can't relocate. At least MFT programs are designed to teach therapeutic skills--more than I can say for either of the top 2 MSW programs in my city. And that's not a dig against folks who are attracted to social work's progressive advocacy mission--from what my friend and I could glean (she went to the other top program here) neither one of our programs truly embraced that either. I left the MSW feeling like NEITHER the policy side nor the therapy side really got effectively addressed, and if you want to do policy work you should probably go to law school and if you want to learn how to do therapy you should probably go the MFT or PsyD route.
     
    #15 wigflip, Aug 22, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2011

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