This article serves as a guide of clinical psychologist to marital and couples therapy. It also explores the similarities and differences between a licensed marriage and family counselor
A licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT) collaborates with patients to diagnose and treat relationship issues. LMFT therapists are
Professionally educated in psychotherapy and familial systems, with an average of thirteen years of practical experience. LMFTs are authorized to assess, diagnose, and treat psychological and emotional problems, health concerns, behavioral challenges, and intimacy issues within the relational context. They can assist you in overcoming many relationship problems and living a more fulfilling existence. They can help you understand your emotions, their causes, and coping strategies.
On the other hand, a licensed clinical psychologist (LCP) assists individuals with a spectrum of problems that might arise at any point in their lives. It indicates that they work with children, juveniles, adults, and elders. It is often helpful to compare Clin Psychol with general psychology, commonly known as counseling psychology, to better comprehend the job of an LCP. Typically, general psychologists focus on healthier persons, while LCPs concentrate on those with more severe emotional challenges.
Similarities between MFT and Clinical Psychologist
There is much overlap between the therapist and psychologist roles. Both are capable of working with people, families, and sometimes groups. Both promote an atmosphere of openness and collaboration in which patients might communicate their experiences and feelings. They may sometimes work in comparable surroundings, such as hospitals and government agencies.
Marriage and Family Therapist vs. Clinical Psychologist
MFT and LCPC work in distinct ways, and a client may choose one over the other, depending on the situation. If participants need premarital therapy or support with relationship issues, they will likely go for an MFT. Likewise, for some other services, they might prefer an LCPC. The following are the differences between marriage and family therapy and other clinical disciplines.
Typically, marital and familial practitioners need a master’s degree, such as in marital and familialpsychotherapyor a similar discipline. Common MFT curriculum subjects include child and adolescent psychotherapy, familial systems, couples therapy, spirituality and counseling, chemical dependency, family, and human sexuality.
Individuals desiring to opt for the profession of Clin Psychol have two choices: PsyD and Ph.D. Typically, it takes them at least four years to get their doctorate. The Ph.D. is a more conventional degree; it places a significant focus on research and requires a little more time to finish. The PsyD degree is focused on practice but involves much more specification in evaluations than the LMFT degree. There might be opportunities to specialize in expansive fields such as child psychology. Elective subjects permit more expertise.
Both Clin Psychol programs and MFT programs are competitive. However, institutions may only accept a small proportion of candidates in Clin Psychol, which is typically more competitive. Academic standards are often higher. Typically, graduate admissions need entrance examinations; MFT master-level programs may or may not need them.
Can an MFT become a Clinical Psychologist? MFTs might pursue a PsyD program after completing the master’s degree. The curriculum of an MFT PsyD degree program covers advanced statistics, MFT law and ethics, relationship therapies, social foundations of behavior, biological aspects of behavior, psychopharmacology, trauma and crisis intervention, and advanced family therapies.
According to the BLS, all 50 states require marriage and family therapists to have a license. The licensing requirements for mental health counselors vary from state to state; they usually depend on the type of practice one wants to carry.
For LCPs, each state has its licensing criteria; however, most states call for passing the ASPPB-administered Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP).
The BLS reports that the average salary for LMFTs in the United States was $49,880, while that of substance abuse and mental health counselors was $48,520 in 2021. Professionals who work for government organizations receive comparatively higher salaries than those who engage in private practice.
According to the BLS, the average salary for psychologists in the US was $81,040 in 2021. Clinical, counseling, and school psychologists earned an average salary of $79,510 per year, compared to $105,310 for industrial and other psychological professionals.
Job Prospects for MFTs and LCPCs
According to the prediction of BLS, employment in the mental health professions will expand faster than the average for all occupations through 2030. The job opportunities for marital and familial therapists, substance abuse and mental health counselors, and psychologists will grow by 16%, 23%, and 8%, respectively.
The following are the reasons behind the increase in demand:
- Substance abuse and increased dependency on drugs such as opioids.
- The gap between old and new generations and ensuing issues.
- Stressful and nerve-wracking life transitions; grief and loss.
- Civilians and military veterans seeking help for post-traumatic stress disorder.
- Awareness of autism and other behavioral problems.
- Identity crisis, phobias, confidence, and self-esteem.
- Understanding of the connection between mental well-being and learning disabilities.
Should I see MFT or a clinical psychologist?
Remember to ask practitioners for their credentials when looking for professional support. As you can see, not all MFTs and LCPCs possess the same knowledge in the same disciplines, so you must ask for this information. It will help you decide which treatment is apt for your problems. More, MFTs and LCPs do not prescribe medications. Psychiatrists generally prescribe medications.
The most significant factors to consider while choosing an expert for your issues are the educational background, appropriate licensure, and expertise in providing safe and effective treatment. LMFTs and LCPCs have received training to assist individuals in sorting through their lives and moving toward the best future options. Marriage and family counseling examples include helping individuals discover clarity and greater satisfaction in their lives and teaching them constructive interpersonal skills to enhance their relationships.
Fundamentally, it depends on your needs and requirements. Identify and evaluate them carefully to choose between an MFT, an MFT PsyD, or an LCP.