MFT Degrees, Schools, and Careers in Indiana
Prospective students in marriage and family therapy (MFT) seeking to attend graduate school and eventually practice in the state of Indiana are advised to consult the rules and regulations for becoming a licensed MFT in the state prior to making any decisions about their education. Currently, there are 4 programs from 3 institutions that offer MFT training programs accredited by the Commission for Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE), as detailed below.
The Christian Theological Seminary offers a 69-credit Master of Arts program in MFT which provides a unique emphasis on the intersection between the Christian faith and couples and family therapy. As is the case for all MFT programs, students pursue joint training in a classroom setting, as well as hands-on experience in clinical practice, in settings such as the on-campus CTS Counseling Center. Unique to CTS, students with a particular emphasis on faith within their practice can choose to pursue a joint degree in MFT and Divinity (Master of Divinity Program). Also somewhat distinct to CTS, students within the program are required to receive therapy themselves, so as to address personal issues that may interfere with their performance in program or affect interactions with clients.
Similar in CTS in its focus on the intersection between the Christian faith and therapy, Indiana Wesleyan University offers a Master of Arts in Counselling with a specialty track in MFT. The program offers two locations in which students can complete the program—Marion, Indiana, and Indianapolis, Indiana—both locations are accredited by COAMFTE! The 60-credits of coursework that the program requires are focused on providing students with a solid base in evidence-based theory and clinical frameworks relevant to the practice of MFT; students also complete 1,100 clinical hours during their time in the program, split between time in the state-of-the-art IWU training clinics affiliated with the university, as well as other local practicum sites. If interested, students can choose to pursue more than one specialization, taking advantage of other specializations such as Addictions Counseling, Clinical Mental Health Counselling, Community Counseling, School Counseling, or Student Development Counseling, to broaden their post-graduate opportunities. Additionally, the school offers several scholarships and financial aid packages to students enrolled in the program.
Finally, Purdue University—Northwest offers a Master of Science degree in MFT that places high emphasis on research. The program adheres to a scholar-practitioner model; as such, in addition to the prerequisite coursework, all individuals in PU’s program are required to complete a thesis. The point of this is for the students to become better consumers of research and integrate findings from their own and others’ research into their clinical practice. Moreover, the opportunity is ideal for students that may wish to pursue more research-heavy, doctorate-level training in MFT at a later date. Clinical opportunities completed by the students during their time in the program range; however, all students spent at least some time seeing couples, families, and individuals through the Purdue University Northwest Couple and Family Therapy Center, which operates using a sliding scale.
Online MFT Degrees in Indiana
Online educational opportunities in the field of MFT offer those who wish to continue working or have other responsibilities that bear on their schedule (e.g., children or other dependents) an incredible opportunity to pursue their occupational goals. Across the country, the number of programs that offer an online component to their education, or offer an entire degree completely online, are growing. In fact, COAMFTE just recently began accrediting online-only programs in MFT. Although neither of the accredited institutions are based in Indiana, students in Indiana could pursue MFT studies at either Capella University (M.A. in MFT) or Northcentral University (PhD or M.A in MFT) and be able to practice as an LMFT in Indiana (given that the student in question has completed the other state licensure requirements).
Learn more about an online MFT degree.
MFT Accreditation in Indiana
The accreditation process refers to the process which an educational program is determined to meet certain standards of excellence, as outlined by an objective accreditation board. The benefits to being accredited, in addition to the increased prestige, is most often portability of a degree; currently, many state licensure boards recognize accredited programs as automatically meeting educational requirements for licensure within the state, whereas students that attend non-accredited programs must establish—through transcripts and other documentation—that they have taken a certain number and type of courses.
Within the field of MFT, the main accreditation body is the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy, or COAMFTE. However, other accreditation bodies—such as the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) exist in fields closely related to MFT. As noted above, there are currently four programs accredited by COAMFTE in the state of Indiana. However, other programs may meet the educational requirements outlined by the Indiana Behavioral Health and Human Services Licensing Board.
Career Opportunities for MFTs in Indiana
The mean wage for MFTs in Indiana as of 2015 was $55,700, which is greater than the national average. In fact, this average makes Indiana one of the states with the highest mean salary for MFTs (in particular, the mean salary for MFTs in Indianapolis area is around $70,000)! Certainly, the specific salary that an MFT will make will depend on a number of factors—most specifically, whether or not they are licensed and the setting in which they work. For more information on specific opportunities for MFTs in the state of Indiana, please see the Indiana state page for the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists. More generally, the job prospects for MFTs are promising; in the next decade, the number of available jobs in the field is projected to increase around 20 percent. In addition to increased opportunities, large-scale national surveys, such as those conducted by the U.S. News and World Report, note high levels of job satisfaction, good salary, and better levels of work-life balance. Learn more about IN MFT license requirements.
Marriage and Family Therapists Salary in Indiana
|Fort Wayne, IN||$37,050||$43,460||$51,980||$58,460||$62,350|
|Gary, IN Metropolitan Division||$33,070||$36,490||$51,190||$57,330||$61,080|
Table data taken from 2014 BLS (http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes211013.htm)