MFT Degrees, Schools, and Careers in Rhode Island
Despite the small size of Rhode Island, the state is brimming with some of the best educational institutions in the nation! In terms of opportunities for marriage and family therapy (MFT), Rhode Island currently offers one MFT program that is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE), as detailed below. In addition to the University of Rhode Island’s program, there are a number of graduate programs in counseling that offer coursework or clinical opportunities relevant to the field of marital and family therapy. However, it is important for those that wish to practice as an MFT to ensure that their graduate institution of choice fulfills all requirements as outlined by the state of Rhode Island’s Department of Health.
The University of Rhode Island is located in Kingston, Rhode Island, and offers a Master of Science in Human Development and Family Studies with a specialization in Couple and Family Therapy that is accredited by COAMFTE. Full-time students can complete the full program in 2 years, whereas students that opt to take classes part-time often complete their degree in 3 years. Excitingly, the URI program offers a training model that employs an outcome management protocol, wherein therapists receive feedback in real-time from their clients and work collaboratively with their supervisors to adjust the treatment plan to enhance client outcomes. Students pursue clinical experiences through the Couple and Family Clinic on-site, as well as clinical internships in local hospitals, schools, and residential facilities.
Online MFT Degrees in Rhode Island
Specific to Rhode Island, there are currently no COAMFTE-accredited programs that are based completely online. As such, students that are seeking the increased flexibility that an online degree offers should consider nationally-based programs, such as the masters-level and doctoral-level programs of Northcentral University and the master’s in MFT program through Capella University.
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MFT Accreditation in Rhode Island
In order to practice as an LMFT in Rhode Island, students must have either graduated from a program accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges or another regional accreditation agency, or complete 60 credits of coursework as outlined in the state’s licensure requirements. Additionally, students are required to complete 2,000 of post-graduate supervised clinical experience and pass the MFT licensure examination. If a given graduate program in MFT is accredited, this simply means that the program and its educational requirements have been given a seal of approval from an independent organization.
Within the field of MFT, the main accrediting body is the Commission for Accreditation of Marriage and Family Therapy Education, or COAMFTE. However, other accrediting bodies, including the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, can provide MFT programs with accreditation. Overall, the importance of accreditation is simply that it provides trainees with assurance that the education that they are receiving generally meets requirements outlined by the state for licensure in a given state. Moreover, if an individual is hoping to pursue a career in nationally-based agencies such as the Veterans’ Administration, it is often required that they possess a degree from a COAMFTE-accredited institution.
Career Opportunities for MFTs in Rhode Island
Across the country, the number of positions available for MFT trainees are expected to grow exponentially in the next decade—around 19 percent, which is much faster than the average job growth rate! Nationally, the average annual salary for MFTs is around $43,190. Currently, the Bureau of Labor Statistics does not have data on the number and salary of MFTs within Rhode Island; however, states surrounding Rhode Island endorse salaries around the mean level and fair-to-good job prospects!
Overall, those hoping to pursue MFT as a career can rest assured that they are making a sound decision—the U.S. News and World Report ranks MFT as the No. 3 career within social sciences. Additionally, those pursuing this career can choose from a large range of different employment settings, including hospitals, schools, residential treatment centers, government settings, and private practice, among others! Read more about the RI MFT licensure requirements.
Marriage and Family Therapists Salary in Rhode Island
Table data taken from 2020 BLS (http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes211013.htm)