For those of you familiar with VA hiring practices, MFTs now become part of the Title 38 Hybrid category, and entry-level MFTs will be brought in at salary grade GS-9. (While salaries vary by specific location, in California this is likely to mean starting salaries in the $50s/yr, judging by social worker positions at the same salary grade.) More experienced MFTs will be at GS-11 (mid- to upper-$60s and up), and supervisors at GS-12.Keep an eye on www.aamft.org for additional information, and the VA’s job search site for new openings as they arise.
US News and World Report has named marriage and family therapy as one of the “50 best careers” for 2010. They sum up the profession nicely:
While some counselors focus on the behavior of an individual, marriage and family therapists go a step further, addressing mental-health issues within the context of the family. By counseling couples, families, or individuals, marriage and family therapists can tackle a host of problems: adult schizophrenia, substance abuse, anorexia, and marital conflict. Today, marriage and family therapy is considered a “core” mental-health profession, alongside social work, psychiatric nursing, psychology, and psychiatry. More than 1.8 million people are currently receiving treatment from a marriage and family therapist.
Demand for MFTs is expected to grow substantially over the next decade, the report says. If MFTs ultimately earn inclusion in Medicare, demand could increase far beyond what US News predicts.
My friends at AAMFT Government Affairs have great news: The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has finally approved a new job category for marriage and family therapists (MFTs)! This has been a long time in the making, as the VA had dragged its heels since the law mandating such a job category was enacted in December 2006.
Partial text from the AAMFT letter to members follows.
Despite the uncertain timeframe for necessary next steps within the VA, the AAMFT will continue to advocate on behalf of the MFT profession to see that there is swift and fair resolution to final VA implementation. The AAMFT will be working alongside the VA Human Resources’ office to formalize the establishment of new qualification standards for these emerging VA positions. They have indicated that they will seek counsel with our professional organization moving forward as an MFT subject matter expert for the actual development of these classification standards.
Ever since Public Law 109-461 (the Veterans Benefits, Health Care, and Information Technology Act) was signed back in December of 2006, the AAMFT has been vigilant in pushing for its resolution and enactment, allowing veterans’ around the country access to the services of MFTs. Over the last few months, AAMFT joined forces with the American Counseling Association (ACA) and the American Mental Health Counselor’s Association (AMHCA). In recent weeks, the California Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (CAMFT) also signed onto the united front of AAMFT, ACA and AMHCA. These latest initiatives have been aimed at getting Congress to vocally express its desire for “the will of law” to be adhered through swift VA implementation of MFT and Licensed Professional Counselors (LPCs).