MFT Programs in San Antonio, Texas

Kacy Kaiser

Written by Kacy Kaiser

M.S. in School Counseling | Long Island University

Updated & Fact Checked: 07.03.2024

San Antonio has a rich cultural history with a blend of Mexican and Texan influence. Home of the Alamo, San Antonio has both a military history and strong presence today. Despite the rich cultural influences, the rate of mental illness in San Antonio is higher than the national average. According to the Bexar County Behavioral Health Task Force, around 22.7% of San Antonions are diagnosed with a mental health disorder.

Our relationships significantly impact our mental health, and because of this, Marriage and Family Therapy is a rapidly growing field. As healthcare reforms created more coverage for mental health issues, more people could receive treatment they could not previously afford. There is an increasing demand for Mental Health Counseling of different types. Marriage and Family Therapy specifically treats the relationship dynamics in a person’s life and helps them to improve their relationships. People who work as Marriage and Family Therapists (MFTs) are licensed and certified counselors. They undergo specialized training to work with individuals, couples, and families.

Students in a Marriage and Family Therapy program must learn the foundations of counseling theory and practice while examining the impact a person’s mental health can have on their relationships. The intersection of our relationship with ourselves and our relationships with key people in our lives is commonly difficult to manage and where most people tend to suffer.

If you live in San Antonio, Texas or the surrounding area and want to pursue a fulfilling career as an MFT, we will list several options for MFT programs that will provide you with the knowledge and training you need to build a successful career.

Online MFT Programs in San Antonio

Online programs offer great flexibility, which can be ideal for working students or those with other commitments. Before starting any degree-seeking program, you must first ensure that the program can meet your needs. Other aspects you need to consider are the cost of the program, the time it will take to complete it, and if you have the necessary resources. 

We found two online programs from Texas Universities that San Antonio residents can enroll in:

This COAMFTE-accredited 60 credit-hour Master of Marriage and Family Therapy program combines practical training in couple, family and child therapy, mental illness, substance abuse and addiction, with emphasis placed on assessment and diagnosis.

CACREP-accredited online program in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with an emphasis on Hispanic Mental Health

Additional online programs, not in the San Antonio area, but still available to San Antonions are:

Offers an online Master of Arts degree in Marriage and Family Counseling. The program has a 60 credit requirement along with 500 hours of practicum experience. The program is COAMFTE accredited.

Prepares future therapists to work with and provide treatment for familial relationships, marital/couple relationships, parent-child relationships, pre-marital, and other personal relationships. The program is 60 graduate credits with a required 500 hours of internship experience.

Accredited MFT Programs in San Antonio

San Antonio COAMFTE-accredited Programs

The Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education is a national accrediting body for marriage and family therapy programs. The programs that COAMFTE accredits meet high-quality standards and are recognized by state and national professional organizations.

There is one university within the city-limits of San Antonio that has a COAMFTE-accredited program in Marriage and Family Therapy. Our Lady of the Lake University combines students from its San Antonio and Rio Grande Valley campuses for their Marriage and Family Therapy masters program.

  1. 60 credit-hour Master of Science in Psychology with a concentration in Marriage and Family Therapy.
  2. In-person classes combined via videoconferencing with the Rio Grande Valley campus.

Additionally, listed below is a COAMFTE-accredited program in the nearby town of Killeen, Texas. Killeen is about a two-hour drive from San Antonio. Here are some critical components of this program:

  1. 60 credit-hour Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy
  2. In-person classes only

San Antonio CACREP-accredited Programs

CACREP stands for the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs. CACREP accreditation is a valuable asset for counseling programs. It demonstrates to students, employers, and the public that the program meets high-quality standards. CACREP accreditation can also help programs attract qualified students and faculty, making it easier for graduates to obtain licensure and employment.

CACREP programs may be in related areas such as Clinical Mental Health Counseling but allow for students to specialize in Marriage and Family Therapy. CACREP standards are designed to ensure that counseling programs are of high quality and that their graduates are prepared to practice counseling in a competent and ethical manner. The standards cover many areas, including curriculum, faculty qualifications, clinical experiences, and assessment procedures.

CACREP accredited programs in San Antonio and the surrounding area are:

  1. Clinical Mental Health Counseling
  1. Clinical Mental Health Counseling
  2. Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling
  1. Clinical Mental Health Counseling
  1. Clinical Mental Health Counseling
  2. School Counseling
  3. Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling
  1. Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling
  2. School Counseling
  3. Clinical Mental Health Counseling
  4. Addiction Counseling
  1. Clinical Mental Health Counseling
  2. School Counseling
  3. Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling
  1. School Counseling
  2. Clinical Mental Health Counseling
  3. Counselor Education and Supervision

No GRE-Required MFT Programs in San Antonio

Many colleges and universities require a standardized test called the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) for admission into graduate-level programs. In recent years, many colleges and universities have moved away from requiring standardized admission tests. We have listed Marriage and Family Therapy programs that do not require the GRE for admission. However, some may require it under certain circumstances.

Admissions Requirements are:

  1. A completed undergraduate degree
  2. A three-page Statement of Purpose
  3. A group interview with the Counseling Admissions Committee

Admissions Requirements are:

  1. Complete an online application
  2. Essay/Personal statement
  3. A completed undergraduate degree
  4. Resume

What Will You Learn in a San Antonio MFT Program?

San Antonio MFT programs prepare students to become socially proficient marriage and family therapists by integrating the principles of social justice and diversity throughout all courses and clinical work. MFT programs train students to apply knowledge of systemic principles, theories, and research to practice with individuals, couples, families, and groups. With this training, you can begin a marriage and family therapy career.

Students in a San Antonio MFT program will gain the skills to address a variety of mental health and relationship issues from a family systems framework. In addition to family systems theory, students are taught individual and group counseling theories and how they can help their future clients, whether they be individual clients, couples, families or children. Interpersonal issues between family members, the family and outer environmental systems are specifically highlighted.

Some topics covered by MFT programs include:

  1. Family Systems Theory
  2. General Theories of Counseling
  3. Substance Abuse
  4. Physical, Emotional and Verbal Abuse
  5. Evaluation and Assessment of mental illness
  6. Anxiety and Depression
  7. Interpersonal relationships
  8. Diversity and Inclusion

In addition to these core courses, MFT programs in San Antonio may also offer specialized courses in areas such as:

  • Couples therapy: Students learn about the different types of couples therapy and how to work with couples to improve their relationships.
  • Family therapy: Students learn about the different types of family therapy and how to work with families to improve their functioning.
  • Child and adolescent therapy: Students learn about the various types of treatment that can be used to help children and adolescents with a variety of mental health problems.
  • Addictions counseling: Students learn about the types of counseling that can be used to help people with addictions and how to spot the signs and symptoms of substance abuse.
  • Grief and loss counseling: Students learn about the multiple types of counseling that can help people grieving the loss of a loved one or experiencing a change in a family dynamic.

How to Become an MFT in San Antonio, Texas

If you live in the San Antonio area and want to be a licensed MFT, you must abide by the process set forth by the Texas State Board of Examiners of Marriage and Family Therapists. This governing body is responsible for issuing professional licenses in the state of Texas and requires 4 steps in the process.

1. Complete a graduate degree in marriage and family therapy.

The degree must be from a program accredited by COAMFTE or CACREP. These accreditation groups promote best practices for Marriage and Family Therapy educational programs through establishing, reviewing, and revising accreditation standards and policies and the accreditation of graduate and post-graduate educational programs.

2. Pass the national licensing exam.

The Association of Marital and Family Therapy Regulatory Boards (AAMFTRB) administers the national licensing exam for marriage and family therapists.

The exam is a multiple-choice test that covers the following areas:

  • Human development
  • Family systems
  • Theories of Counseling and Psychotherapy
  • Assessment and diagnosis
  • Treatment planning and intervention
  • Legal and ethical issues

3. Complete two years of supervised clinical experience.

The supervised clinical experience must be under the supervision of a licensed marriage and family therapist. The experience must include a variety of settings, such as private practice, community mental health centers, and hospitals.

4. Apply for licensure.

When you have completed all the requirements, you can apply for licensure with the Texas State Board of Examiners of Marriage and Family Therapists. The application process includes submitting an application fee, transcripts from your graduate program, proof of passing the national licensing exam, and a completed application.

Once you have obtained your license to practice marriage and family therapy in Texas, it is essential to take steps to maintain your license. The TSBEMT requires all licensed marriage and family therapists to complete continuing education, pay an annual renewal fee, and meet specific ethical standards.

Here are some additional tips for becoming a marriage and family therapist in Texas:

  • Get involved in professional organizations.
    Getting involved in professional organizations for MFTs can help you network with other professionals, learn about new developments in the field, and stay up-to-date on the latest licensing requirements.
  • Attend continuing education courses.
    Continuing education is required for all licensed marriage and family therapists in Texas and will help you stay up-to-date on the latest research and best practices in the field.
  • Volunteer your services.
    Volunteering your services as a marriage and family therapist can be a great way to gain experience and make a difference in your community.

Career and Salary Opportunities for MFT’s in San Antonio

The job outlook for marriage and family therapists in San Antonio, Texas is positive. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment of marriage and family therapists will grow 14% from 2021 to 2031, much faster than the average for all occupations. This growth is expected due to increasing demand for mental health services and an aging population that is more likely to need counseling services.

Texas’s median annual salary for marriage and family therapists is $56,947. The highest-paying industries for marriage and family therapists in Texas are hospitals, individual and family services, and state government.

Here are some additional tips for finding a job as a marriage and family therapist in San Antonio:

  • Network with other marriage and family therapists in your area.
  • Attend conferences and workshops to learn about new trends and opportunities.
  • Build your online presence by creating a website and social media accounts.

By following these tips, you can increase your chances of finding a job as a Marriage and Family Therapist in the city of San Antonio. Use the steps outlined in this article to embark on a rewarding career helping people in the beautiful city of San Antonio, Texas.