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One of the most remarkable things a psychologist can do is help families navigate the waters of mental and emotional health. Pursuing a doctorate degree in Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT), at the California School of Professional Psychology (CSPP) at Alliant International University, enables professional psychologists to not only provide exceptional services to families, but it may also provides upward mobility, higher salaries, and— of course— better clinical understanding, in comparison to clinicians who only have a master’s degree.

Marriage and family therapists look at behavior in its social and relational context. In other words, they focus on the fact that no behavior exists in a social vacuum, and work with patients and their loved ones to collectively solve their issues.

“We take the philosophical view that people are not broken— they are responding to situational factors in their life and we look toward systemic change,” says Benjamin Caldwell, PsyD Professor of Couple and Family Therapy at CSPP.

Professional Development

With a doctoral degree, you may be more likely to secure a university teaching position, either full-time or as an adjunct faculty as compared to having a master’s degree. In clinical settings, MFTs with doctoral degrees may be more likely to be elevated to supervisory or program-director roles.

Higher Salary

You are likely to pursue making more money with a doctorate than with a master’s degree. According to data from a 2010 California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists’ study, PsyD MFTs can make upwards of 58% more than their master's counterparts.

Better Clinical Understanding

“When I began my doctoral program, it was not to make more money or to work my way into a teaching position. It was because I wanted to be a better therapist,” says Caldwell. “I felt I wasn’t fully cooked yet clinically. It was only during my doctoral program that I fell in love with teaching and became a leader in the field.”

California School of Professional Psychology Offers an Accredited Education

CSPP’s MFT programs are accredited through the Commission on Accreditation for Marital and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE). Of the 80 or so license-eligible MFT programs in California, only a limited number are COAMFTE-accredited MFT programs. The accreditation, coupled with the number of leaders in the field who are CSPP faculty, and the tangible benefits of the MFT PsyD make it what we believe to be one of the most valuable programs in psychological education.1

Become a of Therapists

Now is an ideal time to pursue a PsyD in Marriage and Family Therapy

Anyone who is interested in the field of psychology, wants to help families through their work, and sees themselves as a future leader in their field can find a home with CSPP at Alliant.

If you’re currently or interested in pursuing your education in marriage and family therapy, and if you have any questions about this topic, please contact an Alliant admissions counselor today!


  1. Board of Behavioral Sciences, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist,, Accessed Nov. 29, 2021.

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