The perception of marriage and family therapists regarding their return on investment when getting their doctorate




Salgado, Margie

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This was a randomized, exploratory study utilizing mixed methods. The purpose for this research was to explore the perception of therapists regarding their return on investment towards their doctoral degree in the field of marriage and family therapy. The primary focus of this study was on the financial, the emotional and the relational investments made, together with lived experiences as seen through the lens of these therapists as they worked through the academic system in pursuit of acquiring this advanced degree.

This research gave the doctoral graduates licensed in marriage and family therapy a voice as this investment can only be fully appreciated when the scope extended to and incorporated the complete fmancial, emotional, and relational expenditure. The sample of 89 participants who volunteered for this study resided in 18 different states throughout the United States and ranged in age from 24 to 77 years old. These doctoral graduate volunteers who had a license in marriage and family therapy consisted of 57 females and 32 males.

Recruitment invitations were sent via email and regular mail and the survey was responded to online by all participants. A random sample was achieved by choosing every third name on each list. Quantitative and qualitative data was collected and downloaded through PsychData, an online program. The findings from the majority of these responses indicated that the return on investment (ROI) in the areas of finances, emotions, and relationships were all worth the investment in each of these categories.



Psychology, Education, Doctoral education, Marriage and family therapists, Return on investment, Counseling psychology, Higher education