BECOMING A LICENSED MARRIAGE THERAPIST // my journey

BECOMING A LICENSED MARRIAGE THERAPIST // my journey

In December 2019, I received my LICENSE as a Marriage & Family Therapist. I worked hard through undergrad, graduate school, two and a half years of post grad work experience, working with a supervisor, and passing the state board exam. If you are considering becoming a counselor or therapist, or are already in the process, I hope this video is helpful to you! All the details mentioned in the video are listed and linked below!

I AM NOW OFFERING MENTOR SESSIONS! This is for anyone who is studying to be, or dreams of becoming a therapist, counselor, coach, etc. one day! I would LOVE to share all that I have learned, answer any questions, and offer mentorship to help you become equipped for the path you’ve been called to! Email me for more information melissagracetablada@gmail.com 🙂

UNIVERSITIES I ATTENDED:
The University of Tampa // https://www.ut.edu/
University of Notre Dame (Sydney, Australia) // https://www.notredame.edu.au/about/campuses/sydney-campus
Nova Southeastern University // https://www.nova.edu/

INTERNAL PRACTICUM SITE:
Brief Therapy Institute // https://www.nova.edu/healthcare/clinics-services/family-therapy.html

EXTERNAL PRACTICUM SITE:
Broward Outreach Center // https://www.browardoutreachcenter.org/

CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY I DID NOT ATTEND:

Graduate Psychology and Counseling Degrees from Divine Mercy University

MY JOBS AS A REGISTERED INTERN:
School Counseling Agency // https://catapultlearning.com/
Co-parenting Program // https://www.faces.family/
Grief Camp for Kids // https://www.catholichealthservices.org/catholic-hospice/camp-erin/
Camp for Kids Who had a Family Member with Cancer // https://www.campkesem.org/
1st Private Practice // https://livewelltherapygroup.com/
2nd Private Practice // http://www.besttherapy4me.com/
3rd Private Practice // https://betterwithbetsy.com/

MY SUPERVISORS:
Cynthia Tamayo // https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapists/cynthia-mendez-tamayo-miami-fl/426351
Regina Boyd // https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapists/regina-boyd-lake-mary-fl/246960?sid=5e1b7177480d3&name=regina+boyd&ref=1&tr=ResultsName

MFT EXAM STUDY MATERIAL I USED:
https://gerrygrossman.com/

LET’S CONNECT //
IG – https://www.instagram.com/melissagracetablada/
Web – https://www.melissagracetablada.com/
Work – https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapists/melissa-tablada-miami-fl/404373

50 Comments

  1. I know I want to be an MFT but social work also sounds interesting. Being an MFT is my dream job though! I’m thinking of applying to programs in both fields, what was your GPA if you don’t mind me asking?

  2. How intimidating was it to counsel more than one person at once? I think that’s the main thing that intimidates me if I were to choose to go for an MFT license.

  3. Is the internship a full time commitment? And do you get paid during your internship ? … trying to figure out if I will still need to be working !

  4. I am going into Clinical Mental Health Counseling. My journey is similar to yours I loved taking I/O but there are only a few programs in FL. Thanks for sharing

  5. Thanks for sharing your journey! I am currently in my MFT program at a seminary, and I’ve been questioning whether it is something that I should continue doing. Your story really shed light on the realities of the job. It helps to know what the job actually looks like as a student. I think God is definitely calling me to this profession, but there are just so many daunting aspects of it. But I am leaning towards seeing it through and making the most out of it. Thanks so much again for sharing!

  6. I’m not religious, but I do want to become a therapist of some sort so it was really interesting to listen to your experiences!

  7. I always wanted to be a marriage therapist but I didn’t know the steps and how to become one . I’m going to college this year and I’m in Florida your video help me a lot I don’t have word to thank you ! I know the journey gonna be hard but with god near me I know it will be great 🙏🏾 even if I’m late but congratulations. If i have any problems I hope that I can talk to you for some help and that’s not going to be a matter for you 😩

  8. Thank you. I feel called into consouling. Im 35 and just applied to school. The road ahead seems long but worth it. Thank you for sharing your experience

  9. I’m planning to become an LPC and SO MANY people told me to go for social work so I would have more options–but I don’t want any of those other options. Thank you for sharing that! I feel encouraged that I’m not making a mistake.

  10. MSW is primarily clinical idk where you got that from? There are different specializations…so if you are into policy then yes you will not have a clinical emphasis.

  11. I’ve been indecisive about grad school for the longest time despite knowing I am meant to be a therapist. Last year I spoke to a psychic who told me to consider pursuing marriage & family therapy, and that it could be my calling. I kinda took it with a grain of salt, as I trust in God more than psychics, but did wonder in the back of my mind if God spoke through her to me. And for haha’s I ended up looking into MFT programs and found the field interesting. For some reason I’ve just felt pulled to keep looking into marriage and family therapy. Relationship psychology also always fascinated me. I think the biggest intimidating factor for me is how successful I’d be at counseling groups of two or more people, being the introvert I am. And that "pigeon holed" feeling people mentioned to you. But I also feel like it’d be rewarding to help bring harmony and connection to couples and families… and I’ve always been family oriented. I’m always the friend people approach for relational advice. 
    I know God is making a way for me and will bring clarity soon. I don’t understand why I feel this pull to MFT after never considering that as my licensure route before, but I’m trusting that God’s plan has more purpose than the one I originally had. Reading these comments and seeing God’s name mentioned multiple times, I feel like I’m getting signs. Time to let go and trust… I don’t think we ever 100% know what we’re doing! 28 here and feel like I’m winging it

  12. Hi Melissa, so nice to see you doing well and shinning in your career. Blessing from Broward Outreach Centers and your Supervisor.

  13. Thank you so much for suggesting this video to me! I literally was taking notes 📝☺️ I said this before but I have become increasingly interested in an MFT program here in California that is at a Catholic university and is bilingual to train therapists to someday be able to help Spanish speaking clients, too. I think it’s kind of funny that you asked for the intercession of St. Joseph of Cupertino (so did I in my undergrad exams), that your favorite type of client sounds like my current state in life lol, and that your birthday is the same as my sister’s! Happy super belated birthday, by the way! Really thank you for sharing your journey with us viewers. It just so happens that I found your channel in a time where I feel like I need a lot of guidance towards the MFT program. May God bless your work as a Catholic therapist👏🏼 and please keep me in your prayers? 🙏🏼❤️

  14. Please pray for me. I am currently struggling between choosing a career as a MFT or being a teacher. I have always felt the calling to work with children, and I feel that where I grew up, in a very small town, could benefit the most if I became a therapist (which has always been my original plan). The struggle mostly comes from the fact that I have been 50/50 between doing therapy/psychology and being a teacher since I was 8 years old. I still struggle with it to this day, and it has caused me plenty of anxiety attacks. I’ve prayed about it, but just when I feel like I’m being pulled in one direction, I see what I perceive as a sign that pulls me the opposite direction. I’m completely lost and feel like I don’t know what to do anymore. 😔

  15. I’m an MSW and I have to say, getting to practice counseling and getting feedback that way sounds way better than just being thrown in lol. The closest thing I got to that was running some groups during my field work and having the therapists sit in here and there. I’ve been working post grad in the field for almost two years now, and I have to say I still get anxious and feel like I’ve got imposter syndrome. I definitely pray for guidance each day. Congratulations on your license!!!

  16. thank you for sharing your experience! it was a big blessing! I just finished my third semester of my counseling graduate school and it was pretty hard. You have encouraged me to keep on going!

  17. This video really really helped me and is exactly what I needed. Is there a way that you can explain a little more in depth between a counselor and MFT requirements? I really want to do MFT but I am having trouble finding a program that fits my needs since there are significantly less MFT programs.

  18. Thank you so much for making this video. I want to be a counselor/therapist and every therapist I’ve talked to has told me that I should get my LCSW because it gives me more options but I feel like I’m specifically interested in individualized therapy or family therapy. This video helped give a better idea of what you’ll get out of an MFT program.

  19. Wow god has really brought me to this video! I’m an undergrad at the University of Tampa right now and I am stressing grad school so hard!! So amazing that we are so similar!! Thank you so much for this video, it has brought me a lot of peace and clarity! Xo

  20. Wow! I am so glad I found your channel 😭 I’m passionate about our Catholic faith, marriage, children & therapy. I’m currently awaiting a response from my last graduate school. Please pray for me & may God’s will be done. ❤️🙏

  21. The ending made me cry, thank you for the wonderful perspective! I’ve been experiencing decision paralysis and have been telling myself that I’d find a program to apply to for a couple years now. I always find a reason to push it off because I’m afraid of making the "wrong" decision on a school. I also graduated undergrad 10 years ago, so I’m completely intimidated by school and don’t believe I can make it through without crumbling under the pressure. I really want to have faith that everything will be okay, so I loved that you said, as long as we have the intention of serving others, God will guide us to the right place at the right time. Very inspiring!

  22. Hi! I am a first time college student in my family and I don’t know much😭I am currently in a community college, when transferring to a csu, I have to get a bachelors in psychology, then find universities that have therapy programs ? Can you please break it down for me 😫or we have to get our masters ?

  23. The lack of counseling classes is why I left the University of Tampa and went to Saint Leo University. Both colleges heavily pushed doctorate and research (sounds boring to me), but at least Saint Leo brought the possibility of counseling.

  24. Hi there! I live in South Florida. I have a masters degree in another discipline and in fact I’m a college professor. I was considering becoming an MFT counselor as well. Would you have any idea what I would have to do in terms of undergrad classes in order to be able to start a masters degree? Or would I have to do any undergrad classes at all?? I realize this may be out of your expertise, but if you have any ideas please do let me know.

  25. So I live in Florida. I have an undergrad degree in paralegal studies. I’m interested in going to grad school at USF, possibly for marriage and family therapy. When you say you were working as an intern for two years, were you getting paid? I want to pursue this path, but I’d have to be making a full time paycheck while pursuing any of this 😭

  26. Congratulations 🍾🎈🎉 so happy for you! I’m also going for my B.S in psychology pre- counseling for Marriage Therapy so excited 😆 just to listen to your story just subscribed! You are So helpful and inspiring! Thank you for all your information! I really appreciate it!

  27. You are such a gift to me. I am discerning big steps late in my life. I stumbled across your video and it spoke to me. I wish I could talk to you for a few minutes. 🙂 Thanks for taking the time to make the video.

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  29. I got a bachelors in social work and now I’m applying for grad school for marriage and family therapy. It’s strange how we are just lead into different directions even though we think we know what we want.

  30. Melissa, thanks so much for this video. I’m actually looking at nova for the MFT masters, so this was super helpful!

  31. hello! I’m in my undergrad and as an aspiring mft specialized in bringing faith into therapy, this was so affirming! Feeling so seen.

    Thank you for this video.

  32. I’m thinking about becoming a Marriage Therapist. Is it very open with options as far as working at inpatient hospitals, substance abuse clients, and a range of different places?

  33. I was deciding between getting my MBA for a quicker income or following my heart and becoming a Marriage & Family Therapist. I know God put it in my heart to help others so I couldn’t accept settling for a degree for money rather than what I really was called to do. I know I will earn money by being a therapist, it’ll just take a little longer to get where I want to be. I trust God will continue to guide me.

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