Meet Julie Davis. Julie is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT).
Julie is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (CA 43550) and owner of a life coaching and counseling practice in Los Gatos, CA and Charlotte, NC. She utilizes a “whole person” approach, focusing on emotional, spiritual, physical, mental and behavioral roadblocks that get in the way of growth and change. Julie helps people uncover, understand, and work through these roadblocks so that symptoms such as food addiction, anxiety, depression, relationship conflicts and physical pain are managed or eliminated. She works with individuals and couples, teenagers and adults.
- Food and weight issues
- Communication and boundary problems
- Critical thinking and distorted belief systems
- Depression, Anger, Anxiety, Grief
Julie is also affiliated with New Life Ministries Lose It For Life Weekend Intensives with Steve Arterburn. In the local community, Julie is well known for her lively and interactive presentations and workshops.
Well, it was age 35 when I realized that I needed to make a decision for the rest of my life; something that took me 35 years to figure out what was important to me.
I wanted, and still want, to help others. I found out that I’m a very free spirit, so I need to have my own time. I found out in those thirty-five years that I’m good at running a business. So I picked a career that I could do all that, which ended up being Marriage and Family Therapy.
But it really did start as an Excel spreadsheet. All the natural gifts that I have, plus what I’ve learned about myself that makes me useful to society, plus just based on logistics of where I want to live and how much money I want to make and really, what came up was counseling. It had not occurred to me until then, and it has been a great choice.
So when I made the decision to become a marriage and family therapist, I had a Bachelors of Arts. So I took a couple classes in psychology over the summer in order to get me into a Master’s program. In order to get this career you do need a Bachelors of Arts in something. It would be useful to be in psychology, but it doesn’t have to be.
Once you get through that then it’s a two-year Master’s degree program that literally spits you out ready to be come an intern of Marriage and Family Therapy.
If you are choosing to get in a Masters program you will need to choose a counseling track in order to be a marriage family therapist or you just by yourself another two years. Once you are through your two-year Master level with counseling focus program, you will have your Master’s degree and then you will go into what’s called an intern program. You need to work basically for free in some capacity as you gain hours and supervision. This a full-time job either making hardly anything or for free for two years of your life. Most people enter this career have support from somewhere else or they have a part time job. It’s difficult to enter into it unless you have some kinda financial means coming from somewhere else.
So, with a Master’s degree and two years of supervision you gain enough hours to qualify for licensure. That then requires a State exam. So once I had my hours I started a six-month process of studying for the exam and then it’s just a matter paying their fee, taking their exam, and then waiting for them to stamp, “Approved”. In my case I didn’t pass. I am just not good at test taking, so I just bought myself another year. You can only take the test once a year, so I bought myself another year as an intern to then take the test again and I finally passed.
So, the career track is either internship with the desire to become private practice, or internship with the desire to work for an agency. These are two very separate things. Because was used to working for myself, it just made sense to me to become private practice which means it’s my business, I get my own clients, I do my own taxes; I literally own a business. That works for me and not for everybody. It is an important choice to be made in the internship program whether you want to become private practice or employee.
The best piece advice I would give a teenager who’s looking at the career as a Marriage Family Therapist is to call up a few local therapists and interview them. Are you willing and able to spend about four to six years of your life and invest a ton of time, money and energy into a long-term career. If the answer is yes, then do it. Then its a matter of do you enjoy sitting and listening. Do you enjoy that type of activity? No one in my family would have thought that I’d be able to sit for eight to 10 hours a day.
Engaging with people and having a relationship with every person I meet is invigorating to me. There is a relational aspect that’s necessary and I think some clinicians get in that don’t have that interest to actually relate to people. They want to diagnose and fix, but there’s a relational that’s important.