Marriage and Family Therapist
Counsel married couples and entire families on relationship issues.
As a Family Counselor, you put the pieces back together. Using your degree in family therapy, you teach families — or family members such as parents — to communicate and resolve conflicts. You tell them to calmly discuss the situation and come to a resolution rather than screaming and yelling to make a point. You’re part Therapist and part Referee in this situation, helping to mend fences and educate your patients on avoiding conflicts in the future.
The College Degree
Becoming a Family Counselor begins with a bachelor’s degree in psychology, human development, child psychology, or a related counseling field. Classes prepare you for working with families and individuals who face psychological problems or issues. Typically, these classes include psychology, abnormal psychology, family dynamics, interpersonal communication, counseling techniques, and intellectual and personal evaluation. This is not an exhaustive list, but it gives you an overview of what to expect while earning your degree in family therapy.
Many online family therapy programs are also available for students looking for an alternative schedule. Many working parents and nontraditional students choose online degree programs because these fit their schedules and time constraints better.
The Master’s Degree
To become a licensed Family Counselor, you must continue on and earn a graduate degree. A master’s degree in family therapy will prepare you further for counseling work. Not only will you continue classes in therapy techniques and practices, but you’ll also focus more on professional and ethical development.
Through the master’s degree in family therapy program, you can prepare for your career as a Family Counselor by gaining practical experience. You’ll also complete an extensive field study program under the supervision of a licensed Family Therapist.
After earning your master’s degree in family therapy, you may find yourself practicing in a variety of clinical settings. Mental health and religious organizations often hire Family Therapists to work with their patients, as do some correctional facilities. You may, however, choose to join a counseling agency or a private clinic, or start your own practice.
Continuing your education and earning a doctoral degree in psychology, child psychology, or family therapy prepares you for a teaching or research career.