Family and marriage counseling majors will take courses in individual and group therapy, social psychology, and family studies. These courses are designed to provide a foundation of knowledge in the social aspects of psychology as well as information on family structures and relationships.
Since all states require at least a Master’s degree in Family and Marriage Counseling for professional licensure, most students go this route. Master’s programs are usually around 2 years in length and require in-class and laboratory attendance.
At the end of a master’s degree program, students are required to submit a research project, which will ensure that they have totally understood the concepts and can apply them successfully.
Marriage and Family Counseling Licensure
Obtaining the right degree is not the last step in becoming a marriage and family counselor. All states require that counselors be licensed prior to practicing in the public domain.
Typical Requirements for Family and Marriage Counselors
The requirements include graduation from an accredited program, approximately 2 years of approved supervised experience, and successful completion of the state board exam.
These requirements may vary slightly by state, but most have these requirements listed as a minimum requirement. States are required to ensure that their professionals are only the most qualified.
The overall licensure process is in depth and requires great dedication for the applicants wishing to obtain a license. The overall experience of counseling in the field differs from the experience gained while in an educational program, so obtaining experience under supervision is a vital requirement by the state.
Supervised experience is working for or under the direct supervision of a licensed marriage and family counselor. Hours are submitted directly to the state and are managed until the licensure program has completed. Upon completing the entire program and passing the board exam, professionals will receive notification of licensure and are free to work anywhere within their state of residence.
What Does a Marriage and Family Counselor Do?
As a professional in the field of family and marriage counseling, individuals will earn $48,040 per year on average. As a career that provides amply for its professionals, it is a career that continues to grow in popularity for new students.
The potential for growth in the Marriage or Couple Counseling area is high, meaning job availability will continue to rise. Individuals working in this field assist married couples with problems that are causing strife. Working one on one with each member of a marriage or together as a group will provide assistance in communication training, stress management, and strengthening relationships.
For families, counselors will work hard to identify factors that are causing strain and implement plans of action for each family member to achieve. These processes help protect families at their most vulnerable times. Family and marriage counselors can work in a variety of settings.
These counselors are found within social service agencies, community support divisions, and even in their own private practices.
With the divorce rate so high in the United States, people are searching for resources to assist them in dealing with the stresses of everyday life. As a marriage and family therapist, professionals can find a career that promotes the well-being of families all throughout the country, leading to a remarkably satisfying life choice.