Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) Counseling Degree Programs

There are 154 different marriage and family therapy/counseling degree programs in our directory, with the Master's and Doctoral degrees being the most widely offered across the United States.

As a family and marriage counselor, professionals will assist married couples or families as a whole in reconnecting or strengthening the relationships that are vital to their success. This type of counseling is regarded as reliable and an excellent resource for families with weakening relationships.

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Family and Marriage Counseling Degree Programs

Family and marriage counselors assist married couples or families to reconnect and strengthen their relationships. Each family counselor who works with a family is a support system, helping them work through disagreements to reach reconciliation.

If you are interested in helping families and couples with this reconciliation, learning the necessary skills and knowledge is a great place to start. Earning an advanced education, like a family and marriage counselor degree, can teach you the skills and expertise needed to be a successful family and marriage counselor.

Counseling Degrees Online has numerous different family and marriage counselor degree programs in our directory to explore. In the U.S., master’s and doctoral degrees programs are the most widely offered in this field of counseling. Below, we outline some featured programs, career options, and tips for licensure:

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Family and Marriage Counseling Degrees

Family and marriage therapy counselors (LMFT licensure) help clients navigate a variety of problems that may be causing deterioration within marriages or families as a whole. Depression, anxiety, or stress may be contributing factors that counselors must deal with, among many others that weaken the bonds in a relationship. Regardless of the problems at hand, marriage and family counselors are trained to find quick solutions so that families can experience normalcy as fast as possible. If you are interested in helping families, you should consider obtaining a family and marriage counseling degree.

How to Find a Family and Marriage Counselor Degree Program

The first step to becoming part of the family and marriage counseling field is to find a fitting marriage counselor degree program. Since most students will not delve specifically into family and marriage counseling courses until graduate school, finding an appropriate program should be a top priority.

Find the Right Family and Marriage Counselor Schools

Psychology, counseling, or social services are course subjects to consider when looking for a family and marriage counselor school. However, there are successful graduates with a variety of educational histories — even counselors with an educational background in nursing have been found in the field.

Behavior and Relationship Based Curriculum

Regardless of which degree is chosen for undergraduate work, the foundation for marriage and family therapists should be behavior and relationship-based. Undergraduates will be exposed to courses in general psychology, counseling, and behavior. These lay a solid foundation for working in the counseling field, as they provide the knowledge needed at graduate-level family and marriage counselor programs.

Typical Family and Marriage Counseling Courses

Students in graduate programs will typically take family and marriage counseling courses that focus on 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.

Family and Marriage Counselor Degree Length

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 two years in length and require in-class and laboratory attendance. Depending on the requirements for your marriage counselor degree, you have the option of attending courses in person or online. The right program should fit your schedule.

Research Project

At the end of most master’s in counseling programs, family and marriage counseling degree students are required to submit a research project, which will ensure that they have completely understood the concepts and can apply them successfully. This aspect of the degree program ensures that graduates are prepared to progress with their counseling licensure.
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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. State requirements may vary, and students are encouraged to review their state’s guidelines before applying.

Typical Requirements

The requirements can include graduation from an accredited family and marriage counselor degree program, approximately two years of approved supervised experience, and successful completion of the state board exam.

These requirements may vary slightly by state, but these requirements are listed as a minimum requirement in most states. States are required to ensure that their counseling professionals are only the most qualified. The overall licensure process is in-depth and requires great dedication for 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.

Marriage and Family Counselor Careers and Salary

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), marriage and family counselors, also called marriage and family therapists, earned a median annual salary of $51,340 as of 2020. The BLS also projects that the position’s job outlook will grow by 16% between 2020 and 2030, much faster than the projected average. 

Family and marriage counselors can work in various settings and can be found within social service agencies, community support divisions, and even in their own private practice.

Marriage Counseling

Individuals working in marriage counseling assist married couples with problems that are causing strife and tension within their relationship. Working one on one with each member of a marriage or together as a group will provide assistance in communication training, stress management, and relationship strengthening.

Family Counseling

For families, counselors will work to identify factors causing strain and implement plans of action for each family member to achieve. These processes help protect families at their most vulnerable times, whether they are undergoing stress, grief, anger, or trauma.

Become a Marriage Counselor Online

With over half of U.S. marriages ending in divorce, people are searching for resources to assist them in strengthening the bonds within their relationships. Marriage and family therapists can find fulfilling a career that promotes the well-being of families all throughout the country.

If you want to become a family and marriage therapist, you should consider an advanced degree. For those who require flexibility, there are plenty of educational options to become a marriage counselor online. Explore the available resources and find the right program for you.

List of Counseling Programs

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Still Looking for a Counseling Degree?

Here are some of the most popular online counseling programs. On each page you will find a detailed write-up of the program, specific courses, and schools that offer that program that are currently accepting applicants.

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