Family Therapist

Family relationships sometimes have conflicts that need the intervention of a professional. Families and couples seek counsel from a licensed therapists who are trained in accurately evaluating and treating the mental, emotional and behavioral issues affecting the family’s well-being. Embarking on a family therapist career gives you the opportunity in counseling couples, children and parents in crisis or in difficult times and assisting them in improving their relationships within their unit.

Family Therapist Education Requirements

To become a Family Therapist or have a career as a marriage counselor, you must first complete your undergraduate studies by earning your Bachelor’s degree. The family therapist required education concentrates in biology, sociology or psychology. You can also participate in doing research projects and by volunteering in crisis centers. Taking up additional courses is also part of family therapist continuing education.

Family therapists will be required to complete a Master’s degree program as well. This is accomplished in 2 to 3 years then after, a Doctorate degree completed in 3 to 5 years is needed. Another course of education you can take is to earn the graduate level degree in other mental health fields after competing your post-graduate clinical program.

After completing the family therapist educational requirements, you should have yourself licensed or certified in marriage counseling or in family therapy with your local state. The specific family therapist qualifications that are needed for licensure is set by the licensing boards of each individual state. To receive the family therapist certification and certificates one must successfully complete the certified graduate programs and the supervised training required in a clinical setting.

What courses count towards Family Therapist

The common courses taken to complete a Family Therapist degree are psychology, english, health and sciences (like biology). An academic background with introduction to counseling, education, philosophy, sociology, education, statistics, religious studies, gender studies, human development, communications, mathematics and foreign languages are also part of family therapist requirements.

What levels of degrees are available for Family Therapist

An Associate’s degree with a focus on human services, psychology and education enables the student to further their educational pursuits in the family and marriage counseling field. The coursework for freshmen students involves math, english and science. The coursework for second year students includes core subjects like psychology, education and social services giving them a general background that allows them to find entry level work to gain experience as social workers and in preparation for their bachelor’s degree.

The Bachelor’s degree programs will further the student’s educational background in family and marriage counseling, psychology, education and human services. This allows the candidate to pursue their professional goal in becoming a family and marriage counselor. The Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts program is completed in 4 years and includes courses like introduction to counseling, psychology, philosophy, sociology, education, statistics, gender studies, human development, religious studies, foreign language, communications and mathematics. These degree programs provides the student the the educational foundation they need in pursuing a graduate degree or in pursuing a career as a social worker or substance abuse counselor.

A Masters’ degree program requires a lot of research and supervised clinical counseling experience with extensive professional ethics training. With an accredited college, this program is completed in 48 to 60 semesters. A graduate degree program involves extensive family practicum training or internship programs that are typically completed in 2 semesters. Obtaining the family therapist licensure and certification signifies that they have successfully completed the masters degree and internship program.

A Doctorate Family Therapy degree is completed in 4 to 5 years after the master’s degree program completion. The program provides further studies and specializes the student in the field of family and marriage counseling allowing the candidates to gain employment as teachers, supervisors, advanced clinicians and researchers.

What are the financial requirements to become a Family Therapist

The cost to complete the Family Therapist required education may vary depending on the degree being taken by the student, the school enrolled in, the location, state and residency of the student and the other costs applied on top of the tuition.

One university in the US charges $451 per credit hour for 92 credits of a Master’s degree in Marriage and Family therapy.

What the continuing education requirements for Family Therapist

The best way to succeed in this kind of career is to take the family therapist continuing education. After graduation take two years of full time work as an apprentice to a licensed family therapist to gain enough experience to pass the licensure exam. After completing 2 years of the postgraduate supervised clinical experience take the national licensure exam. This is conducted by the AAMFT (American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy) regulatory boards.

To maintain their licensure, the National Board of Certified Counselors grants the general practice credentials on specialty certifications that includes but not limited to the school, addiction, and clinical mental health counseling. Passing the licensing and certification exams of the AMFTRB (Association of marital and Family Therapy Regulatory Boards) and NBCC assures your success as a highly qualified family and marriage counselor.

What are the skills necessary to become a Family Therapist

  1. Must be comfortable in many volatile situations.
  2. Should be able to work in various setting like a private practice, social service agencies, inpatient facilities, community mental health centers and in rehabilitation centers.
  3. Must be a caring individual who has an interest in helping couples and families resolve their issues that causes dysfunction
  4. Must be willing to listen to a couple or family’s painful secrets but can maintain confidentiality while able to distinguish between advising and judging

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