Are you a good listener? Do you have the ability to listen fairly to people who are on opposite sides of an issue and administer sound advice? Do you have compassion for people who are facing issues that keep them from being able to function appropriately on a day to day basis? If you said yes to these questions, then maybe it is time for you to consider pursuing a career as a marriage and family therapist. In this profession you will spend the majority of your time working with individuals, couples, groups, and families to help them be better able to cope with the issues they deal with in their life.
While a master’s level degree is not required to work in this field, it is likely that you will need a master’s level degree to obtain your licensure. It is important to note that the specific licensing requirements vary slightly from one state to another; therefore, you will want to be familiar with what is mandated by your state of residence. Of course, before you can be admitted to a master’s degree program you must have first completed an undergraduate degree program in a field related to marriage and family therapy. Within a master’s level degree program in marriage and family therapy you will be learning how to examine your patients’ interpersonal relationships, how to assess these relationships, and how to help them improve upon the relationships in their life.
You can expect to learn about the different levels and types of interactions that families and couples have as you complete classroom based courses, fieldwork, and clinical experiences. Within your degree requirements you will be required to complete classes such as: human sexuality, family violence, family dynamics, cultural diversity, diagnosing psychopathology, the law and ethics of therapy, personality theories, and substance abuse in the family. Take a few moments and request a free information packet from any of the schools on our site that are particularly appealing to you and your career goals.
As a degree holder in marriage and family therapy you may also be able to find employment in other areas of counseling and therapy. In addition, in the capacity of marriage and family therapy you may be able to work in a hospital or clinic type setting, within a practice of other counselors and therapists, or you can choose to open your own practice.