Marriage counseling is actually one of the few career fields that is growing. This field is perfect for psychology students that are interested in family therapy. Specializing in marriage counseling is incredibly rewarding. Marriage counselors can expect to spend at least six years in college. Graduate school is often required. In addition to education, marriage counselors must be licensed or certified. Most states also require two years of experience in a supervised clinical setting. With divorce rates skyrocketing, marriage counseling is a booming field. Employment opportunities can vary between the public and private sectors. Students that want to have a positive impact on families that may be dealing with separation or divorce will find this field rewarding.
Recommended Marriage and Family Counseling Degree Programs
- MA – Marriage & Family Therapy (MAMFT) – Northcentral University
- MS – General Marriage and Family Counseling/Therapy – Capella University
- MA: Marriage & Family Therapy – Liberty University
What exactly is marriage counseling?
Marriage Counseling is a specialized field of family therapy that helps married couples. Many married couples attend marriage counseling as a last resort. Marriage counselors are well educated and trained in conflict resolution. This highly specialized field caters to families that are on the brink of catastrophe. Marriage counselors take their duties very seriously. Some states require couples who are considering divorce to attend marriage counseling sessions. Marriage counseling is so multifaceted. Counselors can be faced with clients who have a variety of emotional and mental problems on a daily basis. Marriage counselors often have a more challenging job than traditional therapists. Being versatile is one of the most important characteristics of marriage counselors. Counselors must be able to handle any number of problems while addressing the needs of a struggling married couple. Marriage counselors have two people to think about at any given time. Many marriage counselors find their career choice to be a satisfying way to help others. Marriage counseling is the perfect field for students that want to help married couples repair their relationships.
Marriage Counseling Education
Most marriage counselors attend some type of graduate school. Students considering the field of marriage counseling should at the very least, consider a master’s degree. Many students can attend specialized graduate programs. Many marriage counselors also decide to pursue a doctorate degree. More education also yields higher earnings. In addition to a master’s degree, most states require supervised internships as well. Licensing varies between states, but most do require at least two years in a supervised clinical atmosphere. Since marriage counseling can be a stressful job, state licensing programs want to make sure potential candidates are ready for their positions. Marriage counselors spend a long time preparing for their careers. Counselors will appreciate all of their education and training when handling difficult and stressful cases. The American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy recommends marriage counselors continue their educational development even after they are working as professionals in their field.
Marriage Counselor Salary
Marriage counselors can expect to make around $48,000 per year. Counselors with more education can expect to earn more, on average. In some areas, the earning potential may be higher in the public sector. Students that wish to open their own practice should consider costs associated with running a business. Sometimes, it may be more cost effective for marriage counselors to work for established companies or clinics. Opportunities ultimately come down to the preferences of each individual person. With projected growth in this area, marriage counselors have more employment options than colleagues in different therapeutic fields. Many marriage counselors find their clinical internship to be a great stepping stone to future employment. Volunteering at hospitals is also a great way to gain valuable experience prior to graduation and certification.
What is a typical day like for a marriage counselor?
Marriage counselors must be prepared for anything. It is not uncommon for marriage counselors to have clients with a variety of emotional and psychological problems. Counselors must be ready to handle issues regarding substance abuse. Marriage counselors are trained to recognize signs of physical, mental and sexual abuse. The typical day for a marriage counselor varies as much as his or her clients do. Marriage counselors can work for public and private institutions. Hospitals, military bases, private clinics and nonprofit organizations often hire marriage counselors. With divorce rates in the United States increasing, the demand for marriage counseling has increased as well. Many marriage counselors go into business for themselves. A little bit of entrepreneurial spirit and business acumen is imperative for counselors that are looking to open their own practice. There are a multitude of different employment opportunities for recent graduates in the field of marriage counseling.
Marriage Counselor Resources
The American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy has fantastic continuing education opportunities.
The Marriage Counseling Blog is a continually updated resource with great articles on counseling.
The American Counseling Association is a solid resource for job hunting.