How to Become a Family Counselor

Family Counselors can play an important role in helping families learn how to communicate with one another, strengthen bonds and solve family problems.

Family Counselors can also treat individuals with mental and emotional disorders.

Family Counselors can apply a variety of concepts, practices and methods in order to help families in need.

They apply the same techniques they use when treating individual clients, but instead of focusing on one individual and their internal battles, they focus on the family unit or a marriage and how the people involved interact and communicate with one another.

Some goals that a Family Counselor can help achieve include helping patients change negative behaviors, look into the perceptions or opinions about one another, provide techniques that strengthen communication skills and probably most importantly, help create an understanding of one another.

Some natural skills that may help someone decide to become a Family Counselor include having great communication and interpersonal skills as well as a desire to help people in need.

Education Requirements to Become a Family Counselor

In order for a candidate to become a Family Counselor, they need to get a minimum of a Master’s Degree and get licensed by the state they reside in.

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Individual states have different requirements for candidates seeking licensure, but most typically, the minimum education requirement is a Master’s degree or some post graduate work.

An accredited Master’s Degree in Psychology or Counseling typically requires students to take 48 to 60 hours of coursework in order to complete the program.

In addition, some Master’s programs ask for students to gain experience in counseling by participating in a type of residency or internship.

The first step a candidate needs to make in order to become a Family Counselor is to finish a Bachelor’s Degree at an accredited institution.

A student will need to major in Psychology in order to learn information about the mind and how it functions.

While in graduate school, students will have the option to specialize in their field of choice, in this case, Family Counseling.

Candidates will study a variety of psychological concepts and techniques including relationships, human development and growth, ethics, counseling methods and theories on identity.

Candidates will need to research licensure requirements in order to work in the state they wish to work in.

After procuring a job as a Family Counselor, employees need to continually brush up on their skills by attending training classes and workshops.

These classes and workshops are necessary in order for professionals to maintain their licensure or certification.

Family Counselor Job Description

A Family Counselor can perform the same duties as a traditional counselor the only difference being that the family unit is the focus instead of solely one individual.

A Family Counselor will perform interviews in order to pinpoint problems within the family structure or individual mental disorders if applicable.

Family Counselors apply a variety of techniques, principles and family systems theories to treat and deal with mental or emotional disorders affecting a family.

The apply the same techniques in order to help members change their behavior or perception, improve communication with one another, address individual or familial problems or attempt to strengthen bonds by creating understanding amongst each other.

In order to improve familial relationships and communication, a Family Counselor can also provide talk therapy sessions to help improve communication and understanding.

They can also provide one on one therapy sessions with their patients in order to create a more personal environment for an individual.

Family Counselor Salary and Career Path

The job outlook for this profession and other Counselors look healthy and strong through the year 2018.

This sector is expected to grow by 18% throughout that time providing plenty of opportunities for individuals.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that job openings are expected to outpace the number of students graduating from a counseling program.

Growth is expected to be even higher in less populated rural areas.

Wages for these professionals depends on the sector and area they settle into.

As a whole, individual and family services as well as rehabilitation centers pay less than positions in schools or hospitals.

The national salary range for counseling professionals in all specialties is $20,000 to $65,000 per year.

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