16 Pros and Cons of Being a Marriage Counselor

Those who are interested in helping professions will often consider marriage counseling as a viable career path.

It is a career that comes with various upsides and downsides, though.

That’s why this guide is here to help you navigate this process and make the best decision for yourself and your family.

Let’s take a moment to explore the pros and the cons, shall we?

Pros of Being a Marriage Counselor

1. Allowing Couples To Make Positive Changes

Having the ability to help clients make positive changes in their lives is one of the primary benefits of choosing this profession.

Marriage counselor is able to develop these skills in their graduate training programs before applying them in real-life situations.

The work that a marriage counselor does will keep families together and foster a greater environment of understanding.

2. High Demand

Of course, it is hard to embark on any career path where the demand is not high enough.

Fortunately, this is not something that the average marriage counselor is ever going to have to consider.

As long as couples and families exist, there are going to be opportunities to assist them with the issues that they experience.

Clients are always going to be seeking solutions to the problems that they once believed to be unsolvable.

3. Choosing Where You Work

Marriage counselors have no shortage of options when it comes to choosing a place of work.

Counseling centers, government institutions, and non-profit agencies provide plenty of choices.

Marriage counselors also have the option of going into business for themselves, if they so choose.

Whether you are someone who values having a greater level of freedom or you would prefer the structure that the aforementioned organizations have to offer, you can zero in on the method that works best for your needs.

4. Ability To Change Venues

Marriage counseling offers you the chance to avoid stagnancy by choosing from a wide range of different venues.

For example, a marriage counselor could spend a few years working in the field before transitioning to a counseling center or becoming a college professor.

This keeps marriage counselors from potentially experiencing burnout over the long haul.

5. Flexible Scheduling

For those who are not looking to punch a clock and work at a place that does not provide flexible scheduling, marriage counseling provides the necessary freedoms.

Yes, the hours tend to be typical, but there is plenty of downtime for marriage counselors to recharge their batteries.

Anyone who is looking to avoid working holidays, nights, or weekends would do well to consider this career path.

Steady scheduling also provides peace of mind for the counselor and their loved ones.

6. Choosing The Necessary Specializations

Marriage counseling is not a one size fits all profession.

There are all sorts of specializations that can be chosen.

While marriage counselors will often choose to work with the general population, those who are looking to cater to niche client bases have plenty of opportunities to do just that.

Some may decide that they would like to work with blended families, while others could choose to work with families that have grandparents residing in their household.

7. Having a Positive Effect on Society as a Whole

Helping families to stay together and communicate more effectively is great.

Additionally, marriage counseling has a positive effect on the world around us, as the clients are able to learn more about the best ways to handle their issues on a more general level.

Relationship building and communication are greatly enhanced, leading to better connections with neighbors, coworkers, and other loved ones.

The ripple effects are massive.

8. Transferable Skill Set

Once you have done all of the legwork to become a marriage counselor, you will have the ability to transfer these skills to a wide range of other professions.

A marriage counselor must take the time to learn everything that there is to know about child development.

From there, they can utilize these skills to work with children and help them overcome any number of issues that are related to depression and anxiety.

Cons of Being a Marriage Counselor

1. Plenty of Stress

Even the most even-keeled marriage counselor is going to have a fair amount of stress to deal with on a day-to-day basis.

Some marriage counselors find themselves becoming obsessive over a client’s progress or lack thereof.

Others may become disillusioned and start bringing homework-related issues to their own family.

Marriage counselors can also struggle with the concept of learning more about the deepest and darkest secrets that clients may have.

2. Lengthy Schooling Period

Marriage counseling is not the sort of profession where you can take a month-long course and be certified.

The schooling process is lengthy.

In order to receive the advanced degree that it takes to become a licensed marriage counselor, you will need to invest at least six to seven years of your time.

The monetary investment is nothing to sneeze at, either.

The final cost could reach low six figures by the time it is all said and done.

3. Additional Obligations To Tend To

It would be great if marriage counseling was strictly focused on the work itself but this is the furthest thing from the case.

There are all sorts of paperwork that needs to be filled out.

You’ll also be spending time on the phone with insurance companies.

Marriage counselors also work in concert with other therapists.

Notes have to be taken, clients have to be billed and employees may also need to be managed.

These are the parts that are not always considered.

4. Difficult Clients

Every client is not going to be a ray of sunshine to deal with.

There are going to be some clients that cause more stress than others.

There are some who are only going to be there because their spouse or children forced the issue.

Meanwhile, there are others who will only be attending sessions because they are completing a court-mandated sentence.

Clients with bad attitudes still require compassion but providing it can prove difficult for some.

5. Nontraditional Settings

Every client is not going to be able to come in with their spouse and/or children to have a traditional sit-down.

In order to cater to every client’s scheduling concerns, nontraditional methods are often needed.

If family members or spouses are unable to be in the same room for logistical reasons, one or more parties may need to attend remotely.

Video conferencing is a great alternative in these situations but it does not make the marriage counselor’s job any easier.

6. Support Network Required

There are times when the marriage counselor is going to require the assistance of their own support network.

This is often easier said than done.

Friends and family members can lend an ear when possible but they are not always going to be able to offer actionable advice.

It is not out of the ordinary to see marriage counselors attending therapy sessions in their spare time so that they are able to make sense of everything that they are dealing with.

7. Longer Hours May Be Necessary

While there are some marriage counselors that are able to maintain a relatively normal schedule, some may need to bend to the needs of their clientele.

This could mean early mornings, late nights, or even weekends.

Marriage counselors will often feel a certain sense of obligation to their clients and will move their schedules around accordingly.

In these instances, they will have to become accustomed to working longer hours and sacrificing their own personal time.

8. Marriage Issues

Seeing the worst of what everyone else’s marriage has to offer can have a terrible effect on the marriage counselor’s psyche, causing them to question their own partnership.

Marriage counselors could start to develop a deep sense of mistrust in their own spouse.

The marriage counselor is also going to gain a number of insights from their daily workload.

If they are not applying these insights in the proper manner, it can drive a wedge between the counselor and their own partner.

Pros and Cons of Being a Marriage Counselor – Summary Table

Pros of Being a Marriage CounselorCons of Being a Marriage Counselor
1. Allowing Couples To Make Positive Changes1. Plenty of Stress
2. High Demand2. Lengthy Schooling Period
3. Choosing Where You Work3. Additional Obligations To Tend To
4. Ability To Change Venues4. Difficult Clients
5. Flexible Scheduling5. Nontraditional Settings
6. Choosing The Necessary Specializations6. Support Network Required
7. Having a Positive Effect on Society as a Whole7. Longer Hours May Be Necessary
8. Transferable Skill Set8. Marriage Issues

Should You Become a Marriage Counselor?

The answer to this question will depend on the personal goals of each person.

If you are able to handle the lengthy schooling process and the financial costs that are associated with it, this is a key aspect of the equation.

You will also need to be able to shoulder the emotional burdens of handling clients who are in distress and avoid bringing them home to your loved ones.

Marriage counselors also have to handle all of the bureaucratic concerns that are bound to come up.

On the other hand, marriage counseling is tremendously rewarding.

It is a high-demand career that provides you with the chance to help others and have a positive ripple effect on society as a whole.

Burnout is easily avoidable and counselors can change venues or specializations as needed.

If you are someone who can handle a sizable amount of schooling and is looking to make a helpful imprint on the world around you, this is the perfect profession to choose.

Jamie Willis
Career Specialist at BecomeopediaHi, my name is Jamie Willis, and I have been helping students find their perfect internships and education paths for the last ten years. It is a passion of mine, and there really is nothing better than seeing students of mine succeed with further studies.

2 thoughts on “16 Pros and Cons of Being a Marriage Counselor

  1. Laura Chavez says:

    So true! What I love most about the job is when my client’s marriage work out after all the counseling, especially the ones that have been through a rough patch. Every client seems like a challenge but it is fulfilling since I get to help them with my learnings and thoughts.

  2. Averi Horton says:

    I come from a broken family and I want to pursue being a marriage counselor since my personal goal is to help families to be together and not let their children feel the pain once they decide to file a divorce. You are right, it does come with a personal goal.

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