Marriage and family counseling, also known as marriage and family treatment, family systems counseling, and marriage and relationship therapy, are a specialized branch of psychotherapy that deals with couples and families in problematic interpersonal relationships. These are often very sensitive issues that deal with the conflicts and power struggles that arise from the structuring of a marriage or relationship. This type of psychotherapy seeks to discover what the root causes of these conflicts may be so that they may be ameliorated and resolved. Couples and families who have been experiencing a problem in their marriage or relationship are encouraged to consult with a trained marriage and family counselor who will help them determine the underlying issues that are causing their difficulties.
A trained marriage and family therapist will utilize various techniques such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), interpersonal therapy (OT), family history modeling, and neuro-linguistic programming (NP). These different methods of treatment will be applied in conjunction with each other in an effort to help the couples and families make progress toward their goals. A trained therapist will use these various treatment methods in conjunction with each other in order to help their clients achieve the most benefit possible from the marriage and family counseling sessions.
Many people do not consider graduate counseling to be professional therapy because they feel that one can simply continue to go through the normal licensed psychotherapy and therapy practices after completing the degree requirements. Graduate programs are required to fulfill certain criteria set forth by the State Board of Psychology. The requirements will vary from state to state, but typically all states require the graduate student to pass a number of standardized tests and complete a minimum number of credits in the form of prerequisites. As stated before, the testing requirements will vary from state to state. Once a graduate student has met the educational and clinical requirements needed to enter into the field of professional practice, they will be considered to be masters in the field of marriage and family counseling.
To obtain a Master’s degree program in marriage and family counseling, it is important for the student to choose a discipline which they are passionate about. There are a number of different majors, which can be chosen from, including human services, social services, counseling, sociology, psychology, marriage and family, and related fields. The concentration of each of these Masters degrees will differ; however, most counselors will opt to focus their research and studies in one of these areas. There are also some counselors who choose to become an academician in their desired area of specialization. The number of credits required to earn a Master’s degree varies from state to state.
Marriage and family counseling requires the supervision of at least one counselor who is either a graduate student or an experienced therapist. Students learn many skills throughout their education. Graduates then must pass a series of written examinations in order to become licensed. After being awarded a Master’s degree, students can expect to begin supervised clinical practice or teaching at an accredited university.
There are a variety of benefits to using online marriage and family counseling Masters degree programs. Students learn a variety of techniques for improving their communication, conflict resolution skills, understanding human behavior, problem solving, time management, and more. In addition to receiving a Master’s degree in this field of study, students will have the opportunity to participate in supervised clinical practice or work at an onsite mental health center. Online mft programs are able to provide highly qualified mental health professionals with an ever-expanding pool of qualified workers.