Marriages and family therapy provide many benefits for psychotherapists. So why become a marriage and family therapy counselor? After all, your professional reasons to be an MFT therapist are unique to each person. Each person has their own inner “fuel” of rewards and drives that motivate and inspire them to become motivated to work towards resolving marital and family problems.
You may wish to become a marriage family therapist to aid your own personal healing. If you have a painful divorce or similar marital problem, you may be interested in using marriage and family therapy to address the issues that caused you distress. Or perhaps, you may feel as though your children are suffering in a marriage that is unhealthy. A clinical psychologist may be able to help you address these and other related issues. You simply must be prepared to take on this role as an MLA (Master of Mental Health Therapy) to start off.
As a marriage and family therapy fellow, you will be expected to provide guidance to members of your family or to clients struggling with various marital and family problems. You will also be expected to do clinical work based on the research and theory of mental health professionals such as psychiatrists, psychologists and clinical psychologists. In short, your work will involve providing guidance to your clients, working closely with your fellow clinical psychologist colleagues, and supervising the work of your fellow therapists. You should be prepared for the exorbitant amount of time that this kind of work requires and for the level of concentration and attention that you will need to master.
While practicing as a Marriage and Family Therapist, you will also need to be prepared to participate in research and educational activities as well. This is because as a Marriage and Family Therapist, you are expected to have specific knowledge about a variety of psychological, emotional, neurological, and social science subjects. Such knowledge will enable you to conduct more effective and efficient research and educational endeavors.
To be a Marriage and Family Therapist, you must be licensed in the state in which you plan to practice. Each state licenses Marriage and Family Therapists according to its own criteria. Some states may require additional professional credentials and licenses in addition to being a registered Marriage and Family Therapist. However, most states require only for individuals to have a Bachelors degree in psychology, as well as completion of relevant courses in interpersonal and experimental psychology, and a master’s degree in the same field.
The coursework requirements for becoming a Marriage and Family Therapist will vary depending on your state. However, the basic curriculum required by most states and organizations will prepare you to work with individuals, couples, and families experiencing a variety of marriage-related problems. You will have the opportunity to specialize in one or more counseling areas. Some examples of counseling areas include marriage and divorce counseling, family and child counseling, postpartum recovery, and adolescent and young adult counseling. In addition, you will need to complete a minimum number of credits in communications, human services administration, sociology, philosophy, psychology, and marriage and family therapy.