Updated on August 4, 2020
How to Become a Family Therapist
There are several points to make straight away.
A family therapist has a very important role to play. The care and survival of a marriage, particularly with a child or children, is a hugely important goal of all governments both state and federal. The cost of broken families inand economics is difficult to calculate. It is enormous. That is why governments give a high priority to the training and provision of family therapists.
In the United States alone there are many tens of thousands of registered family therapists.
But becoming a family therapist is neither easy nor fast. It will take years. And it’s vitally important that you make sure this type of therapy is right for you. It’s likely there will be some tricky situations including the threat of violence. Be sure this is a field which really suits you and in which you truly wish to work.
Now the beginnings. There is a good deal of study involved. At college level you will need to graduate in an appropriate field such as psychology or social work. The more subjects in the related field of family therapy the better. Plan your degree carefully.
But remember that the initial study is only the foundation. A Bachelor’s degree should be followed by a Master’s. Family therapy is a complex and demanding area of expertise and the better your qualifications, the better will be your skills and your effectiveness as a family therapist.
At graduate school you would do well to major in clinical or counseling psychology. This part of your education is the most important. Your area of expertise will now concentrate exclusively on your studies. Some schools even offer family therapy studies as part of their course. This would be ideal for you.
The classes you take at Graduate School will have plenty of practical activities and it is now that you will get a sense of your suitability and desire to become a family therapist. Only tackle the task if your heart is in the job.
There are family therapy institutions and attending one of these for additional study could prove invaluable.
Remember it is not just the educational facilities which can improve your skills and knowledge. Read widely on the subject and be aware of professional associations and their publications. Keep abreast of leaders in the family therapy field and read their research and published articles.
Getting an internship at a family therapy facility is a logical step. Make sure there is an experienced family therapist on staff who can guide and assist you. Learning from an experienced mentor is a great way to make it as a family therapist.
You will in time need to obtain a license. Make sure you know what is required by the State in which you seek to become registered.
Once you are licensed there will not be a shortage of potential clients. Whether you practice in a facility or operate as a private family therapist or both is up to you. The point is that your many years of training and study will equip you to provide a much needed and highly important service to the community.
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