How To Become A Marriage Counselor
Career Video: Marriage Counselor
Marriage counseling is a type of therapy that is given to married couples when they are having difficulties within their union. Many couples seek marriage counseling to help with issues such as communication, trust, decision making, or any other aspect of their marriage that needs improved upon. The marriage counselor is a trained professional who listens and offers advice and strategies to help with the many challenges married couples may face.
Why Become A Marriage Counselor?
A marriage counselor has compassion with others. When working with couples, the counselor may have to help them with stressful situations within their marriage, some in which are quite challenging. This professional must be able to listen and be empathetic to both parties while offering advice. The counselor must also possess communication skills with a variety of clientele and understand that each person has different needs and desires.
Helping people use strategies to overcome emotional, social, and mental disorders within the marriage is another responsibility of the marriage counselor. She must be very knowledgeable of all of the various mental health and behavioral disorders of individuals and know the effects of these disorders on a marriage.
Being a good listener with an open mind is also a major requirement of this counselor. She must be able to listen to both individuals and offer them both advice without expressing their own beliefs or opinions. This person must remain neutral and impartial, and have one goal which is to ultimately help the couple regain their healthy marriage or union.
In addition to being a good listener, the marriage counselor must also be a highly effective communicator. Knowing how to speak appropriately and clearly to all clients is vital so that they may understand exactly what is being advised by the counselor.
Another very important responsibility is to be confidential. As with any counselor there is a code of ethics that must be followed, and confidentiality is one of them. Developing and maintaining trust between the marriage counselor and each couple that she works with is crucial.
Marriage Counselor Work Environment
A marriage counselor works in an office within a private practice or mental health facility. This counselor usually has a set schedule, and will sometimes be on call with certain clients on an as-needed basis. The office is usually quiet and calm, as many therapeutic settings work most effectively and positively in a quiet, peaceful setting.
Marriage Counselor Salary
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the median salary of a marriage counselor is $40, 080. Some counselors do make more depending on certifications and, possibly, the complexities of the therapy needed for the patients.
Marriage Counselor Career Outlook
More and more insurance companies and workplace policies are covering part or all of the costs of different types of counseling, such as marriage counseling. The outlook for marriage counselors is a growth of almost 30% in the next ten years. This is a positive, as many people are showing that they want their marriage to work, and are willing to seek counseling before making any major decisions about their future.
Marriage Counselor Degree
A career in marriage counseling requires an individual to have a master’s degree or doctorate degree in psychology, counseling, marriage and family therapy, or social work. Depending on the university and degrees offered, this could vary. However, a marriage counselor needs to have the credentials in order to give advice to individuals, and having solid credentials can also increase the trust of the clients.
Licensure is also required, and each state has different qualifications. Typically, the counselor must perform anywhere from 2,000 to 4,000 hours of clinical work after they receive their master’s degree, and then pass a Board Exam.
This may be a rewarding and empowering career for you, especially if you want to help others within their marriage move forward to a happy life together!