What Does a Family Counselor do on a Daily Basis?

Knowing what does a family counselor do on a daily basis can reveal the basic skills needed to diagnose, treat, and rehabilitate troubled domestic relationships. Having an unbiased opinion helps resolve difficult internal strife while developing individual skills to prevent future tension. Family counseling can a rewarding career if your aim is to create a gateway for a healthy household.


The focus for any family counselor is relationship resolution. The issues to be resolved depend upon the type of relationship and family circumstance. Family counselors may treat patients in the following situations:

  • Parenting- consultation on childrearing and behavioral issues
  • Marriage- pre-marriage development or post-marital arguments, infertility, domestic abuse, loss of a child
  • Divorce- couples contemplating divorce or post-divorce conflicts such as property or parental disagreements
  • Sibling- rivalries between siblings, estate disputes, sexual abuse
  • Individual- grief, depression caused by family issues, inherited substance abuse


The first step for a family counselor to help their patients is to define the problem by listening to all sides of the story. Counselors may meet with family members one-on-one and establish contact with all parties of the problem. This may include in-person meetings, phone calls to relatives, or video conferences. By collecting background information, a family counselor can get a full view of the problem from all perspectives. The next step is to diagnose the cause of the problem. This may be discovered by the practice of psychotherapy where a mental disorder or behavioral habit is identified. Family counselors use analytical consultations to reveal hidden feelings, lost memories, and unconscious thoughts in order to properly characterize the source of the issue. Developing solutions is the final stage. A concise plan is created to treat the problem holistically. Several tactics of conflict resolution include:

  • Role playing
  • Personality assessments
  • Form new communication skills
  • Promotion of wellness exercises

Suitable Traits

Listening and caring for other people takes a great deal of patience and compassion. It is important to understand the daily duties of a family therapist so that you can handle the emotional strain of the job. Being kind and understanding also builds trust between you and your clients. This makes it easier for people to share their deepest experiences and emotions with you. When you can be empathetic, it helps you make a non-judgmental analysis. Finally, a general desire to help others makes your work genuine. Your clients will sense your authenticity and take your advice seriously, thus making your work successful and gratifying.

How To Become A Family Counselor

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, to become an entry-level family counselor you will require at least a master’s degree. The American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) also recommends at least two years of clinical training. A state license is required to practice as a family counselor.

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There is always a need for family therapy sessions as behavioral and mental health disorders can drastically hinder relationships. Understanding what does a family counselor do on a daily basis may lead you to consider a very personable and satisfying career option.