How to Become a Family Therapist

How to Become a Family TherapistPeople with a sincere interest and desire in helping families succeed in overcoming their obstacles are often interested in learning how to become a family therapist. Therapists focus on improving the family dynamic by guiding and helping families resolve issues related to communication and conflicts. Counseling sessions involve all the members of the family.

The Roles and Responsibilities of a Family Therapist

The family therapist uses a number of counseling and other techniques. These techniques are used to understand the dynamic between members of the family. The therapy stresses the dynamic or relationship between members rather than what goes on with each individual member. They analyze instances of ongoing or prior conflict to point out alternative ways that family members could have responded. They also identify patterns of interaction between members that may perpetuate the conflict. On a more abstract level they may even identify the particular source of conflict. The family therapist uses his or her training and skills to aid the family so that it can remain a successful unit for all of its members.

The responsibilities of the family therapist are to guide the family and to help it remain cohesive. The therapist will use a circular type of technique to evaluate and analyze the family’s problems instead of placing blame or allocating individual causative factors. This will help families identify patterns of behavior, the causes and what can be done by each member to improve their situation.

How To Become A Family Therapist: Professional Qualifications

In order to become a family therapist, one must have obtained an accredited Master’s degree in counseling, or marriage and family therapy. A degree from an accredited program, such as one from a school on this list, is recommended. Practitioners are licensed by each of the states, and hence passing a state administered examination is required. Additionally, a supervised and approved clinical internship of two years is necessary in order to be eligible for the exam. Licensees are required to take continuing education courses to keep current with changes in the profession and practice.

Important Skills of a Family Therapist

Individuals looking for how to become a family therapist should consider which personality traits are necessary to have. Being compassionate is one of them. A family therapist counsels clients who are emotionally distraught to seek solutions to their problems. Thus, a therapist needs to have a high level of understanding and empathy. Family therapists also require having excellent listening skills, organizational skills, communication skills and people skills. Each of these skills is important to have in order to understand the dynamic in the therapy session. The skills are also necessary for the therapist to ensure the success of the session for all members.

Job Outlook for Family Therapists

Anyone interested in learning how to become a family therapist should be encouraged about the future of family therapy. The outlook for family therapists is bright. The US Bureau of Labor expects the profession to grow much faster than others during the decade of 2010 to 2020. It is anticipated that approximately 58,500 new positions will be added. Thus, the opportunity to have an outstanding career in this profession is good. The approximate income for family therapists in 2010 was $45,720 per year.

Now that you know how to become a family therapist, you can now decide if you have the desire and personal commitment that is required to become one.

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