Being a relationship counselor can be gratifying experience. In today’s fast-paced world, couples face many issues that can have unfortunate consequences on their relationships. Licensed relationship counselors are needed to help these couples deal with and resolve their problems. A relationship counselor can provide several types of services. This can include counseling services about love relationships, family, marriage, and divorce. You will also be teaching them effective communication skills they can use to settle their difficulties in positive and productive ways.
Things You'll Need
- A masters degree in counseling
- License from the state of practice
Evaluate your interest in helping other people. This should be your primary requisite. Relationship counseling deals with guiding individuals to healthier communication and compassionate understanding with their respective partners. You should have genuine respect for the complex web of human relations in order to help these people.
Enroll in a college or university offering a bachelors degree in psychology or counseling. This will take an average of four years to complete if you are enrolled full time. You need to have an undergraduate background in psychology, family courses, or some form of social studies coursework focused on human development, communication, and emotions in order to qualify for the graduate degree in counseling.
Attend a graduate school, for an additional year or two, in order to obtain a specialized masters degree in family psychiatry or relationship counseling. Here you will experience the necessary field training and clinical internships.
Consider studying online if you are unable to study full time on campus for several years required to become a relationship counselor. Today, the majority of universities offer evening and online courses suitable to your personal situation.
Take the licensing exam for your state. You need this in most states in order to serve the public. According to the American Association and Family Therapy's website, “Licensure or certification laws for marriage and family therapists (MFTs) provide a mechanism for the public and third-parties to identify qualified practitioners of marriage and family therapy.” Their website has links to your state's licensing board authority (See Resources 1).
Tips & Warnings
- Join a Professional Association such as the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy or American Counseling Association to keep up with Continuing Education requirements, changes in the field and laws that effect you as a professional. Professional Associations also offer many valuable resources to beginning as well as established practitioners, such as Job Boards, Certifications, Annual Conferences, Insurance, Government Representation, and more.
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