What Coursework is Common for a Marriage and Family Counseling Degree?

counseling courseworkIf your career goal is to become a family therapist or marriage counselor, you need to enroll in an accredited marriage and family counseling degree program and complete all of the coursework that is required to earn your degree and sit for the licensing exam. Not all programs will have the same curriculum requirements, but many of the classes you must complete are similar in nature. Here are some of the Master of Marriage and Family Counseling courses that you should expect to complete so that you can hold your degree and later be licensed.

What Are the Prerequisites to Enter a Master’s Program?

You must first earn your bachelor’s degree in counseling or psychology before you can enter into a master’s program with a more focused curriculum. If you are planning on enrolling in a master’s degree program, you should familiarize yourself with the prerequisite requirements while you are still finishing undergraduate coursework. This helps you avoid having to enter into school as a part-time student just to complete the courses you forgot to enroll in. Typically, master’s programs will require that you complete coursework in human development, research methods, fundamentals of counseling and sociology prior to taking a graduate course. This helps reduce the credits you must take while you are studying for your master’s degree.

Program Coursework You Will Complete When you Study for your Master’s

Now that you have completed your undergraduate degree, you need to prepare yourself for graduate study. There are plenty of different courses that you can enroll in to gain licensure in the field and to become a skilled therapist. The classes that you need to complete will vary. All accredited courses are recognized by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education, and these programs meet the standards of the commission. This means that some of the classes taught in these programs will be the same, but not all of them.

Coursework that you may need to complete includes classes on: systematic family therapy, therapy methods, marriage relations, family research, human development, ethics, community therapy, divorce, dysfunctional families, couples therapy, human sexuality, domestic violence, group therapy and pediatric mental health. Some of these courses are required and others are electives that can be selected based on the speciality you would like to pursue.

Continuing Education Courses in Family Therapy

Education does not stop once you earn your master’s degree or your doctorate. If you want to maintain your license, you must complete continuing education classes and meet the requirements set forth by the state. Most states require you to take practical courses that relate to counseling and therapy. The number of credit hours that you must complete depends entirely on the state that you are licensed in. Check with the Board of Licensure for Marriage and Family Therapists to find out how many credits you need to complete.

The demand for mental health counselors in family therapy is projected to grow by 29%. If you would like to enter this field, now is the time to complete training. Once you complete your coursework for a marriage and family counseling degree, you can complete the clinical experience you need to and then take your licensing exam.