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what is the typical path of a family counselor?

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Jeanne’s Answer

Hi Anastasia,

I'm not 100% sure what you mean by your question but I'll do my best to answer. A family counselor would get a bachelor's degree with a major in psychology and then a master's degree in either marriage and family therapy or mental health counseling (I have both) depending on what licenses are available in your state. During the school part of the master's degree, you'd get real-life experience at "practicum sites" which means you'd begin working as a counselor/marriage and family therapist under the supervision of both your school and a supervisor at the sites. Practica are typically not paid positions. Once you graduate with your master's degree, you would do an internship or post-graduate supervised work probably at a clinic for one-two years. This would be a paid job. At the end of the supervised hours (sometimes at the beginning, it depends on your state), you would take an exam and then you would have a license to practice on your own. You'd then get a job either working for a counseling agency, seeing families for therapy, or you could work for yourself in private practice.

Jeanne recommends the following next steps:

Look up your state's "Board of Counseling" or "Board of Marriage and Family Therapy" to see what education is required.
Do a web search for local "family therapists" or "family counselors" and see if you can arrange an information interview to find out what their typical training path is like and what the jobs are like.
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Wendy’s Answer

Family counselors, also known as family therapists or marriage and family therapists, work with families to solve problems, resolve emotional conflicts, promote communication and foster a healthy environment. Specifically, they may help resolve substance abuse, money problems, divorce or general stress.
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