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What is the workload like for a Masters in Counseling? I am trying to go into Marriage and Family Therapy

I am trying to go into Marriage and Family Therapy.
I just want to know how much studying there is. If there is more papers rather than exams, if there are exams at all?
What should I expect? I am coming from an undergrad Health degree, so this is all new to me.
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Cindie’s Answer

Hi Gabby. My daughter is working on her masters in marriage and family therapy. There is **a lot** of reading (she has a fine library!) and a lot of writing and presentations to demonstrate an understanding of the information, and, yes, there are tests, but less tests than there is reading, writing, and presentations. It is a lot of work, but my daughter has been able to work part time and do very well in her studies. Key to her success so far, I think, is that she is very organized.

I hope this information gives you a little more insight into what to expect, and I wish you much success in your endeavors!

--Cindie

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christine’s Answer

Hi Gabby
There are many assigned readings and most courses require 2 papers to write . There are very few tests with multiple choice type of questions. If there are exams they usually are essay type of exams.
Grades are usually based on papers that you work on for a few weeks and hand in by a deadline. In the papers you indicate your understanding of the readings and how your readings impact your work with clients.
You will likely have fieldwork where you meet with clients and have an experienced clinician providing support and supervision.
One of the valuable lessons I learned in grad school was to understand that it was impossible to read all the materials for all of the classes and that this is ok.
I learned to select the most valuable readings for each course. It might be possible to read everything if you attend grad school part time but I went full time and had a part time job.
I learned that I did not have to be perfect and learned to work smarter and not harder.
In one course, I created a "study group" with 4 other students. We each took a chapter in the text book and took notes on the chapter.
We shared our notes so this way we were able to understand the whole text book . We discussed our understanding of the text book together
and this was a valuable learning experience for us all.
I found most of the assigned readings really interesting and they helped me to be a better therapist.
Good luck on your journey! This is a very interesting and rewarding career!

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Lisa’s Answer

Hi, while it is not specifically family and marriage counseling I am currently pursuing my MSW with hopes to then move on to counseling children. With programs similar to ours there are a lot of reading and papers and less formal exams. It’s hard to skimp on the reading since you are expected to reference them in your work, but if this is a topic you’re truly passionate about the readings will be more interesting than not.

Lisa recommends the following next steps:

Have a separate day for each course.
Highlight and take note of your readings
Give yourself mental breaks in order to attain info
Take it one step at a time

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