dcsimg



Schools in the USA
Back to Career Search     

Family Counselor


Description

Very few of us are lucky enough to have been raised in ideal family situations, with picket fences hemming in perfect birthday parties, home-cooked meals, and joyful summer holidays filled with barbecues, potato sack races, and camping trips. Most families have problems, and if those problems go untreated, they will slowly take over, creating problems for parents and children alike.

Luckily, family counselors involve themselves in those lives. They recognize that every family has its own problems, and that, for some families, those problems can get too overwhelming, leading to a breakdown in communication and trust amongst the family members. Family counselors are trained professionals who help families through those tough times. They meet with families who have endured the pain of illness, death, unemployment, and divorce, helping each family member deal with the troubling issues and restore communication and support within the family unit. Family counselors concentrate on using the family's existing skills to reconnect and confront their problems in useful, positive ways. Together the family and the counselor try and develop new strategies to deal with the existing problems. By discussing feelings, emotions, and destructive behavior, and by allowing the family to identify how their actions and feelings may be negatively affecting them, a counselor helps them put the pieces back together. After each session, the counselor should keep thorough, clear notes, in order to make plans for future sessions.

A family counselor must be able to identify the problems in the first place. Often, it could be that the parents need couples' counseling, or the children may need to see child or youth counselors, as well.

Family counseling is not an easy job. Each facet brings its own challenges and rewards. A family counselor must be emotionally stable, compassionate, and willing to fight for their clients.
 
View Schools for this Career: 
         Related Careers
arrow Addictions Counselor
arrow Bereavement Counselor
arrow Career Counselor
arrow [ view all related careers ]



Program Spotlight
Matching School Ad
Northcentral University
  • Northcentral University was founded in 1996 to provide working professionals around the world with unprecedented access to richly engaging, professionally relevant, and academically-rigorous education from a U.S. university.
Programs Offered:
  • DMFT - Mental Health Administration
  • MAMFT - LGBTQ Couple and Family Therapy
  • DMFT - Small Business Development and Entrepreneurship
  • And more...

 

 



  Average Earnings  
Lowest 10% of Earners:
$20,960
 
Median Salary:
$35,580
 
Highest 10% of Earners:
$59,030

  Interests and Skills  
Interested in a career in family counseling? Family counselors should be mature, patient, sensitive and non-judgmental. They must also be resourceful, emotionally stable, and flexible when it comes to hours, workplace, and client behavior. They have a genuine desire to help all people, and are willing to come up with creative, innovative solutions for each family they encounter. They need good verbal and written communication skills as well as empathy for those whom they are counseling.
 

  Typical Tasks  
  • Interview family members alone, and as a unit, to obtain family history and understand dynamics
  • Help parents and children to understand their feelings and behavior through various techniques
  • Ask leading questions, in an effort to guide family members' thinking
  • Help family members to develop healthy communication skills
  • Coach them in new skills and strategies to deal with family issues
  • Consult with or refer clients to other social services
  • Keep clear, confidential records of clients' progress
  • A typical day for a family counselor will involve a lot of listening. Listening to family histories, listening to communication skills, listening to how parents relate to each other, and how the children relate to their parents. They will try and restore a feeling of trust and community within the family they are working with, through private sessions, group sessions, games, role playing, and by speaking with other social service workers who may have come in contact with the family before. Comprehensive reports documenting the family's progress should also be regularly updated.

  Workplaces, Employers and Industries  
  • Family counselors work for religious organizations, school boards, and with government agencies and with social service initiatives, but they can also be found in private practice, working alone or alongside a team of marriage, family, and child counselors. If they work in private practice, their hours will be fairly regular, with weekends, evenings and holidays off. If they choose to work in the public sector, however, they may work in group-home settings, or shelters, where they can be on-call at all hours, everyday of the week. They may work alongside other health care practitioners, social workers, and therapists.

  Long Term Career Potential  
A family counselor in private practice can switch over to working with government agencies or non-profit organizations, or vice versa. There is also the option of returning to school, completing a PhD, and becoming a registered psychologist. They can also write self-help books for families, go on lecture tours, or run workshops dealing with issues like communication and respect.
 

  Educational Paths  
In order to work as a family counselor, it is a good idea to work towards becoming a member in a professional organization. This will prove the counselors dedication to their work, and create a sense of trust between themselves and their clients. In order to become a member in one of these organizations, prospective counselors need to have a bachelor's degree in any subject, a master's degree in psychology, social work or family studies, and then complete two years of supervised, post-degree work in family therapy and counseling. They can practice as a family counselor without joining a professional organization, but may choose to work in the public sector, as it will be harder for them to find clients in the private sphere.
 

Sources:
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, 2002, http://www.bls.gov/oes/2002/oes_nat.htm

Featured Schools

Matching School Ads
Northcentral University
  • Northcentral University was founded in 1996 to provide working professionals around the world with unprecedented access to richly engaging, professionally relevant, and academically-rigorous education from a U.S. university.
Programs Offered:
  • DMFT - Mental Health Administration
  • MAMFT - LGBTQ Couple and Family Therapy
  • DMFT - Small Business Development and Entrepreneurship
  • And more...

 
LeTourneau University - Online
Founded in 1946 by Mr. R.G. LeTourneau, LeTourneau University is private, nondenominational Christian university offering a wide array of undergraduate and graduate degree programs in the College of Engineering, Business and Technology; the College of Aviation & Aeronautical Science; the College of College of Education, Arts and Sciences; and the College of Health Sciences & Professional Studies.
Programs Offered:
  • Master of Arts in Counseling with a Marriage and Family Specialization
  • Master of Arts in Counseling with a Professional Counselor and Marriage and Family Specializations
  • Master of Arts in Counseling with a Professional Counselor Specialization
  • And more...

 
Purdue University Global
Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor's Programs in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
Programs Offered:
  • MS in Education - Educational Psychology
  • MS in Psychology
  • MS in Psychology - General Psychology
  • And more...

 
Pepperdine University - Marriage and Family Therapy

Pepperdine University’s online MFT master’s program prepares students to pursue licensure in California as LMFTs or LPCCs who help individuals, couples, and families thrive. No GRE required to apply.

Programs Offered:
  • Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology with an Emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy

 
Keiser University

Since 1977, Keiser University has provided quality student-centered, career-focused education. Keiser University Online offers degree programs online to prepare students for in-demand professions.

Programs Offered:
  • Master of Science in Psychology
  • Bachelor of Arts in Psychology

 
Kaplan University

WELCOME TO KAPLAN UNIVERSITY

Online Education That Fits Your Life

For 80 years, we’ve been preparing students for career success. We’ve led the wayso that our students can too.

Programs Offered:
  • BS in Psychology - Industrial/Organizational Psychology
  • Psychology
  • MS in Psychology - Applied Behavior Analysis Specialization
  • And more...

 
Post University Online

At Post University, we believe you shouldn’t have to put your life on hold to further your education.

Programs Offered:
  • B.S. in Human Services / Counseling
  • Graduate Certificate in Alcohol & Drug Counseling
  • Graduate Certificate in Professional Counseling
  • And more...

 
South University

As a student at South University, you will have the opportunity to learn from accomplished faculty members who have real-world experience in the subjects that they teach. Our small class sizes allow you to receive personalized attention from instructors, and the encouragement to recognize your goals for the future and the means to achieve them.

Programs Offered:
  • Psychology (BA)

 
The Chicago School of Professional Psychology

The Chicago School is a not-for-profit, regionally accredited institution with more than 4285 students at campuses across the country and online.

Programs Offered:
  • M.S. Applied Behavior Analysis

 
Abilene Christian University

Abilene Christian University is a national leader in Christian higher education and a place where students, faculty, staff and alumni make a real difference in the world.

Programs Offered:
  • Master of Marriage and Family Therapy
  • Master of Marriage and Family Therapy - Child & Adolescent Therapy
  • Master of Marriage and Family Therapy - Medical Family Therapy
  • And more...

 
Matching School Ads
  Universities and Colleges
Clarkson UniversityColorado School of MinesDalhousie University
Oral Roberts UniversityPenn State HarrisburgTemple University
The University of HoustonThompson Rivers UniversityUNB Saint John
University of AlabamaUniversity of ArkansasUniversity of British Columbia
University of IowaUniversity of New BrunswickUniversity of Ottawa
York University
Agriculture and Bio-resources | Allied Health and Health Sciences | Applied Business Technology | Architecture
Business Administration | Computer Science | Cosmetology and Esthetics | Culinary, Travel &Hospitality | Dance 
Engineering Technology & Applied Technology |Engineering | Film | Fine Arts and Design | Humanities and Liberal ArtsJustice and Security
Music
| Natural and Applied Sciences | Naturopathic and Holistic MedicineNursingPublic Administration & PolicyReligious and Theological Studies
Sport Sciences and Physical Education | Teacher Education | Theatre
Articles | College News | Videos | Feedback | Career Search
Home | About Us | Contact Us | Faq | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Site Map | Cities Site Map

Copyright 2003- 2018 QuinStreet, Inc. All Rights Reserved.