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Family Therapist Training Programs

Every family therapist currently working in the field today has had to undergo some type of educational training. Most working family therapists hold a master’s degree from an accredited college or university, though some do work with just bachelor’s degrees. If an individual is interested in becoming a family therapist, he or she will first need to acquire a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. This degree can be general in nature, such as a psychology degree. Specialized majors and specific therapy areas of study usually do not come in until a higher level of education is being pursued. No matter what educational path one takes, it is important that the student possesses a good work ethic and the determination required in order to successfully complete a family therapy degree program.

Family Therapy Classes:

As an undergraduate, prospective family therapists will want to take any and all classes that relate to understanding families and the nature of people in general. Courses in subjects such as sociology and psychology generally prove very helpful in future studies. In fact, many undergraduates who go on to pursue graduate level coursework in family therapy will major in one of these two areas. Other majors are acceptable, but it can be more difficult for a student who majored in an unrelated area to get into graduate school for family therapy.

Students working towards master’s degrees will take classes that deal more heavily with family therapy. Coursework generally includes classes on human growth, human development, society and culture, relationships, group work, counseling and therapeutic techniques and theories, psychological research, and ethics. Depending on the student’s intended career path, more specialized classes that deal with specific types of individuals or special populations may also be necessary.

Family Therapy Internships:

During or after a course of study, students will usually take internships related to family therapy. An internship can be thought of as picking up where coursework leaves off; it is experiential learning. Internships can be paid or unpaid and are sometimes required for the completion of an educational program or for licensure or certification. The number of hours required for an internship will vary from program to program, and in the case of licensure or certification, from state to state. Not all areas of family therapy practice will require licensure or certification, but some will. It is important for students to know what is expected and required of their future profession, so that they can complete all the necessary steps to securing a career in family therapy.

In many cases, internships can lead to more job opportunities, either directly or indirectly. Those who complete highly esteemed internship programs, for example, will usually find that they have an easier time securing future employment. Simply put, a good internship is a wonderful resume builder. Sometimes, if a student does particularly well at an internship, he or she will be offered a position at the interning company. For this reason, internship programs should be selected very carefully and thoughtfully.