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North Carolina Educational Requirements for Family Therapists

There are many requirements for becoming a marriage and family counselor in the state of North Carolina but before going through the steps it takes to get this accomplished it may be important to you that you know what a person in this field does and is responsible for.  A marriage and family counselor is a person who provides therapy services to individuals and families that want to resolve conflicts that are often very emotional in nature.  The goal of any family therapist is to change the perceptions and/or behaviors of the people that they work with for the good of their happiness and functionality in their daily lives.  A person who works in this field also has the job of improving communication and prevention of crises with the people that they work with and they can do this in a variety of ways using many counseling and behavior modification techniques.   The marriage and family therapists in the US work in a variety of settings including various mental health centers across the country as well as clinics, hospitals, private practices, and social service agencies.   In addition to this the salary that a family therapist makes may have a lot to do with where they work.  Those who work in private practice generally make the most money but may also be the most qualified as a result. 

Getting certified to work in this field involves going to school for at least 6 years in most cases as well as completing a series of supervised clinical trials upon graduating from graduate school.  If you are planning on pursuing a degree at the undergraduate level and then going on to graduate school in this field then it is important to choose your degree program wisely to ensure that you adequately prepare yourself for what is ahead.  Many graduate degree programs require that a person choose a psychology discipline as a field of study for their bachelor’s degree to be admitted into the marriage and family therapy program.  It is possible to be accepted into a grad school program without pursuing a psychology degree though as social work is also an acceptable bachelor’s program to pursue when attempting to become a family therapist.   In addition to this the experience that you acquire while pursuing your undergraduate degree can make the difference between whether you get into graduate school or not so it may be important to keep this in mind while in school.  Taking all of the research opportunities that you can while in an undergraduate degree program may also help you to get into a good graduate school program in addition to having a good GPA and GRE scores.

After graduating from graduate school with your master’s degree in marriage and family therapy the next step in the process of getting certified to practice is going through many hours of clinical trials with supervision.  This is a necessary step to getting certified which will show you how to be successful in the field through giving you loads of experience.  The clinical trials you go through may prove to be an eye opening experience in which you learn much about treatment and diagnosing patients using a more hands on approach then you may be used to throughout your educational career.  Once the clinical trials are over you should be in the position that you feel comfortable taking the next step in the process which is taking your licensing exam and going on to becoming a practicing therapist. After getting your license you can now shop around the country for jobs or find a practice that is hiring in your area.