Tag Archives: marriage counseling

What Skills Do I Need to Become a Marriage Counselor?

You might know that a master’s degree in marriage and family counseling is required to become a marriage counselor. However, only fulfilling the educational requirements is not enough to achieve professional success in the field marriage or family counseling. Apart from having a relevant degree, you also need to possess some key skills. Bu what are those job skills?

How to Become a Marriage Counselor

Given below are some of the most important skills that you’ll need to become successful as a marriage counselor.

Interpersonal Skills
Interpersonal or people skills is a vital capability that a trained marriage counselor should possess. By using these skills, the counselor can encourage clients for increased participation in a conversation. How two people relate to each other actually depends on what kind of interpersonal skills they possess.

Marriage or family counselors should also possess the capability of listening to people sympathetically. It’s important is to have a genuine concern for people you work with. Unless you have a sympathetic ear, you may not be able to deal with clients in an efficient manner.

Communication Skills
Communication is the bridge that connects the client with you on a personal level. If you want to become a marriage counselor, you should start working on your communication skills as early as possible.

Apart from being an excellent communicator, you need to develop strong listening skills. People will be eager to speak only when they are sure the other person is going to pay heed. To achieve professional success in marriage counseling, you need to listen patiently and attentively to the problems that clients may have.

Eye Contact
Maintaining eye contacts with clients during a conversation is very important. Trained marriage counselors know how to benefit from making eye contacts. It’s one of those skills that enable clients to open up more. While listening or talking to clients, you should never look here and there, as it is a signal of disinterest.

While working as a marriage and family counselor, you should always have a genuine concern for helping people. Today, people are faced with a wide range of critical issues including substance abuse, marriage conflicts, extra-marital issues, mental imbalance etc. Unless you are really keen to help them, clients will not be able to talk their problems out.

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How to Become a Marriage Counselor

Becoming a marriage counselor, degree in counseling and other education requirements, job outlook for marriage counseling jobs and annual salary..

Marriage counselors are professionals who are trained in numerous counseling techniques. Counselors use these techniques to help couples find solutions to the problems that they may face in their married lives. Today’s world is quite fast paced and hectic. And difficult situations arrive almost in every couple’s life at some time or the other. Marriage counselors, therefore, help married couples in resolving a variety of conflicting issues and problems. These issues may vary from one couple to another.

Some of the issues that marriage counselors may need to deal with include –

Child and adolescent behavioral problems
Domestic conflict/ violence
Substance abuse

There are many more problematic situations that couples may face from time to time. Problems can vary from small to large. Married couples may face problems on a daily basis. In all these situations, marriage counselors make use of special techniques and counsel couples on modifying their behaviors and perceptions, depending on the requirement. Counseling may include multiple talking sessions which counselors use to identify the fears, issues and needs of married couples.

Training & Education Requirement
Educational requirements to become a marriage counselor may vary from one state to another. A bachelor’s degree with a supporting counseling course may be acceptable in some of the states. However, a master’s degree in counseling is the standard requirement for becoming a successful marriage counselor. In addition to obtaining the required education, counselors also need to be licensed by the state where they work.

Career Prospects
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment growth rate for marriage counseling jobs is expected to grow much faster than the average of all occupations. A growth of 30% is expected from 2006 through to the year 2016.

Salary of Marriage Counselors
Salaries earned by marriage counselors depend on the years of experience they carry. Those who have an experience of 1 year or less earn between the range of $29,938 and $46,452. Counselors who have an experience of 1 to 4 years earn an average annual salary ranging between $32,016 and $45,453.


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