How To Become A Family Therapist
You may enjoy helping people, and are wondering, how to become a family therapist. A family therapist, also known as a marriage and family therapist (MFT), treats emotional or behavioral problems, as well as relationship issues in families. Once you become a family therapist, you may treat people with conditions such as bulimia, depression, substance abuse, or marital problems. You can follow one of three options to become a family therapist.
- Complete a two to three year master’s degree program. Graduating with a master’s degree will help you meet entry level requirements for having your own clinical practice, by teaching you the theory and practice of marriage and family therapy. You’ll also have a chance to practice your skills in a clinical setting.
- Complete a three to five year doctoral degree program. Graduating with a doctoral degree will prepare you if you want to teach, do research, or become a supervisor. Finishing your family therapist program in less than five years, will depend on whether you have already obtained your master’s degree.
- Graduate with a degree in an alternate mental health field. Graduating in an alternate mental health field such as psychology, clinical social work, or psychiatric nursing, allows you to enroll in an accredited clinical training program, and you can put into practice the concepts you’ve learned in your classes.
- Apply for your MFT license. You are eligible to become licensed after graduating from an accredited marriage and family therapy program, and completing two years of supervised clinical experience after graduation. State licensing requirements will vary so check with your state licensing board for certification or licensing requirements.