General Question

noraasnave's avatar

What is the best degree to go for if one is pursuing a career in marriage and family counseling?

Asked by noraasnave (3087points) July 9th, 2008

In the next 5 years I anticipate finishing up my career in the USMC with a BA in something that will aid me in my goals.

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10 Answers

Bsilver's avatar

Psychology, hands down. Sociology could help too, but if you want to be a counselor, Psychology is the way to go.

noraasnave's avatar

I have a few people that are stationed with me that advise me to major in Sociology. I am interested in the reasons why you suggest this. Thanks for the response!

Bsilver's avatar

Sociology is the study of social systems, social relationships, etc. Basically, it’s the study of people. Now, as a counselor, that in and of itself won’t really do you much good, which is why I suggested Psych, sociology gives you insight into social reason’s that influence a person, psych gives you insight into psychological reason’s

marinelife's avatar

This is from the professional organization for Marriage and Family Therapists:

” Two options are available for those interested in becoming a marriage and family therapist. You could choose to complete an accredited* master’s or doctoral program in marriage and family therapy.
Master’s degree programs take 2 to 3 years, providing you with broad areas of theory and practice in marriage and family therapy. These programs will provide you with entry level education requirements for independent clinical practice in the profession. They are designed to prepare you for beginning a career in marriage and family therapy by providing basic didactic and clinical skills, as well as professional development and socialization.
Doctoral degree programs take 3 to 5 years – depending on whether or not you have a master’s degree in MFT – and will prepare you for an academic career, research, advanced clinical practice and supervision. The doctoral curriculum provides you with advanced instruction in marriage and family therapy research, theory construction and supervision.

The second way to become an MFT begins by earning a graduate degree in another mental health field – psychiatry, psychology, clinical social work, psychiatric nursing, etc. After earning a degree you may decide to study MFT in depth at one of the accredited* post-graduate degree clinical training programs that provide clinical education in marriage and family therapy. A program may allow you to receive specialized training in a particular modality or treatment population.”

jacksonRice's avatar

you know, i would actually consider a degree in philosophy or some other non-specific idea-provoking subject for your BA, & then go for psych or sociology for your master’s… even something spiritual or medicinal would not be inappropriate. i imagine that undergrad psychology, depending on the academic institution, might be disasterous.

tinyfaery's avatar

Psychology and sociology are obvious, but not always the best choice. I work with MSWs, MFTs, those with MAs and PhDs in psych and soc, as well as MAs in anything from philosophy to cultural studies, but we all do pretty much the same thing, counsel. You’ll get all of the info you need to be a good MFT in your graduate program, so maybe try something else for your undergrad work. A diverse background makes for an MFT who can be creative and think “outside of the box”. Even though I dislike that saying.

NVOldGuy's avatar

I would look into the various jobs and what they want a degree in. I’m sure someone in your school has the information you need.

noraasnave's avatar

Thank you all very much for your thoughtful and insightful responses! I have received some good information to think about. I am going to talk to my college and I am considering with a little more information what to get my Bachelor’s degree in. I have seen some people act in the capacity as a counselor only with a Bachelor’s degree in social work. I don’t want to go that route. I did try to get into philosophy, actually my current major is philosophy, but I didn’t really like it. I might pick a different ‘humanity’ to major in. Thanks again. i will of course keep monitoring your suggestions.

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noraasnave's avatar

Follow up post:
I am almost done with my BA in Philosophy…will be getting started with my Master’s Degree in the Fall. Thanks for the good advice!

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