Overview of Online Certificates in Marriage Counseling
Marriage counseling is a form of psychotherapy that helps couples, individuals, families, and children. Certificate programs in marriage counseling prepare students to understand mental, behavioral, emotional, sexual, and relationship issues so they are able to find effective solutions for resolving conflict and bringing normalcy in marriages or families. These programs are appropriate for psychologists, healthcare providers, counselors, therapists, and other behavioral health professionals who want to add these types of counseling skills to their current practice. Marriage counseling programs are sometimes offered with different names, such as family counseling, couple and family therapy, marriage and family therapy, or marriage and couple counseling.
Several schools offer marriage counseling certificate programs completely in an online format, whereas in other schools, students may need to attend a required residency program or complete an optional practicum or internship to get real-world experience. Most of the online marriage counseling certificates are either graduate programs or post-master's programs, which require a bachelor's degree or graduate degree, respectively, for admission. Some of these certificates may prepare students to meet a state's educational requirements for marriage and family therapist licensure.
Requirements for a Marriage Counseling Certificate
Online marriage counseling certificate programs typically offer a flexible schedule, and while the program duration varies from school to school, a few schools offer this program with duration of as little as seven weeks, while some other schools offer a program lasting three to ten semesters.
Information and Requirements
An online marriage counseling certificate program includes around 15 to 18 credits of coursework. A program with a residency might require up to 30 hours of coursework. Generally, these certificate programs cover courses like marital and couple therapy, human sexuality, family systems and their diversity, and addiction therapies for families. In addition to building students' practical skills, these curricula aims to strengthen their theoretical knowledge of counseling approaches.
During a residency or an internship program, students are trained on-site under the supervision of experienced marriage and family therapists. These experiences can take place at a school's marriage and family therapy institute.
Though online marriage counseling certificate programs are typically available for students holding at least a bachelor's degree from an accredited college, some schools also consider students with two years of undergraduate credits and five years of work experience. Official transcripts of previously attended schools, a resume explaining achievements, and two recommendation letters could be required along with an online application. A few schools may conduct a face-to-face or digital interviews with candidates.
Career Outlook for a Marriage Counseling Certificate
An online marriage counseling certificate can help candidates apply their skills in health care centers, churches, public organizations, NGOs, and private practices. A marriage counselor often collaborates with other counselors or health care professionals to help a client with behavior disorders, sexual and domestic abuse, and mental health issues. Though this certificate helps in career development, the qualifications of a marriage counselor also include a master's degree, work experience, and licensure along with strong speaking skills, listening skills, and interpersonal skills.
Per the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median pay for marriage and family counselors was $49,610 per year, or $23.85 per hour, as of 2019. The projected job growth for marriage and family counselors is 22% from 2018-2028, which is much faster than the average.
An online marriage counseling certificate program offers a flexible way for mental healthcare professionals to strengthen their abilities to solve conflicts in marriages and families, and some of these programs are available with a 100% online delivery format. Typically, students need to hold at least a bachelor's degree, since marriage counseling certificate programs are offered at the graduate level or post-master's level.