What does a Marriage Therapist do?

What is a Marriage Therapist?

A marriage therapist is a special type of counselor that helps couples who are about to become married, or who are experiencing problems in their marriage. A marriage therapist is similar to a relationship therapist, except that marriage therapists only deal with clients who are already married or engaged. These therapists work extensively with the members of couples on an individual basis and in group settings. Marriage therapists are often represented in movies and television shows to help make the plot of a film or show more interesting. In fact, the proportion of marriage therapists represented on TV and the big screen is well over the real-life proportion of marriage therapists present in the real world. Sometimes a marriage therapist is a psychologist, but sometimes she or he is not. A marriage therapist may also be called a marriage counselor.

What does a Marriage Therapist do?

A marriage therapist works with married and engaged couples only. The therapist works with these couples on their relationship. Most of a marriage counselor's clients are already married and are experiencing a problem in their relationship. The problem they need help addressing could be due to a variety of factors. Some of the most common problems marriage therapists see clients for are cheating, affairs, money problems, problems with children, and intimacy or sexual issues. For example, a couple may try marriage therapy if the husband has cheated on his wife with a coworker. Or, marriage therapy may be in order if the couple is having a hard time adjusting to having children. Marriage therapy may help one or both partners work through the issues they have with sex. Many couples consider marriage therapy to be a last resort before divorce.

Sometimes, engaged couples seek out a marriage therapist. These couples are interested in working through any issues they may have before they get married. Some people think this makes for higher chances of having a successful marriage. The therapist will talk to these clients individually and in group settings, trying to identify any problems that may only get worse with marriage. For example, if the bride-to-be has past issues with a relationship that she has not gotten over, the marriage counselor will try to address these issues and resolve them before the wedding takes place.

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How to become a Marriage Therapist

To be a marriage therapist takes a lot of schooling. First, the interested individual must complete their high school diploma or obtain their GED. Next they must attend college, and ultimately graduate with a bachelor's degree from a 4-year university. Most aspiring marriage therapists major in fields like psychology, philosophy, humanities, liberal arts, sociology, anthropology, social work, and family and child sciences. After college, there are four paths that a potential marriage counselor has available to them. The first option is to go to grad school to earn a Master's in Counseling. This will allow the therapist to work as a licensed counselor. The next option is to go to graduate school to obtain a Master's in Psychology. This degree, plus a state certification, will allow the therapist to practice as a counselor as well. This third path is to earn a Master's in Social Work. This degree will allow the therapist to practice as a licensed clinical social worker, or LCSW. The most rigorous path is to earn a Ph.D. in Psychology, which will allow the therapist to practice as a psychologist. Once licensed to practice as a counselor, LCSW, or psychologist, the therapist simply chooses to specialize in marriage therapy.

What is the workplace of a Marriage Therapist like?

Most marriage therapists are self-employed and own their own individual marriage therapy practice. Others are partners with other therapists in a combined practice. Some are employees of other therapists in a practice. Others work for the government, non-profit organizations, local school districts, and universities. The offices of most marriage therapists are very similar - a private office that has comfortable surroundings in order to make clients feel at ease.

Marriage therapists act mostly on an individual basis, and in conjunction with their clients. Occasionally they may interact with office staff or other therapists. However, all of the information released during a therapy session is extremely confidential. As such, marriage therapists do not share much information with those around them. This means that most marriage therapists work in very independent and private workplacesMost marriage therapists are self-employed and own their own individual marriage therapy practice. Others are partners with other therapists in a combined practice. Some are employees of other therapists in a practice. Others work for the government, non-profit organizations, local school districts, and universities. The offices of most marriage therapists are very similar - a private office that has comfortable surroundings in order to make clients feel at ease.

Marriage therapists act mostly on an individual basis, and in conjunction with their clients. Occasionally they may interact with office staff or other therapists. However, all of the information released during a therapy session is extremely confidential. As such, marriage therapists do not share much information with those around them. This means that most marriage therapists work in very independent and private workplaces.