Information for Online Family Counseling Certificate Programs
Online family counseling certificate programs are designed for professionals in mental health such as counselors, psychologists, psychotherapists, school counselors, and social workers who work closely with families. The certificate programs prepare these professionals to help families, couples, and individuals within families to cope with psychological, behavioral, and emotional disorders and issues and to resolve relationship conflicts. Family counseling certificate programs are usually offered under all-inclusive names such as 'marriage and family therapy', 'marriage, couple and family counseling', and ' couple and family therapy'. These are mostly graduate level or post-master's level certificates.
The minimum admission requirement for online family counseling certificate programs is a bachelor's degree. These programs do not directly lead to any certification. But they can be beneficial for the development of your career as they might advance your knowledge in the area, fulfill some course requirements for certification or give you an edge over other job-seeking candidates. The counseling certificate programs mostly offer a very flexible schedule; some of these programs can be completed in as little as three semesters while some allow a maximum of five years for completion. Many of the family counseling certificate programs can be pursued completely online.
Requirements for Online Family Counseling Certificate Programs
Online family counseling certificate programs include courses that deal with theories and approaches that aid in the assessment and therapy of couples or families. The coursework might also include the application of these theories in real-life situations.
Common Course Topics in Online Family Counseling Certificate Programs
Family Systems Theory
A course on family systems theory analyses the relationship between couples or family members. The course explores and differentiates the traditional and modern concepts regarding family values, family dynamics, and the roles of each individual in a family structure. The course will introduce concepts of systems theory, communication, and conflict and practices of intervention and therapy in family issues.
Marital and Couple Therapy
A marital and couple therapy course introduces the theories and practices of providing therapy to couples, married or in a relationship. The course familiarizes you with techniques of intervention and planning therapy sessions for couples. The course might include analysis of literature related to couple therapy and its application in real-life treatment.
A course on addiction therapy deals with the misuse or abuse of drugs by individuals and their addiction to drugs based on dependency. The course will also examine the disorders created by drug addiction and its impacts on family and relationships. The course might also explain in detail the practices of intervention, diagnosis, and treatment used in various stages of drug addiction.
Family Therapy Models
The course on family therapy models examines and analyzes various theories, models, practices, and methods related to family and couple therapy. The course introduces you to different approaches in therapy, such as strategic, communication, behavioral, and structural models. As a part of the course, you might learn to apply these strategies and models in practical therapy scenarios.
Career Outlook after Online Family Counseling Certificate Programs
An online certificate in family counseling can land you in careers in mental healthcare centers, public agencies, non-governmental organizations, or church counseling centers; you can even opt for private practice after obtaining a license. The certificate gives you advancement in careers such as psychological therapists, school counselors, substance abuse counselors, psychologists, social workers, and pastoral counselors.
According to May 2019 data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average annual wage of clinical, counseling and school psychologists was $87,450. Psychologists were expected to experience 14% job growth from 2018-2022, which is must faster than average. Counselors who deal with mental health, substance issues and behavioral disorders earned an average of $49,950 a year. They also are projected to experience much faster than average job growth of 22% through 2028. Marriage and family therapists earned around $54,590 a year and they could see 22% job growth.
Online family counseling certificate programs are offered for those who want to work with families and couples to help them resolve individual and relationship issues. These programs can be pursued completely online.