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Why Become a Marriage and Family Therapist?

Therapy is one of the most sought after services within the past few years. More than 40 million Americans received mental health treatment, including 15.8% who have reported taking prescription medication and 9.5% who received counseling or therapy from a mental health professional in 2019. Throughout the years, the importance of therapy has left many wondering if they too could be a part of the solution of bringing therapeutic practices and methods to their suffering communities. With the rise of multicultural communities seeking therapy clinics and practitioners, the time to become a marriage and family therapist is now. 

With dozens of exemplary graduates currently practicing at various therapy clinics across the country, it’s no wonder ACU Online’s Master of Marriage and Family Therapy (MMFT) degree is one of the leading online graduate programs, hands down. Offering courses related to the theoretical and practical applications of therapy and development, you can become a marriage and family therapist from the comfort of your own home and on your schedule. 

As the rise of mental health crises continues and urbanization begins to speed up across the United States, the need for qualified therapists across various demographics, locations, and environments has skyrocketed. Whether you’re interested in serving children in domestic situations or marriages on the brink of divorce, your passion to help and listen is necessary at this moment in time. And your moment can start with ACU Online. 

Interested in knowing more? Here are some reasons you should consider becoming a marriage and family therapist. 

Connecting with Families

Forbes magazine found a total of 689,000 divorces occurred in the United States in 2021, alone. Today, the current stats suggest that the divorce rate in the United States is approximately 2.7 per 1,000 population. With these staggering numbers and increase in families being separated, the need for qualified marriage and family therapists is immediate. Approximately, 50% of all children in the United States have witnessed the ending of a parent’s marriage. One in 4 children under 18 years old (23%) live with one parent and 43% of U.S. children live without their father. As scary and saddening these statistics are, many families have been able to reconcile through professionals and focus groups led by therapists or counselors. 

As someone looking to work with children and families, you will need to know the fundamentals of what it looks like to work with people undergoing trauma, heart-ache, and even depression. Despite the harsh realities of working with families that may never remarry or connect in the same way, your efforts of bringing a family together can be a life-giving and rewarding experience. Through concentrations such as Child and Adolescent Therapy and General Marriage and Family Therapy you will have the opportunity to take courses related to Family Theory, Couples Therapy, and Family Therapy I, all focused on exploring the conceptual frameworks, strategies, and counseling principles necessary to building functional relationships and conversations. Whether you are working in a non-profit setting or church environment, the richness of the family unit can be re-harnessed through your understanding of what it means to respectfully and caringly listen to the needs of others. Under the supervision of our practitioners and faculty members like Dr. Sara Sakil, you will have the opportunity to ask the hard questions and learn various methods on how to help families undergoing hardships. 

Providing Different Perspectives

There are various reasons why people seek out professional mental help. Perhaps they are going through a breakup, lost their job, feel unmotivated, or overworked. Regardless, people have needs and the most important is the need to be heard. Psychologists have called this need part of our survival skills: to express pain, helplessness or even the feeling of being endangered. As a mental health professional, your listening ear allows for your clients to speak freely while simultaneously allowing you to pour into their situation. Whether you’re working one to one with a patient or in a group setting, your voice and listening ear work in tandem to bring new perspectives and strategies to the forefront of the issue(s) at hand. 

Gaining excellent skills in motivational interviewing or other counseling methods, you will gain the skills to help resolve conflicting feelings and insecurities within your client, in an effort to help them find the motivation necessary to change a behavior or thought process. Through concentrations such as Treatment of Trauma and General Marriage and Family Therapy, you will have the opportunity to take courses related to Trauma Intervention Models, Systemic Trauma and Violence, and Cultural Diversity in Family Therapy, all focused on exploring the psychopathology diagnosis and assessments for your client as well as learning systemic ways of understanding the issues that can arise when dealing with differing gender, ethnicities, and social classes. By becoming aware of how diverse your clients can be, as well as your own identity, you will be able to bring your client new ways of thinking, processing, problem solving and even treating their current state of mind. 

Utilizing Your Passion For Service

One of the top reasons people become therapists is the job satisfaction they receive from the people they help. To many people, therapy is a very rewarding career because of its unique aspects of assisting others through breakthroughs from addictions, trauma, or everyday problems. In fact, according to Indeed, many people in the mental health profession see therapy less as an occupation and more as their calling. Because therapists play a pivotal role in people getting better and stronger, you can rest assured that becoming a therapist can give you more benefits than just a great salary or job outlook. As a student, you will learn so many ways to exercise your passion for service via courses focused on allowing you to gain counseling experience through role-playing with your fellow colleagues. With the added layer of basic counseling skills as well as self-awareness of one’s own situation and background, students prepare themselves for the 500-hour internship at the clinic of their choosing to focus on the demographic and communities they care about most. 

Don’t let another moment go by. Your drive and passion to be a servant in your community can start today. Visit our website to chat with our Admissions Advisors to learn more about this exciting – and rewarding – program.

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