How to Become a Marriage Counselor

This article provides in-depth information into What is a Marriage Counselor? What Marriage Counselor do? Degrees for Marriage Counselor, Steps to become Marriage Counselor and much more.

Marriage Counselor

Marriage counseling, also called couples therapy, helps couples (wedded or not) comprehend and resolve clashes and enhance their relationship. Marriage counseling gives couples the instruments to impart better, negotiate differences, discuss issues and even argue in a healthier way. A marriage counselor's job is to guide a couple in determining what the real issues are, how to better solve differences and how to judge whether the marriage is salvageable.

What does Marriage Counselor do ?

Marriage counselors, or marriage and family therapists, are licensed mental health practitioners who work with couples to enable them to enhance their connections.

  • Meets and talks with all members of a family involved in the therapy

  • Provide clients a safe, neutral place to talk openly about their marriage

  • Analysing a couple's problems by discussing their history

  • The counselor offers guidance and advice to couples.

  • Helping couples determine whether or not their conflicts are reconcilable

  • Solving couples problem by establishing better communication between them.

Steps for becoming Marriage Counselor


Get A Bachelor’s Degree

Gaining a four year Bachelor’s degree is commonly required preceding selecting in a Master’s degree program, which is required for marriage advocates. Most schools don't offer four-year certification programs particularly in marriage counseling, yet understudies may gain their college degree in social work, psychology or another related zone.


Get A Master’s Degree

A graduate degree is the base education expected to become a marriage instructor. Master's degree programs completely instruct understudies in sociology related regions of marriage counseling, regularly offering courses in territories such as cultural diversity, couples therapy, family systems sociology and marriage counseling ethics.


Gain Clinical Experience

Marriage counseling licensure necessities change from state to state. States order the completion of a specific number of hours of supervised marriage counseling work experience before conceding licensure. The standard directed clinical prerequisite for marriage and family therapists is two years.


Get Licensed As A Marriage Counselor

A written exam is required to get licensure, and classes and exams on ethical standards may likewise be required, contingent upon the state. A few states have their own licensing exams, while others use a standard exam gave by the American Association to Marriage and Family Therapy Regulatory Boards. After finishing the required instructive essentials, clinical work involvement and exams aspiring marriage counselors can apply for a state permit. This is the last required advance before starting a profession as a marriage instructor.


Continue Education

Almost all states require the completion of continuing education credits to maintain or renew a marriage counselor license. While correct standards and controls vary from state to state, most licenses lapse on a yearly or semiannual premise and require finishing of roughly 30 proceeding with education units for renewal.

Marriage Counselor Degree Levels


A master’s degree is the minimum requirement to become a Marriage counselor, however, you can start out with a 2-year associate’s degree to see if you are seriously interested in pursuing the career before obtaining your bachelor’s or master’s degrees.

Psychology Foundations
  • Brain functions

  • Behavioral relationships

  • Personality

  • To understand methods and techniques of psychology

  • History, biology, and foundations of psychology

Personality Theories
  • Influential personality theories

  • Individual differences in behavior

  • Development of personality

  • To understand humanistic traits in personality

  • Study variety of personality theories

  • Stability of personality over time and situations

Human Development
  • Life Stages

  • Infant Observation

  • Exploring Preoperational Thinking

  • Physical, social and physiological changes from birth until death

  • Analyze developmental concerns from birth to death

  • cognitive foundations of intelligence


In bachelor’s degree students study different areas related to marriage counseling like social psychology, sociology, interpersonal relationship and cognitive psychology. Students have to complete an internship in the relevant field or a clinical practice to enroll in master’s program.

Personality and Intelligence
  • Introduction to psychometrics

  • Differential psychology

  • Intelligence development

  • Provides a general introduction to psychometrics

  • Influential theories of personality and intelligence

  • General nature of individual differences

Social Psychology
  • Person Perception

  • Social Cognition

  • Attitudes and AttitudeChange

  • General introduction to social psychology

  • Apply social psychological theories to life

  • Social interaction and social influence

Brain and Behaviour
  • Basics of Neuroscience

  • Sensation and Perception

  • Decision Making

  • Understanding the science of behavior

  • The role of the brain in creating reality

  • Physiological processes in clinical disorders


Marriage counseling master's degree programs place great emphasis on applied clinical experience and research, with students often having to complete numerous credit hours of clinical research and internships to earn their degree.

Life Span Development and Long-Term Care
  • Adult development and the aging process

  • Variability of individual aging

  • contemporary theories of adult development

  • Studies the developmental stages from birth to death

  • Development of perceptual and cognitive processes

  • Psychosocial crisis and familial interpersonal relationships

Couples’ Counseling and Domestic Violence
  • Therapeutic approaches

  • Inhibitors of change

  • Theories of treatment

  • Current trends in couples’ therapeutic treatment

  • Offer quality counseling services

  • Provide care and support to victims

Theory and Practice of Marital Therapy
  • Understanding interventions

  • Research and Reading

  • Sexual Dimensions of Marital Therapy

  • Theological, theoretical and practical foundations of couple therapy

  • Understanding of family and other systems theories

  • Major models of family and related interventions


A doctorate degree is not required to work as a professional marriage counselor. A doctorate degree is most suitable for those who want to go in the field of academics. However, if a student pursues doctorate degree he will have many options and a better payment.

Vulnerable families
  • Human behavior and social environment

  • Social and economic well-being

  • Intervention approaches

  • Understand the contribution of different social and human sciences to children and family

  • Research methods within local and global contexts

  • Social work theory

Trauma and resilience
  • Responses to Trauma and Loss

  • Effects of Trauma on Mind

  • Ambiguous Loss

  • Addresses issues of trauma, loss, grief, resilience, and self-care

  • Culturally and philosophically diverse perspectives

  • Gather and integrate clinically relevant information

Participatory research
  • Underpinnings of participatory research

  • Principles of participatory research

  • Addressing issues of marriage

  • Using PR to address health disparities

  • Fidelity to PR principles

  • Potential for contribution to the field