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A masterís degree in counseling or marriage and family therapy is required. A bachelorís degree in most fields is acceptable to enter a masterís-level program.
Counseling programs prepare students to recognize symptoms of mental and emotional disorders and to use effective counseling strategies. Marriage and family therapy programs teach students about how marriages, families, and relationships function and how they affect mental and emotional disorders. Both programs typically require a period of supervised experience, such as an internship.
Mental health counselors must be licensed. Licensure requires a masterís degree and 2,000 to 4,000 hours of supervised clinical experience. In addition, counselors must pass a state-recognized exam and complete annual continuing education classes.
Marriage and family therapists must be licensed. Licensure requires a masterís degree and 2 years of supervised clinical experience. Like counselors, marriage and family therapists must pass a state-recognized exam and complete annual continuing education classes. Contact information for state regulating boards is available through State Professional Counselors Boards.
Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition
for State specific information, visit JOB OUTLOOK BY STATE
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