Marriage and Family Therapists’ Role in Child Rearing
One of the key lessons in child-rearing is that no “right way” exists for everyone. There is no one book for all to consult on how parenting is done. Parents succeed in raising children around the world in many cultures, each with its own rules and guidelines.
Another key lesson is that parents don’t have to go it alone. Children thrive when they get attention from different people and exposure to a variety of experiences and ideas. Parental involvement also ranks high in achieving the best outcomes.
Those who earn a Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy also play a key role in child-rearing. Aiding parents and families as they go through a crisis, marriage and family counselors are familiar with the many successful ways to raise a child and can help parents find the best solutions to their situation.
They also bring extensive knowledge of the best practices for addressing the many mental health issues children face in a crisis.
The Need For Focusing on Child Rearing
Mental health issues among children and adolescence are widespread, more than is commonly known. According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), about 32% of adolescents in the United States have an anxiety disorder. Of those, more than 8% have a severe impairment.
Young girls experience anxiety at higher rates. NIH reports that 38% of females suffer from anxiety and 26.1% of males.
Even with such widespread anxiety among children, only about 80% of those with anxiety get treatment, according to data from the Children Mind Institute. The institute also reports that half of all psychiatric illnesses occur before age 14, and 75% by age 24.
They call the issue a public health crisis needing urgent action, adding that “children and adolescents with psychiatric illness are at risk for academic failure, substance abuse, and a clash with the juvenile justice system — all of which come at a tremendous cost to them, their families, and the community.”
The Role of Marriage and Family Therapists
Marriage and family therapists have a highly specialized role in healthcare. They guide parents, families, and children through issues that range from divorce to substance abuse and ADHD. Therapists also work with children who have suffered abuse.
Touro University Worldwide prepares marriage and family therapists to take on the job from the day they graduate, including the child-rearing aspects of the profession. Expertise in child-rearing issues represents a large part of the program.
Students take six practicum courses that prepare them to work with families. Course topics within the program and practicum include but are not limited to:
- Child-Focused Family Therapy
- Development within the Family Life Cycle
- Adolescent-Focused Family Therapy
- Treatment of Trauma in Families
Students take 500 practicum hours over a year during the practicum component of the program, working with individuals, couples, and families. This professional clinical training helps students become competent, ethical, culturally sensitive, and systems-oriented. Graduates leave the program able to assess, diagnose, and treat individuals, couples, and families.
As with all TUW programs, the MA in Marriage and Family Therapy reflects the university’s commitment to service to society, intellectual pursuit, and social justice. In addition to regional accreditation, the program is accredited by The Council on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE), and recognized by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS).
Issues involving children are central to doing therapeutic work with marriages and families. Grounded in the scientist-practitioner model, the TUW MA in Marriage and Family Therapy prepares students to make unique contributions in this important field.
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