Most family therapists spend a great deal of their time working directly with family members who are struggling to handle a crisis or need help improving their communication skills, but that is only part of the job. In order to be as effective as possible, they must also stay abreast of developments in the field, work to expand their knowledge base and be willing to explore new techniques. These five websites offer valuable resources for both aspiring and practicing family therapists.
A professional association for people who work or hope to launch careers in the field of marriage and family therapy, the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy has more than 50,000 members in the United States, Canada and various other countries. Its website offers members of the public information about family therapy and tools for locating a therapist. Professionals will find educational and professional development resources, licensing and accreditation information, and postings regarding job prospects. Networking opportunities and chances to engage with professional peers are also available.
Launched in 2007 by Noah Rubinstein, a licensed marriage and family therapist, GoodTherapy.org is one of the internet's top therapist directories. Its approach is twofold, and the website reflects this duality. For the layman, it offers useful information on healthy psychotherapy practices. For therapists, it provides data regarding training programs and offers a surprisingly varied assortment of links to professional resources. Membership is open to both students and professionals, and it comes with several benefits, including access to online continuing education courses and marketing webinars for therapists and counselors. Qualified members can also pursue the possibility of client referrals.
The American Psychological Association is the world's largest association of psychologists with more than 117,000 members, so it is unsurprising that its website offers tons of handy resources to therapists in a variety of fields, including family therapists. Visitors to the website will discover basic information on a wide range of psychology topics, links to applicable publications and databases, reports about news and events, and information on funding, conducting and publishing research. There is also a code of ethics for professionals working in the field and a career board designed to help employers and job seekers make professional connections.
A leading professional association for those interested in a multidisciplinary approach to understanding families, the National Council on Family Relations was founded in 1938. Today, its membership includes professionals from more than 35 countries, and its website offers a plethora of resources. There are several publications to explore and links to professional resources, including continuing education opportunities and job boards. Visitors will also be able to read about events and happenings in the field and explore information about the council's Certified Family Life Educator program.
Therapist Aid is an excellent place for mental health professionals to find useful tools. The website offers free worksheets, guides and videos on an extensive array of topics that were specifically designed for therapists to use with their patients. Visitors to the website will also find scores of free articles that discuss a wide range of mental health topics. In addition, there are listings for relevant books and games, which are available for purchase. Professionals hunting for resources to utilize in their practice can sort the site's offerings by type of material, the demographic it is intended for or the topic it covers.
While useful, these five websites are merely the tip of the iceberg. Family therapists interested in locating resources online will quickly discover that there are multitudes of relevant websites to explore.
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