Business Overview

Family counseling sessions may be conducted in a one-on-one format or involve group counseling. Counseling clients often have diverse needs, ranging from helping children cope with divorce and trauma to helping spouses repair and even save their marriages.

Who is this business right for?

This business is best for those who have already trained for it via formal education. Therefore, ideal business owners are those who have successfully completed a Master's degree or higher in a field such as Marriage and Family Therapy. Such a degree is required in order to meet the strict licensing requirements for such a business in most states. Beyond that, this job is best for those who are naturally empathetic with others and who truly enjoy healing those around them.

What happens during a typical day at a family counseling practice?

A family counseling business has many different daily activities. In no particular order, those activities may include taking appointments for future counseling sessions, following up with clients regarding upcoming sessions, and conducting any sessions scheduled for that day. Depending on how you conduct your business, you may travel to clients' homes to observe them and/or administer sessions. You should also spend time each month keeping abreast of the latest developments concerning psychology and treatment so that you are providing the best possible care for clients.

What is the target market?

Because of the sheer diversity of clients and client issues you will be dealing with, there is no one customer “type” that is really preferred, as each case is unique in its own way. The primary common thread among the best clients is that they are genuinely hoping to make positive changes in their family dynamic and willing to make changes in their own life in order to make that happen.

How does a family counseling practice make money?

Put simply, a family counseling business makes money by charging clients a fixed amount of money per session. You may consider charging different amounts for different kinds of sessions (say, a higher amount for a diagnostic session versus an ongoing session), and your decision to allow things like third-party insurance to cover some of your clients' costs may impact how much you charge.

What is the growth potential for a family counseling practice?

The growth potential for this business is quite secure. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics estimates that the field will grow by 19 percent between 2014 and 2024, which is quite a bit faster than the average for other occupations.