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Child Behavioral Therapist Degree

Take a look at how you get a child behavioral therapist degree. Read on to learn about what you will learn in a child behavioral therapy program and how this degree can lead you to work in the field of child therapy.

Career Information at a Glance

Child behavioral therapy can be undertaken by any qualified therapist; however, completing a master's degree in the field can increase your knowledge and opportunities. See the chart below for further details about studying child behavioral therapy at college.

Education Level Master's degree
Training Required Internship/ residency
Licensure Required by your state
Skills Required Compassion, interpersonal skills, listening, organization
Job Growth (2018-2028) 22% (for all qualified marriage and family therapists)*
Median Salary (2018) $50,090 (for all qualified marriage and family therapists)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

What Is Child Behavioral Therapy?

Child behavioral therapy is a treatment given by trained professionals primarily to improve a child's behavior. It is also commonly used to help self-control or self-esteem issues in children. The ultimate aim of child behavioral therapy is to diminish and eventually eradicate problematic behaviors by encouraging the child to engage in favorable behavior instead. Depending on the age and circumstance of the child, their parents may play a big part in the therapy process.

What Is Typically Included in the Program?

Master's courses in child behavioral therapy or a closely related field, such as child and adolescent behavioral health, typically last for two years when taken full-time. During the course, you can expect to learn about policies in the field of child therapy, including how and why policies have been put in place. You will also learn how to communicate with a wide range of clients and have the opportunity to develop your cross-cultural skills. Researching and evaluating different therapy methods is a typical part of the course.

How Can I Study Child Behavioral Therapy?

Many accredited colleges offer master's degree programs in child behavioral therapy or a similar field. You should already hold a bachelor's degree in an area related to social work, counseling or psychology before applying for your master's program. You may be expected to write a personal statement outlining why you are interested in this subject area and what you would like to achieve, including any relevant experience you have and how this relates to your overall goals.

What Personal Skills Should I Have?

Dealing with children who have a range of complex issues requires a high level of compassion. You must be able to empathize with your clients. Building strong and trusting relationships is also a crucial part of the role, so interpersonal skills are essential. It is important to have good listening skills, as clients will require your full attention and proper treatment cannot be completed unless you have a thorough understanding of their needs.

What Are the Job Prospects?

Once you've completed your master's degree program in child behavioral therapy, you can expect a favorable job outlook relative to other professions. The BLS reported that for the period 2018 through 2028, job opportunities for all marriage and family therapists is expected to increase by 22%. This is expected due to plans to integrate health care, using a range of specialists to address health problems including mental health.