The Conjugal and family counselor or also known as a couple and family consultant, works in the social welfare and educational sector to which individuals, couples and family groups can turn to rediscover dialogue and mutual understanding. This professional figure works in family counseling and voluntary associations and, thanks to the studies he has achieved and the experience he has acquired, he uses his skills to help address, clarify and overcome the problems that arise within some social relationships such as the relationship couple or family life.
The marital and family counselor acts as a point of intermediation between the elements of contrast of a family or marital group and can carry out his work both in the public sphere at the voluntary associations, the family counseling offices and the public hospital structures both inside of private structures and can choose to carry out his work both as an employee and a freelancer. It is necessary to consider how the conjugal and family counselor cannot be considered neither a lawyer nor a therapist and therefore cannot push the people in contrast to undertake a therapy or push them towards a reunion but rather tries to help the couple or the family group to look for to make a decision that can favor all the members of the family nucleus through a simple family mediation managed by the same professional who, having professional secrecy, tries to create paths mainly focused on attitudes and reception techniques. If the need arises, the marital and family counselor can collaborate with other specialists and has the objective of making people completely re-evaluate, encouraging mutual listening between the litigating parties and thus stimulating in each individual the search for solutions that can respect the needs of the individual as well as common coexistence, trying to put as a first requirement on all a constant dialogue based on the present and the future and thus formalize a satisfactory agreement capable of protecting the interests of any children, without providing ready-made solutions but inviting the couple to a personalized agreement. During this research, the consultant must be placed in a neutral position, refraining even from judging the situations that will arise. Moreover, through his training and his knowledge, the conjugal and family counselor can make use of specific methodologies that can facilitate different figures, mobilizing internal and external resources and identifying all the possible solutions that act in respect of ethical convictions and thus favoring that maturation on the part of patients that can make them capable of making their own choices autonomous and responsible. Professional counseling can take place either privately, therefore with a single individual or a couple, or in a group, so in the case of family problems that recall the internal family unit, it may be, depending on the case, both short and medium duration, depending on the situation and willingness to investigate the dynamics of the relationship they are having.
The marital and family counselor is a professional figure who, like many others, is still waiting for a law to regulate it at national level and so for now there is not even a national register that gathers all the professionals in this field. Currently, only the AICCEF, the Italian Association of Marital and Family Consultants, deals with an association founded in the second half of the 90s which gathers the conjugal and family consultants and since 1994 is registered among the new associations that collect the new professions not regulated by registers professional from the CNEL, which deals with it and is the only one that seeks to promote the protection of the consultant's professionalism, certifying the preparation of its members through the creation of training courses for training schools.
To be able to undertake the profession of conjugal and family consultant it is necessary to possess either a high school diploma or a three-year degree and / or a master's degree; have successfully attended a course organized by a public or private body lasting at least two years but which respects some fundamental criteria such as the basic theoretical preparation in the psychological, sexological, health, sociological, juridical and other humanities disciplines, the knowledge of at least two theoretical schools of intervention and counseling, learning group dynamics, individual supervision and group supervision that allows the student to mature his personality in such a way as to discover his own motivations, moreover, it is necessary that the candidate has carried out practical exercises, which allow the verification of how much the student has learned and matured that the final thesis is discussed; in the third option, it is possible to apply for enrollment in the AICCEF after having practiced for a certain period within a family counseling center or in any case a similar reality for a duration of at least two years.