What is Marriage and Family Therapy?


Marriage and Family Therapists (MFT’s) are trained members of the mental health profession that operate from a holistic perspective and concern themselves with the overall, long-term well-being of individuals and their families.  Clients come to MFT’s with a wide range of problems including depression, anxiety, marital problems, difficulty managing stress, individual psychological problems, and child-parent problems.

Marriage and family therapists broaden the approach of traditional therapy that focuses on the individual by looking at family patterns that influence individuals.  By working with the set of relationships in which a client is imbedded – even if only a single individual is present – positive change is supported by those close to the identified client.  Often interaction and communication in key relationships improve allowing people to learn to solve their own problems and maintain the improvements together.

MFT’s tend to practice therapy that is focused on solutions with specific, attainable goals.  Generally therapy is more short term and ends when the client’s presenting issue is resolved with the option of returning at any time if needed.

According to research, marriage and family therapy is as effective as traditional or individual therapy.  For some mental health problems such as drug abuse, child conduct disorders, marital distress, mood disorders, and childhood autism, marriage and family therapy has been found to be more effective than traditional treatments.

For more information about Marriage and Family Therapists, visit the website of the American Associate of Marriage and Family Therapists at www.aamft.org