ABOUT MARRIAGE & FAMILY THERAPISTS
What is a Marriage and Family Therapist?
There are many different types of mental health therapists such as psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, and professional counselors. However, Marriage and Family Therapists (MFTs) are unique. MFTs are licensed mental health professionals specifically trained in psychotherapy pertaining to family systems.
We are licensed to diagnose and treat mental and emotional disorders within the context of couple and family relationships. MFTs are a highly experienced group of practitioners and treat a wide range of clinical problems including depression, anxiety, couple relationship problems, and parent-child relationship problems.
Many MFTs, myself included, refer to themselves as couple and family therapists in conversation instead of marriage and family therapists in order to be more inclusive of all types of couples, not just those who are legally married. For more information about MFTs, please visit the website of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.
What makes MFTs different than other types of therapists?
All MFTs have graduate-level education and training with either a Master's or Doctoral degree in marriage and family therapy, at least 2 years of clinical experience, and a state license to practice therapy. We are recognized by the U.S. federal government as a "core" mental health profession, along with psychiatry, psychology, social work, and psychiatric nursing.
Unlike other mental health professionals, all MFTs have specialized training in providing therapy for couples and families. We provide individual, couple, and family treatment, or a combination of these treatments, all while integrating information about your family background and social network. Overall, we take a holistic approach to mental health care that encompasses the well-being of yourself and your loved ones. For more information about MFTs, please visit the website of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.
Is this form of therapy effective and right for me?
Research studies have repeatedly demonstrated the effectiveness of marriage and family therapy for mental health treatment. Furthermore, studies have shown that our clients are highly satisfied with this type of therapy and many report improvements in their emotional health and well-being, ability to reach personal life goals, and improvements in their key relationships including those with family, their partner, co-workers, and community.
This form of therapy is generally appropriate for those who would like a more holistic, cost-effective way to improve their life and their relationships. And you can be sure that MFTs, by virtue of their license and education, are guaranteed to have extensive training in relational therapy (with couples and families).