Marriage and Family Therapist
Marriage and Family Therapists (MFT) are psychotherapists who provide therapy and also provide counselling with a focus primarily on systemic and relational therapy, and includes couples and parenting in a multi-generational context.
MFTs are trained in
systemic, or relational, therapy and believe that throughout life we exist in a
number of relationships that directly and indirectly impact our well-being. Our
relationships with family, friends, co-workers and neighbors influence and
create our individual experience. Research and theory have shown that mental
illness and family problems are best treated in the context of relationships.
to know the MFT difference
- MFTs are unique because they are trained in both psychotherapy and
family systems, which allows them to focus on understanding client symptoms in
the context of the relational interactions that influence behavior. The problem
does not define the client but rather is a symptom of his or her system.
- MFTs work with individuals, couples and families. Whoever the client,
MFTs view problems from a relationship perspective.
- Family-based therapy is a powerful model for change. Research has shown
that family-based interventions such as those utilized by MFTs are as effective
as– and in many cases more effective than– alternative therapies, often at a
- MFTs work with a wide range of clinical issues, including depression,
relationship problems, anxiety, affective (mood) disorders, substance abuse,
and more. Find out more about specific clinical issues by reviewing AAMFT’s
Therapy Topics online.
- MFTs apply a holistic perspective to health care; they are concerned
with the overall, long-term well-being of individuals and their families.
- MFTs practice short-term therapy; 12 sessions on average. Over 65% of
cases are completed within 20 sessions and over 87% by 50 sessions.