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Life is a journey and like every great journey, it has its ups and downs, certainties and uncertainties. If you or someone you know is experiencing distress, therapy with a marriage and family therapist (MFT) can help. 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.

Get 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 lower cost.
  • 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.
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