What is Marriage and Family Therapy?

The American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy describes the profession as treating not only the individual but a family’s patterns of behavior. The unit of treatment isn’t just the person — even if only a single person is interviewed — it is the set of relationships in which the person is imbedded.

Marriage and family therapy is

  • brief
  • solution-focused
  • specific, with attainable therapeutic goals

Marriage and family therapists treat

  • depression
  • marital problems
  • anxiety
  • individual psychological problems
  • child–parent problems

Marriage and family therapists regularly practice short-term therapy

  • 12 sessions on average
  • 66% of the cases are completed within 20 sessions
  • 88% within 50 sessions
  • marital/couples therapy 12 sessions
  • family therapy 9 sessions
  • half of the treatment is one-on-one
  • half is divided between marital/couple and family therapy

Why use a Marriage and Family Therapist?

Studies show that clients are highly satisfied with services of Marriage and Family Therapists, reporting therapy as good or excellent. Clients report marked improvement in

  • work productivity
  • co-worker relationships
  • family relationships
  • partner relationships
  • emotional health
  • overall physical health
  • social life
  • community involvement
  • child behavior and performance at home and in school
  • child ability to get along with other children

Adapted from aamft.org