What is Marriage and Family Therapy?
Marriage and Family Therapy is a form of psychotherapy where a mental health professional provides therapeutic services to individuals, couples and families for a variety of symptoms. For a much more detailed explanation of the profession, check out this website.
As an LMFT-A, I am trained in systems theory. Systems theory suggests that a person is significantly influenced by their significant relationships and environment. In other words, when you come to therapy, I will want to look at the big picture. I might ask questions such as, “What does your (mom/dad/significant other/best friend) think about your situation” or “What role do you think your spirituality plays in this situation”? I am curious about how your significant relationships play a role in your life.
Systemic therapists believe that an individual is not separate from their family of origin (or significant family unit) and thus therapeutic progress is more effective if these family members attend therapy. The founders of systemic therapies noticed this when the observed their clients relapse with their problematic symptoms when reunited with their family system. This is why it is a common practice for marriage and family therapists to invite other family members to therapy. The goal is to effect change as quickly as possible, so long as it is beneficial to the client.
Even though my title is a “Marriage and Family Therapist” I still provide individual therapy. I may still approach therapy with a systemic lens and maybe ask you to invite other people to join, should it be beneficial to your therapeutic progress.
As a Marriage and Family Therapist, I am trained to work with couples experiencing a myriad of challenges. Couples may decide to come to therapy to work on their communication skills or learn how to fight fairly. Others may come to therapy because they have experienced betrayal, trauma, or are experiencing sexual challenges. No matter the reason, as a therapist, I try my best to meet you where you are, without judgement, to provide you the service you need to achieve growth and change you desire.
As a Marriage and Family Therapist, I have had extensive training to work with families. I believe a family unit works together as a system. Therefore, when one part is not functioning at its full function, the entire system is affected. Families may come to therapy because one of their members is depressed, has experienced a trauma, or has a child that seems to constantly get in trouble. Families who come to therapy may be exhausted from trying so hard to solve their problems but have not been successful. As a therapist, I want to know how families have attempted to solve the problem so that I am not counterproductive by prescribing those same behaviors. I believe that small changes can lead to bigger change. Therapy is a journey. Sometimes the journey is short and sweet. Other times is long and challenging. My job is to walk alongside you and figure out which road might be the best road to take to reach your destination.
“Life is not the way it is supposed to be. It is the way it is. The way you cope with it is what makes the difference.“Virginia Satir