At American Behavioral Clinics, we provide counsel to marriages and families in crisis or transition.
What is Marriage and Family Therapy?
Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) is also referred to as couples and family therapy, marriage or couples counseling, or family counseling.
This type of psychotherapy addresses issues of both the physical and psychological behaviors of all family members and the way these behaviors affect not only individual family members, but also relationships between family members and the family unit as a whole. Therefore, treatment is usually divided between time spent on individual therapy and time spent on couple therapy, family therapy, or both, if necessary.
When MFT is Used
When certain problems develop within relationships and families, it is normal to consider going to marriage or family therapy. Relationships are complex and ever-changing as a variety of factors influence the mental health and well-being of every individual involved. Our MFT therapists understand how the components of these factors interact with and impact one another.
Some of these components that make up various relationship systems include:
✅ Distinct upbringing
✅ Family of origin dynamics
✅ Friends and extended family
✅ Gender roles
✅ Individual points of view
✅ Life-stage transitions
✅ Mental and physical wellbeing of each person
✅ Painful experiences and past traumas
✅ Religious or spiritual beliefs and practices
✅ Social and cultural “norms”
What to Expect from Our Approach
At American Behavioral Clinics, our specialists are prepared to expertly manage the complexities that arise and influence one another in these relationship systems. Our approach to MFT is generally short-term therapy consisting of an average of 12 solution-focused sessions. However, more sessions may be required depending on the severity of the particular problem(s).
In couple or marriage counseling, our therapists will begin by meeting with both partners and then separately with each individual. In family therapy, our therapists also begin by meeting with the entire family and then, if necessary, meet individually with family members.
At the first appointment, the therapist will gather information to learn more about the problem that brought you to therapy, obtain perspectives and thoughts from everyone involved, and observe couple/family dynamics. The therapists will also provide you with a clear sense of treatment goals that include strategies and guidelines to be observed while in and out of sessions.
Over time, positive changes will be made by identifying and changing unhealthy communication and behavior patterns that contribute to conflicts, while proactively exploring ways to resolve issues.
Why it Works!
Marriage and Family Therapy examines how problems occur with an individual’s behavior and how they affect both the individual and their relationship as part of a couple or family, while traditional therapy primarily focuses on the individual. MFT has shown to be a very effective form of therapy, since it involves getting all of those impacted involved in the therapeutic process resulting in more effective solutions. Often this form of therapy is goal-oriented and works towards a lasting change for all involved.
MFT can be especially helpful for the following situations with one or more member:
✅ Addictions (drugs, gambling, etc)
✅ Anxiety or Depression
✅ Behavioral Problems in Children
✅ Communication issues
✅ Death of a loved one
✅ Eating Disorders
✅ Infertility Issues
✅ Intimacy Issues
✅ Life Transitions
✅ Recovery from abuse or neglect
✅ Remarriage, blended family, step-parenting
✅ Work and financial stresses