Marriage and Family Therapy is a growing practice in the mental health field. These therapists help diagnose and treat emotional issues for individuals, couples, and families by working with relationships, and observing their clients’ interactions. Clients may be individuals who struggle with their family history or current relationships. The birth of a child, divorce, death of a family member, or other life changes, are often triggers for seeking out a marriage and family therapist. The therapist uses counseling theories and techniques, forms questions to elicit feelings and typical behavior, and develops individualized treatment plans to treat destructive behavior patterns and other personal issues. Parents and couples struggling to make their relationships work also seek out this kind of therapy. The goal is often to help them find better ways to communicate and meet one another’s needs. Through careful follow-up, and lots of encouragement, therapists and their patients together gain insights and resolve problems. All therapists must have at least a master’s, and often, a doctoral degree. Most states license marriage and family therapists, either through state exams, or nationally through the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy. Recognizing how fundamental the family experience is to overall health and well-being, these professionals are here to lend an ear— and some constructive help.
What they do:
Diagnose and treat mental and emotional disorders, whether cognitive, affective, or behavioral, within the context of marriage and family systems. Apply psychotherapeutic and family systems theories and techniques in the delivery of services to individuals, couples, and families for the purpose of treating such diagnosed nervous and mental disorders.
On the job, you would:
Ask questions that will help clients identify their feelings and behaviors.
Counsel clients on concerns, such as unsatisfactory relationships, divorce and separation, child rearing, home management, and financial difficulties.
Encourage individuals and family members to develop and use skills and strategies for confronting their problems in a constructive manner.
therapy and counseling
medicine and dentistry
Math and Science
sociology and anthropology
Arts and Humanities
listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions
talking to others
noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
understanding people's reactions
looking for ways to help people
listen and understand what people say
communicate by speaking
Ideas and Logic
notice when problems happen
make general rules or come up with answers from lots of detailed information
pay attention to something without being distracted
quickly know what you are looking at
People interested in this work like activities that include helping people, teaching, and talking.
They do well at jobs that need:
Concern for Others
You might use software like this on the job:
Anasazi Software Client Data System
Blueberry Harbor Software Clinical Record Keeper
Electronic mail software
master's degree or certificate after master's usually needed
Get started on your career:
New job opportunities are very likely in the future.