What Sets Marriage and Family Therapy Apart?
There are two main factors that set MFTs apart from other practitioners:
- MFT is systemic, giving much consideration to how a client both affects and is affected by relationships (present and past) and other factors in their lives. These other factors may include, but are certainly not limited to personal relationship history, medical history, spirituality, history of trauma, habits, addictions, etc.
- How “client” is defined is different than other approaches:
MFTs view “the client/the treatment unit” as being all members of the relational system who are participating in treatment. For example, if you and your significant other are coming for therapy, then the couple is considered “the client/treatment unit.” If you and your significant other and/or one or more of your children are coming for therapy, the family unit is considered “the client/treatment unit.” There are myriad combinations but these are two common examples.
I am having trouble deciding whether individual or marital therapy would be best for me.
Sometimes it can be difficult to discern whether individual or couples’ therapy would be a better route to take. It may be helpful to read the following and consider which statement aligns most closely with your current experience:
- “More and more, my partner and I are at odds with one another, feeling disconnected from each other finding ourselves stuck in a holding pattern of seemingly unresolvable issues.”
- “I am consistently experiencing difficulty in a particular area(s) of struggle. My partner is concerned for me and is very supportive and but doesn’t necessarily know how to help.”
If you relate more to the first statement, then couples therapy will likely be the better route to take. If the second statement resonates more, individual therapy is likely to be a better starting point.
Do you collaborate with other therapists or service providers?
I am happy to collaborate with other service providers upon the client’s request once the client signs a “Release of Information” form giving me written permission to do so.
Do you provide faith-based therapy?
What is also important for you to know is that I enjoy working with people from all different walks of life. I very much value and respect cultural, language, and religious differences. Approximately 40% of my clients state that they have no religious affiliation and choose to not incorporate faith-based components into their therapy process with me.
I am often asked whether I provide Faith-Based Counseling: Yes, I do. I enjoy working with people of faith; I myself am a follower of Christ. For this reason, approximately 60% of my clients seek to work with me based on the fact that I am equipped to incorporate faith-based components into their therapy process.
What is a typical length of treatment?
While you are welcome to schedule therapy sessions for as many weeks or months as you would like, I like to initially encourage clients to strongly consider making a commitment to working with me for 4-6 sessions and then assess what progress has been made. If at the end of this timeframe we agree there is more work to be done, you are welcome to schedule more sessions.
I want to get the most out of therapy. How do I make this happen?
In my seventeen years of work, without exception, the clients who report experiencing change the quickest are the ones who commit to following through with applying the concepts and tools they take away from each therapy session.