What is a Marriage and Family Therapist?
Marriage and family therapists (MFTs) are psychotherapists and healing arts practitioners licensed by the state of California.
MFTs assist with a wide variety of issues ranging from addictions, depression, trauma and grief, anxiety, child and adolescent behavior, family therapy, couple therapy and elder concerns.
Marriage and family therapy is highly effective because of the system approach that is utilized during treatment.
MFTs believe that an individual’s emotional issues and concerns are best treated within the context of his or her current or prior relationships.
Can I afford therapy?
Many healthcare plans cover treatment for emotional issues/concerns and mental disorders; plans vary widely.
Private practice fees will vary according to the clinician’s expertise, level of experience, and location.
Therapy conducted by a registered intern under the supervision of a licensed clinician may be more affordable.
What should I ask a potential therapist?
Inquire about the therapist’s training, licensure status, and commitment to his or her professional development.
Ask what type of therapy is utilized. How is this different from other types of therapy? What should you expect?
Does the therapist have a treatment agreement? The treatment agreement will likely cover fees, appointments, cancellations, limits of confidentiality, etc.
What should I ask myself?
What do I hope to gain from therapy? Will this therapist help me do that? Was I comfortable with this therapist? Would I want to come back?
Remember: The most important factor in securing effective therapy is a good relationship between you and your therapist.
Will therapy work for me?
Research supports the belief that therapy works for most clients.
Many people report relief from depression, anxiety, and relationship problems, as well as many other issues.
Many also report seeking therapy as a means of personal growth and exploration.
How long are therapy sessions?
Sessions are typically between 45 minutes and 50 minutes once a week. More frequent or longer sessions may be necessary depending upon the problem or concern. Speak to your therapist about this on the initial visit.
Is therapy confidential?
Information disclosed by patients is generally held as confidential except for disclosure required or permitted by law.
I tried therapy before and it didn’t work, why should I try it again?
Sometimes the chemistry between the therapist and client or the therapeutic modality just isn’t a good fit. Just as you sometimes have to switch medication, you may need to switch therapists or treatment modalities to achieve success.
Therapy works best when you are open to it and are actually willing to participate in your own healing.