Marriage and Family Therapist

Medicine and Health care
What is Marriage and Family Therapist , How to Become An Marriage and Family Therapist - TheCareerHub
  • Growth
  • Salary
    RS 15000-50000

Who is Marriage and Family Therapist?

Marriage and Family Therapists (MFTs) are mental health practitioners who focus on mental health issues in the context of personal relationships, particularly within marriage and family systems. They are committed to facilitating harmonious relationships between family members/ married couples. Trained in the field of psychotherapy, they address issues such as disagreements regarding child-rearing decisions, mental illnesses, substance abuse, stress. They aim to stabilize the home environment and guide the clients through crises.

They may include the client’s family members through group sessions or with the individual on a one-on-one basis, depending upon the circumstances and the nature of the problem. The main focus of the MFT is to assist their client/s to build and maintain healthy relationships with their spouse/ families. They do so by evaluating patterns of interaction between the client and their spouse/family members, and further assisting them to modify their behaviours and thoughts to aid more effective, purposeful channels of communication.

Typical day at work

What does Marriage and Family Therapist do?

A marriage and family therapist is a professional therapist who works in the fraternity of mental health counselling. A marriage and family therapist deals with clients who come with personal concerns related to the couples' marriage and relationship issues, the dynamics, and concerns of the entire family (including the parent-child relationship, sibling relationship, etc).

The therapist's main objective is to help them see perspectives so that they can develop skills that will help them face their problems with a solution-oriented approach. They work with a constructive mindset and with an empathetic nature. The therapist deals with the emotions, behaviours cognitive patterns (thoughts) of the client and supports them to reframe them in a rational yet solution-oriented manner.

A Marriage and Family Therapist shall be tasked with the following responsibilities as a part of their job:

  • Encourage the client to open about their problems, emotions, experiences 
  • Gather comprehensive information for a thorough case history, including the clients’ perceptions about the issue and their relationships through testing, observations, interviews
  • Confer and collaborate with other professionals as necessary to assess and in
  • Examining the intra-familial functioning, 
  • Assist clients through transitions in the context of family/ marital relationships such as divorce, separation
  • Investigate the underlying causes of the presenting problem
  • Determine the goals of the therapy in collaboration with the client/s and develop treatment plans 
  • Help the client/s develop methods of communicating and confronting peacefully, purposefully, and effectively even outside the counselling session in a constructive manner
  • Maintain accurate confidential documentation of the case, including case histories, session notes, progress notes, assessment data
  • Assist the client to find and avail resources to support their progress
  • Organize meetings with the family members or the spouse of the client
  • Refer the client/s to other specialists as relevant, including psychiatrists, lawyers, doctors
  • Be engaged in efforts for continued professional development by attending seminars, conferences, keeping up-to-date with emerging research
Abilities & aptitude needed

What are the skills, abilities & aptitude needed to become Marriage and Family Therapist?

Central to the role of a Marriage and Family Therapist is the ability to create a safe, non-judgmental space that invites the clients to open up about such deeply personal issues regarding their family and/ or spouses. A professional should possess the necessary communication and listening skills to accurately convey empathy, warmth, and a genuine interest to help their clients and lend a patient ear to them.  As with all forms of therapy, one must strictly adhere to the ethical and legal guidelines for practice to ensure the interests of both, themselves and their client. An MFT must be socially perceptive with sharp observation skills to be able to account for the clients’ nonverbal cues to get an insight into their emotions and perceptions.

Meticulous organization skills and time management abilities are a must to effectively function as a therapist. The therapist’s emotional intelligence and psychological strength is crucial, owing to the emotionally demanding nature of the job. They should be able to expertly apply psychological principles and theoretical knowledge to practical problems and develop effective strategies to assist the clients to overcome those problems.


Which course I can pursue?

Best Colleges

Which are the best colleges to attend to become Marriage and Family Therapist?


Which industries are open for Marriage and Family Therapist?

  •  Clinical Settings
  • Hospitals
  • Rehabilitation Centres
  • NGO’S
  •  Ministries and Government Bodies
  • Research Units
  • Universities- Private/Government

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Are there internships available for Marriage and Family Therapist?

Take this opportunity to work under a professional that gives you exposure to the industry. It will allow you to have practical learning about the field and will also give you the contacts for future reference. One can get into internships while doing their Graduation and Post-Graduation.

Career Outlook

What does the future look like for Marriage and Family Therapist?

Owing to the increased public awareness about mental health issues, more individuals are now seeking the services of therapists. The demand for this career is expected to grow in the foreseeable future, making the job outlook for this career promising. They are often self-employed, with their private practice. Some of the other environments they work in include social service organizations, mental health clinics, inpatient/ outpatient care centres, as well as public health care settings, community agencies.

It is not uncommon for Marriage and Family therapists to work in collaboration with other professionals, including psychiatrists and social workers to address the client’s problems as a team. Most of these professionals work full-time standard business hours, but they may have to work evenings or on weekends depending upon the client’s schedules. They work with children as well as adults of all ages and offer counselling services to untangle complicated relationships and foster healthy bonds.

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