What is Marriage and Family Therapy?

One of the questions that I am often asked is, "What is a marriage and family therapy?" That is a very good question, and one that I enjoy exploring. 

To answer the first question, let's look to Minnesota Association of Marriage and Family Therapy. On their website, part of the definition of what a Marriage and Family Therapist is states that, "Marriage and Family Therapists are skilled to address a wide array of relationship issues within the context of couples, family systems and communities. MFTs take a holistic perspective to health care; they are concerned with the overall, long-term well being of individuals, their families and their communities." This holistic perspective to health care and emphasis on overall long-term wellbeing is what drew me to the field of marriage and family therapy.
When meeting with a family, couple or individual, I am curious to learn about the problem they've come to therapy for within the context of each person's individual perspective, a couple or family's shared perspective as well as within the context of the greater community. In practice, I've come to appreciate that people often come to couple or family therapy with a strong relational (or systemic) view of the problem already. Therapy can often become a space to explore and put words to the relational complexities unique to our human experience. 
 Family therapy is an opportunity to strengthen a family's communication skills, coping skills and to enhance connection with one another. Family therapy involves exploration of problem areas, as well as identifying and promoting positive coping and care giving strategies. Family therapy works to solve the problem, but it also involves a lot of fun and laughter as part of the process. 
Marriage and Family Therapists treat a wide range of problems including depression, substance abuse, parenting issues, anxiety, infidelity, communication problems, and anxiety. You can explore more about the field of Marriage and Family Therapy by visiting The American Association of Family Therapy's website. If you have questions about Kori Hennessy or Alexa Tennyson's theories and practices of therapy, you can learn more here, or connect with one of them personally here. We are always happy to talk more about our individual practice of Family Therapy.