Family and marriage therapists work as trained counselors to help struggling marriages or family relationships function in a more healthy way. Marriage and family therapists are trained to listen and identify underlying problems in a family or marriage relationship, and they work to resolve the issues both within and outside of counseling sessions. They often work in private practices, providing support to individual clients by appointment. As with all counselors, they must be able to identify underlying problems to provide appropriate counseling and support.
Marriage and family therapists apply specific concepts of family dynamics to their counseling methods. They work to pinpoint, address, and treat mental and emotional disorders within a family or marriage dynamic to improve domestic situations. Generally, marriage and family therapists are trying to help clients modify their perception of a particular situation in order to enhance communications and cooperation among members of a family or between spouses in a marriage. Marriage and family therapists may work with groups of people, either as a single large family or as groups of couples and families together, or they may work more intimately with individual family members or couples. Individual methods of therapists may also very greatly, but certain standard practices are generally considered the typical treatment and result of marriage or family counseling.
Marriage and family therapists may also work with other types of counselors and psychiatrists to make appropriate referrals for patients who suffer from additional problems that may be causing problems but cannot be treated through marriage and family therapy alone. Some marriage and family therapists also perform research or teach courses in interpersonal relations, as their experience makes them experts in human interaction.
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