About Marriage & Family Therapy

Relationships offer a source of support and comfort. But they can also be a frequent source of stress and conflict.

Marriage and family therapy is a type of psychotherapy that focuses on understanding, changing and improving the ways that a couple or family members interact with each other. Contrary to what the name implies, marriage and family therapists usually treat individuals. Spouses, partners or other family members also can be brought together for couples or group sessions.

Family therapists provide the same mental health services as other therapists, simply with a different focus treating individuals within the context of relationships. Marriage and family therapy is often short-term, usually lasting less than a year.

Couples with communication problems, relationship conflicts and sexual problems may benefit from this type of therapy. This type of therapy may also help if you or a family member has depression, a substance abuse disorder or other mental illness, a chronic condition such as asthma or diabetes, or even adolescent angst that's interfering with daily functioning.

Treatment is intended to identify problems or conflicts and set specific goals for resolving them. Therapy usually explores family roles, rules, goals and stages of development in order to spot issues that may contribute to conflict and stress. It may address the family's behavioral patterns, such as handling physically dangerous situations, as well as the ability to solve problems, express emotions and communicate with each other. Therapy assesses possible family strengths, such as concern for one another, and weaknesses, such as inability to confide in each other.

Family therapy can help you identify specific concerns and thoroughly assess your family functioning. You'll set both individual and family goals and expectations and work toward them, guided by the therapist who can help you learn new ways to interact and overcome old problems.

Like other psychotherapists, marriage and family therapists are licensed mental health professionals. Louisiana requires advanced training, including a master's or doctoral degree, graduate training in marriage and family therapy, and training under clinical supervision.Each of the therapists at McMillian Counseling/The Center for Therapy are Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist as well as Licensed Professional Counselors.

The couple is the basic unit of human interaction and the core of the family system.  As such, the couple creates a process that is highly interactive with each partner's intrapsychic lives, their parenting, their household management, their careers, their emotional and physical intimacy and their extended family and community lives. When you need a little help with the journey, we're trained and here to help.

Last Modified: November 17, 2008

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