According to the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists a family patterns of behavior may influence the individual and therefore may need to be a part of a treatment plan. Even though just one individual may be treated, the goal is for it to be applied for the family members who are involved. Marriage and family therapy is supposed to be brief, solution focused, specific, and designed with the end in mind. The therapist treats a wide range of serious clinical problems including: depression, marital problems, anxiety, individual psychological problems, and child-parent problems.
Research indicates that marriage and family therapy is as effective, and in some cases more effective than standard and/or individual treatments for many mental health problems such as: adult schizophrenia, affective (mood) disorders, adult alcoholism and drug abuse, children’s conduct disorders, adolescent drug abuse, anorexia in young adult women, childhood autism, chronic physical illness in adults and children, and marital distress and conflict.
In this program, students learn basic counseling theories and methods as well as specific marriage and family counseling theories. This program will follow the model recommended by the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists that can be found at https://www.aamft.org/imis15/AAMFT/Content/About_AAMFT/Qualifications.aspx?hkey=2d5f6fac-24c6-40fd-b74f-5f3eaf214e55. Some of the major topics will include, counseling, family dynamics, birth order, addiction, genograms, changing family structures, same sex marriage and family structure, and other recent trends in marriage and families.
- Understand the biological, psychological, social and cultural influences on marriage and families
- Apply psychological theories, research and data, and ethics to working with individuals and families
- Apply analytical skills to address current issues, both controversial and non-controversial within field of marriage and families
- Identify historical, social, and cultural trends that contribute to modern societies understanding of marriage and families
In order to becoming a marriage and family counselor one needs a master’s degree; this program can offer a good foundation for graduate school and eventual licensing. There are also other vocations that this career will help out with as well. Today more than 50,000 marriage and family therapists treat individuals, couples, and families nationwide. Membership in the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) has grown from 237 members in 1960 to more than 25,500 in 2015. This growth is a result, in part, of renewed public awareness of the value of family life and concern about the increased stresses on families in a rapidly changing world. With a degree with marriage and family counselor, one can be employed as a teacher, consultant, case worker, case manager, juvenile detention officer, and direct care worker in youth detention centers.