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What is a Marriage & Family Therapist?

Marriage & Family Therapists are relationship specialists who treat persons involved in interpersonal relationships. They are trained to assess, diagnose and treat individuals, couples, families and groups to achieve more adequate, satisfying and productive marriage, family and social adjustment.
The practice also includes pre-marital counseling, child counseling, divorce or separation counseling and other relationship counseling. Marriage and Family therapists are psychotherapists and healing arts practitioners licensed by the State of California. Requirement for licensure include a related doctoral or two years Masterís Degree, passage of a comprehensive written and oral examination, and at least 3000 hours of supervised experience.
Psychotherapy services of licensed Marriage, Family and Child Therapists are, in many instances, eligible for insurance reimbursement. Many Marriage & Family Therapists are participating providers with Blue Shield of California as well as many other preferred provider organizations. A physicianís referral is usually necessary.
A Marriage & Family Therapist helps individuals, couples, families and children explore and solve problems. Clients can expect that discussions will be kept confidential, except as otherwise required or permitted by law. Examples of times when confidentiality must be breached are where child abuse has occurred or the patient threatens violence against another person.
(Taken in part from a brochure which is complements of the California Association of Marriage & Family Therapists).

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Distress Signals And Where A Family Therapist Can Help

  • Emotional stress or anxiety.
  • Child behavior problems.
  • Feelings of loneliness or isolation.
  • Expression or Moodiness.
  • Sexual disturbances.
  • Unexplained fatigue.
  • Unexplained injuries to family members.
  • Excessive alcohol or drug use.
  • Family conflict or tension.
  • Divorce or separation.
  • Difficulty coping with changing lifestyles.
  • Fear, anger or guilt.
  • Grief or emotional pain.