All of us in the course of our lives go through a series of normal and expected challenges. These challenges have possible pitfalls, and many individuals and families need support and guidance to cope. Events such as a new baby in the family, troubled adolescent, or coping with an aging parent will affect how people function. We may also face other problems and crises such as unemployment, a sudden or chronic illness, divorce, or a death in the family.
People facing these and other such problems can often benefit from the professional services provided by MFT's.
Some signals of distress are:
Seeking professional assistance is a courageous step and shows an awareness and a willingness to grow and change.
Choosing a therapist is a personal process, and only the individual client can judge who is the best therapist for them. During the first contact, clients need to get a sense of whether or not this therapist understands them and their struggle, and whether he or she can meet their particular needs. Clients may need to meet with more than one therapist before deciding which one to see.
A competent therapist focuses on the needs of the client, being concerned with facilitating the client's growth and well being. A competent therapist will help the client work out solutions according to the individual's own values and lifestyle. A competent therapist does not allow his or her own personal issues to interfere with the therapeutic process.
Marriage and Family Therapists (MFTs) are relationship specialists. MFTs are trained to assess, diagnose, and treat individuals, couples, families, and groups to achieve more satisfying and productive marriage, family, and social adjustment. Our practice also includes such areas as premarital counseling, child counseling, and divorce or separation counseling.
Marriage and Family Therapists are licensed by the State of California. The requirements for licensure are a two-year master's degree or a related doctoral degree, 3000 hours of supervised experience, and passing a comprehensive written and oral examination.
A Registered Intern is a person who has an approved masters degree and is in the process of accumulating his or her hours of supervised experience. They are permitted to do counseling with clients while under the direct weekly supervision of a licensed MFT or other licensed practitioner.
The letters MFCC after a therapist's name stand for Marriage, Family, and Child Counselor. Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT) is synonymous, and can be used interchangeably.
Psychotherapy services of licensed MFTs are eligible for insurance reimbursement in most instances.
Marriage and Family Therapists (MFTs) are dedicated to advancing the welfare of individuals and families. They respect the rights of those persons seeking their assistance, and make reasonable efforts to ensure that their services are used appropriately.
MFTs do not disclose client confidences except as required by law, or when permission has been granted by the client.
MFTs terminate or transfer a client when it is reasonably clear to the therapist that the client is not benefiting from their therapeutic relationship.
MFTs are legally and ethically prohibited from having sexual contact with clients or their spouses. You can learn more on this subject from the California Department of Consumer Affairs, who has published a booklet titled, Professional Therapy Never Includes Sex.
CAMFT has created its own set of ethical standards, available as a PDF document which you may download here: www.camft.org.