HOW IS MARRIAGE AND FAMILY THERAPY DIFFERENT FROM INDIVIDUAL THERAPY?
The basic premise of marriage and family therapy is that people are products of their environment. Although an underlying problem may be exhibited by one individual, it may be supported and reinforced by negative interactions within the family. For example, a child's acting out behavior may be communicating that a larger, more encompassing problem exists at home. Working with the family unit (spouse, parents, caregivers, and/or siblings) as opposed to one individual gives the therapist a broader picture of how problems arise and are addressed. Marriage and family therapy seeks to help the family renegotiate rules, communication styles, and roles to address the needs and concerns of all family members.
WHAT KIND OF PROBLEMS CAN BE ADDRESSED IN MARRIAGE AND FAMILY THERAPY?
The challenges of two-career families
Adjustment to divorce or separation
Drug and alcohol problems
Child/Adolescent behavior problems
Problems with adult children leaving home
Death of a loved one
These are just a few of the most common family-related issues.
CAN I STILL MEET INDIVIDUALLY WITH MY MARRIAGE AND FAMILY THERAPIST?
Yes. It is common practice for marriage and family therapists to meet individually with each member of the family unit. Although the focus of the session may be to address personal issues, it is still seen as part of the work in couples or family therapy.
ARE MY INDIVIDUAL SESSIONS DURING COUPLEs/FAMILY THERAPY confidential?
Individual sessions, as part of the work in marriage and family therapy, are generally considered confidential unless the therapist is required by law to disclose the information (e.g., threat to hurt self or others, suspicion of a child/elderly person being abused or neglected, court order). However, when an individual's interests are inconsistent with the unit being treated, the therapist may need to share the information learned in an individual session to effectively serve the entire treatment unit. The marriage and family therapist will, when appropriate, give the individual the opportunity to share the information him or herself.
CAN I REQUEST A SEPARATE THERAPIST TO WORK ON INDIVIDUAL ISSUES WHILE I'M IN FAMILY THERAPY?
Yes. Clients often have more than one therapist when participating in individual therapy and family therapy. It is encouraged for clients to authorize all therapists involved to consult one another to ensure continuity of care.
MY SPOUSE IS IN THE MILITARY. CAN HE OR SHE PARTICIPATE IN MARRIAGE AND FAMILY THERAPY?
Yes. Most major health plans, including Tricare, allow active duty soldiers to participate in family therapy without special authorization.
At this time we do not provide immediate crisis intervention.
Please call 1-800-715-4225 for assistance or 911 for emergencies.