MYTH- Therapy or counseling is only for those living with very serious psychological problems.
FACT- Therapy does help those living with very serious psychological problems. It also is very effective for:
- Couples wanting to strengthen their relationship, couples or individuals contemplating a relationship change such as marriage, divorce, birth or adoption, and so on
- Individuals who want to work on self esteem, communication, or assertiveness
- Anyone juggling multiple demands such as managing school/work, family, and personal needs
- Adjusting to big changes such as moving to a new home/school, coming out, new children in the family, marriage/remarriage, separations, retirement, career changes, changes in health or functioning, the death of a loved one, and so on
- People who want to continue or to support the work they are already doing: staying clean & sober, moving forward toward their life goals
- Rediscovering joy or playfulness in their lives.
MYTH- Only the weak seek therapy. If I were only strong, I could just handle things. If we truly loved one another, we could resolve our problems on our own.
FACT- There is no weakness or lack of love and commitment in those who seek therapy. It takes courage to explore sensitive feelings and potentially painful experiences. Therapy is a direct, proactive, and effective step towards resolving difficulties.
MYTH- A good therapist will tell me what to do to fix my problems.
FACT- Therapy is not having another tell you how to live your life. A good therapist will:
- Assess your situation
- Explore your thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and concerns with you
- Develop an action plan that matches your goals
- Guide & assist you so that you may reach the goals you set for yourself.
MYTH- You won’t get it. You’re not me. How can you understand what I am going through – after all, we’re so different.
FACT- It is true that no two people are the same. We each have our own unique experiences, thoughts, & feelings. Even people who have experienced the same event or experience can have very different thoughts and feelings about that very same event or experience. Therapists and counselors are trained to be sensitive to and respectful of differences including, but not limited to gender, race, ethnicity, culture, religion, spirituality, age, physical health, orientation, and social & economic status. Not every therapist is a good fit for every person. My primary concern is that you get the best therapy available to you — even if that means that I may need to refer you to another resource for services.
The American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) says that…
A family’s patterns of behavior influences the individual and therefore may need to be a part of the treatment plan. In marriage and family therapy, the unit of treatment isn’t just the person – even if only a single person is interviewed – it is the set of relationships in which the person is imbedded.
Marriage and Family Therapy is:
- Specific, with attainable therapeutic goals
- Designed with the “end in mind.”
Marriage and Family Therapists treat 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.
Marriage and Family Therapists (MFTs) are mental health professionals trained in psychotherapy and family systems, and licensed to diagnose and treat mental and emotional disorders within the context of marriage, couples and family systems.
Marriage and Family Therapists are a highly experienced group of practitioners, with an average of 13 years of clinical practice in the field of Marriage and Family Therapy. They evaluate and treat mental and emotional disorders, other health and behavioral problems, and address a wide array of relationship issues within the context of the family system.
Marriage and Family Therapists broaden the traditional emphasis on the individual to attend to the nature and role of individuals in primary relationship networks such as marriage and the family. MFTs take a holistic perspective to health care; they are concerned with the overall, long-term well-being of individuals and their families.
MFTs have graduate training (a Master’s or Doctoral degree) in Marriage and Family Therapy and at least two years of clinical experience. Marriage and Family Therapists are recognized as a “core” mental health profession, along with practitioners trained in Psychiatry, Psychology, Social Work, Counseling, and Psychiatric Nursing.