What is a Marriage and Family Therapist?

Marriage and Family Therapists (MFTs) 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 premarital 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. Requirements for licensure include a related doctoral or two-year master's degree, passage of a comprehensive written and oral examination and at least 3,000 hours of supervised experience.

Psychotherapy services of licensed marriage and family therapists are, in many instances, eligible for insurance reimbursement. Marriage and Family Therapists are providers under the CHAMPUS program, and many are participating providers with Blue Shield of California as well as many other preferred provider organizations. A physician's referral is usually necessary.

The terms "marriage, family and child counselors" (MFCCs) and "marriage and family therapists" are used interchangeably. All states who regulate the profession use the title, "marriage and family therapist."

If you would like to read more about how the qualifications of Marriage and Family Therapists compare to other mental health practitioners, such as Clinical Social Workers and Psychologists, read Education, Supervised Experience and Examination: How MFCCs Stack Up.

How can I find a qualified Marriage Family Therapist?
Why use a Marriage and Family Therapist?
What are the qualifications for a Marriage and Family Therapist?
Education, Supervised Experience and Examination: How MFTs Stack Up
CAMFT