The behavior patterns of the family need to be considered in the treatment strategy because they impact the patient. Even if only one individual is interviewed, the set of relationships in which that person is embedded constitutes the treatment unit in marital and family therapy. When there’s a problem in a marriage or familial relationship, it affects more than just one individual. It affects everyone involved.
How Family Psychiatry is Improving Mental Health
Our families of origin have a significant impact on us. We start developing early attachments to our primary caregivers as soon as we are born. A constant need marks our lifetime for attachment to and relationship with others. Our families mold us; their behaviors and routines model how we should act and behave. We rely on our families for food, shelter, and tools. We naturally assume that our relatives will be there for us when needed. Family and marriage counseling is:
- A short process
- Clearly defined, doable therapy objectives created with the “end in mind.”
- Marriage and family therapists treat severe clinical issues, such as depression, marital issues, anxiety, personal psychological issues, and issues involving children and parents.
Marriage and family therapy is as effective as, and sometimes even more so than, standard and individual treatments for a wide range of mental health issues, including schizophrenia, mood disorders, adult alcoholism, 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 typically provide 12-session short-term treatment. Over 65.6% of cases are finished in 20 meetings and 87.9% in 50 sessions. Family therapy (9 sessions) and marital/couples counseling (11.5 sessions) both take less time than the typical individualized treatment (13 sessions). Marriage and family therapists typically handle patients one-on-one for about half of their sessions. The other half is split between marital/couple, family, or a combination of treatments.
Licensed to assess and treat mental and emotional disorders in the context of marriage, couples, and family systems, marriage and family therapists (MFTs) are mental health professionals with training in psychotherapy and family systems. With multiple years of clinical experience, marriage and family therapists are a highly skilled collection of healthcare professionals. In the family system context, they assess and treat mental and emotional disorders, other mental health and behavioral issues, and a broad range of relationship-related problems.
Today, more than 50,000 marital and family therapists nationwide provide care for single people, couples, and families. The American Society for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) now has more than 25,500 members, up from 237 in 1960. This growth is partly due to increased public knowledge of the importance of family life and worries about the increased strains families face in a world that is changing quickly.
How Family Psychiatry & Therapy Can Help
If you’re worried about the relationships within your family and how they affect the mental health of the household, contact Family Psychiatry & Therapy for a consultation. Call us at (201) 977-2889 to speak with our team of licensed psychiatrists today!