Important Terms about Marriage & Family Counselors
Marriage and family counselors are professionals trained to deal with a wide variety of marital and interpersonal problems. If you’re looking for a marriage and family counselor, there’s a very good chance that you’re unfamiliar with some of the concepts and terminology used in this field. Below we’ll define certain key terms you might encounter.
Family Therapy – A branch of psychotherapy that deals with treating the interpersonal problems of an entire family unit. This unit can include a married or unmarried couple, their children, close relatives, and even persons who are not related by blood or marriage. Also called family systems therapy and family counseling.
Therapist – The general term for someone trained in aiding individuals or persons in overcoming physical or mental problems. Family therapists or counselors treat all members of a family unit. They are skilled in analyzing marital issues and interpersonal conflicts that arise within a family. A family therapist will generally have a master’s degree and additional training in fields such as psychology, psychotherapy, or social work.
MFT – Abbreviation for Marriage and Family Therapist. This is a common license for persons who work in the field of marital therapy.
Genogram – Sometimes used in marital counseling, a graph that visually depicts family relationships.
Depression – A mental disorder characterized by low energy, persistent sadness, and loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities.
Domestic Violence – Abusive behavior that occurs within a family.
Conflict Resolution – The process of resolving interpersonal disagreements.
Dysfunctional Family – A family whose members engage in a pattern of abnormal, damaging behavior with one another.
Interpersonal Psychotherapy – A type of therapy that focuses on improving one’s dealings with other people, rather than internal psychological states.