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Family has always been defined as the basic structure of our society. Thus, it is important to study the psychological structure of a family which covers the interpersonal relationship between each member. Couple and Family Therapy is a branch of psychotherapy that deals with family relationship and couple’s intimate relationship. Before, just like our society, this branch focuses on the traditional family structure where a family consists of a mother, father, and children.
As our society evolves, so is this study. This branch nowadays not only deals with the traditional family but also with other family structure as well. It has a broad definition of what a family is which is now defined in terms of a strong and supportive long term relationships which can come from a blood relative or even a non-blood relative. Because of this change in perception as to what a family really is, Couple and Family Therapy has evolved.
A practitioner in the field of Couple and Family Therapy will tackle mental, behavioral, emotional disorders within the family dynamics. The therapist will study the roles of each member of the family, rules being set and the goals that the family has. Each family member will be interviewed individually but the solution should be interrelated to the problem of each member. Candidates for couple and family therapy are those families with severe mental, emotional, and behavioral disorder, substance abuser and their families, couples in crisis, or those with young children.
There are many techniques being used in Couple and Family Therapy. The most common one is counseling. Others are communication theory, psychotherapy, relationship education, systemic coaching, reality therapy and many others. The number of sessions may vary depending on the problem or the situation that the family has. The therapist usually analyses relationship patterns that specific family has. The family and the therapist will work on finding the solution and maintaining that solution for the family to benefit on a long-term basis.
Couple and family therapists may come from different background and licensing requirement may differ from one place to another. But generally, one will first need a degree on psychology, nursing, counseling or even social work. A master’s degree on marriage and family therapy is required and again, depending on where you live, the required hours of internship may vary. After completing the said internship, passing the state licensure exam is necessary. Only after completing the required education, exams and other requirement can someone be called a couple and family therapist and can finally work unsupervised.
This field is one of the fastest growing mental health disciplines all over the world and this is primarily due to its proven efficiency by applying a family-centered approach. Couple and family therapist are needed and the demand has increase over years because everyday family in our society is affected with relationship difficulties often too large and too complex to handle without someone specially trained to help them to prevent any destructive outcomes and to provide guidance in looking for solutions that will benefit each member of the family.