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About the Field of Marriage and Family Therapy

Our graduates practice marriage and family therapy in accordance with the scope of practice delineated by the Office of the Professions of the New York State Education Department:

  • Marriage and family therapists provide individual, couple, family, relational and group therapy. They assess, treat and implement change in the overall, long-term well-being of individuals, couples, families and those in other relationships. The traditional emphasis on the individual is expanded to include consideration of the nature and roles of individuals in relation to others, particularly in the family system.
  • Marriage and family therapy focuses not only on the individual patient—even if it is a single person seeking therapy—but on the context and relationships in which the person participates. All relationship contexts are considered, including the married or committed couple, family, school, work, social, community and other relational systems.
  • Marriage and family therapists treat a wide range of clinical problems including: depression, marital problems, anxiety, nervous and mental disorders, as well as relationship, couple, family and child-parent problems.
  • Marriage and family therapy is often brief and solution-focused and it is designed to achieve specific therapeutic goals of individuals and families.

According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition, employment for marriage and family therapists is expected to grow by 37% between 2010 and 2020, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. “Growth is expected as the overall population grows as an insurance companies increasingly provide for reimbursement of counselors and marriage and family therapists as a loss costly alternative to psychiatrists and psychologists.”