Marriage & Family Therapist
Overview and Key Facts
Jobs in 2029
What Do They Do?A marriage and family therapist could...
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Families and couples face many problems, from difficult child behaviors, depression, and compulsions to anger-management issues and eating disorders. Sometimes these problems get repeated generation after generation, whereas other times they arise spontaneously. Marriage and family therapists can help break the cycles of maladaptive behaviors. They provide goal-oriented counseling that focuses on the family and close relationships. They diagnose mental health problems, give psychological tests, provide counseling services, and refer patients who need medication to psychiatrists.
Do You Have the Skills and Characteristics of a Marriage & Family Therapist?
- Active Listening: ? Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Social Perceptiveness: ? Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
- Speaking: ? Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Service Orientation: ? Actively looking for ways to help people.
- Writing: ? Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- Judgment and Decision Making: ? Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
- Complex Problem Solving: ? Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
- Reading Comprehension: ? Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Critical Thinking: ? Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Active Learning: ? Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
Core TasksThink about if you'd like the typical tasks a Marriage & Family Therapist might do:
- Encourage individuals and family members to develop and use skills and strategies for confronting their problems in a constructive manner.
- Ask questions that will help clients identify their feelings and behaviors.
- Develop and implement individualized treatment plans addressing family relationship problems, destructive patterns of behavior, and other personal issues.
- Maintain case files that include activities, progress notes, evaluations, and recommendations.
- Collect information about clients, using techniques such as testing, interviewing, discussion, or observation.
- Counsel clients on concerns, such as unsatisfactory relationships, divorce and separation, child rearing, home management, or financial difficulties.
- Confer with clients to develop plans for posttreatment activities.
- Confer with other counselors, doctors, and professionals to analyze individual cases and to coordinate counseling services.
- Determine whether clients should be counseled or referred to other specialists in such fields as medicine, psychiatry, or legal aid.
- Provide instructions to clients on how to obtain help with legal, financial, and other personal issues.
- Provide public education and consultation to other professionals or groups regarding counseling services, issues, and methods.
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