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What does a marriage and family therapist do?

by | Jun 24, 2021

A marriage and family therapist (MFT) is a licensed mental health professional who specializes in helping people from a relational, interactional, and systemic-based approach. Marriage and family therapists work with individuals, couples, and families.

MFTs are trained from a family systems model which takes into account the role of one’s relationship dynamics and how each part within a family system impacts one another. Even when one decides to attend therapy without any other family members, a MFT works with that person taking into account not only who they are as an individual, but explores the role of his/her relationships, family and cultural influences, life stage, etc.

The best approach for YOU!

MFT’s have the unique training to work with more than one person in a room, helping couples and family members navigate the recursive and interactive nature of relationship work. Although MFT’s might operate from various therapy models (such as Solution-focused, Cognitive-behavioral, etc), they can structure the therapy sessions according to what fits best for that particular case.

So, for example, a person could first meet with their therapist and after a few sessions, decide they want to invite another family member or significant other into their therapy work. From there, the therapist might decide it’s best to continue working with that couple/family together and from time to time, meet individually. Or perhaps that individual who first sought out therapy wants to continue his/her solo work and the therapist could refer the couple/family to another therapist. This is where the MFT’s expertise, creativity, and broader systemic training are especially helpful. Their broader outlook and collaborative approach allows for this unique path of healing and relationship fulfillment.

If you’ve been considering talking to a marriage and family therapist, please call ‪(813) 812-5525‬ to schedule your FREE consultation with a therapist at The Family Counselor Center.

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Eleni Paris, LMFT

Eleni Paris, LMFT

Eleni Paris is a licensed marriage and family therapist, working with individuals, couples, and families. She has over 20 years of professional experience including clinical work, workshop and seminar presentations, discussion and support groups, writing contributions, collaborative work with various health professionals, and wellness coaching. Eleni works from a strength-based, family systems approach specializing in Solution-Focused, Emotionally-Focused and Narrative Therapies. Her areas of specialty include relationship coaching techniques that enhance couples' communication, strengthening family bonds between parents and children, and improving one's approach to health and well-being. She is a Clinical Fellow of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy and has been published in the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy. Learn more about Eleni Paris: