The American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy  (AAMFT) Research & Education Association describes the role of Marriage and Family Therapists in the following way:

 

“Marriage and Family Therapists respond to modern day societal problems like cyber-bullying, domestic violence, anxiety disorders and the abuse of prescription drugs by educating, treating and delivering cost-effective therapeutic solutions to those in need.  Marriage and Family Therapists recognize that mental health issues are born and perpetuated within the complex systems of relationships: family, friends, colleagues, and the rest of the world.  Relational problems affect everyone and often have an adverse impact on the personal and work environments, resulting in loss of productivity, anxiety, and depression, often leading to alcohol and drug abuse.  Recognizing the limits of traditional treatment and its emphasis on the individual, Marriage and Family Therapists utilize a systems approach to treatment that values individual context and personal environment.  Be treating clients in the context of their own environments, and treating all factors holistically through a systemic, rather than a reductionist approach, Marriage and Family Therapists are improving the care continuum, producing better client outcomes and rebuilding strong families.”

 

Additionally, the AAMFT website states:

“A family’s patterns of behavior influences the individual and therefore may need to be a part of the treatment plan. In marriage and family therapy, the unit of treatment isn’t just the person – even if only a single person is interviewed – it is the set of relationships in which the person is imbedded.”

“Marriage and Family Therapists (MFTs) are mental health professionals trained in psychotherapy and family systems, and licensed to diagnose and treat mental and emotional disorders within the context of marriage, couples and family systems.

Marriage and family therapists are a highly experienced group of practitioners, with an average of 13 years of clinical practice in the field of marriage and family therapy. They evaluate and treat mental and emotional disorders, other health and behavioral problems, and address a wide array of relationship issues within the context of the family system.

Marriage and Family Therapists broaden the traditional emphasis on the individual to attend to the nature and role of individuals in primary relationship networks such as marriage and the family.  MFTs take a holistic perspective to health care; they are concerned with the overall, long-term well-being of individuals and their families.”