What is a Marriage and Family Therapist?

Marriage and Family Therapists (MFTs) are licensed mental health professionals who work with individuals; couples - whether or not married; families of all types; and groups to cure or relieve mental, emotional, and relational concerns of all kinds. MFTs work in a variety of settings throughout California and the rest of the country providing mental health services, as well as provide services in independent practice. MFTs have minimally acquired two-year masters degrees, 3,000 hours of supervised experience, and have passed two rigorous exams.

MFTs practice early crisis intervention and brief, focused psychotherapy to resolve problems or reduce symptoms quickly. They also have the expertise and skills to work with persons where more intensive, long-term treatment is necessary.

Why MFTs are Effective
Marriage and family therapy is highly effective because of the "systemic" orientation that its therapists bring to treatment. MFTs believe that an individual's emotional concerns or issues can be more meaningful and productive when treated within the context of his or her current or prior relationships.

Marriage and Family Therapists are licensed by the State of California. They must undergo extensive education, training, clinical fieldwork, and pass two rigorous examinations to demonstrate professional competency. Requirements for licensure include a related doctoral or two-year master's degree, passage of a comprehensive examination, and at least 3,000 hours of supervised experience.

Psychotherapy services of licensed Marriage and Family Therapists are, in many instances, eligible for insurance reimbursement. Marriage and Family Therapists are providers under the CHAMPUS program, and many are participating providers with major health insurers.
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Featured Therapist

Felicia Matto-Shepard, M.S.
Felicia Matto-Shepard, M.S.

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
Petaluma, CA

In private practice since 1994, I have worked successfully with a variety of clients across the age span as they searched to make changes in their lives, ease suffering, improve relationships and expand self knowledge. I pull from a variety of theories, depending on the presenting issues and the desired goals of treatment.

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