Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) is a form of psychotherapy that addresses the behaviors of all family members and the way these behaviors affect not only individual family members, but also relationships between family members and the family unit as a whole. As such, treatment is usually divided between time spent on individual therapy and time spent on couple therapy, family therapy, or both, if necessary. MFT may also be referred to as couple and family therapy, couple counseling, marriage counseling, or family counseling.
Marriage and Family therapy usually involves an intense focus on improving the communication pattern within the couple or family. Unlike individual therapy, couple’s therapy involves the therapist entering the family/couple’s way of life more directly. They bring their habits and routines with each other directly into the session. The therapist is involved in analyzing and offering feedback about the interactions the couple is having, and makes suggestions about ways to improve it. It is typically considered more intensive than individual therapy because both partners are invited to co-create the process of change.