Q: How do I know I need help?
A: You should seek professional services once you have tried to resolve your individual, relationship, and family problems on your own and your solutions have not worked. Insanity has been defined as using the same solutions which have not worked and hoping for different results. Or, more simply said, “We keep doing the same things hoping for different outcomes.” When your old solutions are not working, seek professional help for new solutions.
Q: How do family therapists differ from other mental health professionals?
A: Family therapists specialize in treating individual and family problems by attempting to find solutions that involve the real world settings in which a person lives — their home, work and family settings. Family therapists are regularly called upon when there are problems in living that involve relationships and families. Individuals and couples seek out marriage and family therapy when they have problems in their relationships, with their parenting skills, with raising children who have emotional or behavioral problems, and with problems involving their extended families.
Q: Do I have to be married to see a marriage and family therapist?
A: No, people seek the services of marital therapists when they have all sorts of problems in living. Marriage and family therapists specialize in treating individuals and families when the focus of concern is problems in living that negatively impact the individual person and their family unit, now matter what kind of family unit they have. Therapists who specialize in “Licensed Marriage and Family Therapy” work with problems related to all types of relationships and families.
Q: What if my spouse or family will not participate?
A: See a therapist anyhow. When one person seeks help and starts the change process, the whole family unit will be affected as well. People seek professional services when they are ready for a change. Sometimes this change starts only with those who seek the change directly.
Q: How do marriage and family therapists work?
A: Marriage and family therapists initially assess the individual/family to help identify the presenting problems that have brought them to therapy. Treatment goals are established and agreed upon. Attempted solutions are reviewed. Interventions or new solutions are considered and suggested. Family therapists provide a wide range of treatment approaches that are designed to help families and individuals make changes.
Q: What qualifications should I look for in a marriage and family therapist?
A: Choose a person to provide marriage and family counseling who has special education and expertise in this area. The State of Texas has designated people with that special education and training as “Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists.”