While looking for a therapist, you may have noticed the “alphabet soup” that comes after each therapist’s name,. You’re probably wondering what all of those letters mean.
It may feel overwhelming to make sense of the many different professional backgrounds and credentials. Some examples of therapist credentials include LCSW, LPC, LMFT, MFT, LSW, and Psy D. As a trained Marriage and Family therapist, I am here to provide more information about my speciality. (MFTs, or LMFTS for those clinicians who have met their state’s qualifications for licensure).
Who do Marriage and Family Therapists work with?
Marriage and Family Therapists are trained to work with a broad range of clients. Despite our title, Marriage and Family Therapists do not solely work with people who are married! We work with partners at any stage in their relationship. I often tell my clients that it is a healthy choice to work on your relationship at any stage. Don’t be afraid to come in if you aren’t married or co-habitating. Seeking support at any stage is a sign of strength.
We also work with individuals! MFTs have a training background in systemic therapy, that is , how individuals relate to one another in the context of the system they live in. Your system could be your partnership, family, friendships, and so on! When we work with individuals, we take time to understand that person in the context of their past and current relationships to help them develop more fulfilling lives.
What types of issues do you treat?
We do more than just talk about relationships! MFT’s are equipped to support you with issues like depression, anxiety, grief and loss, trauma, transitions, self esteem, and more! We look at how your relationships and interactions with others may be contributing to your concerns, and will look to see how you could change these relationships to help you feel better. We can also support you in finding more immediate solutions to problems in your life while you work on deeper and more complicated concerns.
What do MFT’s believe?
Many problems come from maintaining old patterns that are no longer working to your benefit and have stopped feeling good. We believe that you are a part of a bigger system of people (friends, family, workplace, society etc) and that this system has incredible impact on your mental and social health. We believe that if we can help you to understand and see the patterns and systems causing you harm that you will be empowered to come up with new ways to interact with your life.
How can you help me?
MFT’s help people to create boundaries, develop communication skills, increase understanding of self and others, and manage conflict, create solutions, and develop coping skills.
We are solution focused and like to give you an outline and an idea of how we will help you. Whether we work together briefly or long term, we believe in being specific with you and helping you to develop goals towards an “end in mind”.
To read more about MFT’s please visit the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy’s Website.
Deirdre is a Marriage and Family Therapist in Center City, Philadelphia. Deirdre works with couples, individuals, and families. She has extensive experience helping people to feel better in their relationships with others. For more information about Deirdre click here.
You can also e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to set up an appointment or learn more.