Marriage and Family Counseling

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Marriage and family counselors are counselors distinctively trained to work with family systems and provide therapy for people who wish to solve emotional conflicts. Their goal, with therapy, is to revise people's perceptions and behavior, expand communication, and prevent individual and family crises. Although marriage and family counseling has a broad history, formal recognition of the professional counseling specialization can be traced to the establishment in 1989 of the International Association of Marriage and Family Counseling (IAMFC), which is a division of the American Counseling Association. Requirements for marriage and family counselors typically include a master’s degree in counseling, two years or three thousand hours of…show more content…
Therapy in the field of marriage and family counseling usually consists of talk sessions, lasting about an hour. Using techniques learned in classrooms and in fieldwork, counselors guide their clients through a sequence of conversations that reveal their clients' anger, fears, and needs. When couples are considering divorce, for example, counselors work to uncover the underlying reasons for the divorce and discover whether reconciliation is possible. Marriage counselors usually speak with a husband and wife at the same time, although they may have some sessions with them separately as well. They may also counsel groups of married couples, groups of husbands, or groups of wives depending on the setting. Family counselors work with entire families or with individual family members, using similar methods of therapy. Although today, marriage and family is taught together, this was not always the case. Family counseling and marriage counseling had different beginnings. The beginning of family therapy was established in the early 1900s with the development of the child guidance movement in 1909 and marriage counseling in the 1920s. Psychoanalytic treatment was applied in similar, private sessions with spouses and provided a strong theoretical foundation for early family and marital investigations. The formal development of family therapy dates back to the late 1940s or early 1950s for different parts of the country. Early pioneers of family therapy included
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