What is a marriage and family therapist?

One of the most common questions we get here at Aqua Vita Therapy is wondering what a marriage and family therapist is.  Often those who ask this question are surprised to find out that as a marriage and family therapist we counsel individuals and children in addition to couples and families.  For marriage and family therapists it is not about who the client is, but rather it is how we see the person sitting across from us.

As a marriage and family therapist, I see people in their personal context.  This means that I look at more than just the client. Instead I look at the client in terms of their relationships, dealing with the interactions of the relationships and their interactional patterns and dynamics.  So instead of looking at the past in order to find the past cause of the “problem” or assign people as sick or the victim, I seek instead to identify stagnant patterns of behavior in groups of people such as a family, and address those patterns directly, irrespective of the cause.

In my practice I have found that this is extremely helpful for people because there is no blame, but rather it becomes about changing the pattern and not the person.  There is no right or wrong answers, but rather what works best for the client(s).  This is true whether I am seeing an individual, couple or family.  The view and work is the same.  In addition, the way marriage and family therapists work in session gives positive power to the client.  They are truly in charge of changing the pattern.  I see my role as one that introduces creative nudges in order to help the client(s) change their pattern.  Often times all it takes is for the client(s) to realize they have had all the answers already to make their life the way they want, all they needed was somebody to remind them and support them as they implement the answers in their life.

So in the end, it is not truly about whom and how many people are sitting across from me in session.  Rather it is about seeing the client(s) in a systemic way and giving them the power and support to make their life the way they want.

If you are interested in improving your relationships and life, contact me to schedule a session.

Tammy Brown

Aqua Vita Therapy, LLC




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