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Questions to Ask a Marriage and Family Counselor

People who seek out a marriage and family counselor seldom have much prior experience with the subject. For this reason, it's best to have certain questions in mind when you approach a counselor.

  • Are they certified?
    Certification requirements vary by state, but most therapists will have a master's degree and some kind of additional training, often in various areas of mental health and psychology. The Association of Marital and Family Therapy Regulatory Boards keeps a list of different state requirements.

  • What other credentials do they hold?
    The field of family counseling can be remarkably confusing with the variety of abbreviations one can find after a therapist's name, but it's important to realize that many of them indicate a roughly equivalent amount of expertise. An MFT is a Marriage and Family Therapist. An MFCC is a Marriage, Family, and Child Counselor. An LCSW is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. As the name may indicate, an LCSW is more likely to be employed as a social worker and very often will have a Master of Social Work degree (MSW); an MFT or MFCC is more likely to be trained specifically in marital and family therapy.

  • Will the cost of therapy be covered by insurance?
    Some insurance plans will cover this, some will not. Sometimes you can qualify for coverage only with a referral from another doctor.

  • How will sessions be structured?
    You might expect therapy sessions to include all members of the family at once, but while this is often the case, it isn't always so. Sometimes the counselor will try to treat the sons and daughters separately from the married couple. Sometimes the counselor might want to help some family members without the presence of others. This is especially true if one family member has mental or substance abuse problems that underlie the family's conflicts.
  • Dr. Dvora Weil
    If you're experiencing difficulties in your family or marriage, let our experienced counselors in the local Columbia area offer assistance. Helping families get on the right path with communication.
    Write review for this local business
    American Association for Marriage & Family Therapy
    Providing the leading source of marriage and family counseling practices across the country with our association directory. Choose one of our preferred specialists to receive the best counseling available.
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    STANDARD LISTINGS:   MARRIAGE-AND-FAMILY-COUNSELORS IN/NEAR COLUMBIA
    Blackstun MSW Heidi LCSW Bcd Write review for this local business
    3610 Buttonwood Dr Ste 200, Columbia, MO 65201
    (573) 886-8972  
    Counseling Associates Write review for this local business
    2306 Bluff Creek Dr, Columbia, MO 65201
    (573) 874-8818  
    Patrick LCSW Kane Dcsw Write review for this local business
    2100 E Broadway Ste 213, Columbia, MO 65201
    (573) 449-0120  
    Betty LPC Acree LMFT Write review for this local business
    2100 E Broadway, Columbia, MO 65201
    (573) 256-2914  
    John R Small Ph.D. Write review for this local business
    2100 E Broadway Ste 315, Columbia, MO 65201
    (573) 442-8550  
    Pamela A Mauch Ph.D. Write review for this local business
    2100 E Broadway Ste 213, Columbia, MO 65201
    (573) 449-0120  
    Child & Family Psychological Services Write review for this local business
    3407 Berrywood Dr Ste 200, Columbia, MO 65201
    (573) 443-4112  
    Kimberly Smith LCSW Write review for this local business
    1200 E Broadway, Columbia, MO 65201
    (573) 449-2851  
    Individual Marriage & Family Enrichment Write review for this local business
    3610 Buttonwood Dr Ste 200, Columbia, MO 65201
    (573) 886-8916  
    Edens David Write review for this local business
    1200 E Broadway, Columbia, MO 65201
    (573) 876-7113  
    James Hertel Ph.D. Write review for this local business
    1316 Old 63 S Ste 101, Columbia, MO 65201
    (573) 424-2605  
    Pastoral Counseling Services Write review for this local business
    2100 E Broadway Ste 313, Columbia, MO 65201
    (573) 443-4422  
    Ann MSW Baker LCSW Write review for this local business
    3407 Berrywood Dr Ste 200, Columbia, MO 65201
    (573) 443-1177  
    Michael J Mayer EDD Write review for this local business
    3407 Berrywood Dr Ste 200, Columbia, MO 65201
    (573) 443-1177  
    Middleground Mediation LLC Write review for this local business
    25 N 9th St, Columbia, MO 65201
    (573) 228-7774  
    Fertility Care Center of Columbia Write review for this local business
    503 E Nifong Blvd, Columbia, MO 65201
    (573) 443-4038  
    Jeremy B Skinner Ph.D. Write review for this local business
    211 S 8th St, Columbia, MO 65201
    (573) 882-4677  
    Tara MA Geer Leiker EDS LPC Write review for this local business
    3407 Berrywood Dr Ste 200, Columbia, MO 65201
    (573) 443-1177  
    Family Counseling Center of Mo Write review for this local business
    303 N 10th St, Columbia, MO 65201
    (573) 442-2551  
    Psychological Services Clinic-Mu Write review for this local business
    211 S 8th St, Columbia, MO 65201
    (573) 882-4677  
    Ross Walden Med Plpc Write review for this local business
    3610 Buttonwood Dr Ste 200, Columbia, MO 65201
    (573) 886-8978  
    Group Works The Write review for this local business
    2100 E Broadway Ste 213, Columbia, MO 65201
    (573) 449-0120  
    Wendy J Morgan MSW LCSW Write review for this local business
    600 Cherry St, Columbia, MO 65201
    (573) 874-2851  

    The realm of family therapy and marriage counseling can be a very rewarding for a therapist working in that field. Not only will you be helping individuals get past mental health issues, but you'll also be strengthening marital bonds and communication between parent and child. As a therapist, you will help them manage their relationships with each other while building up emotional and mental stability through therapy.

    In order to be a marriage counselor, you must first acquire a bachelor's degree in psychology or psychiatry. If you plan on being a psychiatrist, you must go to medical school and become a licensed doctor. Psychologists do not need this option. Family therapy training is usually part of a graduate degree program and you should look for an institution that is also accredited with the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT). After graduation, you may join the AAMFT to benefit from their advice, additional training sessions, conferences, and database to match therapists with marital couples.

    Once fully licensed you may be able to join a hospital staff, clinic, or practice to help care for patients. You will help them through the anxiety, depression, and anger that may come with embattled custody arrangements or past physical abuse that's still effecting their day to day lives. If you wish to have more control over who you see, you may look into starting your own practice or clinic, though you'll need to acquire some business knowledge, a complete staff, and maybe a partner before doing so.



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