What Does a Trained Family Therapist Know How To Do?
What a wonderful question! "What exactly does a person trained as a family therapist know how to do?" The full answer to that question is quite complicated and requires that you take all our courses. But, I'll try to give you the short answer: People who see therapists want to change something in their lives that is causing them pain or discomfort. When a person goes to a therapist, he or she is looking to change someone (maybe themselves, but often a husband or a wife, a son or daughter) or something (say, a circumstance, such as an irritating habit, or perhaps an emotion or state of mind such as depression, anxiety, fear, anger). Family therapists are trained in the art and science of facilitating change, which, as it turns out, is a rather complex business, and helping someone else change, even when they want to, is hard to do. You've probably noticed how difficult it is to change something in your own life, even something that you really want to be different. Ever tried to change your attraction to chocolate cake? Make yourself feel less anxious? Stop your habit of procrastinating? Force yourself to go to sleep, when you're wide awake at 3 am?
People often turn themselves into pretzels trying to change someone or something that causes them pain. When they find nothing works, they may turn to a therapist. A good therapist knows how to facilitate the changes a person wants to make (assuming, of course, that the desired changes are even possible. But that's another topic, one we cover in your courses, that we'll have to leave for another time.)
Family Therapy Training Teaches the Art and Science of Change
If you are interested in learning the art and science of change, then this is the program for you. The MFT program at Valdosta State University leads to a Master of Science (M.S.) in Marriage and Family Therapy. This degree is an important part of what will make you eligible to sit for the MFT national licensing exam in Georgia and many other states. Our program is committed to nurturing the development of highly competent clinicians who work from a systemic/contextual perspective. To be successful, MFT’s must have authentic interest in their clients, possess therapeutic curiosity, be aware of ethical and therapeutic limitations, and be willing to talk openly with clients about anything clients' wish to discuss regardless of age, sex, physical disadvantage, political leanings, sexual practices and preferences, religion, race, and socio-economic status. MFT trainees at Valdosta State University receive training in an environment that supports scholarship, collegiality, respect, and diversity. Whether you are a client or a student, go to our online suggestion box, and let us know your thoughts, comments, and suggestions about the program or the clinic.
MFT Department faculty members are Clinical Fellows with the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT). The MS in Marriage and Family Therapy Program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Training and Education (COAMFTE).