Marriage and Family Therapy

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Marriage and Family Counseling Research Paper
COUN 501-B43-Couselor Professional Identity, Function, and Ethics Denna Harrison
Liberty University

Master of Arts in Professional Counseling
Fall 2012

Abstract
The purpose of this paper is to examine the field of marriage and family counseling beginning with the history and development of the profession and its importance in the field of counseling. This paper will also evaluate five major themes relevant to Marriage and Family Therapy which include: ethical dilemmas in marriage and family counseling, premarital counseling qualifications of marriage and family therapists including licensure and certification. The biblical insight related to marriage and family therapy will also be explored as well as my personal reflections about this topic.

History and Development of Marriage Counseling

Marriage counseling was established in the early 1930's. Counselors recognized the advantages and effectiveness of treating married couples in joined sessions. This growing appreciation for patterns of relationships in families led to numerous studies on marital conflict and dynamics and the effects on children's development. In 1932, there were three marital clinics said to open. They worked with individuals and their difficulties adhering to traditional gender role expectations. Developed and founded in the late 1970’s was the Marriage and Family Therapy’s code of ethics which is called The American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT). The organization's philosophy was that marriage and family therapy were two separate areas, each with their own histories, concepts and differing practices. (AAMFT, 2012) Introduction of Marriage and Family Counseling

Counseling is to help persons understand and clarify their views of their life space, and to learn to reach their self-determined goals through meaningful, well-informed choices and through resolution or problems of an emotional or interpersonal nature. (Burks and Steffire, 1979 . Focusing on a broader field in counseling, What is Marriage and Family Counseling? Marriage and family counselors work with couples and families on a wide range of clinical problems including, but not limited to, depression, marital strife, communication, and anxiety and child-parent problems. Marriage and family counseling is not just for unhappy or struggling couples, couple’s therapy can be used proactively to strengthen bonds and to gain a better understanding of one other. In addition, before a marriage begins pre-marital counseling can help couples achieve a deeper understanding of each other and iron out differences before their wedding day. They also help families learn to solve their problems by managing their relationships effectively. Family therapists often work with individuals, the couple and parents and children to get a better perspective of patterns that affect the entire system to develop strategies for modification. (Corey, Corey & Callanan p.450 2011). Family Counseling is important to the counseling field this therapy can help people within the family to resolve their disputes and quarrels through effective communication. Proper communication with the help of a therapist or a counselor can help family members discuss their problems and issues with each other. The importance of the family in our development as whole and healthy individuals is recognized as a basic truth by. In most cases, however, a disturbed and distressed client will have some difficult, challenging relationships within his/her family and these will need to be explored and addressed if the client is to discover and create relief and resolution of their problem. Biblical Insights related to Marriage and Family Therapy

In the book, Competent Christian Counseling it states that “To understand the individual, the one must see the individual in the context of his or her system of relationships” This implies that the quality of a individual is...
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