Research paper: Marriage, Couple & Family Counseling
Cesar M. Telles
Counselors face a myriad of issues. Marriage, couple and family counselors are not exempt from such issues. On the contrary marriage, couple and family counselors deal with added stressors and dilemmas. The intent of this paper is to guide a future counselor through the history of marriage, couple and family counseling. While displaying the great need for counseling. As the American family evolves towards extinction the paper gives five prevalent themes seen in marriage, couple and family counseling. In addition it will tough on how a counselor should interact and function in as a competent counselor. Being wrapped up with a Christian and biblical perspective on the matter.
In 2010 the Pew Research Center in conjunction with TIME conducted a study on Families. The Pew Research Center used demographic and economic data from U.S. Census’ spanning from 1960 to 2008. In addition they conducted a nationwide survey with 2,691 participants (Pew Research Center, 2010). The study was a comprehensive look at issues such as; the drop in marriage rates, is marriage obsolete, what effect does the economy have on marriage, gender roles, does love trump money, and how to define family (Pew Research Center, 2010). Presently marriage, couples and family counseling face a myriad of variables thwarting the productivity of a happy union. Consequently the work of each counselor has grow to be increasingly complicated. In 1963 Marriage and Family counseling was defined as “the process through which a professionally trained counselor assists two persons to develop abilities in resolving, to some workable degree, the problems that trouble them in their interpersonal relationships as they enter into marriage” (Mudd & Goodwin, 1963, p. 979) . Marriage and Family counseling in the United States has evolved from individual psychotherapy to thinking as a family system. Family counseling has shifted from individual care to system care. Systems theory, “which views psychological problems as arising from within the individual’s present environment and the intergenerational family system” (Corey, 2011, p. 449). This was paradigm shift for therapist. Marriage, Couple & Family was in its infancy during the late 1980’s to early 1990’s. However it first appeared in the 1950’s. Family counseling was seen as a radical approach of counseling. During this time it was unacceptable for therapist to work with anyone other than individuals (Clinton, p. 529). In the early period of family therapy there were few therapist who worked in this kind of therapy. A few of the pioneers are Ackerman, Bowen, Whitaker and a group from the mental research institute (Clinton, p. 529). In the beginning stages much work was done to make Marriage and family counseling a competent therapeutic filed. The former American Association of Counseling and Development now the ACA established interest groups or networks in marriage and family counseling in the 1970’s and 1980’s (Smith, Carlson, Stevens-Smith, & Dennison, 1995). However it was not until the mid 1980’s that a more focused emphasis on marriage and family counseling occurred (Smith et al., 1995). With an overwhelming interest in an organization that focused on couples and family issues the International Association of Marriage and Family Counselors (IAMFC) was established (Smith et al., 1995, p. 155). Likewise In the late 1980’s to early 1990’s marriage and family counseling became one of the fastest growing associations in behavioral science (Smith et al., 1995). For example from 1986 to 1993 the IAMFC organization grew from 143 to over 8000 members (Smith et al., 1995). The IAMFC established initial goals that covered such topics as; the enhancement of marriage and family by conducting programs of education, by stimulating, promoting and conducting programs...