Table of Contents For Q&As


  1. Who are Marriage & Family Therapists?

  2. What is the "Systems" Approach?

  3. When to See a Marriage & Family Therapist?

  4. What Can I Expect from a Marriage & Family Therapist?

  5. How Long Does Therapy Last?

  6. What Problems do MFTs Treat?

  7. Will My Insurance Cover these Services?

  8. Services Offered


Who are Marriage & Family Therapists?

Marriage and Family Therapists (MFT's) are mental health professionals licensed by the State of Colorado.  We must meet stringent educational and clinical standards set by the state to achieve licensure.  MFTs offer a wide range of productive and cost-effective services to individuals, couples and families.  MFTs pioneered brief, solution focused and family-centered treatment more than half a century ago.

Marriage and Family Therapists are a distinct discipline from psychiatry, psychology and social work.  MFTs utilize a "systems" approach to specifically treat the problems of individuals, children and families.  mental, emotional and behavioral disorders are treated within their social context.  This may be the family, the workplace or other relationships systems.

Back to Top

What is the "Systems" Approach?

Marriage and Family Therapists recognize that none of us live in a vacuum.  We are all affected by our environment.  Social systems affect our overall mental health.  The "family system" has unique dynamics that can profoundly affect the individual system.

The "family system" gives us our first picture of reality and becomes the foundation of future learning.  MFTs work with family of origin issues.  The past can not be changed, but how we perceive and process in the present, resolving the issue can free them to function more effectively.  EMDR is one treatment method that has greatly shortened this type of treatment.

Whenever possible, MFTs focus on current issues in the here and now.  We are solution focused and practical in our application.  Working with individuals and families, MFTs focus on changing current relationship systems to achieve successful outcomes.  A small change in the family system can bring significantly larger changes with presenting problem.

Back to Top

When to See a Marriage & Family Therapist?

When you have difficulty dealing with the stresses of daily life, a Marriage & Family therapist (MFT) is trained to assist you.  Therapy helps give you the tools to address those problems more effectively.  An MFT is trained to focus on strengths and solutions.

Back to Top

What Can I Expect from a Marriage & Family Therapist?

You can expect to deal with problems honestly and openly.  MFTs are goal oriented and focus on finding solutions to problems in a compassionate, accepting and safe environment.

Back to Top

How Long Does Therapy Last?

The average length of treatment by MFTs in Colorado is 12 sessions.  This may differ with each individual, couple or family.  Treatment length depends on the goals for therapy.  Because of the "systems" approach, treatment usually has a shorter duration than other therapy models.

Back to Top

What Problems do MFTs Treat?

Marriage & Family therapists are trained to treat a wide variety of mental and emotional problems.  They include:

Depression/Anxiety - Parenting Problems - Sexual abuse/incest - Children and families in foster care systems - Juvenile offenders - Relationship and communications problems - Crisis therapy - marital issues - Divorce and custody issues - Adolescent difficulties - Grief and loss - AD/HD and Conduct disorders - step family issues.

Back to Top

Will My Insurance Cover These Services?

The majority of Insurance Companies in Colorado cover Marriage & Family Therapists.  Check with your insurance company to be sure.

Back to Top

Services Offered

Family Therapy - Marital therapy - Adolescent Therapy - Seminars - Individual Therapy - Child Counseling - Psychometrics - Pastoral Groups - Personal Coaching for Marriage and Troubled Teen issues.  For further information, please feel free to call at 719.471.1225.

Back to Top

Earl Friesen, MA, LMFT
Copyright 2002  Colorado Center for Families. All rights reserved.
Revised: October 16, 2014 .