A Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT) is a psychotherapist with either a Master’s or Doctoral degree in specified psychological coursework who applies therapeutic techniques through the lens of relationships.
Under California law and the law in most States, the application of marriage and family therapy principles and methods includes, but is not limited to: the use of applied psychotherapeutic techniques to empower individuals to mature and grow within marriage and the many definitions of family; the provision of explanations and interpretations of the psychosexual and psychosocial aspects of relationships; and the use, application, and integration of the therapist’s required psychological coursework and training (and additional coursework and training as may be elected by the therapist).
MFTI stands for Marriage and Family Therapy Intern. Under clinical supervision, a psychotherapist must fulfill 3000 hours of internship in specific areas of clinical practice before the State Board may grant a full MFT license. This is similar to when physicians are interns.
The practice of “marriage and family therapy” means that service of psychotherapy performed with individuals, couples, or groups, wherein interpersonal relationships are examined for the purpose of achieving more adequate, satisfying, and productive relationship adjustments. This practice also includes relationship and pre-marriage counseling.