WHAT  is marriage & family therapy?

Marriage and Family Therapy has been a recognized psychological profession for about 65 years. It should likely be called "Systems Psychotherapy" because it has to do with "systems" or relationships between and among human beings. And these "systems" are often, but not always, within marriage or families. 
A "system" could be a relationship between a mother and child, or husband and wife, or sister and brother. But it could also be a relationship with a fellow worker or a whole department of fellow workers, a good friend or friends, an unmarried love partner/"significant other". You see why the name is a bit misleading?

Marriage and Family Therapy is one of the six licensed psychological professions in the State of Connecticut. (The other five are psychiatrists, psychiatric nurses, clinical psychologists, social workers and counselors.)

In common with the other five licensed professions, Marriage and Family Therapists (MFTs) are mental health professionals trained in psychotherapy, and licensed to diagnose and treat mental and emotional disorders. MFTs generally do this diagnosis and treatment with a 'wider angle lens', and family systems training, within the context of couples, families and other groups or 'systems'.
treat a wide range of  clinical problems including: depression, marital problems, anxiety, individual psychological and emotional problems and child-parent problems. In addition, they address such issues as affective (mood) disorders, alcoholism and drug abuse, children's conduct disorders, anorexia, childhood autism, chronic physical illness in adults and children and marital distress and conflict.

                Melissa Thornton specializes in these areas of psychotherapy:

  • Stress Management  
  • Life Transition Issues
  • Spiritual Growth
  • Child/Adolescent Issues
  • Parenting
  • Communications
  • Financial Problems
  • Coping with the Elderly
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Grief & Loss
  • Relationships
  • Marital Concerns
  • Sexual Problems
  • Infidelity
  • Divorce
In contrast to the other licensed professions, Marriage and Family Therapists broaden the traditional emphasis on the individual to attend to the nature and role of individuals in primary relationship networks such as marriage, family and other important relationships.  MFTs take a holistic perspective to health care; they are concerned with the overall, long-term well-being of individuals and their loved ones. And MFTS have a health-oriented attitude. Melissa will help you look for the health in the system, in order to reinforce all that is good in a relationship; then help you address the 'glitches' which need attention. Melissa is a change agent. She will partner with you to discover your goals for change; then guide you to make the necessary adjustments in your life that will bring that change about.

Working with Melissa Thornton is:

  • brief
  • solution-focused
  • specific, with attainable, therapeutic goals
  • designed with the "end in mind."

More About Marriage and Family Therapy

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Melissa L. Thornton, MBA, LMFT
Marriage and Family Therapist
Personal and Professional Coach 


24 hr. confidential voicemail: 203-331-7242
802 Back River Road, Boothbay, ME 04537
24 hr. confidential voicemail and FAX: 207-633-6566

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