Clinical Training and Practice Patterns of Medical Family Therapists: A National Survey

J Marital Fam Ther. 2017 Apr;43(2):264-275. doi: 10.1111/jmft.12203. Epub 2016 Nov 7.


Medical family therapy (MedFT) has gained momentum as a framework in healthcare for individuals and families. However, little is known about what background training and clinical experiences Medical Family Therapists (MedFTs) have in everyday practice. This study investigated the clinical training of MedFTs and their practices in a variety of care settings. A survey was completed by 80 participants who use a MedFT framework in practice, with descriptive data on curriculum, clinical training, and treatment characteristics. Results reflect that many MedFTs lack formal coursework in key content areas of their graduate training and work primarily with psychological and relational concerns. Future research is needed to explore how MedFTs practice around specific mental health and chronic health conditions.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Clinical Competence*
  • Curriculum*
  • Family Therapy / education*
  • Family Therapy / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged