17 Marriage and Family Therapist Interview Questions and Answers

Learn what skills and qualities interviewers are looking for from a marriage and family therapist, what questions you can expect, and how you should go about answering them.

Marriage and family therapists (MFTs) are mental health professionals who work with individuals, couples, and families to treat a wide range of psychological and emotional issues. MFTs often work in private practices, but they may also work in hospitals, clinics, schools, and other settings.

If you’re looking for a job as an MFT, you can expect to be asked a variety of questions during your interview. These questions will assess your clinical skills, personal strengths, and professional experience. You may be asked about your clinical approach, how you would handle a difficult case, or what you think are the most important factors in a successful therapy relationship.

To help you prepare for your interview, we’ve compiled a list of sample MFT interview questions and answers.

Are you licensed or certified as a marriage and family therapist?

This question is an opportunity to show the interviewer that you have a passion for helping others and are willing to go through the process of becoming licensed or certified. If you’re not yet licensed, explain what steps you’ve taken to become one.

Example: “I am currently working toward my license as a marriage and family therapist. I started taking classes in college and will be able to apply for my license once I complete my degree. I’m passionate about this field and want to help people who need it.”

What are some of the most common issues you help couples and families with?

This question can help the interviewer get a better idea of your experience and expertise. It also helps them understand what you might be able to contribute to their team. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention some specific issues that you have helped clients with in the past.

Example: “I work primarily with couples who are struggling to communicate effectively. I’ve found that many people don’t know how to talk about their feelings or ask for what they need from their partner. In my previous role, I worked with several families where one parent was experiencing postpartum depression after having a baby. I helped these parents learn how to balance taking care of themselves while still being present for their family.”

How would you approach counseling a couple who is struggling with infidelity?

Infidelity is a common problem in marriages, and the interviewer may ask you this question to see how you would handle such a delicate situation. Use your answer to show that you can be empathetic while also being firm with clients who are not following through on their commitments.

Example: “I understand that infidelity is often an act of desperation rather than one of malicious intent. In my experience, I have found that couples who commit infidelity usually need more help than just counseling. To address this issue, I would first make sure they were committed to working on their marriage before moving forward with any other treatment.”

What is your process for helping a client who is struggling with depression?

Depression is a common mental health issue that marriage and family therapists often treat. Your answer to this question can help the interviewer understand how you approach treating depression in your clients. When answering, it can be helpful to describe a specific process or steps you take when working with depressed clients.

Example: “When I first meet with a client who is struggling with depression, I like to get an idea of what their daily life looks like. This helps me determine which areas of their life they may need support in. For example, if they are having trouble at work, I might suggest some resources for them to learn more about workplace stress management. If they are having issues with relationships, I will ask questions to better understand the situation and provide advice on how they can improve those relationships.”

Provide an example of a time when you helped a client resolve a conflict.

This question can help the interviewer understand how you approach conflict resolution and whether your methods are effective. Use examples from your experience as a marriage and family therapist to highlight your problem-solving skills, interpersonal skills and ability to work with clients.

Example: “In my previous role as a marriage and family therapist, I worked with a client who was struggling with communication in their relationship. The couple had been together for many years but were having trouble communicating effectively. They would often argue about small things that escalated into larger issues. In our sessions, we discussed ways they could improve their communication and develop strategies to prevent arguments before they happened.”

If a client is struggling with addiction, what is your approach?

Addiction is a common issue for many clients. The interviewer wants to know how you would handle this situation and if you have experience with it in the past. If you do, share your approach or what you did to help them overcome addiction.

Example: “Addiction can be a very difficult obstacle to overcome. I believe that therapy should focus on treating the whole person rather than just their addiction. In my experience, I’ve found that helping people find meaning in life through relationships and spirituality helps them overcome addiction. I also encourage them to seek support from others who are going through similar struggles.”

What would you do if you felt a client was not making progress with their counseling sessions?

Interviewers may ask this question to see how you handle challenging situations. In your answer, explain what steps you would take to help the client make progress and achieve their goals.

Example: “If I felt a client was not making progress with counseling sessions, I would first try to find out why they were struggling. If it seemed like there was no reason for the lack of progress, I would meet with them one-on-one to discuss my concerns. I would then refer them to another therapist who could better meet their needs.”

How well do you handle constructive criticism?

Therapists often receive feedback from their patients, and they must be able to handle it well. A therapist may ask you this question to see how you respond to criticism in general. In your answer, try to show that you can take constructive criticism without getting defensive or upset. Explain that you are willing to learn from the feedback of others.

Example: “I understand that receiving feedback is part of my job as a therapist. I am always open to hearing what my patients have to say about me or my work. I know that most people who come to therapy want to improve themselves. They’re usually happy to give me feedback because they want me to succeed too. I also know that constructive criticism can help me grow as a therapist.”

Do you enjoy working with children?

Therapists often work with children and their families. The interviewer wants to know if you have experience working with this age group, as well as your level of comfort in doing so. If you do not have experience working with children, explain that you are willing to learn how to work with them.

Example: “I love working with children because they are so honest and open about what’s going on in their lives. I find it rewarding when a child can express themselves and feel comfortable enough to share their thoughts and feelings. In my previous role, I worked with many children who had behavioral issues. I found that by listening to the child and understanding where they were coming from, we could come up with solutions together.”

When working with a family, how do you approach each individual?

This question can help the interviewer understand how you interact with clients and their families. It can also show them your communication skills, empathy and interpersonal abilities. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention a specific situation in which you interacted with each family member separately and then together.

Example: “When working with a family, I first meet with each individual to get an idea of what they’re going through. I find that by meeting with each person individually, I can better understand their perspective on the situation and learn more about their needs. After my initial meetings with each family member, I hold a family session where we discuss everyone’s perspectives and feelings.”

We want to improve our outreach to the community. What is one strategy you would use to do this?

This question is an opportunity to show your communication skills and how you can help a team achieve its goals. When answering this question, think about the ways you have helped teams or organizations in the past.

Example: “I would start by creating a plan for outreach that includes specific strategies and measurable goals. I would also make sure there are clear instructions on who should be involved with each task so everyone knows what they need to do. For example, I would assign someone to create social media content, another person to write blog posts and others to share those posts online. This way, we can all work together to increase our reach.”

Describe your personal philosophy on marriage and family.

This question is an opportunity to show the interviewer your values and beliefs about marriage and family therapy. Your answer should reflect your personal philosophy on these topics, but it can also include information about how you apply this philosophy in your work as a therapist.

Example: “I believe that every person has the right to be happy and fulfilled. I think that when people are able to achieve their goals and dreams, they’re better equipped to support their families. In my practice, I focus on helping clients identify what makes them happy and then supporting them as they pursue those goals.”

What makes you qualified to work with couples and families?

This question can help the interviewer determine your qualifications for this role. Use examples from your experience to show how you’ve helped couples and families in the past.

Example: “I have a bachelor’s degree in psychology, which is what I used to work as a marriage and family therapist at my previous job. In that position, I worked with many different types of couples and families who were experiencing issues like infidelity, communication problems or parenting struggles. My education and training gave me the skills and knowledge to provide counseling services to these clients.”

Which counseling approaches do you most commonly use?

This question can help the interviewer understand your counseling style and how it aligns with their practice. It’s important to be honest about which approaches you use, but also consider what methods the facility uses most often. If you’re not familiar with a particular approach, you can explain that you’d like to learn more about it.

Example: “I believe in using multiple approaches when working with clients. I find that each client has different needs, so I try to adapt my therapy sessions based on those individual preferences. For example, some people prefer one-on-one sessions while others may feel more comfortable in group settings. I’ve found that this flexibility helps me meet the unique needs of every person I work with.”

What do you think is the most important aspect of a successful marriage?

This question can help the interviewer determine your perspective on marriage and how you might approach therapy with couples. Your answer should reflect a commitment to helping people strengthen their relationships, whether they’re married or not.

Example: “I believe that communication is the most important aspect of a successful marriage. When two people are able to communicate effectively, it opens up many other opportunities for growth in their relationship. I also think it’s important for couples to have fun together. If they can laugh and enjoy each other’s company, it shows me that they value one another and want to be around them.”

How often do you recommend clients meet with you?

Therapists often have to decide how many sessions a client needs. This question helps the interviewer understand your approach and decision-making process. Use examples from past experiences to show that you can make these decisions effectively.

Example: “I usually recommend weekly or biweekly appointments for at least six months, but I also encourage clients to continue seeing me even after they feel like they’ve made progress. In my experience, it’s important to maintain contact with a therapist because sometimes issues come up later in life that require therapy again. For example, I had a client who was doing well after several months of treatment, but then her child started acting out. She came back to see me so we could work on strategies to help her cope.”

There is a new fad that is causing couples to have problems in their relationships. How would you approach this situation?

This question is a great way to test your knowledge of current trends and how you would handle them. It also shows the interviewer that you are up-to-date on what’s happening in the world, which can be important for therapists who work with clients from all walks of life.

Example: “I think it’s important to approach these situations with an open mind. I would listen to both sides of the story and try to understand why they feel the way they do about the situation. Then, I would help them find ways to compromise so that everyone feels heard and respected.”


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