Anthropolgy in Marriage and Family Therapy

The field I am going into is not one directly related to Anthropology. My career plan as of now is to become a Marriage and Family Therapist. Finding Anthropology to be very interesting and a great tool to have in any field of work, I began researching to see if there was anyone in the Marriage and Family Therapy field with an Anthropology background. Luckily I was able to find one, and I am very excited to share her story. JoAnn Magdoff, PhD is a psychotherapist specializing in individual, couples and family therapy and maintains a private practice in New York, N.Y. She actually got her PhD in Cultural Anthropology at Princeton University, and because of this has been given a broader outlook on relationships than that of most therapists. Magdoff says, ” it has enabled me to see people as individuals within different systems , from their immediate relationships to a broader cultural context”.  As an anthropologist, she  studied life/work balance, extensive research in business relationships and culture. This helped her understand how work impacts sense of self and of self-worth. Magdoff says, “A background in anthropology has left me particularly sensitive to the nuances of cross-cultural relationships”. I find Magdoff to be very inspiring and feel that rather than having to choose between Therapy or Anthropology I can intermix the two, creating a great Therapeutic approach. Like Magdoff I can “approach pre-marital work as similar to the joining together of people from two different cultures.”

JoAnn Magdoff,

JoAnn Magdoff,


I am a sophomore in Family Studies with a minor in Business, until recently I have been interested in becoming a Marriage and Family Therapist. I took Intro to Cultural Anthropology and became extremely interested. I am now taking Initiation to Anthropology to see if I want to change my major to Anthropology or possibly minor in it.

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