Marriage and Family Therapists (MFT) Licensing and Certification

Marriage and Family Therapy is regulated in a very similar manner to licensed professional counseling. In fact, the professional counselor licensure boards that regulate licensing in each state for Licensed Professional Counselors also regulate licensing for Marriage and Family Therapists. Below you'll find the basic requirements for becoming a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in in most states.

  • Applicants for licensure as a marriage and family therapists are required to obtain a master's or doctoral degree in a behavioral health science (i.e. counseling, psychology, etc.) from an regionally accredited colleges or university. The degree programs should be:

    • Accredited by the Commission of Accreditation of Marriage and Family Therapy Education

    • Substantially similar to a program accredited by the Commission of Accreditation of Marriage and Family Therapy Education as determined by the marriage and family therapy credentially committee. To be substantially similar a non-CAMFTE accredited program should include the following courses:

      • Marriage and Family Studies
      • Marriage and Family Therapy
      • Human Development
      • Professional Studies
      • Research
      • Practicum

  • Marriage and family therapist licensure applicants should complete a supervised internship as part of a master's or doctorate degree program. The internship should include a minimum of 300 patient hours under direct supervision

  • Licensure applicants must receive a passing score on a state licensure exam approved by the marriage and family therapy credentialing commitee and offered by the Professional Examination Service

  • After completing all education requirements for licensure marriage and family therapist applicants must complete 3200 hours of supervised work experience within a two year period in assessment, diagnosis and treatment of individuals, couples, families and groups. 1600 hours of the 3200 hours of supervised work experience must be completed in direct client contact.

  • An applicant for licensure as a marriage and family therapist must complete 200 hours of clinical supervision within a 2 year period.

    • Applicants must demonstrate satisfactory performance in assessment, individual and group psychotherapy, diagnostics, personal integrity, referrals, insight into clients' problems, appropriate use of supervision, responsiblity, ethics, concern for welfare of clients, and confidentiality.

    • Clinical supervision of applicant must be performed by a licensed marriage and family therapist.

  • Applicants who possess a master or doctorate degree in a behavioral science field but do not meet all the curriculum requirements may take post-graduate courses from a regionally accredited higher education institution to meet unmet education requirements.
Before pursuing any course of study in preparation for a career as a licensed marriage and family therapist, you should check with your local professional counselor licensure board to verify specific licensing requirements for your state.

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