How to Become a Marriage and Family Therapist: Enhancing Your Skills to Meet Requirements
If you have a desire to help people and are excellent at noticing patterns, consider finding out how to become a marriage and family therapist. Becoming a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT) involves obtaining a relevant master’s or doctoral degree, gaining clinical experience, passing a licensure exam, applying for state licensure, and staying updated with ethics and legal regulations.
MFTs focus on systemic approaches, cultural sensitivity, multigenerational understanding, collaboration, relationship enhancement, and preventive care. Many MFTs, including those at Life Coaching and Therapy (LCAT), also have over a decade of experience in communication coaching, relationship negotiations, improving friendships, understanding identity, and improving your overall mental health.
Be sure to interview those whom you are seeking coaching from to see how much training they have! Even if you don’t use the degree yet and just take MFT classes, you will learn so much in this field.
First, you must obtain a master’s or doctoral degree in marriage and family therapy or a related field from an accredited institution. Make sure the program you choose has accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE) or a comparable accrediting body. This degree typically requires 2–3 years of full-time study. Many of our staff at LCAT have completed this coursework. While in your masters program, you do 500 hours of direct client coaching.
When finishing this program, most states require a certain number of supervised clinical hours in order to become licensed. You will need to complete a specific number of direct client contact hours under the supervision of a licensed MFT. This is typically around 1,000 hours, depending on the state, and 100 hours of supervision. Each state in the USA requires something different. International locations require a variety of means. For those of you who aren’t seeking diagnosis and treatment, we would love for you to inquire about our private coaching programs.
After graduation, you begin the licensure exam process specific to Marriage and Family Therapy. The National Examination in Marital and Family Therapy, which the Association of Marital and Family Therapy Regulatory Boards (AMFTRB) administers, is frequently taken in the USA.
Once you pass the exam and are notified, you apply for state licensure with your state’s licensing board for Marriage and Family Therapy. Requirements vary from state to state, so you’ll need to research the specific requirements in the state where you plan to practice.
After obtaining your license, you’ll need to engage in continuing education to maintain it. Different states have different requirements for how many hours of continuing education you need to complete. At our practice, our therapists stay up to date on topics related to wellness!
As you progress in your career, you might choose to specialize in a specific area within Marriage and Family Therapy, such as working with celebrities, passionate couples, those who are sexually curious, or specific mental health issues.
It’s important to note that requirements can vary significantly by state, so it’s crucial to check with your state’s licensing board or regulatory agency to get accurate and up-to-date information on the requirements in your area. Always ensure that you’re following the regulations and guidelines set forth by your state to practice legally as a Marriage and Family Therapist.
Why would you want to be a marriage and family therapist?
Well, being a Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT) comes with several unique aspects that distinguish it from other fields of therapy and mental health professions.
MFTs are trained to view individuals, couples, and families as components of larger systems. Therefore, family dynamics, relationships, and interactions with the community affect overall well-being. MFTs can address systemic dynamics, communication patterns, and relational struggles from this perspective.
It’s really important to consider how to become a marriage and family therapist, depending on where you are located. In general, MFTs explore how patterns of behavior and emotional dynamics can span multiple generations and within various communities of the person who is experiencing distress. This understanding helps MFTs uncover and address deep-rooted issues that may have been passed down through generations. MFTs are trained to work with diverse populations, acknowledging the impact of culture, ethnicity, and identity on family dynamics and mental health. They strive to provide culturally sensitive and inclusive care to effectively address the needs of clients from various backgrounds.
The specialized focus on relationships, systems thinking, and the ability to address the complex relationship between individual well-being and family dynamics make marriage and family therapy unique.
About Life Coaching and Therapy
Life Coaching and Therapy (LCAT) is a therapy and coaching practice that transforms our clients lives through our flexible. Multi-technique approach and pleasure-skills training provided by systematically-trained and licensed therapists!
Get to know our founder and owner, Amanda Pasciucco, (a.k.a. The Sex Healer) PhD, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT), and an AASECT Certified Sex Therapist (CST) that has developed innovative therapy programs and therapy videos that get results.
Our team of compassionate, licensed therapists and certified sex therapists help all clients who visit us for a variety of personal, relationship, intimacy and sex problems.
LCAT provides on-site appointments, as well as video chat and text therapy programs.
Learn more about how LCAT can help improve your life at What We Do.