Skip to Content Skip to Navigation

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

Description:

Marriage and family therapy is the assessment and treatment of affective, cognitive or behavioral disorders that disrupt interpersonal family relationships, including marital/couple, parent-child, pre-marital and other relationships.

Practitioners, called marriage and family therapists, are trained in individual psychotherapy and family systems to assess and treat mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders, and address an array of relationship issues within the context of marital/couple, family and various relational systems.

Licensure Requirements:

The practice of Marriage and Family Therapy and use of the titles "Marriage and Family Therapist", "Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist", "Licensed Marriage Therapist", and "Licensed Family Therapist" or any derivative thereof within New York State requires licensure as a Marriage and Family Therapist, unless otherwise exempt under the law.

To be licensed as a marriage and family therapist in New York State you must:

  • be of good moral character;
  • be at least 21 years of age;
  • meet education requirements;
  • meet experience requirements;
  • meet examination requirements; and
  • complete coursework or training in the identification and reporting of child abuse offered by a New York State approved provider.

The specific requirements for licensure are contained in Title 8, Article 163, Section 8403 of the New York State Education Law and Section 52.33 and Subpart 79-10 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education.

Education Requirements:

To meet the professional education requirement for licensure as a marriage and family therapist, you must present evidence of A, B or C below.

  1. A master's or doctoral degree from a program in marriage and family therapy that is:
    • registered by the Department as licensure qualifying; or
    • accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE) or another acceptable accrediting agency; or
    • determined by the Department to be the substantial equivalent of such a registered or accredited program.
  2. OR

  3. A master's or higher degree from a program in an allied mental health field acceptable to the Department (including but not limited to social work, psychology and mental health counseling) and additional graduate level coursework, if needed, determined by the Department to provide the substantial equivalent professional education of a licensure qualifying program in Marriage and Family Therapy.
  4. OR

  5. Completion of a program located outside the United States and its territories that:
    1. prepares individuals for the professional practice of Marriage and Family Therapy; and
    2. is recognized by the appropriate civil authorities of that jurisdiction; and
    3. can be appropriately verified; and
    4. is determined by the Department to be the substantial equivalent of a registered licensure qualifying or acceptable accredited master's or doctoral program in Marriage and Family Therapy.

    Substantial Equivalence

    To be considered substantially equivalent, your program must include at least 45 semester hours, or the equivalent, of study that contains curricular content that includes but is not limited to each of the following areas:

    • at least three (3) semester hours in the study of human development, including individual, child and family development;
    • at least twelve (12) semester hours in marriage and family therapy clinical knowledge, including but not limited to psychopathology;
    • at least six (6) semester hours in marriage and family therapy theoretical knowledge;
    • family law;
    • at least three (3) semester hours in research;
    • at least three (3) semester hours in professional ethics; and
    • include a supervised practicum in marriage and family therapy of at least 300 client contact hours.

    NOTE: The education requirement for licensure as a Marriage and Family Therapist can only be met through completion of graduate level courses at an acceptable degree granting institution. Training in an institute or by a registered individual does not meet the education requirement for licensure even if the training is accredited by a private organization.

    Evidence of receipt of your degree(s) must be presented on Form 2 - Certification of Professional Education - and must be submitted directly to the Office of the Professions by the school(s) where you obtained your degree(s). If the program was not registered as leading to licensure in New York State or COAMFTE accredited, an official transcript is also needed.

    In addition to the professional education requirement, every applicant for Marriage and Family Therapy licensure or a limited permit must complete coursework or training in the identification and reporting of child abuse in accordance with Section 6507(3)(a) of the Education Law. See additional information and a list of approved providers for this training.

    Experience Requirements

    To meet the experience requirement for licensure as a Marriage and Family Therapist, you must complete at least 1,500 client contact hours in the practice of Marriage and Family Therapy. The experience may only be completed under a limited permit issued by the Department or as part of the licensure qualifying education program, for experience in New York; experience completed in other jurisdictions must be completed legally in accordance with the laws of the jurisdiction.

    Examination Requirements:

    To meet the examination requirements for licensure as a Marriage and Family Therapist in New York State, you must pass the "Examination in Marital and Family Therapy" developed by the Association of Marital and Family Therapy Regulatory Boards (AMFTRB) and administered by Professional Testing Corporation (PTC). New York does not accept the California examination for licensure.

    Examination Description:

    The National Marital and Family Therapy Examination is administered via computer. Candidates have the opportunity to take the Exam during one week of each month at testing locations offered through PSI.

    Fees (as of November 2, 2016)

    The fee for licensure and first registration is $371.
    The fee for a limited permit is $70.

    Licenses Issued and Active:

    In 2014, there were 87 licenses issued for this occupation.
    In 2015, there were 116 licenses issued for this occupation.
    As of July 1, 2016, there were 1,144 registered licenses for this occupation.

    Licensing Authority:

    New York State Education Department
    Office of the Professions
    Division of Professional Licensing Services
    Mental Health Practitioners Unit
    89 Washington Avenue, 2nd Floor
    Albany, New York 12234
    Phone: (518) 474-3817 Ext. 592
    Fax: (518) 402-2323
    E-mail:opunit5@mail.nysed.gov

    Standard Occupational Classification:

    21-1013.00 - Marriage and Family Therapists
    To learn more about this occupation search the Occupational Information Network (O*Net).

    Additional Information:

    Association of Marital and Family Therapy Regulatory Boards (AMFTRB)
    1843 Austin Bluffs Parkway
    Colorado Springs, CO 80918
    E-mail: info@amftrb.org

    Disclaimer:

    Fees stated and other information contained in this report are subject to change. Please contact the licensing authority listed above for the most current information.

    This page was last updated on 11/29/16.

    Thanks for the feedback! It will help us improve your experience.