How to Become a Marriage and Family Therapist in California

Last Updated on November 16, 2021 by

Do you want to gain access to California therapist license requirements or do you want to read about the MFT programs online? Are you one of those who have been looking for affordable online MFT programs that you need to excel in your career? Are you a student looking for marriage and family therapist training to help you succeed in your career? If yes, why worry yourself our site provides answer to question. It’s just a click away!
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Psy.D. in Marriage and Family Therapy | Los Angeles | TCSPP

The process to become an MFT can look different depending on your state’s requirements, In the state of California you are required to meet certain standards before becoming licensed as a marriage family therapist. Marriage family therapists work in a variety of settings such as colleges, hospitals, government offices, mental health centers, private practices, and substance abuse treatment centers. The role of the marriage family therapist is to listen to their clients and help them understand their role within the family dynamic. The marriage family therapist helps families, couples, and individuals work through problems that they may have in their relationships in order to better their lives.

Best Online Marriage and Family Counseling Programs 2021 |
family session

The Chicago School of Professional Psychology defines marriage and family therapy (MFT) as a field of psychotherapy aimed at treating individuals, couples, and families within a relational context. Depending on where you intend to practice, MFT specialists should pay close attention to their state’s requirements. Today we’re focusing on the requirements necessary to practice in the state of California.

What is marriage and family therapy?

The American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy describes MFT as goal-oriented efforts to treat negative behavior patterns that involve whole familial units as opposed to those of one person. However, therapy sessions involve an entire family unit or solely an individual. Treated behaviors include substance abuse, marital conflict, child conduct behavior, and other problems associated with mental health.

MFT specialists can work with children, adolescents, adults, and elderly clients. Given how treatment is focused on the familial unit, working with an MFT specialist tends to be short-term and goal-oriented. Contrary to other modalities of counseling, MFT sessions are usually between nine and 50 visits with sessions divided among individual, couple, and family therapy.

Educational Requirements for Marriage Family Therapists in California
There are certain educational requirements that a person must complete in order to be considered for licensure as a marriage family therapist in the state of California. A person must attend and complete a master’s degree or doctoral program. This program must be accredited by a regionally accepted organization like the California Bureau of Post-Secondary education or vocational education or the Western Association of Colleges and Schools. It is specified in the requirements that the course of study must include a marital and family group approach to treatment as well as courses in developmental concerns and life events from birth through old age as well as a number of different methods for the treatment of children.

Undergraduate WorkEarn a Bachelor’s Degree in Counseling4 YearsOnline or Campus
Graduate WorkEarn a Master’s Degree in Counseling5-6 YearsOnline or Campus
PHD or Doctoral WorkEarn a Doctorate in Counseling7-8 YearsOnline or Campus

A master’s or doctoral degree from a qualifying college
A qualified program will satisfy all the requirements of the SB 33 Senate Bill—60 semester or 90 quarter units of instruction and 225 hours of face-to-face counseling experience (75 hours must be through client-centered advocacy). The graduate degree program must consist of at least sixty semester hours or ninety quarter units of instruction time. No less than twelve semester units of the coursework must be in principles, theories, and methods of psychotherapeutic orientations that are directly related to marriage family therapy and the marriage family systems approach to treatment and how these theories can be applied to clients including individuals, families, and couples.

Registry with the Board of Behavioral Sciences as an MFT intern
Registering as an intern allows you to complete postgraduate supervised experience. Aspiring MFTs must complete 3,000 hours of supervised work experience in no less than 104 weeks.

Additional Requirements for Family Therapy License in California
In addition to the educational requirements a person must also finish a set of training requirements. A license applicant must have completed 3000 hours of experience, which must be supervised. This experience must be obtained in no less than 104 weeks. The experience must be obtained within the first six years after graduating from an approved program.

Many people choose to begin completing some of the hours while they are working on their graduate degree. This helps to integrate the coursework that they are doing for their degree into practical experiences. A person that has earned their degree may choose to train with a supervisor that is qualified either in a school, college, government entity, licensed health facility, charitable or non-profit corporations, or at a private practice.

Resort to Family Counseling to Bring Back Peace and Happiness To Life!

The experience hours can be broken down into the following categories:

  1. Minimum 1500 hours of direct counseling work
  2. Individual therapy and counseling
  3. Maximum 500 hours in group therapy or counseling
  4. Maximum 375 hours in telemedicine counseling
  5. Maximum 250 hours administering and evaluating tests, writing progress notes and process notes, and writing clinical reports.
  6. Maximum 1250 hours non counseling work experience: this includes seminars, workshops, training sessions, conferences, personal psychotherapy received, client centered advocacy, and supervision.

The list below identifies California schools with MFT Programs which have been evaluated by the Board. These programs meet the MFT licensure requirements, pursuant to California Business and Professions Code (BPC) §4980.36, for students who began graduate studies on or after August 1, 2012.

The Board does not publish a list of schools with MFT programs, which are based outside of California, online or otherwise.

California State Universities (CSU)
Alliant International University
Antioch University
Azusa Pacific University
Bethel Seminary, San Diego
Biola University
Brandman University
California Baptist University
California Institute for Human Science
California Institute of Integral Studies
California Lutheran University
California Southern University
Cambridge College
Chapman University
Chicago School of Professional Psychology
Daybreak University
Dominican University of California
Fresno Pacific University – MB Biblical Seminary
Fuller Theological Seminary
Golden Gate University
HIS University
Holy Names University
Hope International University
John F. Kennedy University (JFK)
La Sierra University
Loma Linda University
Loyola Marymount University
Meridian University
Mount St. Mary’s University
National University
Northcentral University
Notre Dame de Namur University
Pacific Oaks College
Pacifica Graduate Institute
Palo Alto University
Pepperdine University
Phillips Education Center of Campbellsville University
Point Loma Nazarene University
Professional School of Psychology
Rhombus University
San Diego University for Integrative Studies
Santa Clara University, Counseling Psychology
Saybrook University
Simpson University
Sofia University
Southern California Seminary
St. Mary’s College of California
Touro University Worldwide
University of LaVerne
University of Phoenix
University of San Diego
University of San Francisco
University of Southern California
University of the West
Vanguard University of Southern California
Western Institute for Social Research
Western Seminary
William Jessup University
The Wright Institute

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Career Outlook In California
The job growth in the field of marriage family therapy is expected to be higher than the average job growth for all careers with an expected increase of 41% from 2010 through 2020. Jobs in the mental health counseling field are expected to increase by 36% during this same time. As of May, 2012, there were 9120 licensed family therapists in the state.

The average wage in the nation for those working as marriage family therapists is $45,720 as of May 2010. While the average wage for those employed as marriage family therapists in California was $47,230 as of May 2012.

Research Additional Psychology Professional Licenses Granted by California:
California Psychologist Licensing
California Counselor Licensing
California Social Work Licensing
Learn More About The Career of an LMFT

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