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MFT License Requirements in Alaska

Alaska’s marriage and family therapists are licensed by the Board of Marital and Family Therapy, a part of the Division of Corporations, Business and Professional Licensing. Full licensure requires graduate education, examination, and supervised practice. Therapists are licensed as Marital and Family Therapist Associates while completing the supervised practice requirement.

Capella University, offers one of only two online Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE) - accredited master's programs in Marriage and Family Therapy. This program prepares you for MFT state license eligibility. Click here to contact Capella University and request information about their program.

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Education Requirements for MFT Associates in Alaska

In order to be licensed at any level, a candidate must earn a master’s or doctoral degree, either in marriage and family therapy or in a related mental health field. Her or his course of study must include the following:

  • Marital and family studies (9 semester hours)
  • Marital and family therapy (9 semester hours)
  • Human development (9 semester hours)
  • Professional law and ethics or professional studies (3 semester hours)
  • Research relevant to MFT practice (3 semester hours)

If a student’s master’s program did not include all the required classes, he or she can do additional classes post-master. In addition to courses taken for credit at academic institutions, the board will accept classes taken through professional organizations like the Alaska Association for Marital and Family Therapy. The board considers 15 contact hours to be the equivalent of an academic credit hour. They further note that if an applicant has more than the minimum requirement for marital and family studies theory, extra units can be applied toward the marital and family studies requirement.

She or he must also have a year of supervised practice in the form of a clinical practicum; about 15 hours a week over the course of a year. This should come out to nine semester hours (or 12 quarter hours).

Supervised Practice

The associate license will be issued for four years and is nonrenewable. The associate therapist must be under the supervision of a board approved supervisor. This will be someone who has practiced for at least five years and has done continuing education relevant to the supervision process.

The associate will need to accrue at least 1,500 hours of direct client contact. She or he will also need 200 hours of supervision. It is expected that this will include 100 hours of individual supervision and 100 hours of group supervision.

Before beginning practice, she or he will submit a supervision plan. It will identify the place where the sessions will take place.

Among the supervisor’s duties is review of the associate’s case load. The supervisee will need to get the consent of clients in order to share information with her supervisor. The Alaska Board recommends that supervision includes a variety of activities, like review of audio and videotapes. Supervision guidelines are included in the application packet. The supervisor will fill out a written evaluation each quarter. Evaluations will address ten skill areas. These include things like managing a case load, observing how clients interact, and incorporating contextual variables like ethnicity, sexual orientation, and religion.

At the end of the supervision period, the supervisor will fill out a notarized supervision report and submit it to the Alaska Board. She or he will address the MFT’s qualifications for licensure.

Domestic Violence Training for Alaska MFT's

Before the candidate can be approved to take the licensing examination, she or he will need training in domestic violence – at least six contact hours. There are many acceptable providers, including the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy. Post-master coursework is acceptable, whether it’s taken for credit or audit.

MFT Examination in Alaska

The candidate must take the National Marital and Family Therapy Examination. The exam is developed by the Association of Marital and Family Therapy Regulatory Boards in cooperation with Professional Examination Service and is offered during several testing periods each year. The AMFTRB site lists four testing windows each for 2013 and 2014: one beginning in January, one in May, one in August, and one in October (http://www.amftrb.org/examdate.cfm).

State approval is required. The Alaska Board asks that candidates turn in the documentation necessary to determine eligibility a full 60 days before the date that they wish to take the exam.

The candidate will take the exam at a Prometric Center, either in Alaska or another state; it is administered via computer. The candidate is allowed to retake the exam after a six month wait period.

A candidate handbook is available on the AMFTRB site. However, the AMFTRB asks that candidates address questions about fees to their own state board. A candidate may be issued a temporary license; this will allow her or him to work while she or he is waiting to take the examination.

The Application Process

Candidates can print applications from the Board site (http://commerce.state.ak.us/BoardofMaritalFamilyTherapy/ApplicationsForms.aspx). Packets include instructions; they also include an email address for a licensing agent.

The application includes professional fitness questions. It also asks about child support and educational loan status. An applicant who is behind on child support or in default on a loan may be issued a 150 day temporary license. (During this time, he will need to resolve financial issues; relevant phone numbers can be found in the application packet.)

There is a $175 nonrefundable application fee, which is separate from the licensing fee. At the associate level, the candidate will fill out a course worksheet and also have official transcripts sent. A temporary license carries an additional $100 fee.

License by Credentials

An MFT who has an active license in another jurisdiction may be licensed by credentials – so long as the other state has licensing laws that are substantially equivalent. The applicant will need to submit license verification as well as a copy of the state’s current laws and regulations. There is a license verification form available in the application packet. The MFT will fill out the top potion of the form and have it sent directly from the source.

The application asks for a list of all relevant professional positions that the MFT has held. The Board may, at its discretion, accept practice in place of some required coursework – three years of practice may be substituted for a single class. It is a licensee’s responsibility to be aware of regulations. These can be found on the Board site.

Additional Information

Alaska Board of Marital and Family Therapy, a part of the Division of Corporations, Business and Professional Licensing (http://commerce.state.ak.us/BoardofMaritalFamilyTherapy.aspx).

The Alaska Division of the Association of Marriage and Family Therapy is an additional professional resource. It does not handle licensing, but does cooperate with the licensing agency on some issues. A current area of advocacy is requiring MFTs to carry insurance that would provide coverage of investigation fees if they were required.

AKAMFT notes that MFT professional licensing fees will be going down to a level comparable to other professions, but that action is necessary to insure that the fees wouldn’t again jump if the licensing division were to incur a debt investigating a licensee who did not hold such a policy. AKAMT is also an approved education provider.

Marriage and Family Therapy Programs in Alaska

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