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MFT License Requirements in Kansas

The Kansas Behavioral Sciences Regulatory Board, or BSRB, licenses marriage and family therapists – along with practitioners in four other professions. A Licensed Clinical Marriage and Family Therapist (LCMFT) is at the highest level of practice. This is a professional who has met all requirements, including supervised practice, and who is able to practice independently. Notably, LCMFT is a similar practice level – independent -- to what many states denote with the title LMFT. However, educational standards are set higher than they are in some states.

In Kansas, a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) is someone who has completed a graduate degree in marriage and family therapy or a related field, but has not yet completed the supervised practice necessary to be authorized to practice independently. Educational requirements for the two licenses are similar, but not identical. Kansas does not place time limits on how long a person holds the lower license.

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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LMFT/ LCMFT Requirements: Education

The surest way to meet educational requirements is to enroll in a COAMFTE-accredited marriage and family therapy program. Other programs are acceptable if they include equivalent content. It is possible to become a marriage and family therapist with a graduate degree in any of the following related fields: counseling, psychology, social work, healing arts, theology, education, nursing, or human development/ family studies. However, a graduate will need to take whatever additional coursework is required to meet Kansas content standards.

Nine semester hours of coursework will be required in each of the following core areas:

  • Human development and family studies
  • Theoretical foundations
  • Assessment and therapy in MFT

Three semester hours will be required in each of the following:

  • Research
  • Professional studies

Theoretical foundations courses discuss systems theory and the family life cycle. They may discuss such concepts as familial response to the birth of a first child and to a death in the family. Human development elucidates the interrelationship between interpersonal and intrapersonal factors and includes concepts like gender. Independent study or thesis work do not count toward core requirements. The application packet includes a worksheet which discusses what may be included in each content area.

There should be a clinical practicum that includes 500 hours of face-to-face contact with clients. There must be 100 hours of supervision (at least 50 of them individual, the remainder in a small group setting).

A candidate who is going for LCMFT status will need 15 semester hours of courses that support mental health diagnosis and assessment. This requirement may overlap with other coursework requirements; when listing classes by category on the education worksheet, a candidate will note which of them met this criteria. The board mandates, however, that there be one discrete class in psychopathology.


LMFT/ LCMFT Requirements: Examination

The Examination in Marital and Family Therapy is a requirement for licensure at either level. However, a temporary permit can be issued to a candidate who is otherwise license-eligible. Even though the exam is administered through a third party, state approval is required for registration – the way to get this is to turn in one’s application.

The exam is given during a few four-week windows each year, so candidates should be mindful of deadlines. They can see the candidate handbook, and view upcoming deadlines, on the site of the Association of Marital and Family Therapy Regulatory Boards (http://www.amftrb.org/exam.cfm).

The candidate will remit a $220 fee upon registration. There will be an additional $75 fee due later to Prometric-Thomson. (The exam is administered via computer at Prometric-Thomson Learning Centers around the nation.)


LCMFT Requirement: Supervised Practice

The LMFT will need to work under supervision for at least two years before they can be eligible for the higher license. The LMFT will need to have a supervision plan on file (and approved) before they begin accruing hours. The Board notes that it is mandatory to read the relevant statutes and rules before submitting a training plan; this requirement applies to the supervisor as well.

It it is necessary to make changes to an approved plan, they must be submitted to the BSRB within the allowable time frame.


Application Process for LMFT and LCMFT in KS

Application packets can be downloaded from the BSRB website (http://www.ksbsrb.org/forms.htm). They are to be submitted with a $100 fee.

Official transcripts are required at first application. An applicant will need three professional references from professionals who are licensed in the behavioral sciences. They will be submitted in sealed, signed envelopes.

Some supplemental materials apply only to candidates who did not graduate from COAMFTE-accredited programs (or programs with pre-accreditation candidate status). Among these are a course worksheet and an attestation of practicum work that is to be signed by the dean or director of the program.

The BSRB notes that the application review can take 30 days. Application status can be monitored online.


Out-of-State MFT License by Endorsement/Reciprocity

An out-of-state MFT applying for licensure needs to submit clearance forms from each jurisdiction where he or she has held a mental health license.

A currently licensed professional is eligible for license by reciprocity at the LMFT level if at least one of the following conditions applies: Their state has substantially equivalent licensing standards or they have been licensed and actively practicing for at least the past five years. (If the LMFT worked at least 15 hours a week for nine months out of the year during each of those years, that will suffice.)

For license by reciprocity at the LCMFT level, the therapist will also need to show that they met the additional LCMFT educational requirement (having had 15 semester hours of graduate coursework that supported the assessment and treatment of mental disorders). Additionally, the LCMFT must provide one of two things: evidence of having put in at least eight hours a week in clinical client contact for at least three years (nine months a year) or an attestation of their competency signed by a mental health professional operating at the independent level.

An MFT who is licensed at the independent level in another jurisdiction may apply for a temporary permit which will allow for fifteen days of practice in Kansas. The days do not have to be consecutive, but if one does any practice at all on a given day, it counts as a day. A temporary permit can generally be issued pretty quickly, but it does carry a $200 fee. The permit can be extended to allow for up to 15 additional days of therapy. However, the therapist will need to remit an additional $200. The BSRB advises candidates to read the applicable regulations before applying.


Additional Resources and Contacts

The Kansas Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, a division of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, is an additional resource (http://ksamft.org). Candidates can find a list of AAMFT-approved supervisors on the site.

The Kansas Behavioral Sciences Regulatory Board, or BSRB (http://www.ksbsrb.org)

Marriage and Family Therapy Programs in Kansas

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