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Marriage and Family Therapist Requirements in Maine

Maine marriage and family therapists are licensed by the Office of Professional and Occupational Regulation. A therapist is eligible for a conditional license after earning a graduate degree and taking a licensing exam. A therapist is eligible for full licensure after completing a 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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MFT Education Requirements

The candidate will need a qualifying degree at the master’s or doctoral level. The graduate degree program must be at least 60 semester hours in length.

A master’s or doctoral marriage and family counseling program that is accredited by CACREP is automatically accepted as meeting all requirements (provided it meets the 60 semester hour minimum).

A doctoral program in marriage and family therapy that is accredited by COAMFTE is accepted as meeting all requirements if it meets both the Board’s practicum specifications and the requirement for total program length.

Other marriage and family therapy programs can be accepted if they meet the Board’s specific coursework requirements.

There must be nine semester hours in each of the following:

  • Marital and family studies
  • Marital and family therapy

There must also be coursework in the following areas:

  • Diagnosis and treatment
  • Human sexuality
  • Research and evaluation
  • Professional orientation

Three semester hours is sufficient for each of the above content areas. If a course included components of a required content area, the Board may award partial credit. A candidate may use more than one course to meet a content area requirement. However, the candidate cannot use one course to satisfy more than one requirement.

The Board will accept a number of types of ‘reliable documents’ when determining if a content area requirement was met. This could include reading lists and assignments as well as the more traditional syllabi and course descriptions. Supporting materials may be supplied by the professor or other knowledgeable department member.

Practicum and Internship

The student will need both a practicum and an internship. The practicum introduces the student to the activities that an MFT performs and allows the candidate to begin carrying out some of them. The internship allows the candidate to practice the regular activities that an MFT would perform in an employment setting.

The internship should be at least 900 total hours and include at least 360 client contact hours.


Temporary and Conditional Licenses: The Exam Process

The National Marital and Family Therapist Exam is required before a conditional license can be issued. However, a temporary conditional license can be issued to a candidate who is waiting to take and pass the examination. The Board asks that the application package be submitted a full 90 days before the exam date (http://www.amftrb.org/exam.cfm)

If a candidate fails an examination attempt, the candidate will not be allowed to count the hours that were earned working under a temporary license toward the requirement for licensure.


Supervised Practice

The conditionally licensed marriage and family therapist must work under supervision for at least two years. The conditionally licensed MFT will need to accrue at least 3,000 total hours of work experience; at least 1,000 must be spent providing direct services to couples or families.

The MFT will need an hour of direct supervision for every 15 hours worked (making for a total of 200 over the course of the experience period). At least half of the supervision hours must be individual. The supervisor and supervisee may utilize audio or videoconferencing technology for some sessions, but will need to meet live at least half the time.

If the provisionally licensed candidate had fewer than the required 900 hours in the internship, the candidate will have a total experience requirement of 4,000 hours and a ‘couple and family’ contact hour requirement of 1,500 hours. The candidate will need 300 hours of supervision. The minimum supervision period is still two years.

A conditional license is good for two years. It can be renewed two times, if necessary, to allow the candidate to accrue the necessary hours. When there are significant extenuating circumstances, the candidate can ask the Board to consider an additional renewal.

A marriage and family therapist has a continuing education requirement while practicing under a conditional license.


The Application Process

Applicants are expected to know the applicable Maine laws before applying for licensure(http://www.mainelegislature.org/legis/statutes/32/title32ch119sec0.html). They also need to know the general laws and policies of the Department of Professional and Financial Regulation. Links are found in the application packet.

The applicant will need to request the following documents from his or her university: official transcripts and internship verification form. Both undergraduate and graduate transcripts are required.

A professional disclosure statement will be required as well. An outline can be found in the application packet.

The candidate must submit three professional references and pay $21 for a criminal background check.

The $25 application fee and the initial licensure fee should both be sent with the application. It costs $200 to apply for a conditional license, $250 to submit a license at the professional level. A conditionally licensed MFT will still need to pay the full application and licensure fee when applying for 'change of status'.

Applications may be mailed to the Augusta address or hand delivered to the office in Gardiner. The Board stresses that even if the application is hand delivered, the candidate will not be able to leave with it that day; the license will be mailed after the review period.

License status can be monitored online.


Out-of-State LMFTs: Endorsement

Out-of-state marriage and family therapists can apply on the basis of either having met substantially similar requirements or possessing substantially equivalent qualifications. The ‘requirements’ pathway is only open to those who have five years of recent active practice.

An out-of-state LMFT should provide license verification, copies of licenses, and a copy of the licensing statutes that were in effect when the out-of-state LMFT received their credentials. A candidate who is applying by requirements will need to send transcripts and other educational verification, including a verification of practicum. The candidate will need to submit an affidavit of supervision and passing test scores (unless the candidate is requesting to take the exam). A candidate who is applying by requirements does not need to submit these documents, but must include a resume and practice summary.

If it is not possible for an LMFT to get a hold of some materials (for example, course syllabi) from the distant past, the Board may still grant a license. However, this may draw out the review process and necessitate a hearing.

An out-of-state therapist must have reference letters and a professional disclosure statement, regardless of their pathway. A criminal history check will be required. The application and licensure fee together total $275. This may be combined with the $21 background check fee.


Additional Information and Contacts

Maine Office of Professional and Occupational Regulation (http://www.maine.gov/pfr/professionallicensing/professions/counselors/marriage_family_therapist.html)

An applicant or other interested individual may email the Board if they cannot find the information he or she is looking for on the website. An email link is found on the ‘licensing’ page (http://www.maine.gov/pfr/professionallicensing/professions/counselors/forms.htm).

Marriage and Family Therapy Programs in Maine

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