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Marriage and Family Therapist License Requirements in Nebraska

The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, or DHSS, licenses marriage and family therapists.

In Nebraska, a professional is licensed as a mental health practitioner and certified as a marriage and family therapist. The same licenses are granted to individuals in multiple counseling-related fields. The license indicates what level the professional can practice with regard to treating and diagnosing mental illness. The certification indicates what field the candidate did their training in and what titles they can use; it may have some bearing on which clients seek the practitioner out for treatment.

A Licensed Independent Mental Health Practitioner (LIMHP) is qualified to diagnose and treat people with major mental disorders. A Licensed Mental Health Practitioner (LMHP) is also qualified to assess, treat, and provide therapy. The LMHP will need to consult or make a referral, however, in some circumstances.

An LMHP who is certified as a marriage and family therapist may use the title Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, or LMFT – a title that is recognized in most parts of the country.

A Provisionally Licensed Mental Health Practitioner (PLMHP) is someone who is still in training. The PLMHP has completed a master’s or doctoral degree but has not yet completed the supervised practice required for the higher license.

A full description of the standards of practice can be found in the statutes (http://www.sos.state.ne.us/rules-and-regs/regsearch/Rules/Health_and_Human_Services_System/Title-172/Chapter-094.pdf).

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 Requirements: Education

A prospective marriage and family therapist should enroll in a program that is COAMFTE-accredited or equivalent.

The student must have nine semester hours or 13.5 quarter hours in each of the following content areas:

  • Marriage and family studies
  • Marriage and family therapy
  • Human development

The LMFT candidate must have three semester hours or 4.5 quarter hours in each of the following areas:

  • Professional studies
  • Research

The practicum experience is to be at least six semester hours or nine quarter hours. It is to include at least 300 client contact hours. A maximum of 150 of the required hours may be earned through the provision of individual therapy.

A course in assessment is required for the mental health practitioner license. A candidate whose program is not accredited by any of the approved agencies will fill out a course worksheet for mental health practitioner license as well as one for the marriage and family therapist supplement. The Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) is an approved accrediting agency for mental health, but not specifically for marriage and family therapy.

Supervised Practice

A total of 3,000 hours of supervised practice is required. It should be earned in a mental health setting. At least 1,500 hours must be spent in direct client care.

The required hours are to be accrued over a period of two to five years. Nebraska only accepts experience earned in the five years immediately preceding application.

The provisionally licensed marriage and family therapist will need a clinical supervisor. This individual will use observations, recordings, and written materials to review the service delivery. The supervisor must either be approved as a supervisor by the AAMFT or have 15 hours of training in supervision and three years’ experience supervising marriage and family therapists.

The provisionally licensed MFT will need at least 2 hours of direct supervision for every 15 client contact hours. The provisionally licensed MFT may not accrue more than 45 hours between sessions. Group supervisory sessions may have up to six in attendance.

If the candidate needs to change or add a supervisor, the candidate will need to apply to do so. The application must be submitted within 30 days.

Licensed Independent Mental Health Practitioner Requirements

The independent license requires the same number of experience hours: 3,000. However, half the experience must be earned working with patients who have major mental illnesses or disorders.

Examination

The candidate must pass the National Marital and Family Therapy Examination before they can be eligible for full licensure. The exam is administered at Prometric Centers throughout the country during four annual 28-day windows.

Once a candidate has completed other licensing requirements, the candidate will send an examination request to DHHS. Upon approval, the candidate will be sent registration materials. The candidate will pay $220 to Professional Examination Service upon registration and $75 to Prometric when scheduling the exam. The exam is administered by computer.

The candidate may opt for the Columbus, Lincoln, or Omaha testing center. It is also an option to test at a Prometric center in another state.

A candidate may visit the site of the Association for Marital and Family Therapy Regulatory Boards (AMFTRB) to see upcoming registration deadlines (http://www.amftrb.org/exam.cfm). The candidate should be aware that these are the testing company’s deadlines; it will be necessary to send materials to DHHS well in advance.

The Application Process

A candidate may download application materials from the DHHS site (http://dhhs.ne.gov/publichealth/Pages/crl_mhcs_mental_mentalhealth.aspx#Applications). The candidate may complete the form online, but will still need to print, sign, and mail it to the Licensure Unit in Lincoln.

Official transcripts will be required at first application. If the program was not accredited by COAMFTE, course descriptions will be required as well. The candidate must document their age and lawful presence within the United States.

The Nebraska DHHS is usually able to process an application and issue certification within about two weeks, provided the file is complete and the applicant does not have qualifying events that require review. If review is required it will generally take place at the next meeting. The Department is legally required to act within 150 days.

If an individual completes requirements during the final 90 days of a renewal cycle, the applicant may decide whether they want the credential issued immediately or prefer to wait until the start of the next renewal cycle. The decision will determine when the applicant can start practicing. It will also determine what fees they pay. Licensing fees are prorated.

Out-of-State Applicants

A marriage and family therapist can be licensed by reciprocity if they meet certain criteria: The LMFT’s licensing agency must have substantially equivalent requirements. The LMFT must have passed the national exam (or another exam that Nebraska deems equivalent). The LMFT must have recent, active practice in her state of licensure.

The out-of-state MFT will need to provide license verification. If the LMFT has a disciplinary history, details will be required.

A professional who practices in Nebraska before being licensed is assessed a penalty of $10 per day.

Additional Contacts & Information

Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, or DHSS, licenses marriage and family therapists (http://dhhs.ne.gov/publichealth/Pages/crl_mhcs_mental_mentalhealth.aspx).

The licensure unit specialist can be reached at (402) 471-2117. Additional contact information can be found on the DHHS site (http://dhhs.ne.gov/publichealth/Pages/crl_mhcs_mental_mentalhealth.aspx#Contact).

The Nebraska Association for Marriage and Family Therapy is an additional professional resource (http://ne.temp.ohanasites.com/ohana/website/)

Marriage and Family Therapy Programs in Nebraska

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