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Marriage and Family Therapist License Requirements in New Hampshire

New Hampshire marriage and family therapists are licensed by the New Hampshire Board of Mental Health Practice.

There is just one level of licensure, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, or LMFT. Licensure is granted to individuals who have completed graduate programs in marriage and family therapy, fulfilled a supervised practice requirement, and passed a national licensing examination. While fulfilling the supervised practice requirement, they are known as candidates. Candidates must work under board-approved supervision.

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 in New Hampshire

A candidate will need to complete a master’s program that includes at least two years’ of coursework. There are several options. An MFT program is acceptable if it is either accredited by COAMFTE or housed in a regionally accredited institution.

The student is to do at least a year of her studies in residence at the institution. The Board considers ‘in residence’ to mean, among other things, that a majority of instruction is face-to-face, and the student has face-to-face access to advisors and faculty members.

If the program is not COAMFTE-accredited, it must include the following coursework:

  • Marital and family studies (3 courses)
  • Marital and family therapy (3 courses)
  • Human development (3 courses)
  • Professional studies (1 course)
  • Diagnosis (1 course)
  • Research (1 course)

The marital and family studies requirement can be met through courses that cover the family life cycle, family or marital sociology, multicultural families, families under stress, or interpersonal relationships within the family.

The marital and family therapy requirement can be met through courses in family assessment, treatment and intervention, or major MFT theories. The latter might include communications theory, systemic theory, and transgenerational theory.

The human development requirement may include such concepts as personality theory, human sexuality, and behavior-pathology. Professional studies may include professional socialization, ethics, legal responsibilities, and/or family law.

A candidate can visit the administrative rules section of the Board website to see a full list of concepts that fall under each content area (http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/rules/state_agencies/mhp300.html).

The student is expected to have a full of year of practicum or internship as part of the graduate program. It should include 300 clinical client hours carried out under the supervision of an AAMFT-approved supervisor or alternate supervisor. Students who complete COAMFTE-accredited master’s or doctoral programs will have a reduced supervision requirement after graduation.

A candidate who has a degree in another mental health field should complete a COAMFTE-accredited post-graduate training program. In New Hampshire, such programs may be referred to as CAGS or CAS.


Supervised Practice

The candidate will work under supervision (in an employee role) for at least two years. For the sake of meeting licensing requirements, 1,500 experience hours is considered to be the equivalent of one year; the hours may be completed over a period of 12 to 24 months.

Over the course of the supervisory period, the candidate must accrue at least 1,000 direct client contact hours. The candidate will need at least 200 total hours of face-to-face supervisory sessions with a professional who has been approved by the AAMFT (or gone through supervision training through the AAMFT and met alternative requirements). However, if the candidate graduated from a COAMFTE program, the candidate may carry over 100 supervision hours, reducing the post-graduate requirement to 100.

Before beginning, the graduate will file a supervisory plan. The supervisor and supervisee will need to submit training goals as well as basic information about the place of employment and the proposed sessions. The Board notes that one goal should address professional ethics.

If there is no one at the candidate’s workplace who meets the Board’s requirements for supervisor, the candidate may contract with an approved professional for services. The supervisor will need to enter into a contractual agreement. The document is to be signed by a professional at the workplace and submitted with the supervisory plan.

Supervision sessions are to take place at the candidate's worksite. Sessions may be counted as individual if there was one other supervisee in attendance. Sessions with three to six supervisees are acceptable as group supervision.


Doctoral Candidates

If a candidate already has a qualifying degree and opts for a doctoral degree in marriage and family therapy, the candidate can count the doctoral internship experiences toward the experience and supervision requirements.


MFT License Examination

The required exam is administered throughout the country; it was developed by the American Association of Marriage and Family Regulatory Boards (AAMFRB) in cooperation with Professional Examination Service (PES).

The candidate must submit a form to request permission to take the exam (http://www.amftrb.org/exam.cfm). The candidate may do this at any point after filing the supervisory plan. (A candidate who makes a request without having filed a supervisory plan will need to include transcripts as well as a statement justifying the need to take the exam as part of the licensure process.)

Once approved, the candidate will receive a packet that explains how to register with PES to take the exam. The examinee pays $220 when registering for the exam; the candidate later pays a $75 fee to Prometric. The candidate can opt for any Prometric site (either in New Hampshire or in another state). The exam is not given on an ongoing basis. However, availability recently increased; there are now four four-week testing windows as opposed to three.

A candidate will find upcoming testing windows and registration deadlines on the AAMFTRB site (http://www.amftrb.org/exam.cfm). Sample questions are also available.

A candidate who fails the exam may retake it. The candidate will, however, need to notify the New Hampshire Board.


Applying to the Board for MFT Licensure

The candidate agreement is, in a sense, the first application. The applicant will need to answer legal and professional fitness questions at this time. The review process carries a $25 fee.

The LMFT licensing application includes essay questions. The licensing application must be submitted with a $150 fee. If the candidate is approved for licensure, an additional $135 fee will be assessed.

All forms are available in Microsoft Word format (http://www.nh.gov/mhpb/forms.html).


Out-of-State Marriage and Family Therapists

An MFT who has already taken the licensing exam may have exam scores submitted by the testing company or by the state of licensure.

A clinical membership in the AAMFT that has been earned through the traditional track is accepted as evidence that an MFT has met educational requirements.


Contacts and Additional Information

New Hampshire Board of Mental Health Practice (http://www.nh.gov/mhpb).

Candidates and other interested individuals may make a request to be included in the New Hampshire marriage and family therapist List Serv. This will ensure that they stay apprised of changes in rules or policy (http://maillist2.nh.gov/mailman/listinfo/bdmhp).

The Board notes that official business is not carried out through the website. Individuals may call 603-271-6762 for assistance.

The New Hampshire Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, a division of the AAMFT, serves as an additional professional resource (http://www.nhamft.org/ohana/website/index.cfm?p=95575656253).

Marriage and Family Therapy Programs in New Hampshire

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