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Marriage and Family Therapist License Requirements in New Mexico

New Mexico marriage and family therapists are licensed by the New Mexico Counseling and Therapy Practice Board, a part of the New Mexico Regulation & Licensing Department.

There are two levels of licensing. Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) is the professional level license. It is granted to candidates who have met all requirements including education, examination, and supervised practice. Licensed Associate Marriage and Family Therapist (LAMFT) is a transitional license for candidates who are working toward meeting their supervised practice requirement.

LMFTs may be licensed by requirements or by credentials. License by credentials is for those who already hold marriage and family therapy licensing in another jurisdiction.

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 Mexico

A student may earn either a master's or doctoral degree from an accredited university. The program must include, at minimum, 45 semester hours of coursework.

The student will need nine semester hours each in the following core areas:

  • Human development: Courses should cover human development across the lifespan. Coursework in personality theory, psychopathology, and human sexuality can be applied toward this requirement
  • Marriage and family studies: Courses may include concepts such as family development, family subsystems, gender and cultural issues, and family crisis.
  • Marriage and family therapy: Courses in this content area will teach students how to carry out assessment and treatment. They may also include major theories, for example, behavioral family therapy and object relations therapy.

The candidate will need three semester hours each in the following content areas:

  • Professional studies: This course requirement can be met through coursework that includes professional ethics and legal responsibilities. It cannot be met through coursework in religious ethics.
  • Multicultural studies: This course should develop a systemic approach to working with diverse populations
  • Research: This requirement can be met with research design or quantitative methods, but not tests and measurements.

Additionally, the student will need six semester hours of practicum. There is to be at least 300 hours of client contact spread out over a 12 month period.

New Mexico will license individuals who have graduate degrees in related fields provided they meet all requirements. The following are considered related fields: counseling psychology, clinical psychology, mental health counseling, agency counseling, human development and family studies, and art education. Such candidates will include course catalog descriptions and syllabi with their initial applications; they will fill out a course worksheet showing which classes covered the required content.

Examination

The required examination is the National Examination in Marital and Family Therapy. It was developed by the Association of Marital and Family Therapy Regulatory Boards (AMFTRB) and Professional Examination Service (PES) and is administered via computer at Prometric sites around the country. Board permission is required for registration; the candidate will be made eligible after application materials are received.

The candidate will pay $220 to PES upon registration. An additional $75 will be due later to Prometric. Candidate bulletins can be downloaded from the AMFTRB site (http://www.amftrb.org/exam.cfm). A list of upcoming registration deadlines is available as well. The examination is administered just four times a year. However, candidates may be issued temporary licenses to work while waiting to pass the examination.

Supervised Experience

The candidate must work under supervision for at least two years following graduation. At least 1,000 hours of clinical client contact must be accrued before the professional level license can be issued. While accruing experience hours, the graduate will hold licensing as an LAMFT; independent practice is not permitted.

Over the course of the experience period, the candidate will need at least 200 hours of professional clinical supervision. 100 of these hours must be individual.

The clinical supervisor must have education and experience in marriage and family therapy but may hold licensing in a related field. Professionals licensed as psychologists, psychiatrists, mental health counselors, independent social workers, or art therapists may be accepted as supervisors provided they have the requisite experience. The supervisor will provide licensing information to the Board; a notarized statement is to be included with the LAMT application.

It is acceptable for a candidate to spend longer than two years accruing the hours. The New Mexico Board does not place time limits on associate level practice.

The Application Process

Application materials can be downloaded from the Board site (http://www.rld.state.nm.us/boards/Counseling_and_Therapy_Practice_Forms_and_Applications.aspx).

Candidates must submit official transcripts from all universities where they took graduate coursework that was required for licensing. These are to be submitted in sealed envelopes upon first application.

Candidates must read the code of ethics and agree to be bound by it. A passport-type photo must be attached to the application. The application itself must be notarized and sent with a $75 application fee.

The fee for initial licensure as an LMFT is $220; this is due after eligibility has been determined.

Out-of-State and International Marriage and Family Therapists

An out-of-state marriage and family therapist may be licensed by requirements or by credential. A professional who has held a license in good standing in another state or nation for at least five years may be a candidate for the reciprocal license. The candidate must provide evidence of holding a graduate degree in marriage and family therapy, counseling, or a related field.

An out-of-state candidate who does not meet the five-year rule may still be issued a license. In this instance, though, it will be necessary to demonstrate that all the standard requirements have been met.

The application packet includes a verification form that must be sent to the other licensing agency. The form asks questions about the licensing standards that were in place at time the candidate was licensed (number of graduate hours, number of post-graduate supervision and experience hours) as well as the LMFT's disciplinary history.

A candidate who does not meet requirements may be deemed eligible for associate level licensing.

Contacts & Additional Information

The Board may be reached at (505)-476-4622. A candidate or other interested individual can be added to the Board's mailing list to receive general information and updates. The link, plus additional contact information, can be found on the Board site (http://www.rld.state.nm.us/boards/Counseling_and_Therapy_Practice.aspx).

The New Mexico Division of the Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT-New Mexico) is an additional professional resource (http://www.nmamft.com/ohana/website/)

Marriage and Family Therapy Programs in New Mexico

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