MFT License Requirements in Delaware

Delaware marriage and family therapists are regulated by the Board of Mental Health and Chemical Dependency Professionals. Licensure as an LMFT requires graduate education, supervised work experience, and passing scores on a national board examination.

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Education Requirements for Associate MFT’s in Delaware

Associate Marriage and Family Therapist is a relatively new license category; therapists hold this license while they are working to meet their supervised practice requirements.

In order to be licensed as a marriage and family therapist, or as an associate, a person needs a master’s or doctoral degree. The degree may be in marriage and family therapy or in a related field like counseling, social work, or psychology. When it’s time to apply, the graduate will document at least one course in each of the nine content areas mandated by the Board;

  • MFT models and theories
  • Psychopathology
  • Diagnosis and treatment
  • Culture, gender, and diversity in MFT
  • Sexual issues in MFT
  • Theories and techniques of family therapy
  • Theories and techniques of marital/ couples therapy
  • Professional, legal, and ethical issues in MFT
  • Research and evaluation

Additionally, the candidate will need to document the equivalent of three courses (nine semester hours) of supervised clinical experience. There must be at least 300 hours of direct client contact. At least 150 must be with families or couples.

A student can be assured of meeting educational requirements if he attends a school that holds accreditation through the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMTE). Graduates of COAMFTE-accredited programs will not need to fill out the course by course worksheet; an official transcript will suffice.

Background Check Requirement

Before he can be licensed at any level, the applicant will need to pass state and federal criminal background checks. Assuming the applicant is living in Delaware, he should fill out the release form and then go to one of the state agencies listed in the application materials. There are three locations: Kent County, Sussex County, and New Castle County. The candidate will need to pay a $69 fee via credit card, money order, or (in some locations) cash. Only the Kent County facility accepts walk-ins.

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Out-of-state candidates may have the prints done at their local police agency, using that agency’s own cards. If necessary, they may call (302) 739-2134 to ask the Delaware Board to send one. The out-of-state candidate will pay a $69 background check fee in addition to any fee that his local agency charges for making the prints; materials will be sent to the Delaware State Police.

Supervised Practice LMFT Requirements Delaware

Before he can be licensed as an MFT, the associate must work under supervision for a period of two to four years. He will need 3,200 hours of total experience; at least 1,600 must be under the direct clinical supervision of an appropriate professional.

The clinical supervisor will be an MFT who holds supervisor status through the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy or who has been approved by Delaware. If there is no appropriate MFT available, the Board may approve supervision by a professional with comparable credentialing in a related field (social work, psychology, mental health counseling, or psychiatry).

Before beginning, the associate and his supervisor should complete a written supervision plan. The associate will also submit a plan to the Board describing plans for practice that is not under the direct supervision of an approved professional.

There are specific requirements for what activities can be included under the 1,600 supervised clinical hours. There must be 500 hours of couple and family therapy and 500 hours of individual therapy. An additional 500 hours may be spent doing therapy with families, couples, and/or individuals. As for the last 100 hours, those are to be spent in face-to-face sessions with the approved supervisor.

If the applicant has already completed experience hours in some jurisdiction, he will file paperwork documenting them. If he was supervised by an LMFT who did not hold Delaware licensing, the Delaware Board will ask for evidence that the supervisor passed the required exam and practice for five years.

LMFT Examination in Delaware

After fulfilling other requirements, the candidate will need to pass the AMFTRB licensing exam (

State approval is necessary. The way to get it is to submit a licensing application that is complete in other regards. Delaware approves candidates for MFT licensing contingent on receiving passing scores.

The exam is administered around the country at Prometric sites; it is available in four 28 day testing windows during the year. Delaware requires a 70% score on the licensing exam.

The Application Process for MFT’s in Delaware

Applications are available on the Board site. There are two packets in PDF form: one for LAMFT and one for LMFT. Licensing applications must be notarized before being submitted.

The application will ask candidates to certify that they have read certain statutes and understand the duties described therein.

Applications are to be submitted with a processing fee. Currently, the fee is $194 at either the associate or professional level. If an applicant holds licensing as an associate and is requesting an upgrade, however, he pays a lesser fee: $55.

Out-of-State LMFTs – Reciprocal Licenses

A professional must submit license verification from all states where he has held licensing – not just in marriage and family therapy but in any mental health profession. Delaware will credential currently licensed LMFTs by reciprocity under certain conditions. If the applicant has held a license for at least five years in some state, the Board will want to see evidence that he has passed the required exam. (A score transfer can be requested from the AMFTRB.)

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If he has not held licensing for at least five years in any state where he is currently credentialed, the Delaware Board will need to see a copy of the regulations of all states where he holds licensing. In cases where licensing regulations are not substantially equivalent, the Board will need to see documentation of education and experience. The applicant will be considered for license by examination or for associate status, depending on what his credentials support.

It should be noted that the vast majority of states use the same examination. However, California is an exception.

Additional Information

Delaware marriage and family therapists are regulated by the Board of Mental Health and Chemical Dependency Professionals.

Marriage and Family Therapy Programs in Delaware

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