Marriage and Family Therapists - What are they??

The Marriage & Family Therapist License is a "clinical" license. When I was first licensed in the state of California over ten years ago, I learned that CA was the first state to add this level or type of license in 1964. Marriage and Family Therapists or MFT's are specifically trained to diagnose and treat clients who have problems/disorders that stem from relational problems with either their family of origin,  other childhood relationships, and/or current interpersonal interactions.

Here's a link to frequent questions about MFT's from AAMFT (the American Assn for Marriage and Family Therapy):

Since the State of California was the first state to license MFT's, it designed its own educational requirements, supervision/training and exam process. My Masters Degree program was a required 44-unit study program which included a semester-long 250-hour minimum practicum counseling experience.

Following graduation with my masters degree, I then was required to complete over 3000 hours of supervised counseling experience. I was required to have at least 500 hours of experience in counseling children, families and couples. I was also required to have face-to-face supervision or group supervision. During my internship, I had 1 hour of individual supervision and 2-hours of group for the three years that I accumulated my hours.

When my hours were accumulated I sat for the written exam and then I prepared for the oral exam which I was able to take after I passed the written exam. The CA oral exam was an incredible and hair-raising experience. Passing the CA oral exam was difficult and most of us paid a lot for study courses and even "orals" coaches. Several years after my oral exam CA ceased the oral exam process and replaced it with a computer-driven "vignette" exam. Since this is very much an "oral" profession, I still strongly believe that oral exams should still be required for all mental health practitioners.

So there you go ... the MFT License is a "Clinical License", we are trained to diagnose and treat problems/disorders and our services are reimbursed by medical insurance companies.