Category Archives: Education

Are there study guides or workshops available to help prepare for the licensing exam?

Although examination preparation programs exist, neither the Board of Counseling, Association of Marriage and Family Therapy Regulatory Boards (AMFTRB), AAMFT, nor VAMFT can endorse any.  However, you can take a practice test on the AMFTRB website by clicking here.

 

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What score do I need to get on the licensing exam in order to pass?

The following has been excerpted from the 2017 AMFTRB Marital and Family Therapy National Examination Handbook for Candidates, page 6:

“SETTING A PASSING SCORE

A passing score is established by a panel of expert judges on an “anchor examination.” The technique used is called a modified Angoff method. Each panel member estimates for each item on the test what percentage of minimally competent therapists would get the item correct. Their responses are examined and analyzed by psychometric experts and minor adjustments can be made by the Examination Advisory Committee. The anchor examination becomes the standard of knowledge to which all future forms of an examination are compared. Some forms of the examination will contain individual items that may differ in difficulty than items on other forms. To compensate for these variations, test forms are compared using a psychometric process called equating. This equating process accounts for the varying item difficulties and adjusts the passing score up or down accordingly. As a result, the required standard of knowledge for passing the examination remains consistent from test form to test form.”

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Can I take the licensing exam before completing all of the educational and supervised practicum experience requirements?

No. You are not considered to be eligible to take the licensing exam until you complete all the educational and clinical supervised experience requirements.

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What MFT graduate programs in Virginia are COAMFTE accredited?

There are two COAMFTE accredited MFT graduate programs in Virginia.  One is the doctoral program at the Blacksburg campus of Virginia Tech and the other is the master’s program at the Northern Virginia campus of Virginia Tech.  For more information about the PhD program in Blacksburg, click here.  For more information about the MS program in Northern Virginia, click here.

Must the graduate study courses come specifically from a COAMFTE approved program?

No, the graduate course of study does not need to be Commission on Accreditation of Marriage and Family Education (COAMFTE) accredited in order to qualify for the LMFT license in Virginia.  At the same time, if you have graduated from a COAMFTE accredited MFT program, all of your educational requirements are considered to be fulfilled.  However, it is a growing trend for some employers to require that LMFTs have their degree from a COAMFTE accredited program.  One prominent example of such a requirement is the Veteran’s Administration.  It is, therefore, to your benefit when your graduate program is COAMFTE accredited.

For additional information please see the Regulations Governing the Practice of Marriage and Family Therapists (8-24-2016).

Must the graduate study courses come specifically from an MFT program?

For all practical purposes, the answer appears to be yes, as the following excerpt from the Regulations indicates:

“18VAC115-50-50. Degree program requirements.

  1. The applicant shall have completed a graduate degree from a program that prepares individuals to practice marriage and family therapy as defined in §54.1-3500 of the Code of Virginia from a college or university which is accredited by a regional accrediting agency and which meets the following criteria:
  2. There must be a sequence of academic study with the expressed intent to prepare students to practice marriage and family therapy as documented by the institution;
  3. There must be an identifiable marriage and family therapy training faculty and an identifiable body of students who complete that sequence of academic study; and
  4. The academic unit must have clear authority and primary responsibility for the core and specialty areas.
  5. Programs that are approved by CACREP as programs in marriage and family counseling/therapy or by COAMFTE are recognized as meeting the requirements of subsection A of this section.”

Any exceptions to this must be approved by the BOC in order to proceed toward being an LMFT.

What are the coursework requirements to be eligible to take the MFT licensing exam?

The following coursework requirements have been excerpted directly from the Regulations Governing Marriage and Family Therapy (8-24-2016):

“18VAC115-50-55. Coursework requirements.

  1. The applicant shall have successfully completed 60 semester hours or 90 quarter hours of graduate coursework with a minimum of six semester hours or nine quarter hours completed in each of the core areas identified in subdivisions 1 and 2 of this subsection, and three semester hours or 4.0 quarter hours in each of the core areas identified in subdivisions 3 through 9 of this subsection:
  2. Marriage and family studies (marital and family development; family systems theory);
  3. Marriage and family therapy (systemic therapeutic interventions and application of major theoretical approaches);
  4. Human growth and development across the lifespan;
  5. Abnormal behaviors;
  6. Diagnosis and treatment of addictive behaviors;
  7. Multicultural counseling;
  8. Professional identity and ethics;
  9. Research (research methods; quantitative methods; statistics);
  10. Assessment and treatment (appraisal, assessment and diagnostic procedures); and
  11. Supervised internship of at least 600 hours to include 240 hours of direct client contact, of which 200 hours shall be with couples and families. Only internship hours earned after completion of 30 graduate semester hours may be counted towards residency hours.

B. If the applicant holds a current, unrestricted license as a professional counselor, clinical psychologist, or clinical social worker, the board may accept evidence of successful completion of 60 semester hours or 90 quarter hours of graduate study, including a minimum of six semester hours or nine quarter hours completed in marriage and family studies (marital and family development; family systems theory) and six semester hours or nine quarter hours completed in marriage and family therapy (systemic therapeutic interventions and application of major theoretical approaches).”

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