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.
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.”
No. You are not considered to be eligible to take the licensing exam until you complete all the educational and clinical supervised experience requirements.
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).
For all practical purposes, the answer appears to be yes, as the following excerpt from the Regulations indicates:
“18VAC115-50-50. Degree program requirements.
- 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:
- 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;
- 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
- The academic unit must have clear authority and primary responsibility for the core and specialty areas.
- 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.