Are there other requirements for becoming approved as a supervisor?

Supervisors must not enter supervision with a supervisee with whom they have a relationship that could compromise their objectivity.  Some examples would include family members, former or present clients, and people with whom one has a romantic relationship, to name a few.


What license must a supervisor hold?

At least 100 of the 200 required supervisory hours must be provided by an LMFT.  The remaining supervisory hours may be provided by an LPC with the qualifications referenced below.

The recently revised Regulations Governing the Practice of Marriage and Family Therapy (8-24-2016) state that the MFT residency supervisor must:

“1. Hold an active, unrestricted license as a marriage and family therapist or professional counselor in the jurisdiction where the supervision is being provided;

2. Document two years post-licensure marriage and family therapy experience; and

3. Have received professional training in supervision, consisting of three credit hours or 4.0 quarter hours in graduate-level coursework in supervision or at least 20 hours of continuing education in supervision offered by a provider approved under 18VAC115-50-96. At least one-half of the 200 hours of supervision shall be rendered by a licensed marriage and family therapist. Supervisors who are clinical psychologists, clinical social workers, or psychiatrists and have been approved to provide supervision may continue to do so until August 24, 2017.”

Residents in MFT whose supervisory contracts with a clinical psychologist, clinical social worker, or psychiatrist were approved prior to August 24, 2016 and do not compete their residency or supervisory hours prior to August 2017 will be required to have a new supervisory contract approved by the BOC with a BOC approved LMFT/LPC supervisor in order to complete their residency requirements.

VAMFT strongly recommends that as much as possible your MFT residency supervisor be a Clinical Fellow of AAMFT and an AAMFT Approved Supervisor.  AAMFT Approved Supervisors must meet much more stringent requirements that those required by the BOC (a 30 hour course in MFT supervision, 180 supervised hours of MFT residents, and a minimum of 36 hours of supervision of their supervision of MFT candidates).

You can find a partial listing of AAMFT Approved Supervisors in Virginia who are available to provide supervision, AAMFT Clinical Fellows who are candidates to be AAMFT Approved Supervisors, and AAMFT Clinical Fellows who are approved as MFT supervisors by the BOC linked here in the near future.


Must all face-to-face supervision be one-on-one with the supervisor, or can I count group supervision hours?

No more than 100 hours of the supervision may be acquired through group supervision, with the group consisting of no more than six residents. One hour of group supervision will be deemed equivalent to one hour of individual supervision.


What type of supervised work experience is accepted towards licensure?

The supervised work experience must consist of practice in the core areas of marriage and family studies (marital and family development; family systems theory);  marriage and family therapy (systemic therapeutic interventions and application of major theoretical approaches);  human growth and development across the lifespan; abnormal behaviors;  diagnosis and treatment of addictive behaviors;  multicultural counseling;  professional identity and ethics;  research (research methods; quantitative methods; statistics);  and assessment and treatment (appraisal, assessment and diagnostic procedures).

Exactly what work experience will be accepted can only be determined by the BOC and must be approved by the BOC prior to starting your supervised residency.


What are the supervised practicum experience requirements?

You must complete at least two years of supervised post-graduate degree experience, during which you must complete at least 3400 hours of supervised work experience. In that time you must accrue at least:
▪    2,000 hours of clinical marriage and family therapy services

▪    including 1,000 hours of direct client contact, of which at least 500 hours must be with couples and/or families, and

▪    200 hours of face-to-face supervision with a licensed supervisor trained in the supervision of marriage and family therapy, receiving a minimum of one hour of supervision per 20 hours of supervised work experience.
The complete supervised residency experience requirements are excerpted from the Regulations Governing the Practice Marriage and Family Therapy (8-24-2016):
“B. Residency requirements.
1    The applicant shall have completed no fewer than 3,400 hours of supervised residency in the role of a marriage and family therapist, to include 200 hours of in-person supervision with the supervisor in the consultation and review of marriage and family services provided by the resident. For the purpose of meeting the 200 hours of supervision required for a residency, in-person may also include the use of technology that maintains client confidentiality and provides real-time, visual contact between the supervisor and the resident. At least one-half of the 200 hours of supervision shall be rendered by a licensed marriage and family therapist.

a. Residents shall receive a minimum of one hour and a maximum of four hours of supervision for every 40 hours of supervised work experience.

b. No more than 100 hours of the supervision may be acquired through group supervision, with the group consisting of no more than six residents. One hour of group supervision will be deemed equivalent to one hour of individual supervision.

c. Up to 20 hours of the supervision received during the supervised internship may be counted towards the 200 hours of in-person supervision if the supervision was provided by a licensed marriage and family therapist or a licensed professional counselor.

2    The residency shall include documentation of at least 2,000 hours of clinical marriage and family services of which 1,000 hours shall be face-to-face client contact with couples or families or both. The remaining hours may be spent in the performance of ancillary counseling services. For applicants who hold current, unrestricted licensure as a professional counselor, clinical psychologist, or clinical social worker, the remaining hours may be waived.

3    The residency shall consist of practice in the core areas set forth in 18VAC115-50-55.

4    The residency shall begin after the completion of a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy or a related discipline as set forth in 18VAC115-50-50.

5    A graduate-level internship in excess of 600 hours, which was completed in a program that meets the requirements set forth in 18VAC115-50-50, may count for up to an additional 300 hours towards the requirements of a residency.

6    The board may consider special requests in the event that the regulations create an undue burden in regard to geography or disability which limits the resident’s access to qualified supervision.

7    Residents shall not call themselves marriage and family therapists, directly bill for services rendered, or in any way represent themselves as marriage and family therapists. During the residency, they may use their names, the initials of their degree and the title “Resident in Marriage and Family Therapy.” Clients shall be informed in writing of the resident’s status, along with the name, address and telephone number of the resident’s supervisor.

8    Residents shall not engage in practice under supervision in any areas for which they do not have appropriate education.

9    The residency shall be completed in not less than 21 months or more than four years. Residents who began a residency before August 24, 2016, shall complete the residency by August 24, 2020. An individual who does not complete the residency after four years shall submit evidence to the board showing why the supervised experience should be allowed to continue.

10    Residency hours that are approved by the licensing board in another United States jurisdiction and that meet the requirements of this section shall be accepted.”


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.



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:


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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