Becoming a Licensed Marriage Family Therapist in Oregon

A marriage family therapist will work with families, couples, and individuals. While other types of mental health counselors focus on the individual, the marriage family therapist brings a family centered approach to the treatment of their clients. This is the case even when they are treating an individual. The marriage family therapist will evaluate the family roles and the development of the family in order to understand how the people in the family affect each other’s mental health. The marriage family therapist treats the client’s relationships and not just the client themselves. They may address issues such as stress, low self-esteem, substance abuse and addiction.

As the field of marriage family therapy is somewhat specialized, the requirements for licensure are different than the requirements for mental health counselors. There are education, experience, and examination requirements that must be met in order to become licensed in the state of Oregon as a marriage family therapist.

Educational Requirements for Marriage Family Therapists in Oregon

Marriage family therapists must have a master’s degree or doctoral degree in the field of marriage family therapy to be considered for licensure.

MFT Educational Track Education Requirements Education Length Available Programs
Undergraduate Work Earn a Bachelor's Degree in Counseling 4 Years Online or Campus
Graduate Work Earn a Master's Degree in Counseling 5-6 Years Online or Campus
PHD or Doctoral Work Earn a Doctorate in Counseling 7-8 Years Online or Campus

Coursework during the graduate degree program should include:

  • Family Studies and Human Development: At least four semester credits must be in courses that deal with developmental relationships among the members of a family.
  • Marital and Family Theoretical Foundations: At least two semester credits must be in courses that discuss theoretical literature as well as practical treatment issues.
  • Marriage Family Therapy Diagnosis and Assessment, Principles, Techniques, and Treatment: At least eight semester credits must be in courses that deal with the diagnoses and treatment within the marriage and family systems for both dysfunctional relationship patterns and mental and nervous disorders; affective, behavioural, and cognitive. Courses should also cover treatment processes for intense stress, loss, incest, suicide, sexual dysfunction, violence, divorce, and remarriage.
  • Professional Studies: Two semester hours must include a topic such as licensure, ethics, confidentiality issues, family law, etc.
  • Research Methods or Statistics: At least two credit hours in a course that covers some form of research methodology.

A student must complete an additional sixteen credit hours of supporting coursework that focuses on the systems paradigm.

A practicum that consists of at least 600 clock hours is required as well. This practicum may include supervision, direct contact hours with clients, staff meetings, record keeping, community relations, in house practice that is supervised and focuses on relationship issues with couples and families.

Read more about Oregon MFT degrees.

Experience and Examination Requirements for Family Therapy License in Oregon

In the state of Oregon one can choose the direct method or the intern method for becoming licensed as a marriage family therapist. The direct method requires 2000 hours of experience. The intern method requires 2000 hours of experience as well. If going through the intern method at least 1000 of the hours must be providing therapy to families and couples. All of the required experience clinical hours must be accumulated after graduation from a graduate degree program.

The experience hours must be supervised with at least one half of the supervision hours each month being individual supervision or one on one supervision. For example, a person that completes 45 direct contact hours with a client in a month must have at least two hours of supervision. Of the two hours at least one hour must be one on one supervision.

Anyone that wants to become licensed to practice marriage family therapy in the state of Oregon must sit for an examination. All of the necessary information must be provided to the board for review before scheduling a time to take the exam. The exam that is used by the state of Oregon is administered from the Professional Examination Service and is a computer based test.

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Career Outlook In Oregon

The overall job outlook for marriage family therapists is quite good with an expected rate of growth of 41% from 2010 through 2020. The state of Oregon employed 610 licensed marriage family therapists in May of 2012.

The average salary for those working in the field of marriage family therapy in the state of Oregon was $51,790. The national average salary for these positions was $49,270.

Research Additional Psychology Professional Licenses Granted by Oregon:

Schools with MFT Degree Programs Accepting Students from Oregon