Becoming a Licensed Marriage Family Therapist in Kentucky

How to Become a Marriage Family Therapist in Kentucky

Marriage family therapists diagnose and treat emotional and mental disorders within the context of the family dynamic. Anxiety, depression, mood disorders, drug abuse, child autism, problems within marriages/couple relationships, parent-child relationships, and family distress and conflict are just some of the issues that today’s marriage and family therapists treat.

Marriage and family therapists are highly educated and licensed mental health professionals whose expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of mental and emotional disorders makes them valuable members of the mental health team. As a result, they enjoy careers in a variety of settings such as major health systems like the University of Kentucky Albert B. Chandler Hospital in Lexington, mental health centers like the Center for Behavioral Health in Louisville, and in private practices throughout the state.

You’ll need to satisfy a number of requirements to become a licensed marriage family therapist (LMFT) in Kentucky.

Educational Requirements for Marriage Family Therapists in Kentucky

The licensure process for marriage and family therapists in Kentucky includes first earning a master’s or doctorate degree from accredited university. Although the Kentucky Board of Licensure for Marriage and Family Therapists doesn’t require the program to hold specialty accreditation, the Board automatically approves any program that is recognized or offered by the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) or those that hold  specialty accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE).

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

Some of the required courses within accredited programs include:

  • 3 courses in Marriage Family Studies
  • 3 courses in Marriage Family Therapy
  • 3 courses in Human Development
  • 1 course of Psychopathology
  • 1 course of Professional Studies
  • 1 course in Research

A practicum or internship that includes at least 300 hours of supervised direct client contact with families, couples, and individuals must be completed. If a clinical practicum is not completed, you may use your first 300 hours of post-degree supervised contact hours to meet this requirement. However, these 300 hours will not be included in the required two years of post-graduate experience.

Many accredited MFT graduate programs are offered in a hybrid/blended or online format, which gives busy, working professionals who want to become an LMFT the convenience and flexibility they need.

If you already hold a master’s or doctoral degree in a related field like psychology, social work, psychiatric nursing, or ministry, you may earn licensure by completing a a post-graduate training program in marriage and family therapy.

Read more about Kentucky MFT degrees.

Additional Requirements for Marriage Family Therapy License in Kentucky

After earning your graduate degree in marriage and family therapy, you must complete at least 1,000 direct client contact hours as a Kentucky associate marriage and family therapist.

Before you begin this supervised experience, you must apply to become a marriage and family therapist associate with the Kentucky Board of Licensure of Marriage and Family Therapists. You must also complete a Supervision Plan for Clinical Experience application with the Board that outlines the duration, nature, and frequency of the supervision during the practice. The supervisor must be approved by the Board and sign the application assuming responsible for the applicant during the supervised experience process.

Once you’ve completed the required supervised experience, you must apply to become a Kentucky licensed marriage and family therapist and pay the $50 application fee and $175 license fee. Once the Board approves your license, you’ll be eligible to take the national exam developed by the Association of Marital & Family Therapy Regulatory Boards (AMFTRB) and become a Kentucky LMFT.

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Career Outlook In Kentucky

As of May 2020, marriage and family therapists in Kentucky earned a median salary of $48,240 in Kentucky. The top earners in this profession (75th – 90th percentile) earned about $63,370 - $76,990 during this time.

Between 2019 and 2029, the number of jobs among the nation’s marriage and family therapists is projected to grow by a truly impressive 22% - that’s six times the projected national employment growth rate of 3.7% during this time. During this ten-year period leading to 2029, the country will see about 7,900 annual job openings among marriage and family therapists due to a combination of new job growth, retirements, and natural job turnover.

Research Additional Psychology Professional Licenses Granted by Kentucky

As you further explore what it takes to become an LMFT and the details of the this profession, you may also be interested in learning more about similar professions in Kentucky and their educational requirements and earning potential:

  • Learn more about how to become a psychologist in Kentucky: Requires a PhD or PsyD; clinical, counseling and school psychologists in Kentucky earned a median salary of $66,860 as of May 2020, while the top earning pros in the field (75th – 90th percentile) earned about $81,470 - $99,160.
  • Learn more about how to become a licensed counselor in Kentucky: Requires a master’s degree with a focus in the specialty; substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors in Kentucky earned a median salary of $38,730 as of May 2020, while those who have earned considerable experience in the field earned closer to the 75th – 90th percentile, which was $50,680 - $70,310 during this time.
  • Learn more about how to become a social worker in Kentucky: Requires a master’s in social work; Kentucky’s mental health and substance abuse social workers earned a median salary of $42,890 as of May 2020, while those at the top of the pay scale (75th – 90th percentile) earned about $54,200 - $68,950 during this time. Child, family, and school social workers earned a median salary of $40,730 as of May 2020, and the top earners (75th – 90th percentile) earned about $47,400 - $58,160.

May 2020 Bureau of Labor Statistics salary and job market trends for marriage and family therapists, clinical, counseling and school psychologists, substance abuse, behavioral disorders, and mental health counselors, child, family, and school social workers, and mental health and substance abuse social workers. Figures represent state data, not school specific information. Conditions in your area may vary. Data accessed May 2021.

State job growth projections for marriage and family therapists sourced from the U.S. Department of Labor-sponsored O*Net database (2018-2028).

Schools with MFT Degree Programs Accepting Students from Kentucky