Becoming a Licensed Marriage Family Therapist in Virginia
A marriage and family therapist (MFT) in Virginia provides families, couples, and individual counseling for disorders both emotional and mental. Therapists are trained to diagnose and treat. Unlike other states, it is not required to be in a professional organization to be an MFT in Virginia. There are however, specific requirements that must be met first before someone is allowed to call him or herself a marriage and family therapist. Once educational and supervision requirements are achieved, applicants will have to take and successfully pass a specialized exam.
Education Requirements for Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT) Licensing in Virginia
The educational requirements to become an MFT in Virginia include the completion of a master's degree or doctorate program in marriage and family therapy. The program of study does not have to be a part of a COAMFTE postgraduate program. However, the program has to be approved by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE). So far, the master's and doctoral programs at Virginia Tech are recognized.
|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|
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Supervised Postgraduate Work Experience Requirement for a Marriage and Family Therapist
Applicants must complete 24 months of supervised experience aster postgraduate studies are complete. During that time, at least 4000 hours of supervised work experience must be accrued. Of those 4000 hours, 1000 hours must be direct client contact. Within those 1000 hours, 500 hours must include couples and/or families. In addition, applicants must have documented proof of face-to-face supervision of at least 200 hours with a supervisor trained in marriage and family therapy.
Marriage and Family Therapists Examination Requirements in Virginia
In order to take the required examination to become an MFT in Virginia all educational and postgraduate supervision has to be met first. Applicants must sit for the exam within two years after being notified of approval. Two consecutive fails will require candidates to acquire 45 hours of education in the areas of challenge outlined in the exam before being qualified to retest. More information and upcoming examination dates are found here.
To apply for testing, an application and relative documents must be submitted to the Licensing Board with a $50 application fee. The test is given by the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT).
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Career Outlook In Virginia
Virginia is one of the highest paid states for marriage and family therapists. The pay and the growth potential in the field of counseling specifically marriage and family therapy are promising. The average yearly income for 2012 was $45,370 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.