When considering counseling careers that require licensure, you might be interested to learn more about the general act of licensure and why it is required in different states.
Fields that provide services directly to the public or involve practicing tasks that require extensive practice may require professionals to hold a license in order to prove that they have met all of the practical requirements set forth by the state. In fields related to counseling, licensure may be required prior to working with individual clients in the field.
LFMT Licensure Overview
Holding your license can help you to become eligible for careers that were unattainable without it. The process for achieving a professional license may involve completing master's or doctoral level degree programs, taking part in supervised practice requirements in a real-world setting, and finishing a state board examination in your field.
Once you have met all of these requirements, you can typically apply for a professional license through your state's licensing department.
A Look at LFMT Licensure
Depending on the state you live in, the experience requirements for family and marriage therapists may differ. One state requires that upcoming licensure candidates complete a minimum of 2 years of supervised work experience under the supervision of a LFMT, which should include 1000 hours of face to face clinical experience and 200 hours of direct supervision from an approved supervisor.
During this aspect of the licensure process, you can learn more about how your education translates to practice in the field and become more comfortable with working directly with clients in need.
All of the experience and practice that you receive during your degree program and supervised experience can help prepare you for your next step towards LFMT licensure.
Once you have completed all of these steps, your state can issue you a license to practice as a LFMT in your state.
Accredited educational programs, face-to-face experience in the field, and a test of your knowledge are the largest and most primary factors in licensure in this field specifically. Your hard work and attention to detail can help to ensure that you have made the right decisions to become licensed in the future. This can lead you into many fascinating careers, some of which will be detailed later in this guide.
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Counseling Degree Programs for LFMT Licensure
Students that are confident in their decision to pursue a career as a LFMT should choose degree programs that can meet the minimum standards for licensure. In all states, LFMTs must hold a minimum of a master's degree in counseling and meet all of the requirements for certification within this field. Online degree programs can be a great way for you to complete the educational requirements without committment a portion of your time to travel and in-person attendance. Online degree programs can also consist of the correct type of accreditation, making them excellent choices for your licensure.
In this list located below this section, you can take a look at a few different degree options that can lead you on the right track to obtain your license. Each of these degree paths may have varying steps that need to be completed prior to being approved for your license. Our team of educational experts has provided this outline in order to help you better prepare for the steps ahead.
- Online Master's in Marriage, Couples, and Family Counseling: The online Master's in Marriage, Couples, and Family Counseling is an online and CACREP-accredited degree program offered by multiple universities all over the United States. This degree program can help prepare you for working with families and couples seeking assistance with working out difficult circumstances or strained relationships hindering positive progress. This type of degree program can lead you into certification programs which can result in your licensure in the field.
- Online Master's in Clinical Mental Health Counseling: Some individuals seeking licensure as LFMTs begin with an online degree focusing on clinical mental health counseling. In order to transition to the LFMT designation, students must then pursue a certification program adding the LFMT curriculum to their resume. The certification process is completed post-master's, meaning students have the freedom to create a unique degree experience prior to becoming licensed.
- Online Master's in Marriage and Family Therapy: If you have located an online program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE), you can take advantage of their convenient programs in order to pursue licensure as a LFMT. These programs help you focus specifically on the needs of therapists within this field and can potentially ease the transition through certification and testing prior to the awarding of your license.
Certification Options for the LFMT
If you choose to pursue your LFMT certification through online Master’s in Counseling programs, you may be required to complete a post-master’s certification program that focuses on family and marriage therapy. If your LFMT designation is included as part of your degree program, you could see out additional certification programs to help create a well-rounded portfolio for use in the field.
Some of the most common family and marriage issues may involve traumatic events, substance abuse, or even simple personality differences. Choosing certification programs that can extend your understanding of these different issues can help you to become a more helpful interventionist for families and couples in need. In order to show you more options for you to consider during your pursuits, our team has provided some helpful certification titles that you could consider along the way.
- Marriage and Family Therapy
- Relationship Counseling
- Family Therapy
- Child and Adolescent Counseling
- Geriatric Counseling
- Substance Abuse Counseling
- Grief and Trauma Counseling
LFMT Career Options
Once you have completed all of the necessary educational requirements, you may be expected to take part in a supervised field experience requirement prior to testing and licensure. All of these components can assist you in preparing for a fruitful career that can influence positive relationships among families, couples, or other groups of people. The influence of professionals in this field can be useful when seeking ways to cope with individual differences and provide a voice to family members in need of guidance.
As a LFMT, you can choose to work with a variety of individuals that may be presenting very different needs. Some of the specific titles of professionals in this field can vary depending on the group that they choose to work with, or could be all inclusive if you choose to provide services to all people within your licensed range. Our team has provided you with some information on each of the roles of the LFMT for you to consider before you make the decision to become licensed in this field. Read more below to learn more about this fascinating career field.
- Family Therapist: In family therapy, professionals can help family members work through issues that may be causing strain in the household. Arguments, conflicting personality styles, and trauma are some of the issues that can be common when working with families in the field, making the influence of the family therapist important for positive growth. Family therapists can also teach different coping strategies and communication techniques that can be useful when trying to repair relationships and live happier family lives.
- Couples Therapist: Couples therapists can specialize in the relationship and communication between people in romantic relationships. This can include components relating to growth after infidelity, health-related coping, and sexual health. Couples therapists can work with couples that are seeking prevention strategies for divorce, or even couples that are currently going through a divorce. Professionals choosing to work in this field can work for mental health organizations or even in private practice.
- Relationship Therapist: Closely related to couples therapists, relationship therapists can also use some of the same communication and consideration techniques to help people struggling in their private relationships. Therapists in this field can work with groups of friends, companions, or even business associates to develop healthy ways of communicating needs and compassion for others. Relationship therapists can also work to develop self-help guides and intervention programs for public use in the field.
Learn more about marriage and family therapy by checking out our article comparing Clinical Mental Health Counseling vs Marriage and Family Therapy.