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Human Services 101 - How to Become a Marriage and Family Therapist

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How to Become a Marriage and Family Therapist

Julian Alvarez

Human Services 101

May 2nd 2011

Marriage and Family Therapist: I will refer to this profession as MFT-LMFT from this point on. An MFT is what I have set as a short term goal for myself; I plan to achieve licensure in about 3-4 years from 2011.

All things considered I believe I will be great at this profession I have in a short amount of time proven to myself that I am capable of dreaming of a brighter future, and taking the necessary steps to obtain a meaningful career, and returning from beyond, to society from the point in the past that I decided to drop out of school and life, consumed by addiction. A new chapter in my life begins today! Today is a new opportunity to create and not destroy, today I find myself writing this paper.

As I understand it, The Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS) is the regulatory agency responsible for licensing Marriage and Family Therapists (MFT) in the State of California. The BBS also licenses clinical social workers (LCSW) and educational psychologists (LEP). The BBS had over 65,000 in 2009 active licensees and registrants, but I suspect the numbers have increased since then. All individuals pursuing an MFT license in California will probably follow a similar path:

1. Get your qualifying masters degree (and pick up some supervised experience while you are at it)

2. Register with the BBS as an MFT Intern

3. Gain the rest of your supervised experience (and complete any additional coursework required of you)

4. Apply for MFT examination eligibility

5. Pass the MFT Standard Written Examination

6. Pass the MFT Written Clinical Vignette Examination

7. Get your official MFT license

So as one can see there is a variety of forms, applications, and examinations to be had. So upon graduation of my qualifying degree program, there is an application that is easily accessible in the "Forms and Publications" section of the BBS Web site, the MFT Intern registration application can be broken up into to four parts:

 One page application form

 Official school transcripts with the degree posted

 Program certification

 Live scan receipt

The Board advises, whenever possible, to send in a complete application package,

(e.g. 4 items above in one package). Whenever sending important documents to the Board make

photocopies prior to mailing and consider using a "priority mailing service" with delivery

confirmation and a tracking feature. And on a side note, you must become registered with the

BBS prior to beginning employment in a private practice setting. The 90-Day Rule is a term used when I'm an MFT trainee in school, and I'm allowed to gain hours of supervised work experience, at which time I will graduate and apply to the BBS for a registration number so that I may continue to gain hours of supervised work experience. Keep in mind that Immediately after graduating but before I receive a registration number I will prepare my MFT Intern registration application materials, during that short amount of time, hours gained will still be valid as long as my application (for reg. #) is postmarked within 90 days of my degree conferral date, what a wonderful day that will be.

Additional Coursework Requirements beside's the qualifying degree, will also include completing additional



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