MFT California
Compare masters programs that meet the MFT licensure requirements in California.

LMFT Education Requirements

California LMFT Education Requirements

 

You will notice that every graduate program as well as the BBS make it clear that it is up to the applicant/graduate to ensure that any given program meets the education requirements as laid out by the BBS to qualify for licensure. The BBS has a list of programs that it has approved on which MFT California is based; however, this list is not updated in real-time. There may be qualifying programs not listed, and some programs listed may no longer qualify. In most cases, you can speak to an administrator at a given program to find out if they believe the program does indeed qualify--however, the onus is still on you to ensure the program you enroll in meets the LMFT education requirements during the time you are enrolled.

CA MFT License Requirements

FAQ's for MFT Trainees & Interns

Statues and Regulations Relating to the Practices of Professional Clinical Counseling, Marriage and Family Therapy, Educational Psychology, Clinical Social Work

Degree Program Requirements
(reprinted from the BBS website)

  • The degree program must contain no less than 60 semester or 90 quarter units of instruction.
  • The degree program does the following:
  1. Throughout its curriculum, integrates marriage and family therapy principles, the principles of mental health recovery-oriented care and methods of service delivery in recovery-oriented practice environments, and an understanding of various cultures and the social and psychological implications of socioeconomic position, and an understanding of how poverty and social stress impact an individual's mental health and recovery;
  2. Allows for innovation and individuality in the education of marriage and family therapists;
  3. Encourages students to develop the personal qualities that are intimately related to effective practice;
  4. Permits an emphasis or specialization that may address any one or more of the unique and complex array of human problems, symptoms, and needs of Californians served by marriage and family therapists; and
  5. Provides students with the opportunity to meet with various consumers and family members of consumers of mental health services to enhance understanding of their experience of mental illness, treatment, and recovery.
     
  • The degree program includes no less than 12 semester or 18 quarter units of coursework in theories, principles, and methods of a variety of psychotherapeutic orientations directly related to marriage and family therapy and marital and family symptoms approaches to treatment and how these theories can be applied therapeutically with individuals, couples, families, adults, including elder adults, children, adolescents, and groups to improve, restore, or maintain healthy relationships, as stipulated in BPC Section 4980.36(d)(1)(A).
  • The degree program includes no less than six semester or nine quarter units of practicum that involves direct client contact in a supervised clinical placement that provides supervised fieldwork experience, and adheres to the requirements stipulated in BPC Section 4980.36(d)(1)(B)(iv).
  • The practicum in the degree program includes a minimum of 150 hours of face-to-face experience counseling individuals, couples, families, or groups (BPC Section 4980.36(d)(1)(B)(ii)).
  • In addition to the 150 hours of face-to-face experience, the practicum must include 75 hours of either of the following:
  • Client-centered advocacy, as defined in Section 4980.03; or
  • Face-to-face experience counseling individuals, couples, families, or groups (BPC Section 4980.36(d)(1)(vi)).
  • The degree program includes instruction in diagnosis, assessment, prognosis, and treatment of mental disorders (Psychopathology), as specified in BPC Section 4980.36(d)(2)(A).
  • The degree program includes instruction in developmental issues from infancy to old age and all areas of study specified in BPC Section 4980.36(d)(2)(B).
  • The degree program includes instruction in the broad range of matters and life events that may arise within marriage and family relationships and within a variety of California cultures and includes instruction in all areas of study specified in BPC Section 4980.36(d)(2)(C).
  • The degree program includes instruction in cultural competency and sensitivity and the areas of study specified in BPC Section 4980.36(d)(2)(D).
  • The degree program includes instruction in multicultural development, cross-cultural interaction, and the areas of study specified in BPC Section 4980.36(d)(2)(E).
  • The degree program includes instruction in the effects of socioeconomic status on treatment and available resources, as specified in BPC Section 4980.36(d)(2)(F).
  • The degree program includes instruction in resilience and the areas of study specified in BPC Section 4980.36(d)(2)(G).
  • The degree program includes instruction in human sexuality and the areas of study specified in BPC Section 4980.36(d)(2)(H).
  • The degree program includes instruction in substance use disorders, co-occurring disorders, addiction, and the areas of study specified in BPC Section 4980.36(d)(2)(I).
  • The degree program includes instruction in California law and professional ethics for marriage and family therapists and the areas of study specified in BPC Section 4980.36(d)(2)(J).
  • The degree program includes instruction in case management, systems of care for the severely mentally ill, public and private services and supports available for the severely mentally ill, community resources for persons with mental illness and for victims of abuse, disaster and trauma response, advocacy for the severely mentally ill, and collaborative treatment, as specified in BPC Section 4980.36(e).

Please refer to BPC Section 4980.36 for the exact education requirements effective August 1, 2012.