Regulations of the Commissioner

Subpart 79-10, Marriage and Family Therapy

Effective July 14, 2010

79-10.1 Professional study. | 79-10.2 Professional licensing examination. | 79-10.3 Experience requirement. | 79-10.4 Limited permits. | 79-10.5 Classifications systems. | 79-10.6 Special provisions. | §79-10.7 Licensure by endorsement of certain licensed marriage and family therapists.

79-10.1 Professional study.

  1. As used in this section, acceptable accrediting agency shall mean an organization accepted by the department as a reliable authority for the purpose of accrediting marriage and family therapy programs, having accreditation standards that are substantially equivalent to the requirements for programs registered as leading to licensure in this field pursuant to section 52.33 of this Title, and applying its criteria for granting accreditation of programs in a fair, consistent, and nondiscriminatory manner.
  2. To meet the professional education requirement for licensure as a marriage and family therapist, the applicant shall present satisfactory evidence of completing:
    1. a master's or doctoral program in marriage and family therapy registered as leading to licensure in this field, pursuant to section 52.33 of this Title, or a master's or doctoral program in marriage and family therapy that is accredited by an acceptable accrediting agency, or a master's or doctoral program in marriage and family therapy that is substantially equivalent to such a registered or accredited program, as determined by the department; or
    2. a graduate degree program in an allied mental health field acceptable to the department, including but not limited to a graduate degree program in social work, psychology, and mental health counseling, and additional graduate level coursework, if needed, which together are determined by the department to provide the substantial equivalent professional educational preparation as that obtained from a master's or doctoral program in marriage and family therapy registered as leading to licensure in this field, pursuant to section 52.33 of this Title; or
    3. a program located outside the United States and its territories that is recognized by the appropriate civil authorities of the jurisdiction in which the program is located as a program that prepares an applicant for the professional practice of marriage and family therapy, has been verified in accordance with subdivision (c) of section 59.2 of this Title, and which is determined by the department to be substantially equivalent to a master's or doctoral program in marriage and family therapy registered by the department as leading to licensure in this field, pursuant to section 52.33 of this Title, or to a master's or doctoral program in marriage and family therapy accredited by an acceptable accrediting agency.

79-10.2 Professional licensing examinations.

  1. Each candidate for licensure as a licensed marriage and family therapist shall pass an examination:
    1. that is offered by an organization determined by the department to have satisfactory administrative and psychometric procedures in place to offer the licensing examination; and
    2. that the department determines adequately tests marriage and family therapy proficiency at the master's degree level and adequately measures the candidate's knowledge concerning practice as a licensed marriage and family therapist as defined in subdivision (1) of section 8403 of the Education Law.
  2. Requirements for admission to examination for licensure as a licensed marriage and family therapist. To be admitted to the licensing examination, the candidate shall be required to:
    1. file an application for licensure with the department;
    2. pay the fee for the initial license and the fee for the first registration period, as prescribed in section 8403(3)(g) of the Education Law;
    3. present satisfactory evidence of having met the education requirement for licensure as a licensed marriage and family therapist, as prescribed in section 79-10.1 of this Subpart, including receipt of the degree.
  3. Passing score. The passing score for the examination for licensure as a licensed marriage and family therapist shall be determined by the State Board for Mental Health Practitioners.

79-10.3 Experience requirement.

  1. An applicant for licensure as a licensed marriage and family therapist shall meet the supervised experience requirement set forth in this section by submitting sufficient documentation of having completed supervised experience of at least 1,500 clock hours providing marriage and family therapy in a setting acceptable to the department in accordance with this section. All 1,500 clock hours of the supervised experience shall consist of direct contact with clients in the practice of marriage and family therapy and must be obtained in accordance with the following paragraphs:
    1. any experience obtained in New York must be performed by an applicant under a limited permit issued by the department, except the department may, in limited circumstances, accept experience that was not obtained under a limited permit where an applicant demonstrates that such experience was obtained in an authorized setting and under a qualified supervisor.
    2. any experience completed in another jurisdiction may be accepted by the department if it was completed in a setting authorized to provide marriage and family therapy in that jurisdiction and the experience was provided under a qualified supervisor, as determined by the department.
  2. An applicant who has met the education requirement prescribed in section 79-10.1 of this Subpart through completing a master's or doctoral program registered by the department as leading to licensure in this field or an equivalent program in marriage and family therapy shall complete at least 1,500 client contact hours of supervised clinical experience in a setting acceptable to the department. That experience may include supervised client contact clock hours completed as part of the program in marriage and family therapy or after completing such program, in accordance with the requirements of section 52.33 of this Title.
  3. An applicant who has met the education requirement prescribed in section 79-10.1 of this Subpart through completing a graduate degree program in an allied mental health field and additional graduate level coursework, if needed, shall complete at least 1,500 client contact clock hours of supervised clinical experience at a setting acceptable to the department, which all must be completed after completing the graduate degree program in the allied mental health field.
  4. Supervision of the experience. The experience shall be supervised in accordance with the requirements of this subdivision.
    1. An applicant shall obtain experience under this section while under the general supervision of a qualified supervisor. General supervision shall mean that a qualified supervisor shall be available for consultation, assessment and evaluation when professional services are being rendered by an applicant and the supervisor shall exercise the degree of supervision appropriate to the circumstances. The supervisor shall provide an average of one hour per week or two hours every other week of in-person individual or group supervision wherein the supervisor shall:
      1. review the applicant’s assessment, evaluation and treatment of each client under his or her general supervision; and
      2. provide oversight, guidance and direction to the applicant in developing skills as a marraige and family therapist.
    2. Qualifications for supervisors of the required experience. The supervisor of the experience shall meet each of the following requirements:
      1. The supervisor shall be licensed and registered in New York State to practice marriage and family therapy, medicine, as a physician assistant, psychology, licensed clinical social work, or as a registered professional nurse or nurse practitioner, pursuant to Articles 163, 131, 131-b, 139, 153, or 154 of the Education Law, respectively; or be an individual with equivalent qualifications as determined by the department; or for applicants who apply for licensure in marriage and family therapy on or before December 31, 2007, be an individual with certification or registration by an acceptable national certifying or registering body for marriage and family therapists as a clinical supervisor. To be acceptable to the department, the national certifying or registering body must be recognized nationwide as an organization that certifies or registers marriage and family therapists throughout the United States based upon a review of their qualifications to practice marriage and family therapy and must have adequate standards for the review of the applicant's qualifications for practicing marriage and family therapy, as determined by the department. Such standards must include standards for the review of the applicant's education and experience for practicing marriage and family therapy and may include an examination requirement.
  5. Setting for the experience. For a setting for the clinical experience to be acceptable to the department, it shall meet the following requirements:
    1. The setting shall be a location at which legally authorized individuals provide services that constitute the practice of marriage and family therapy, as defined in section 8403(1) of the Education Law. For purposes of this section, an acceptable setting shall be:
      1. a professional corporation, registered limited liability partnership, or professional service limited liability company authorized to provide services that are within the scope of practice of marriage and family therapy;
      2. a sole proprietorship owned by a licensee who provides services that are within the scope of his or her profession and services that are within the scope of practice of marriage and family therapy;
      3. a professional partnership owned by licensees who provide services that are within the scope of practice of marriage and family therapy;
      4. a hospital or clinic authorized under article 28 of the Public Health Law to provide services that are within the scope of practice of marriage and family therapy;
      5. a program or facility authorized under the Mental Hygiene Law to provide services that are within the scope of practice of marriage and family therapy;
      6. a program or facility authorized under federal law to provide services that are within the scope of practice of marriage and family therapy; or
      7. an entity defined as exempt from the licensing requirements or otherwise authorized under New York law or the laws of the jurisdiction in which the entity is located to provide services that are within the scope of practice of marriage and family therapy.
    2. the setting in which the experience is gained shall be responsible for the services provided by individuals gaining experience for licensure. The setting shall also be responsible for providing adequate supervision to such individuals and for assigning a qualified supervisor, as defined in this section, to individuals gaining experience for licensure.
    3. the setting shall not be a private practice owned or operated by the applicant.
  6. Verification of the experience. The licensed supervisor shall submit verification of the supervised experience on forms acceptable to the department. The supervisor is responsible for maintaining documentation of the applicant’s supervised practice and hours of supervision, and, upon request of the department, for submitting a copy of such documentation.

79-10.4 Limited permits.

As authorized by section 8409 of the Education Law, the department may issue a limited permit to practice marriage and family therapy in accordance with the requirements of this section, to allow an applicant to practice under supervision while meeting the experience and/or examination requirements for licensure.

  1. An applicant for a limited permit to practice marriage and family therapy shall:
    1. file an application for a limited permit with the department and pay the application fee, as prescribed in section 8409(3) of the Education Law;
    2. meet all requirements for licensure as a marriage and family therapist, including but not limited to the moral character and education requirements, except the examination and/or experience requirements; and
    3. be under the supervision of a supervisor acceptable to the department in accordance with the requirements of section 79-10.3 of this Subpart.
  2. In accordance with the requirements of section 79-10.3 of this Subpart, the limited permit in marriage and family therapy shall be issued for specific employment setting(s), acceptable to the department and the permit shall identify a qualified supervisor, acceptable to the department.
    1. The supervisor shall be responsible for appropriate oversight of all services provided by a permit holder under his or her general supervision.
    2. No supervisor shall supervise more than five permit holders at one time.
  3. The limited permit in marriage and family therapy shall be valid for a period of not more than 24 months, provided that the limited permit may be extended for no more than two additional 12 month periods at the discretion of the department if the department determines that the permit holder has made good faith efforts to successfully complete the examination and/or experience requirements but has not passed the licensing examination or completed the experience requirement, or has other good cause as determined by the department for not completing the examination and/or experience requirement, and provided further that the time authorized by such limited permit and subsequent extensions shall not exceed 48 months total.

79-10.5 Classifications systems.

A licensed marriage and family therapist may use accepted classifications of signs, symptoms, dysfunctions and disorders, such as the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, published by the American Psychiatric Association, or an equivalent classification system as determined by the department, provided that such use is consistent with the practice of marriage and family therapy as defined in section 8403(1) of the Education Law.


79-10.6 Special provisions.

  1. Alternative requirements. In accordance with section 8411(2)(a) of the Education Law, an applicant who does not meet the requirements for licensure as a marriage and family therapist as prescribed in section 8403(3) of the Education Law, may qualify for a license as a marriage and family therapist through meeting the alternative requirements prescribed in either paragraphs (1), (2), or (3) of this subdivision, provided that the applicant meets all such requirements on or before January 1, 2006.
    1. Alternative route one. An applicant may qualify for a license as a marriage and family therapist through meeting the following alternative requirements. The applicant shall:
      1. file an application for licensure by January 1, 2006 and pay the fee for the initial license and the fee for the first registration period, as prescribed in section 8403(3)(g) of the Education Law;
      2. be of good moral character as determined by the department;
      3. be at least 21 years of age;
      4. have completed a master's or higher degree program in marriage and family therapy or in a related field such as social work, psychology, or mental health counseling that is registered by the department pursuant to Part 52 of this Title, or is an equivalent program as determined by the department, provided that the program includes:
        1. coursework that contains curricular content in the study of:
          1. human development, including individual, child and family development;
          2. marriage and family therapy clinical knowledge;
          3. marriage and family therapy theoretical knowledge;
          4. research; and
        2. a supervised practicum in marriage and family therapy; and
      5. after completing the master's or higher degree program prescribed in subparagraph (iv) of this paragraph, have engaged in the practice of marriage and family therapy, as defined in section 8403(1) of the Education Law, for at least 1,500 clock hours.
    2. Alternative route two. An applicant may qualify for a license as a marriage and family therapist through meeting the following alternative requirements. The applicant shall:
      1. file an application for licensure by January 1, 2006 and pay the fee for the initial license and the fee for the first registration period, as prescribed in section 8403(3)(g) of the Education Law;
      2. be of good moral character as determined by the department;
      3. be at least 21 years of age;
      4. have completed a baccalaureate or higher degree program in marriage and family therapy or in a related field such as social work, psychology, or mental health counseling, that is registered by the department pursuant to Part 52 of this Title, or is an equivalent program as determined by the department, provided that the applicant demonstrates the completion of coursework within such a program that contains curricular content in the study of human development, marital and family therapy, and research;
      5. after completing the baccalaureate or higher degree program prescribed in subparagraph (iv) of this paragraph, have engaged in the practice of marriage and family therapy, as defined in section 8403(1) of the Education Law, on a full-time basis for seven years of the immediately preceding ten years prior to application for licensure. For purposes of this subparagraph, practice on a full-time basis shall mean 960 clock hours in the practice of marriage and family therapy, earned over a 52-week period;
      6. have submitted certifications from three individuals endorsing the applicants good professional ethics and clinical competence to practice of marriage and family therapy. Such certifications shall be submitted on forms prescribed by the department. The individual making the certification shall meet the qualifications for supervisors of the experience requirement, as prescribed in section 79-10.3(d)(2), except that such individual may be certified or registered by a national certifying or registering body for marriage and family therapists instead of being specifically certified or registered as a clinical supervisor by such body; and
      7. have met one of the following three requirements:
        1. after completing the baccalaureate or higher degree program prescribed in subparagraph (iv) of this paragraph, have three years of supervised experience in the practice of marriage and family therapy, which may be part of the seven years of experience required in subparagraph (v) of this paragraph. The supervisor of the experience must meet the qualifications for a supervisor of required experience prescribed in section 79-10.3(d)(2) of this Subpart, or
        2. be certified or registered by a national certifying or registering body for marriage and family therapy, acceptable to the department. To be acceptable to the department, the national certifying or registering body must be recognized nationwide as an organization that certifies or registers marriage and family therapists throughout the United States based upon a review of their qualifications to practice marriage and family therapy and must have adequate standards for the review of the applicant's qualifications for practicing marriage and family therapy, as determined by the department. Such standards must include standards for the review of the applicant's education and experience for practicing marriage and family therapy and may include an examination requirement; or
        3. complete an acceptable post-baccalaureate program in marriage and family therapy or a related field from an institute chartered by the Board of Regents, or an institution authorized by its charter or by the Board of Regents to confer degrees in New York State, or the equivalent as determined by the department, provided that such program contains curricular content in the study of:
          1. human development, including individual, child and family development;
          2. marriage and family therapy clinical knowledge;
          3. marriage and family therapy theoretical knowledge; and
          4. research.
    3. Alternative route three. An applicant may qualify for a license as a marriage and family therapist through meeting the following alternative requirements. The applicant shall:
      1. file an application for licensure by January 1, 2006 and pay the fee for the initial license and the fee for the first registration period, as prescribed in section 8403(3)(g) of the Education Law;
      2. be of good moral character as determined by the department;
      3. be at least 21 years of age;
      4. have completed a baccalaureate or higher degree program in marriage and family therapy or in a related field such as social work, psychology, or mental health counseling, that is registered by the department pursuant to Part 52 of this Title, or is an equivalent program as determined by the department, provided that the applicant demonstrates the completion of coursework within such a program that contains curricular content in the study of human development, marital and family therapy, and research;
      5. after completing the baccalaureate or higher degree program prescribed in subparagraph (iv) of this paragraph, have engaged in the practice of marriage and family therapy, as defined in section 8403(1) of the Education Law, on a full-time basis for 10 years of the immediately preceding 15 years prior to application for licensure. For purposes of this subparagraph, practice on a full-time basis shall mean 960 clock hours in the practice of marriage and family therapy, earned over a 52-week period;
      6. have submitted certifications from five individuals endorsing the applicants good professional ethics and clinical competence to practice marriage and family therapy. Such certifications shall be submitted on forms prescribed by the department. The individual making the certification shall meet the qualifications for supervisors of the experience requirement, as prescribed in section 79-10.3(d)(2), except that such individual may be certified or registered by a national certifying or registering body for marriage and family therapists instead of being specifically certified or registered as a clinical supervisor by such body.
  2. In accordance with section 8411(2)(b) of the Education Law, an applicant who meets all requirements for licensure as a marriage and family therapist as prescribed in section 8403(3) of the Education Law, except for the examination requirement, may qualify for a license as a marriage and family therapist through meeting the requirements of this subdivision, provided that the applicant meets these requirements on or before January 1, 2006. The applicant shall:
    1. file an application for licensure by January 1, 2006 and pay the fee for the initial license and the fee for the first registration period, as prescribed in section 8403(3)(g) of the Education Law;
    2. meet all requirements for the license as a marriage and family therapist prescribed in section 8403(3) of the Education Law, except the examination requirement; and
    3. either:
      1. have certification or registration by a national certifying or registering body for marriage and family therapists, acceptable to the department. To be acceptable to the department, the national certifying or registering body must be recognized nationwide as an organization that certifies or registers marriage and family therapists throughout the United States based upon a review of their qualifications to practice marriage and family therapy and must have adequate standards for the review of the applicant's qualifications for practicing marriage and family therapy, as determined by the department. Such standards must include standards for the review of the applicant's education and experience for practicing marriage and family therapy and may include an examination requirement. For use under this subdivision, such certification or registration need not be current but shall not have been revoked for misconduct and/or unethical activities. For documentation of the applicant's certification or registration status to be sufficient, the national certifying or registering body must submit documentation verifying the applicant's certification or registration status directly to the department; or
      2. if there is no national certifying or registering body for marriage and family therapists acceptable to the department as prescribed in subparagraph (i) of this paragraph, have engaged in the practice of marriage and family therapy, as defined in section 8403(1) of the Education Law, on a full-time basis for five years of the immediately preceding eight years prior to application for licensure. For purposes of this subparagraph, practice on a full-time basis shall mean 960 clock hours in the practice of marriage and family therapy, earned over a 52-week period.

§79-10.7 Licensure by endorsement of certain licensed marriage and family therapists.

An applicant seeking endorsement of a license in marriage and family therapy issued by another state, country or territory shall present evidence of:

  1. age, the applicant must be at least 21 years of age;
  2. licensure by another jurisdiction;
  3. completion of a graduate degree in marriage and family therapy or a related field that at the time of completion qualified the applicant for licensure as a marriage and family therapist in the other jurisdiction;
  4. completion of supervised experience in marriage and family therapy and psychotherapy that qualified the applicant for initial licensure in the other jurisdiction;
  5. passage of an examination acceptable to the department for the practice of marriage and family therapy;
  6. at least five years of experience in marriage and family therapy satisfactory to the State Board for Mental Health Practitioners, within the 10 years immediately preceding the application for licensure by endorsement in New York; and
  7. completion of coursework in the identification and reporting of suspected child abuse and neglect or the exemption from such coursework, as specified in 6507(3) of the Education Law;
  8. good moral character as determined by the department;
  9. acceptable licensure and discipline status in each jurisdiction in which the applicant holds a professional license.
Last Updated: February 26, 2014