To meet the experience requirement for licensure as a Marriage and Family Therapist, you must complete at least 1,500 client contact hours in the practice of Marriage and Family Therapy. The experience may only be completed under a limited permit issued by the Department or as part of the licensure qualifying education program, for experience in New York; experience completed in other jurisdictions must be completed legally in accordance with the laws of the jurisdiction. You and your supervisor must submit documentation of completion of a supervised clinical experience of at least 1,500 client contact hours providing Marriage and Family Therapy in a setting acceptable to the Department in accordance with either A or B below.
- If you meet the education requirement for licensure by completing a master's or doctoral degree program registered by the Department as licensure qualifying or a program that the Department determines is equivalent, you may use client contact clock hours you completed as part of the program and/or after to meet this requirement in addition to post-degree hours completed under a limited permit.
- If you meet the education requirement for licensure by completing a graduate degree program in an allied mental health field and additional graduate level coursework, if needed, you must obtain the supervised experience after you complete the graduate degree program in the allied mental health field.
The practice of Marriage and Family Therapy is defined as:
- the assessment and treatment of nervous and mental disorders, whether affective, cognitive or behavioral, which results in dysfunctional interpersonal family relationships including, but not limited to familial relationships, marital/couple relationships, parent-child relationships, pre-marital and other personal relationships;
- the use of mental health counseling, psychotherapy and therapeutic techniques to evaluate and treat marital, relational, and family systems, and individuals in relationship to these systems;
- the use of mental health counseling and psychotherapeutic techniques to treat mental, emotional and behavioral disorders and ailments within the context of marital, relational and family systems to prevent and ameliorate dysfunction; and
- the use of assessment instruments and mental health counseling and psychotherapy to identify and evaluate dysfunctions and disorders for purposes of providing appropriate marriage and family therapy services.
All 1,500 clock hours of the supervised experience must consist of direct contact with clients in the practice of Marriage and Family Therapy.
Experience for licensure must be completed in a legal manner, under a qualified supervisor in a setting that is authorized to provide professional services. Hour calculations are based on a typical 40-45 hour work week to ensure that the applicant meeting the experience requirement obtains the appropriate supervision, client contact, and supervisor feedback in an educationally sound manner. Obtaining experience in an unreasonable amount of time is not acceptable as it compromises the learning process. In New York State, the experience must be under a limited permit issued by the Department for a specific setting under a qualified supervisor (see below). Experience in other jurisdictions will be evaluated to determine if the equivalent requirements have been satisfied in a legal manner.
You must apply for a license and have your education approved to be eligible for a limited permit. For additional information about limited permits, see the Limited Permits Section.
To be acceptable to the Department, your supervised experience must meet the following supervision and setting requirements.
Your supervisor must 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 and competent in the practice of Marriage and Family Therapy, or must have the equivalent qualifications as determined by the Department for experience completed in another jurisdiction.
You must obtain experience for licensure while under the general supervision of a qualified supervisor. General supervision means that a qualified supervisor is available for consultation, assessment and evaluation when professional services are being rendered by an applicant and the supervisor exercises the degree of supervision appropriate to the circumstances.
The supervisor must provide at least one hour per week or four hours per month of in-person individual or group supervision where the supervisor:
- reviews your assessment, evaluation and treatment of each client under his or her general supervision; and
- provides oversight, guidance and direction to you in developing skills as a Marriage and Family Therapist.
In addition, the supervisor is responsible for appropriate oversight of all services provided by a limited permit holder under his or her general supervision. No supervisor can supervise more than five limited permit holders at one time.
All supervised experience must be verified by your supervisor(s) using a Certification of Supervised Experience (Form 4B). Acceptable verification should include an attestation by the actual supervisor. In cases where such attestation is not available, the Department may accept an attestation of the duration and frequency of the supervised experience and the qualifications of the supervisor submitted by a licensed colleague.
The setting where the experience is obtained must be a location where legally authorized individuals provide services that constitute the practice of Marriage and Family Therapy, as defined in Education Law, and must be responsible for the services provided by individuals gaining experience for licensure. The setting cannot be a private practice owned or operated by the applicant. If the experience is completed in a setting other than the permit setting, you must submit an operating certificate or certificate of incorporation that indicates the entity is authorized to employ licensed professionals and provide services that are restricted under Title VIII of the Education Law.
An acceptable setting is defined in the Commissioner’s Regulations as:
- 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;
- a sole proprietorship owned by a licensee who provide 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;
- a professional partnership owned by licensees who provide services that are within the scope of practice of Marriage and Family Therapy;
- 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;
- 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;
- a program or facility authorized under Federal Law to provide services that are within the scope of practice of Marriage and Family Therapy;
- an entity defined as exempt from the licensing requirements or otherwise authorized under New York State 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.
The setting where the experience is gained is responsible for the services provided by individuals gaining experience for licensure. The setting is also 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.