The experience requirement for licensure as a Marriage and Family Therapist requires 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. Applicants who meet the education requirement for licensure by completing a master's or doctoral program registered by the Department as licensure qualifying or a program that the Department determines is equivalent may use client contact clock hours completed as part of the program and/or after to meet this requirement. Applicants who 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, must obtain the supervised experience after completion of the graduate degree program in the allied mental health field. All experience must be documented on Form 4B.
The supervised experience and practice under a limited permit must meet the following supervision and setting requirements.
Supervision of Experience
The supervisor must be licensed and registered in New York State as a Marriage and Family Therapist, physician, physician assistant, psychologist, licensed clinical social worker, or registered professional nurse or nurse practitioner and competent in Marriage and Family Therapy, or must have the equivalent qualifications as determined by the Department.
An applicant 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 the applicant’s assessment, evaluation and treatment of each client under his or her general supervision; and
- provides oversight, guidance and direction to the applicant 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.
Setting for Experience
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.
The practice of Marriage and Family Therapy is defined in Education Law 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, or 100% of the hours in any setting, must consist of direct contact with clients in the practice of Marriage and Family Therapy.