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California MFT Licensure

Below are basic guidelines for those wishing to earn their marriage and family therapist licensure in California. These procedures rarely change; however, it is wise to contact the California Board of Behavioral Sciences at (916) 574-7830 to make sure you are on the right track.

Step One:

To begin the California Marriage and Family Therapist licensure process, you will need to complete a masters degree in marriage and family therapy, or in a similar field, from an approved school.You can also request information from schools offering Marriage and Family Therapy programs in California. If you have not completed a bachelor's degree program yet, Click Here.

Step Two:

As of 2004, the necessary courses for an MFT licensure have been adjusted. Often times masters programs will include the additional required courses; however, it is important that you are aware of the classes needed for California MFT licensure and check with your school.

The following California Board of Behavioral Sciences webpage provides more detailed information regarding the additional required classes.

Step Three:

Once your masters degree is out of the way, you will need to download the registered California MFT Intern application packet and submit it to the California Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS). A simple application, school transcripts, proof of program certification and fingerprint submission for a background check is all part of the intern application.

Download the application in pdf format here.

Step Four:

After the application is accepted, it's time to begin the 3000 hours of supervised work experience and 104 weeks of supervision under a qualified mental health professional. While accumulating hours, you will record them in forms provided by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences.

Forms and details on the hourly breakdown of work experience in addition to supervisor qualifications are available at the following California Board of Behavioral Sciences webpage.

Step Five:

After the completion of your Master's degree, you have six years to complete the steps above and apply for exams.

You can apply for eligibility by downloading the following application in pdf format. After reviewing your application  the CBBS will send you information about the Standard Written and the Written Clinical Vignette Examination. Throughout the examination process there are important deadlines to be aware of; so, be sure to keep track of those or you will have to re-apply for testing.

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