4 Steps to Getting Your LMFT in Massachusetts

How to Become a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

1. Earn a master’s or doctoral degree in marriage and family therapy or related field (60 credits).

  1. Successful completion of 3 graduate level courses in each of the following content areas: Marital and Family Studies, Marital and Family Therapy, and Human Development
  1. One graduate level course in each of the following content areas: Professional Studies, and Research.
  2. Complete a Clinical Internship or Practicum.

2. Complete post-master’s supervised clinical work (2 years and 3360 hours minimum).

3. Pass the licensing board examination.

4. Apply for your Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) license through the Massachusetts Allied Mental Health and Human Services Professional Board.

Read more below about what's required for each step.

Licensure requirements for mental health counselors vary by state. If you plan to work in states other than Massachusetts, please review the list of state licensing boards and visit the appropriate website for the most accurate and up-to-date information.

One How do I know if the master's degree program will fulfill all the requirements for licensure?

We have detailed the educational and pre-master's field experience requirements to qualify for LMFT licensure in Massachusetts. Graduates of the Master's in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with an emphasis in Couples and Family Therapy will have fulfilled all these licensure requirements, but do make sure any other program you consider will do so as well.

Two What is required for my supervised experience after I earn the Master's in Mental Health Counseling with an emphasis in Couples and Family Therapy?

In Massachusetts some of the requirements are:

  • 3360 total hours in a minimum of two years.
  • 1000 hours of direct client contact (a minimum of 500 hours of face-to-face clinical experience).
  • 200 hours of supervision (100 hours must be individual supervision).
  • Make sure that the licensed clinical supervisor meets the state requirements.
  • In Massachusetts, the supervised experience cannot be completed in a private practice or by providing academic counseling.

Mass.gov provides a list of the complete Massachusetts LMFT requirements.

Once you start, this post-master’s experience needs to be completed within eight years.

Upon completing the master’s degree, graduates of William James College look for jobs that qualify for the post-master’s supervised experience, with an approved supervisor. Sometimes graduates are hired at the place where they completed their practicum or internship.

Three How do I prepare for and take the LMFT licensing examination?

You may take the exam at any time after graduation.

During your time in the program your professors will talk to you about the licensing exam and how to prepare for it.

There are many resources online and through other organizations that will assist with exam preparation.

Exam registration is done through the Board.

Four I've fulfilled all the requirements! Now how do I get my Massachusetts LMFT license?

Submit an application to the Board of Registration of Allied Mental Health and Human Services Professions, which includes:

  • Completed application form
  • Official transcripts
  • Documentation of pre-master’s field experience
  • Documentation of post-master's field experience
  • An academic requirements form, usually signed by your program director
  • Letters of Reference
  • Proof of passing the required licensing exam
  • Passing a criminal background check