Chapter 4757-25 Licensing of Marriage and Family Therapists

4757-25-01 Education requirements for admission to the examination for marriage and family therapist.

The requirements for licensure are generally set forth in section 4757.30 of the Revised Code.

(A) Pertaining to the educational requirements, the board further prescribes that: a "graduate degree in marriage and family therapy" is defined as a degree that meets all of the following criteria:

(1) The program or concentration shall clearly be identified as marriage and family therapy. Such a program shall specify in pertinent institutional catalogues and brochures its intent to educate and train marriage and family therapists. Examples of this include statements explaining the distinction between MFT and other human service areas, statements that the program prepares students to pass the national MFT examination, or statements that the program prepares students for MFT state licensure.

(2) The marriage and family therapy curriculum shall stand as a recognized entity within the institution and have a marriage and family therapy faculty.Marriage and family therapy faculty identify with the MFT profession by having a doctoral degree in "Marriage and Family Therapy," holding a state license in MFT, being clinical members of the AAMFT, and/or being AAMFT approved supervisors.

(3) The marriage and family therapy coursework shall have a major focus on marital and family systems and systemic therapeutic interventions. Marriage and family therapy coursework shall include at least two graduate courses in paragraph (A)(3)(a) of this rule and at least one graduate course in paragraphs (A)(3)(f)(v) to (A)(3)(b) of this rule of the following areas of marriage and family therapy.:

(a) Marriage and family theory studies: Courses in this area should present a fundamental introduction to marriage and family studies, including the historical development of the relational/systemic perspective and empirical foundations of the field of marriage and family therapy. This area facilitates students developing knowledge of the early and contemporary theories of MFT. It should provide a substantive understanding of the major theories of systems change and the applied practices evolving from each theoretical orientation. Major MFT theories include but are not limited to: strategic, structural, contextual, Bowenian, narrative, solution-focused, object relations, experiential, emotion focused, and internal family.

(b) Research: This course facilitates students developing competencies in marriage and family therapy research and evaluation methods and in evidence-based practice, including becoming an informed consumer of couple, marriage, and family therapy research.

(c) Professional ethics: Courses in this area shall include the "American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy" (AAMFT) code of ethics, confidentiality and liabilities of clinical practice and research, professional ethics as a marriage and family therapist, professional socialization, and the role of the professional organization, licensure, state and federal legislation, independent practice and inter professional cooperation. Religious ethics courses and moral theology courses do not meet this requirement.

(d) Individual and family development: This course shall address individual and family development and biopsychosocial health across the lifespan from a systemic perspective.

(e) Appraisal of individuals and families: This course shall include the framework for understanding individuals, couples and families. Course content shall address from a relational/systemic perspective, psychopharmacology, physical health and illness, traditional psycho diagnostic categories, and the assessment and treatment of major mental and emotional disorders, including the appropriate use of the current edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders.

(f) Practicum: Includes a supervised training experience consisting of the provision of marriage and family therapy to clients and is acceptable to the board as defined in paragraphs (A)(3)(f)(i) to (A)(3)(f) (v) of this rule.

(i) Applicants, who begin their program after January 2015, shall have a minimum of two semesters or three quarters of qualified supervised clinical practicum and/or qualified internship with five hundred hours of direct face-to-face client contact with individuals, couples, and families and one hundred hours of supervision. Applicants, who begin their program before January 2015, shall have a minimum of two semesters or three quarters of qualified supervised clinical practicum and/or qualified internship with three hundred hours of direct face-to-face client contact with individuals, couples, and families and sixty hours of supervision.

(ii) Applicants, who begin their program after January 2015, shall have two hundred fifty hours of the five hundred hours of direct client contact with couples and/or families present. Applicants, who begin their program before January 2015, shall have one hundred fifty hours of the three hundred hours of direct client contact with couples and/or families present.

(iii) The clinical practicum and internship experience must be under the supervision of an independently licensed marriage and family therapist with supervision designation, an AAMFT approved supervisor, an AAMFT supervisor candidate, or an independently licensed mental health practitioner who shall have demonstrated competence in the area in which he/she is supervising and have training in legal and ethical issues relevant to marriage and family therapy.

(iv) Applicants shall document their practicum and internship experience on a form prescribed by the board. The form shall be completed by the supervisor or supervisors and shall document the student's competency, client contact hours, and supervision hours in all areas designated on the form. The form shall be completed and submitted by the student at the time of examination request.

(v) Prior to the beginning of the practicum, the student shall have completed three courses in marriage and family therapy.

(4) In addition to the coursework listed under paragraph (A)(3) of this rule, the marriage and family therapy coursework completed must include five courses in the following marriage and family therapy content areas.

(a) Family therapy with diverse, multicultural and/or underserved communities: This course facilitates students developing competencies in understanding and applying knowledge of diversity, power, privilege and oppression as these relate to race, age, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, socioeconomic status, disability, health status, religious, spiritual and/or beliefs, nation of origin or other relevant social categories, in the practice of marriage and family therapy. This includes developing competencies in working with sexual and gender minorities and their families as well as anti-racist practices.

(b) Clinical treatment of individuals, couples and families: This course facilitates students developing competencies in systemic hypotheses, treatment planning and interventions specifically designed for use with a wide range of diverse individuals, couples, and families, including sex therapy, same-sex couples, working with young children, adolescents and elderly, interfaith couples, and includes a focus on evidence-based practice. Courses must include content on crisis intervention.

(c) Couples therapy: This course provides theories and skills in providing therapy with couples, including family of origin issues, new marriages, marriage preparation, non-traditional marriages, multi-cultural issues, partnerships, and divorce.

(d) Family therapy with children, adolescents, or young adults: This course should provide training in unique diagnostic and treatment considerations in working with children, adolescents, or young adults. This includes collaboration with medical providers and educational systems. The course must include exposure to empirically supported treatment modalities for children and adolescents.

(e) Sexuality and family therapy: The physiological, psychological, and socio-cultural variables associated with sexual identity and sexual behavior including sexual dysfunctions. This course should include systemic theory based treatment.

(f) Substance abuse and addictive disorders in marriage and family therapy: This course covers the physical and psychological aspects of psychotropic medication, alcohol, and other substances on relationships and behavior as well as systemic treatment approaches to substance use disorders.

(5) Programs accredited by the "Commission On Accreditation Of Marriage And Family Therapy Education" (COAMFTE) at the time of applicant's degree conferral are recognized as meeting the requirements for a graduate degree in marriage and family therapy.

(6) Applicants who possess a degree from a program not accredited by the "Commission On Accreditation Of Marriage And Family Therapy Education" (COAMFTE) shall submit a request to this board for approval in meeting the educational requirements for admission to the examination for the marriage and family therapy license. Program approval may be obtained by the applicant submitting to the board written evidence that the degree meets the requirements set forth in paragraphs (A)(1) to (A)( 3) of this rule.

(B) Supplemental coursework, including supplemental clinical practicum/internship experience, taken after the completion of the degree program may be acceptable if the applicant meets either of the following:

(1) Holds a conferred degree in marriage and family therapy as defined in paragraphs (A)(1) and (A)(2) of this rule, acceptable to the board, and achieved both of the following:

(a) Completes the necessary coursework and/or clinical practicum/internship experience from a marriage and family therapy program as defined in this rule,

(b) Obtains written permission for each supplemented course and/or practicum/internship experience from the board prior to the beginning of the course and/or practicum/internship experience and completes said course(s) and/or practicum/internship experience within five years of approval.

(2) Applicants, who possess a master's degree and are enrolled in a COAMFTE accredited doctoral program having completed all coursework except for dissertation.

(C) Post-graduate supervised direct client contact hours obtained out of state may satisfy a deficit in the number of practicum/internship hours as specified in paragraph (A)(3)(f)(v) of this rule. These substituted hours shall not be counted toward the two years of required supervised practice for IMFT licensure.

(D) Applicants who are denied admission to the examination shall be afforded an opportunity for a hearing pursuant to Chapter 119. of the Revised Code.

Effective: 7/1/2016
Five Year Review (FYR) Dates: 11/03/2019
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 4757.10 , 4757.30
Rule Amplifies: 4757.30
Prior Effective Dates: 4/10/04, 1/10/08, 10/18/09, 11/3/14

4757-25-02 Marriage and family therapist examination policy.

(A) The examination required for licensure as a marriage and family therapist or an independent marriage and family therapist is the "Examination In Marital and Family Therapy" offered by the "Association of Marital and Family Therapy Regulatory Boards" (AMFTRB).

(B) The examination shall be offered at least twice each year.

(C) Only applicants who are approved by the board may sit for the examination. Approval to sit for the examination shall be granted if a review of the applicant's educational records establishes that the educational requirements for licensure are met.

(1) Applicants who have a master or doctoral degree from a regionally accredited educational institution may provide a student copy of their transcript(s) via mail, email or facsimile in order for the board to make an examination approval or disapproval decision.

(2) Applicants in the last term prior to receiving their master or doctoral degree from a program that is accredited by COAMFTE may provide a letter, facsimile or email from a professor or registrar that states the student is on track to graduate at the end of that term in order for the board to make an examination approval or disapproval decision.

(D) An applicant who is approved for the examination shall be sent an approval letter from the board.

(1) The letter is effective only for the next examination given after the date of issuance.

(2) An applicant who fails to take the examination during the effectiveness of the letter shall request another approval letter.

(3) An applicant who neglects to take the examination within twelve months after being deemed eligible by the board shall re-apply for approval to sit for the examination. The applicant shall meet the requirements in effect at the time of the new request for approval.

(E) The minimum score for passage of the examination for marriage and family therapists is determined by the "Association of Marriage and Family Therapists Regulatory Boards" (AMFTRB) and the marriage and family therapist professional standards committee.

(F) A marriage and family therapist or independent marriage and family therapist who has an expired license and requests to apply for a new license will be required to do one of the following:

(1) Re-take and achieve a passing score on the national "Examination In Marital and Family Therapy" offered by the "Association of Marital and Family Therapy Regulatory Boards" (AMFTRB);

(2) Complete thirty clock hours of approved continuing professional education; three of the thirty hours must be taken in the area of professional ethics for marriage and family therapists.

(G) Applicants that hold a current marriage and family therapist license in another state may be approved by the board to sit for the national examination.

Effective: 7/1/2016
Five Year Review (FYR) Dates: 12/01/2019
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 4757.10
Rule Amplifies: 4757.30
Prior Effective Dates: 4/10/04, 10/18/09, 4/1/11, 12/1/14

4757-25-03 General requirements for licensure as a marriage and family therapist.

All applicants for licensure as a marriage and family therapist shall:

(A) Meet the educational requirements as established in paragraph (A) of rule 4757-25-01 of the Administrative Code.

(B) Successfully complete the licensure examination prescribed by the marriage and family therapist professional standards committee, if applicable.

(C) Be of good moral character.

(D) Have met all of the initial application requirements established in rule 4757-1-04 of the Administrative Code. These requirements include the criminal records check, application with fee, transcript requirements, and defines good moral character.

Replaces: 4757-25-03

R.C. 119.032 review dates: 09/05/2014 and 09/20/2018
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 4757.10
Rule Amplifies: 4757.30
Prior Effective Dates: 4/10/04, 9/20/07, 10/18/09.

4757-25-04 Requirements for licensure as an independent marriage and family therapist.

All applicants for licensure as an independent marriage and family therapist shall:

(A) After completion of the required education set forth in paragraph (A) of rule 4757-25-01 of the Administrative Code, the applicant shall meet the following requirements:

(1) Complete at least two calendar years of supervised training while engaged in the practice of marriage and family therapy.

(2) The two years of supervised training must include two hundred hours of face-to-face supervision while completing a minimum of one thousand hours of documented face-to-face client contact in marriage and family therapy.

(3) Of the required two hundred hours of face-to-face supervision, a minimum of one hundred hours shall be individual supervision.

(4) Of the required one thousand hours of client contact, a minimum of five hundred hours shall be with couples and/or families present.

(5) The training supervision shall be performed by a supervisor whose training and experience meet the standards established in paragraph (C) of rule 4757-29-01 of the Administrative Code.

(B) Meet all the requirements established in rule 4757-25-03 of the Administrative Code.

Effective: 7/1/2016
Five Year Review (FYR) Dates: 05/31/2019
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 4757.10
Rule Amplifies: 4757.30
Prior Effective Dates: 4/10/04, 9/20/07, 10/18/09, 6/1/14

4757-25-05 Temporary marriage and family therapist license.

(A) The temporary license allows the holder to practice as a marriage and family therapist or an independent marriage and family therapist, while awaiting the next board meeting.

(B) A temporary license may be issued only if it is determined that, the applicant qualifies under division (A) of section 4757.30 of the Revised Code for licensure as a marriage and family therapist.

(C) Applicants who wish to obtain a temporary license shall submit a properly completed application, as prescribed by the board.

(D) A temporary license is valid from the date of issuance until the earliest of one of the following:

(1) The date the applicant's license is issued under section 4757.30 of the Revised Code;

(2) One year after the temporary license has been issued;

(3) The date the applicant withdraws from taking the examination;

(4) The date the applicant is notified that the applicant failed the examination.

(E) A temporary license may not be renewed. A new temporary license shall be issued only in the event of documented substantial hardship as determined by the board.

Effective: 7/1/2016
Five Year Review (FYR) Dates: 12/01/2019
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 4757.10
Rule Amplifies: 4757.30, 4757.301
Prior Effective Dates: 4/10/04, 10/18/09, 12/1/14

4757-25-06 Endorsement of a marriage and family therapist license.

(A) An applicant requesting licensure as a marriage and family therapist or independent marriage and family therapist via endorsement shall submit to the board all of the following:

(1) A completed licensure application for the level of licensure for which the applicant is seeking licensure;

(2) The required fee established by the board under paragraph (B) of rule 4757-1-05 of the Administrative Code;

(3) An official statement, which indicates applicant is currently licensed, certified, registered, or otherwise authorized to practice as a marriage and family therapist or independent marriage and family therapist in another jurisdiction;

(4) An official statement from any and all jurisdictions where the applicant is currently or has been previously licensed, certified, registered, or otherwise authorized to practice as a marriage and family therapist or independent marriage and family therapist indicating whether the applicant is in good standing and whether disciplinary action has been taken or is pending against the applicant;

(5) All transcripts of graduate education;

(6) If the applicant has taken another jurisdiction's marriage and family therapist exam, documentation of whether the applicant passed that exam; and

(7) Any additional documentation requested by the board that would assist the board in making a determination based on paragraphs (B)(1) to (B)(7) of this rule.

(B) The marriage and family therapist professional standards committee may consider the following factors to determine whether to grant the applicant a license via endorsement:

(1) Whether the applicant possesses a master's and/or doctor's degree in marriage and family therapy awarded by a regionally accredited institution;

(2) Whether the applicant possesses a master's and/or doctor's degree in a related mental health field awarded by a regionally accredited institution.

(3) The applicant has earned substantially equivalent marriage and family therapy coursework from a regionally accredited institution subsequent to that degree that meets the requirements of division (A)(3)(b) of section 4757.30 of the Revised Code and paragraph (A)(3) of rule 4757-25-01 of the Administrative Code;

(4) Whether the applicant's coursework is substantially similar to the requirements in paragraph (A)(3) of rule 4757-25-01 of the Administrative Code;

(5) Whether the applicant for independent marriage and family therapist has substantially equivalent supervised experience required by division (C) of section 4757.30 of the Revised Code and paragraph (C)(3) of rule 4757-25-04 of the Administrative Code;

(6) Whether the applicant has passed a state marriage and family therapist exam that is substantially similar to Ohio's examination;

(7) Whether the applicant's license is currently in good standing in another jurisdiction and whether applicant has been disciplined in another jurisdiction; and

(8) The number of years the applicant has practiced as a marriage and family therapist or independent marriage and family therapist worker in another jurisdiction.

Effective: 12/01/2014
Five Year Review (FYR) Dates: 09/05/2014 and 12/01/2019
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 4757.10
Rule Amplifies: 4757.18, 4757.30
Prior Effective Dates: 4/10/04, 1/10/08, 10/18/09.

4757-25-07 Approval of applications for marriage and family therapist licenses.

Applications for marriage and family therapist licenses shall be approved per section 4757.30 of the Revised Code and this rule. The staff of the board shall review all applications and process as follows:

(A) Applications that meet the basic requirements as detailed below shall be approved upon receipt of all applicable parts. All applications approved by staff shall be reviewed by the marriage and family therapist professional standards committee at the following meeting for quality control purposes.

(1) Applications for independent marriage and family therapist license that meet the basic requirements for licensure in section 4757.30 of the Revised Code and rule 4757-25-04 of the Administrative Code shall be approved if the following conditions are met:

(a) Process application for independent marriage and family therapist received with no questions requiring review by the board such as felony convictions, loss of license in another state, etc.

(b) Transcript provided directly from a regionally accredited educational institution of a master's or doctoral degree in marriage and family therapy or related degree that meets paragraph (B) of rule 4757-25-01 of the Administrative Code.

(c) Proof of completion of at least two years of post-master's degree marriage and family therapist experience that meets paragraph (A) of rule 4757-25-04 of the Administrative Code supervised by a supervisor that meets paragraph (C)(1) of rule 4757-29-01 of the Administrative Code.

(d) Proof of passing an examination acceptable to the board for the purpose of determining ability to practice as an independent marriage and family therapist.

(2) Applications for marriage and family therapist license that meet the basic requirements for licensure in section 4757.30 of the Revised Code and rule 4757-25-03 of the Administrative Code shall be approved if the following conditions are met:

(a) Process application for marriage and family therapist received with no questions requiring review by the board such as felony convictions, loss of license in another state, etc.

(b) Transcript provided directly from an accredited educational institution of a master's or doctoral degree in marriage and family therapy or related degree that meets paragraph (B) of rule 4757-25-01 of the Administrative Code.

(c) Proof of passing an examination acceptable to the board for the purpose of determining ability to practice as an marriage and family therapist.

(B) Complete applications that meet the following conditions shall be held for the marriage and family therapist professional standards committee review at the next regularly scheduled meeting, if received at least ten days prior to the meeting.

(1) All applications that have answered questions requiring review by the board such as felony convictions, loss of license in another state, etc.

(2) All applications with related degrees.

(3) All applications which staff , at its discretion, determines require further scrutiny by the marriage and family therapist professional standards committee.

Effective: 12/01/2014
Five Year Review (FYR) Dates: 09/05/2014 and 12/01/2019
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 4757.10
Rule Amplifies: 4757.30
Prior Effective Dates: 10/18/09.

4757-25-08 Marriage and family therapist trainee registration.

(A) Students enrolled in a practicum or internship prior to receiving their marriage and family therapy degree are eligible to register as a "marriage and family therapist trainee" as authorized in section 4757.10 of the Revised Code and defined in paragraph (U) of rule 4757-3-01 of the Administrative Code, if they are doing so in Ohio. Students are not required by the board to have marriage and family therapist trainee status to complete their practicum or internship requirements, including the provision of supervised marriage and family therapy services, but may be required to obtain registration as a marriage and family therapist trainee by the supervising agency as a condition of acceptance for practicum or internship. A student may also voluntarily choose to apply for registration as a marriage and family therapist trainee. Applicants for marriage and family therapist trainee status shall:

(1) Be of good moral character; and

(2) Provide criminal records checks per paragraph (E) of rule 4757-1-04 of the Administrative Code; and

(3) Apply on a form specified by the board and comply with rule 4757-1-04 of the Administrative Code; and

(4) Provide proof of enrollment in a master's or doctoral level marriage and family therapy practicum or internship course. A copy of the university's online enrollment document shall be acceptable; or a letter, email or facsimile from the professor or registrar stating the applicant is enrolled.

(B) Applicants who hold marriage and family therapist trainee status shall:

(1) Document proof of marriage and family therapist trainee status by using the board's online license verification system at https://license.ohio.gov. Trainee status shall be active only within the dates displayed on that system. The dates of that registration shall be up to two months past the end of the term enrolled; and

(2) Provide proof of enrollment as specified in paragraph (A)(4) of this rule for their existing registration to be extended through the dates of that course; and

(3) Have the same scope of practice as a marriage and family therapist in rule 4757-27-01 of the Administrative Code, but require much closer supervision during the training process.

(C) Marriage and family therapist trainee status is not a substitute for licensure and is only valid at the school approved field placement site(s) where the student is completing his or her field placement, and through the dates listed on the board's online license verification system.

(D) Ensuring the marriage and family therapist trainee is properly registered and listed on the licensure web site https://license.ohio.gov is primarily the responsibility of the marriage and family therapist trainee, but shall be monitored by the work place supervisor or agency at time of placement and subsequent extensions of marriage and family therapist trainee status.

Effective: 11/03/2014
Five Year Review (FYR) Dates: 11/03/2019
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 4757.10
Rule Amplifies: 4757.10, 4757.30