Marriage and Family Therapy: Examining The Impact of Licensure on An Evolving Profession



Regulatory responsibilities for the profession of marriage and family therapy have shifted from the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) to state regulatory boards. The impact of these changes has not been adequately addressed. The purpose of this article is to highlight many of these changes and explore their implications. The educational, experience, and supervision requirements of states regulating the profession of marriage and family therapy in 2007 are examined using descriptive data from 47 regulatory entities and then compared with the current (2012) regulatory standards from 51 regulatory entities. In turn, these are compared with AAMFT prelicensure clinical membership requirements. Results indicate a marked difference between AAMFT prelicensure and state licensure requirements in both 2007 and 2012, but that state requirements continue to evolve. Additionally, the changing roles of the AAMFT and the Association of Marital and Family Therapy Regulatory Boards (AMFTRB) within the profession are explored.