MFT Programs in Arkansas

Kacy Kaiser

Written by Kacy Kaiser

M.S. in School Counseling | Long Island University

LMFT Candidate | Updated & Fact Checked: 6/23/2023

 

If you are interested in helping people better themselves through examining their relationships, then a Marriage and Family Therapy career may be for you! Many people need support while adapting to changes in their lives or family structure. Interpersonal relationships can significantly impact our happiness and mental health. The work that Marriage and Family therapists do to help individuals and families heal their relationships is vital. MFTs are trained to recognize and treat any mental health disorders that could be contributing to the problem. 

MFTs are licensed by the state they choose to live and work in. States have different requirements for licensure. If you are considering becoming an MFT in Arkansas, this article will list accredited MFT programs and the steps to obtain your Arkansas MFT license. 

Many graduate students choose to complete their studies in an online program to save time and money. Also, online programs give students the freedom to complete their coursework according to their schedule. This flexibility will allow you to continue to work at a job while completing your graduate degree in Marriage and Family Therapy.

Featured Marriage and Family Therapy Programs

Online MFT Program in Arkansas

There are no colleges or universities in the state of Arkansas that offer a fully-online program in Marriage and Family Therapy. The art and science behind counseling are best-learned face-to-face. However, some online programs from colleges and universities are based in other states. Many of the programs from Arkansas schools offer some online courses. These online classes only account for about 20% of the overall curriculum.

Accredited MFT Programs in Arkansas

Arkansas COAMFTE Accredited MFT Programs

If you prefer to attend classes in person, Arkansas offers several accredited programs you can choose from. There are no COAMFTE-accredited programs in Arkansas. COAMFTE is the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education. It is a national accrediting body for marriage and family therapy programs. The programs that COAMFTE accredits meet high standards of quality and are recognized by state and national professional organizations.

CACREP Accredited Marriage and Family Therapy Programs in Arkansas

CACREP is another accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy programs. CACREP stands for the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs. It is a non-profit, non-governmental organization that accredits counseling programs in the United States and Canada. CACREP accreditation is voluntary, but many state and national professional organizations recognize it. 

CACREP standards are designed to ensure that counseling programs are of high quality and that their graduates are prepared to practice counseling in a competent and ethical manner. The standards cover many areas, including curriculum, faculty qualifications, clinical experiences, and assessment procedures. 

To be accredited by CACREP, a program must undergo a rigorous review process. The review process includes the following:

  • A self-study.
  • An on-site visit.
  • A final decision by the CACREP Board of Directors.

CACREP accreditation is a valuable asset for counseling programs. It demonstrates to students, employers, and the public that the program meets high-quality standards. CACREP accreditation can also help programs attract qualified students and faculty, making it easier for graduates to obtain licensure and employment.

Here is a list of CACREP-accredited marriage and family therapy master’s degree programs in Arkansas:

No GRE Required MFT Programs in Arkansas

Many colleges and universities require a standardized test called the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) for admission into graduate-level programs. The GRE is similar to the SAT, often required for entry into bachelor’s degree programs. In recent years, many colleges and universities have moved away from requiring standardized admission tests. You can find many Marriage and Family Therapy programs that do not require the GRE for admission. However, some may need it under certain circumstances.

Here are some marriage and family therapy programs in Arkansas that do not require the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) for admission:

  • Harding University 
  • University of Arkansas at Little Rock

These programs have different admission requirements, so it is essential to check with each program individually to see what is required. However, in general, these programs will require applicants to have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university and a strong GPA and letters of recommendation. 

Here are some additional details about the programs listed above:

  • Harding University
    • Harding University is a private Christian university located in Searcy, Arkansas. The university’s marriage and family therapy program is a Master of Science degree program seeking CACREP accreditation. The program is designed to prepare students for careers in clinical practice, research, and education.
    • The program does not require the GRE for admission. However, applicants must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university and a minimum GPA of 3.0. Applicants are also required to submit letters of recommendation and a personal statement.
    • The program is offered on a full-time basis. It is not offered online or on a part-time basis. The full-time program can be completed in two years, while students can complete the part-time program in four years.
    • The program utilizes the cohort approach, where you stay with the same group of students throughout your education. You get to know your fellow students well; thus, a more cohesive program is established. It also helps the university arrange internship and practicum experiences for your group.
  • University of Arkansas at Little Rock
    • The University of Arkansas at Little Rock is a public university in Little Rock, Arkansas. The university’s marriage and family therapy program is a Master of Arts program. The program is designed to prepare students for careers in clinical practice, research, and education.
    • The program does not require the GRE for admission. However, applicants must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university and a minimum GPA of 3.0. Applicants are also required to submit letters of recommendation and a personal statement.
    • The program is offered on a full-time or part-time basis. The full-time program can be completed in two years, while the part-time program can be completed in four years.

What Will You Learn in an Arkansas MFT Program

Marriage and family therapy (MFT) programs in Arkansas typically cover a wide range of topics, including:

  • Human development: Students learn about the stages of human development, from conception to death. They will also learn about the signs of developmental disabilities.
  • Family systems theory: Students learn about how families function and how they can be affected by stress and conflict.
  • Counseling theories and techniques: Students learn about different counseling theories and techniques, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, family therapy, talk therapy, client-centered therapy, and solution-focused therapy.
  • Clinical skills: Students learn how to assess and diagnose mental health problems and how to develop and implement treatment plans. These skills are essential for success as an MFT.
  • Ethics and professional practice: Students learn about the ethical guidelines and standards of practice for MFTs.

In addition to these core courses, MFT programs in Arkansas may also offer specialized courses in areas such as:

  • Couples therapy: Students learn about the different types of couples therapy and how to work with couples to improve their relationships.
  • Family therapy: Students learn about the different types of family therapy and how to work with families to improve their functioning.
  • Child and adolescent therapy: Students learn about the various types of treatment that can be used to help children and adolescents with a variety of mental health problems.
  • Addictions counseling: Students learn about the types of counseling that can be used to help people with addictions and how to spot the signs and symptoms of substance abuse.
  • Grief and loss counseling: Students learn about the multiple types of counseling that can help people grieving the loss of a loved one or experiencing a change in a family dynamic.

MFT programs in Arkansas typically require students to complete a practicum and internship. The practicum is an opportunity for students to gain supervised experience working with clients under the guidance of a licensed MFT. The internship is a longer-term experience in which students work with clients under the supervision of a licensed MFT. 

After completing an MFT program in Arkansas, students are eligible to sit for the licensure examination for MFTs. Once they have passed the test, they are eligible to become licensed MFTs and practice MFT in Arkansas. If you are interested in a career in MFT, I recommend that you research MFT programs in Arkansas and contact the programs to learn more about their curriculum, requirements, and costs.

How To Become an LMFT in Arkansas

To become a licensed marriage and family therapist in Arkansas, you must complete the following steps:

  1. Earn a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy from an accredited program.
  2. Complete a supervised internship.
  3. Pass the National Counselor Exam for Marital and Family Therapy (NCE-MFT).
  4. Apply for licensure with the Arkansas Board of Examiners in Counseling.

Here is a more detailed look at each step of the process:

Earn a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy from an accredited program.

The first step to becoming a licensed marriage and family therapist in Arkansas is to earn a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy from an accredited program. Several accredited programs in Arkansas offer MFT degrees. However, you must have previously completed a bachelor’s degree in a related field.

Complete a supervised internship.

Once you have earned your MFT degree, you must complete a supervised internship. The internship is a hands-on experience in which you will work with clients under the supervision of a licensed marriage and family therapist. The training must be approved by the Arkansas Board of Examiners in Counseling.

Pass the National Counselor Exam for Marital and Family Therapy (NCE-MFT)

The next step is to pass the National Counselor Exam for Marital and Family Therapy (NCE-MFT). The NCE-MFT is a standardized exam that tests your marriage and family therapy knowledge. You must pass the NCE-MFT with a score of at least 80% to be eligible for licensure in Arkansas.

Apply for licensure with the Arkansas Board of Examiners in Counseling.

The final step is to apply for licensure with the Arkansas Board of Examiners in Counseling. You must submit an application, transcripts from your MFT program, proof of passing the NCE-MFT, and a fee. The board will review your application and determine your eligibility for licensure. 

If you are approved for licensure, you will be issued a license to practice marriage and family therapy in Arkansas. The license is valid for two years and must be renewed every two years.

Featured MFT Programs Offered Online

Career and Salary Opportunities for LMFTs in Arkansas

The salary for LMFTs in Arkansas varies depending on experience, location, and setting. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for LMFTs in Arkansas is $60,550. The top 10% of LMFTs earn over $82,000, while the bottom 10% earn less than $40,000. 

The job outlook for LMFTs in Arkansas is good. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment of LMFTs will grow by 23% from 2020 to 2030, faster than the average for all occupations. This growth is expected due to the increasing demand for mental health services. 

Marriage and family therapists can work in various settings, and salaries can vary based on the employer. LMFTs work in mental health centers, hospitals, substance abuse treatment centers, nursing homes, residential care facilities, and as private practitioners. 

A career as a Marriage and Family Therapist can be gratifying. As an MFT in Arkansas, you can work in various settings and earn a decent salary while helping people live more fulfilling lives. You will be able to show people how enriching their relationships can improve their mental health and overall enjoyment of life. Explore one of these MFT programs and start your path to becoming an LMFT in Arkansas today!

MFT Programs in Other States