There is an increasing demand for Mental Health Counseling of different types. One of the newest and fastest-growing disciplines within Mental Health Counseling is Marriage and Family Therapy. People who work as Marriage and Family Therapists (MFTs) are licensed and certified counselors. They undergo long and specialized training to work with individuals, couples, and families.
MFTs look at a person’s relationships and their dynamics to help them function better. Mental health is often correlated with good relationships. MFTs can help people keep the good times happening within their relationships and cope with and grow through struggles and challenging times.
If you are thinking of embarking on a career as a Marriage and Family Therapist in Maine, we will lay out programs to help you achieve this goal.
Online MFT Program in Maine
While no fully online program for Marriage and Family Therapy is offered by a college or university in Maine, some programs in the nearby state of New Hampshire offer a hybrid of online and in-person classes. Additionally, colleges outside of Maine offer fully online national programs. You can live in Maine but complete your Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from the comfort of your home computer.
Online programs offer a great deal of flexibility, which can be ideal for working students or those with other commitments. However, ensuring the program is flexible enough to meet your individual needs is important. The program’s cost can vary depending on the institution and the specialization you choose. It is important to factor in the program’s cost when deciding.
One hybrid program available to Maine residents is:
- Antioch University – MA and PhD in Couple and Family Therapy
- Coursework in completed 100% online
- Internship experience is done in-person at a facility of the student’s choosing.
Here are a few FULLY online programs that Maine residents can take advantage of:
- Capella University: offers an online Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy (MSMFT) program designed to prepare students to become licensed marriage and family therapists (LMFTs). The program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE).
- University of Wisconsin- Superior: offers a 100% online Masters in Counseling with Marriage and Family Therapy track. The program is designed to prepare students to become licensed marriage and family therapists (LMFTs) by passing the national exam.
- Northcentral University: offers an online Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy program designed to prepare students to become licensed marriage and family therapists (LMFTs). The program is accredited by the COAMFTE and offers a variety of specializations, including couples therapy, family therapy, and child therapy.
- Touro University Worldwide: offers a 100% online program accredited by COAMFTE. Graduates will be eligible to sit for the National MFT exam and apply for licensure in most states.
Accredited MFT Programs in Maine
Maine COAMFTE Accredited MFT Programs
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 quality standards and are recognized by state and national professional organizations.
Unfortunately, there are no colleges or universities in Maine that offer a COAMFTE accredited program in Marriage and Family Therapy. However, in nearby New Hampshire there are three programs that are COAMFTE-accredited.
- Antioch University of New England – Master of Arts in Couple and Family Therapy
- Hybrid model with online classes and in-person residencies.
- Complete an internship near home or at the Antioch University Couple and Family Therapy Institute in Keene, NH
- Designed to be completed in just under 3 years (33 months of full-time study and internship).
- Antioch University of New England – Ph.D. in Couple and Family Therapy
- Program consists of 86-89 credits of both online and in-person classes.
- Completion of a doctoral dissertation that demonstrates doctoral-level scholarship.
- Satisfactory performance on the Qualifying Examinations at the end of the second academic year.
- Students must attend six residencies across the first two years of the program.
- Full-time students have a maximum of six years from initial enrollment to complete all course requirements, practical experience requirements, and dissertation.
- University of New Hampshire – Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy
- Designed to be completed in 2 years (including summers).
- Requires 500 hours of clinical practicum.
- Students have the opportunity to participate in research conducted by UNH faculty.
CACREP Accredited Marriage and Family Therapy Programs in Maine
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 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 Maine:
- Husson University in Bangor, Maine –
- School Counseling
- Clinical Mental Health Counseling
- University of Southern Maine in Gorham, Maine –
- School Counseling
- Clinical Mental Health Counseling
- Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling
Although these programs are not specifically dedicated to the practice of Marriage and Family Therapy, they are similar enough in studies and practice that graduates of these programs meet the qualifications to sit for the national licensing exam.
No GRE Required MFT Programs in Maine
Many colleges and universities require a standardized test called the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) for admission into graduate-level programs. Many colleges and universities have moved away from requiring standardized admission tests in recent years. 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 two marriage and family therapy programs in Maine that do not require the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) for admission:
- University of Southern Maine: Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Although USM does not require the GRE for admission, they have other requirements for admission.
The requirements for admission are:
- A completed online application
- Official transcripts sent directly from your undergraduate school
- An essay or personal statement (max of 750 words)
- A current resume
- Three professional letters of recommendation.
- Interview with the faculty
- Husson University: Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Husson only requires the GRE for admission if the student had lower than a 3.0 GPA in their undergraduate studies.
The following items listed below are required for admission to the HU program.
- Evidence of competent undergraduate academic performance (official transcripts).
- Personal Statement
- One letter of recommendation
- Two professional references
- Interview (may be required)
While both of these schools run competitive programs and admission is not easily obtained, they do not require applicants to take the Graduate Record Exam to gain entry into their programs.
What Will You Learn in a Maine MFT Program
The specific courses and topics you will learn will vary depending on your chosen program. However, all Maine MFT programs will prepare you with the knowledge and skills you need to become a licensed MFT.
MFT programs prepare students to become socially proficient marriage and family therapists by integrating the principles of social justice and diversity throughout all courses and clinical work. The MFT programs in Maine are designed to prepare you to begin a career in marriage and family therapy by providing basic didactic and clinical skills, as well as professional development and socialization.
After completing an MFT program in Maine, students are eligible to sit for the licensure examination for MFTs. Once they have passed the test, they can become licensed MFTs.
Some topics and courses you will cover in your studies include:
- Ethical, Legal, and Professional Concerns in Family Therapy
- Foundational theories of Marital and Family Therapy
- Human Development
- Diversity in Family Settings
- Theoretical and Clinical Problems
- Postmodern Approaches to Family Dynamics and Health
- Addictions and Families
In addition to this coursework, students in MFT programs must complete both practicum and internship courses where they begin to work with clients under the supervision of a professor and professional MFT. These hours are necessary for students to gain understanding and practice as a therapist but are also a requirement to sit for the licensing exam.
How To Become a Fully-Licensed MFT in Maine:
Here are the steps on how to become an MFT in Maine:
- Complete a master’s or doctoral degree from a regionally accredited marriage and family therapy program or a related subject with equivalent coursework.
- The program must include a supervised internship.
- Pass the National MFT exam approved by the State of Maine Board of Licensing Professionals.
- Apply for a Conditional License through the State of Maine Board of Licensing Professionals.
- Complete Supervised Work Experience:
- The conditionally licensed marriage and family therapist must work under supervision for at least two years. The conditionally licensed MFT will need to accrue at least 3,000 total hours of work experience; at least 1,000 must be spent providing direct services to couples or families.
- Apply for and Receive the Full License.
- Keep your license current by accruing Continuing Education Credits
- 55 hours of continuing education credit hours must be completed in order to renew a professional MFT license in Maine.
Step 1: Earn a Master’s in MFT from a CACREP or COAMFTE-accredited program or another counseling program.
COAMFTE is the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education and is the highest national accrediting body for MFT programs. CACREP and COAMFTE programs ensure that the curriculum meets their standards and prepares students for work as Marriage and Family Therapists.
If you have completed a Master’s degree in a counseling program that is not accredited by either of these association’s, you will need to provide evidence of the coursework you completed. You will need to provide the State of Maine Board of Licensing Professionals with an official transcript from your university as well as a description of the courses you took and perhaps a syllabus outlining what topics were taught.
Step 2: Pass the National MFT exam.
The AMFTRB exam is the Association of Marital and Family Therapy Regulatory Boards exam. It is a national exam that all LMFTs must pass to be licensed.
The AMFTRB exam is a multiple-choice exam that tests your knowledge of MFT theory, assessment, and intervention. You must score at least 75% on the exam to pass.
Step 3: Apply for a conditional license with the State of Maine Board of Professional Licensure
Once you have passed the National Exam, you must apply for a Conditional License through the Board of Professional Licensure. This conditional license will allow you to begin working as a Marriage and Family Therapist in Maine.
Step 4: Complete Supervised Work Experience
The State of Maine requires that all conditionally licensed Marriage and Family Therapists work under the supervision of a Fully-licensed Marriage and Family Therapist for their first 3,000 hours of work experience.
A conditional license is good for two years and can be renewed up to 2 times while the candidate continues to accrue supervised hours.
Step 5: Apply for and Receive the Full MFT License
After a conditionally licensed MFT has completed their supervised work experience, they must provide evidence of this work experience and submit an application for Full Licensure with the Board of Professional Licensure. The application fee is $200.
Step 6: Renew Your License every 2 years
Fully Licensed MFT’s in Maine must renew their MFT License every 2 years. In addition to renewing their application, MFT’s must complete 55 hours of Continuing Education Credits and provide evidence of this in their application.
Career and Salary Opportunities for LMFTs in Maine
Marriage and family therapy is a growing field, and many career opportunities are available for MFTs in Maine. Here we will discuss some of the different career paths that MFTs can take and the average salary for MFTs in Maine.
Career Opportunities for MFTs
There are many different career paths available for MFTs in Maine. Some of the most common career paths include:
- Private practice: Licensed MFTs can open their private practices and see clients individually, couples, or families.
- Inpatient and outpatient mental health facilities: MFTs can work in inpatient and outpatient mental health facilities, providing therapy to individuals, couples, and families.
- Schools: MFTs can work in schools, providing therapy to students and their families.
- Community mental health centers: MFTs can work in community mental health centers, providing therapy to individuals, couples, and families.
- Government agencies: MFTs can work for government agencies, providing therapy to individuals, couples, and families.
Salary for MFTs in Maine
Salaries for MFTs can vary depending on experience, location, and the setting in which you work.
Here are some factors that can affect your salary as an MFT in Maine:
- Experience: MFTs with more experience typically earn higher salaries.
- Location: MFTs in urban areas typically earn higher salaries than MFTs in rural areas.
- Setting: MFTs who work in private practice typically earn higher salaries than MFTs who work in other settings.
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics does not have data on the median salary of MFTs in Maine. However, we can compare the median salaries in the neighboring states of New Hampshire ($56,630) and Massachusetts ($55,460) to get an approximate idea of the median salary for MFTs in Maine.
Marriage and family therapists can work in various settings, and salaries can vary based on the employer. MFTs 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 Maine, 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 MFT in Maine today!