When you think of Nevada, you might think of casinos, nightlife, and spectacular deserts. If this vibe suits you and you’re hoping to pursue a marriage and family therapy license, you have a few options for studying in an accredited MFT program in Nevada. Take a look at what it takes to become an LMFT in Nevada and what graduate school programs can help students reach this goal.
Master’s in MFT Programs Offered Online
Accredited MFT Programs in Nevada
If a program says that it is accredited, it means the program’s curriculum has been examined by an accrediting agency and found to meet the standards set by the agency. One of the most well-respected accrediting agencies for clinical mental health programs is the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). There is one CACREP-accredited MFT program in Nevada.
University of Nevada, Reno:
The MFT program at University of Nevada in Reno is a concentration of the school’s Master of Arts in Counseling program. Students in the MFT track learn the foundations of family system theory and assessment; study contextual factors like trauma, intergenerational issues, and culture; and put what they learn into practice as interns in the Downing Counseling Clinic located within the College of Education, which serves the community around the college. The program takes 67 credit hours to complete and takes around three years to complete if done full-time.
COAMFTE Accredited Nevada MFT Programs
An accrediting agency that specifically examines marriage and family therapy programs is the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy (COAMFTE). Either a COAMFTE or CACREP-accredited program will satisfy the prerequisites to become an MFT, but the COAMFTE-accredited MFT programs are specifically meant to ensure the satisfaction of requirements for becoming a marriage and family counselor. Nevada has one COAMFTE-accredited program.
University of Nevada, Las Vegas:
If you’re considering taking this Las Vegas university’s MFT program, you can choose to take part in the program on the thesis track or the non-thesis track. Both require 60 credit hours to complete the program. For the thesis track, you will take a 6-credit thesis course for research and guidance. For the non-thesis track, you will instead take the 6-credit capstone course, which is a project you complete in place of a thesis. Both programs require students to complete a practicum wherein students work in clinics within the community to gain practical experience in counseling.
No GRE Required MFT Programs in Nevada
The GRE standardized test is a hurdle for many students hoping to be accepted into graduate school and Ph.D. programs. Partly due to the Covid19 pandemic, many universities have chosen to make GRE scores optional for entrance applications. For students hoping to avoid the preparation and stress of the GRE, here are some Nevada programs that do not require GRE scores:
What will you learn in a Nevada MFT program?
Most marriage and family therapy programs in Nevada take two to three years to complete if you choose to enter on a full-time basis. In Nevada, to qualify for MFT licensure, you must complete an accredited MFT program or related field with at least 45 semester hours of coursework.
Three to five courses should be in marriage and family therapy, and two to four courses will be in human development and marital and family studies. You can also expect to take courses in alcohol and substance abuse, diagnosis and assessment, professional studies and ethics, and research. Finally, Nevada MFT programs will have three courses that give students supervised field experience, and the practicum must last for at least a year.
Some accredited programs will also require in-person or online residencies during the program. These residencies are your first chance to practice your techniques in a safe environment. Generally, students in the program gather with staff and guest speakers to learn and practice together. While not all programs require these residencies, be sure to check on the requirements for your school of choice.
How to Become an LMFT in Nevada
In Nevada, to become an LMFT, you must complete a COAMFTE or CACREP-accredited graduate program or equivalent. Students in Nevada have to complete 45 semester hours of coursework.
Before you apply for licensure, you will need to get two criminal background checks, one from the Nevada Department of Public Safety and one from the Federal Bureau of Investigations. The Nevada Board of Examiners for Marriage and Family Therapists (the state’s accrediting body), recommends getting fingerprinting done at the time of the application.
After graduating from your MFT program, you will need to gain clinical hours as a resident in training at a clinic with an approved MFT supervisor. In Nevada, the residence in training period is called an internship, and interns must complete a minimum of two years of internships with at least 3,000 hours of clinical experience. 1,500 hours must be in direct client contact, and 300 hours should be in supervisory sessions. The remaining hours can be obtained through activities like group facilitation (a maximum of 300 hours), teaching and family workshops (maximum of 200 hours), and training (maximum of 50 hours). Interns will have a primary supervisor approved by the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy and a secondary supervisor approved by the Nevada Board.
The next step is taking the National Marriage and Family Therapy Exam. You should turn in your application to the Board one to two months before the time you want to take the test. You should receive your test scores five weeks after you completed it. If you pass, you will be scheduled for an oral exam.
For the application for licensure itself, you will need three professional references which will be sent directly to the board. There is a $75 application fee.
Online MFT Program’s That Can Lead to Licensure
What does an LMFT in Nevada do?
In Nevada, an LMFT works with families, couples, and individual clients to work through a variety of issues from a family systems perspective. While a licensed mental health counselor uses similar techniques to deal with the same issues, an LMFT works to heal and grow relationships through interpersonal and intrapersonal methods. LMFTs in Nevada also act as a connector between their clients and other services in the area to create a holistic method of working toward clients’ well-being.
Nevada LMFT Career and Salary Opportunities
The U.S. population has experienced an increase in awareness of mental health, and the demand for mental health services has also grown. As a result, the marriage and family therapy field is expected to grow 16 percent from now to 2030 nationwide, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Students graduating from MFT programs will have no shortage of jobs and internships. In Nevada specifically, the state employs 310 LMFTs, as of 2021. As far as yearly salaries go, the national average for licensed marriage and family counselors was $59,660 as of May 2021. The Nevada average yearly salary for that same year was higher at $66,600.
All Nevada Marriage and Family Therapy Programs
The following list is inclusive of all MFT programs in the state of Nevada. While Nevada only has a handful of MFT programs, there are a number of MFT programs in California, and in addition a number of online offerings.
Nevada MFT Resources
Students exploring their options will be only just beginning their journeys toward licensure. Here are a few links to relevant resources mentioned throughout this article.
University of Nevada, Reno: M.A. in Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling
University of Nevada, Las Vegas: M.S. in Marriage and Family Therapy