It may appear from the outside to be a big step in deciding to pursue a career as a licensed marriage and family counselor. However, that does not take into consideration the journey it took to get to the point of making the decision. But now what? The choice has been made, but what university couples and family therapy programs are available? What should it look like? What does it take to get licensed as an MFT? All of these questions are explored in this article, starting with education. Those hoping to work and study in New England might give New Hampshire schools a closer look. Here are the MFT programs in New Hampshire as well as MFT licensure requirements in New Hampshire.
Accredited MFT Programs in New Hampshire
Those hoping to get licensed as a marriage and family counselor in New Hampshire should make sure the MFT program they attend is accredited. This means the program has been examined by a recognized accrediting agency and passed its minimum training standard requirements. The Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) is one of the most common and well-recognized accrediting agencies for mental health counseling master’s and Ph.D. programs. An MFT program that is CACREP-accredited will qualify candidates to pursue either a licensed professional counselor (LPC) or a marriage and family counselor. However, not all CACREP-accredited programs are MFT programs. The Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE), on the other hand, specifically accredits couples and family therapy programs. While a COAMFTE-accredited program may not necessarily qualify you to become an LPC, it is increasingly becoming the gold standard for various states in terms of education requirements for licensure.
COAMFTE Accredited New Hampshire MFT ProgramsNew Hampshire does not have any CACREP-accredited MFT programs, but it has three COAMFTE-accredited programs. COAMFTE is overseen by the American Association for Marital and Family Therapy (AAMFT). COAMFTE has been accrediting programs since 1974. Let’s take a look at the programs offered in New Hampshire.
|Name||City||State||Degree Level||Modality||Accreditation||GRE Required?||Full Program Name||URL|
|PLYMOUTH STATE UNIVERSITY||Plymouth,||NH||Masters||Campus||COAMFTE||N/A||MARRIAGE & FAMILY THERAPY||Learn More|
|Antioch University New England (MA)||Keene||NH||Masters||Campus||COAMFTE||No||M.A. in Marriage & Family Therapy||Learn More|
|University of New Hampshire (MS)||Durham||NH||Masters||Campus||COAMFTE||No||M.S. in Marriage & Family Therapy||Learn More|
|Antioch University New England (PhD)||Keene||NH||Doctoral||Campus||COAMFTE||No||PhD in Couple & Family Therapy||Learn More|
Antioch University New England:
MA in Couple and Family Therapy
The 61-credit program in Keene takes just under three years to complete and is delivered in a hybrid online format. The program is classified as a “low-residency hybrid” program, which means students do their classroom learning online but have in-person residencies, which are short, face-to-face gatherings at various times throughout the program for students to network, be mentored, and practice therapy techniques. The residencies take place five times throughout the program at any of Antioch’s campuses nationwide. Students can complete the internship (clinical experience) at either a clinic near their home or at the Keene campus’s Antioch University Couple and Family Therapy Institute.
Antioch University New England:
Ph.D. in Couple and Family Therapy
The Ph.D. in Couple and Family Therapy in Keene mixes a focus on clinical practice with a heavy emphasis on research. The Ph.D. is similar to the MA in that it is a low-residency hybrid program, taking place online with three residencies per year in the three-year program. The first two years are focused on coursework and hands-on clinical practice and the last year is devoted to the development and creation of a dissertation. The program takes 86 to 89 credits to complete.
University of New Hampshire:
MS in Human Development and Family Studies
University of New Hampshire’s on-campus MS in Human Development and Family Studies is located in Durham, and students can choose to take the Marriage and Family Therapy option within the program. Students learn the technique and foundational concepts necessary to work with families and couples from a systemic lens, viewing the family unit within the context of its various systems. As well as traditional classroom learning, students gain critical experience in clinical practice in supervised clinical practicums in UNH’s Marriage and Family Therapy Center. Students will also be able to pursue internships (or externships, as the school calls them) at local clinics.
No-GRE MFT programs in New Hampshire
While many schools in the U.S. have traditionally required applicants to submit passing GRE scores to be considered for enrollment, the Covid19 pandemic prompted some schools to waive the requirement or do away with it altogether. Originally, the GRE was required as a means to assess candidate readiness for continued education. However, various factors have worked together to decrease the perceived need for the test and many schools are instead focusing on other application materials, like letters of recommendation and essays.
What will you learn in a New Hampshire MFT program?
New Hampshire’s MFT programs will follow a similar pattern as MFT programs in other states. The program will last at least two years and have a mix of classroom learning and practical application in a clinical setting. Students earn credits in courses related to marriage and family therapy techniques and theory; human development; professional studies; diagnosis; research; human sexuality; family life cycle; family or marital sociology; multicultural families; interpersonal relationships; treatment and intervention; law; ethics; and behavior pathology, among others.
Generally, the first year and perhaps the second year as well are focused on classroom learning. The second half of the program is generally committed to hands-on experience in the supervised practicum or internship, which should last at least a full year. Students must earn at least 300 hours of work with clients in order to graduate. This will also satisfy the requirements of the New Hampshire group responsible for licensing, the New Hampshire Board of Mental Health Practice.
How to become an LMFT in New Hampshire
In order for the Board to consider a candidate for licensure, the candidate must have earned a degree from an MFT program accredited by either COAMFTE or a regional accrediting agency. After the candidate has earned their degree, the next step is to complete the supervised post-graduate residency in training period.
In the residency, the candidate will work as an employee at a clinic under the supervision of a Board-approved supervisor for at least two years. During those two years, the candidate must earn a minimum of 1,500 hours per year totaling 3,000 hours. 1,000 of those hours must be in direct work with clients, as opposed to making treatment plans, taking notes, or attending seminars, which also count toward candidate hours. The candidate should also make sure to gain 200 hours of face-to-face supervision during that time. While the supervisor does not need to work at the same location where the candidate is working and gaining clinical experience, the supervisor and supervisee will still need to create a supervision plan, including goals and a description of the workplace. This plan is then sent to the Board for approval.
After filing the supervision plan, the candidate may submit a request to take the national MFT exam developed by the American Association of Marriage and Family Regulatory Boards (AAMFRB). After receiving approval, the candidate will receive info on how to register with the Professional Examination Service (PES). The exam costs $220 to register and an additional $75 fee to Prometric, the exam administrator.
After passing the test and finishing the supervised residency, the candidate is ready to send in an application for licensure as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. The application includes essay questions and will require documentation proving the completion of supervision, passing scores on the exam, and transcripts. The application should be submitted with a $150 fee. After being approved, the candidate may need to pay an additional $135 fee.
What does an LMFT in New Hampshire do?
Licensed couple and family therapists (CFTs) in New Hampshire are experts in relationships. They help their clients overcome relational challenges and may work with couples, families, individuals, or children to work through various difficulties. Some topics therapists might encounter include divorce, pre-marital counseling, relationship difficulty, communication problems, elder or child abuse, family dysfunction, mental illness assessment and diagnosis, trauma, and grief, among many others. LMFTs may also act as connectors and advocates for their clients, working collaboratively with other professionals in different fields to deliver holistic treatment for client wellness. Alternatively, counselors may need to help clients break down barriers as a result of systemic biases that hinder client well-being. LMFTs are important members of their communities, helping their clients on their journeys toward better lives.
New Hampshire LMFT Career and Salary Opportunities
The field of marriage and family therapy is projected to grow by 16% nationwide by 2030, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is a major jump, and it can be attributed to a number of factors. The rise of social media has certainly influenced awareness toward mental health over the years, but the mental health industry saw a huge rise in demand during the Covid19 pandemic. Isolation and being forced into close quarters with family members caused many to face challenges within themselves and their families that they might not otherwise have had to face, thus creating demand. Furthermore, improvements to technology have made telehealth counseling more accessible, and Covid19 working from home normalized the use of video calling. All of these factors worked together to create this rise. In 2021, the number of licensed, practicing MFTs was 54,800, and the average salary was $59,660, and these numbers will likely grow. New Hampshire specifically had an average yearly salary of $50,370 in 2021.
New Hampshire MFT Resources
Here is a list with links to all of the New Hampshire CFT programs listed in this article. Every state has different requirements for licensure, so those interested in these programs should make sure the program’s academic training meets all the requirements in the state in which they hope to pursue licensure.
Antioch University New England: MA in Couple and Family Therapy
Antioch University New England: Ph.D. in Couple and Family Therapy
University of New Hampshire: MS in Human Development and Family Studies