MFT Programs in New Mexico

Kacy Kaiser

Written by Kacy Kaiser

M.S. in School Counseling | Long Island University

LMFT Candidate | Updated & Fact Checked: 3/4/2024

In the Land of Enchantment, also known as New Mexico, there are many reasons to enjoy living and working in this great state. New Mexico is known for its sunny weather, warm people, and gorgeous landscapes.  The people of New Mexico thrive on culture and understand that relationships between people can bring great happiness or deep sorrow. Marriage and Family Therapists (MFTs) in New Mexico can help their fellow citizens have better health through developing positive relationships. 

MFTs look at a person’s relationships and their dynamics to help them function better.  A person’s interpersonal relationships significantly impact their happiness and mental health. Marriage and family therapy are among the newest and fastest-growing disciplines within mental health counseling. People who work as marriage and family therapists (MFTs) are licensed and certified counselors. They undergo specialized training to work with individuals, couples, and families.  

If you consider embarking on a marriage and family therapist career in New Mexico, we will show you programs you can enroll in to help you achieve this goal.

Online MFT Programs in New Mexico

Online educational programs offer great flexibility, ideal for working students or those with other commitments. However, ensuring the program is flexible enough to meet your individual needs is essential. The program’s cost can vary depending on the institution and the specialization you choose. It is vital to factor in the program’s cost when deciding.

Students can access online programs from the comfort of their home. New Mexico students can enroll in any of the following online programs offered at universities in states outside of the state and still be eligible for licensure in their home state.

Here are a few FULLY online programs that New Mexico residents can take advantage of:

  1. Abilene Christian University: prepares students for the national licensing exam and to work as leaders in Christian vocational service. The program is COAMFTE-accredited. 
  2. University of West Alabama offers a Master of Science in Family Counseling that is 100% online. 
  3. Loma Linda University offers an online Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy (MSMFT) program that utilizes synchronous and asynchronous learning. At the same time, all practicum hours are completed in person local to the student. 
  4. Our Lady of the Lake University: Offers 100% online programs in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, School Counseling, and Clinical Rehabilitative Counseling.

Accredited MFT Programs in New Mexico

New Mexico COAMFTE Accredited MFT Programs

COAMFTE is a national accrediting body for marriage and family therapy programs. The acronym stands for the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education. The programs that COAMFTE accredits meet high-quality standards and are recognized by state and national professional organizations. There are no COAMFTE programs in New Mexico, but some are in nearby Texas.

  1. Abilene Christian University:
    1. Offering both in-person and online models.
  2. Our Lady of the Lake University:
    1. Three locations for in-person MFT programs: Houston, San Antonio, Rio Grande Valley
    2. It also offers an online program in School Counseling, Rehabilitative Counseling, and Clinical Mental Health Counseling.
  3. Texas Tech University: 
    1. Master of Science in Couple, Marriage & Family Therapy
    2. Unique in that it features addictive disorders
  4. Texas Wesleyan University: 
    1. Offers both Masters and Ph.D. level programs
    2. Focus on multiculturalism
  5. Texas Woman’s University:
    1. Master of Science in Marriage & Family Therapy

CACREP Accredited Marriage and Family Therapy Programs in New Mexico

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 New Mexico:

  1. New Mexico Highlands University:
    1. Clinical Mental Health Counseling
    2. Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling
    3. School Counseling
  1. New Mexico State University:
    1. Clinical Mental Health Counseling
  1. University of New Mexico: 
    1. School Counseling
    2. Clinical Mental Health Counseling
  1. University of the Southwest: 
    1. Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Although these programs are not explicitly dedicated to Marriage and Family Therapy, they are similar enough in studies and training that graduates meet the qualifications to sit for the MFT national licensing exam.

No GRE Required MFT Programs in New Mexico

Many colleges and universities require a standardized test called the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) for admission into graduate-level programs. However, several colleges and universities have recently stopped requiring standardized admission tests. You can find many Marriage and Family Therapy programs that do not require the GRE for admission. Some programs require the GRE only under certain circumstances. 

No marriage and family therapy program in New Mexico does not require the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) for admission; however, other counseling programs do not require the GRE:

  1. New Mexico Highlands University:
    1. Clinical Mental Health Counseling
    2. Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling
    3. School Counseling
  2. New Mexico State University:
    1. Clinical Mental Health Counseling
    2. Marriage and Family Therapy
  3. University of New Mexico: 
    1. School Counseling
    2. Clinical Mental Health Counseling
  4. University of the Southwest: 
    1. Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Additional requirements for admission most commonly used are:

  • A completed online application
  • Official transcripts sent directly from your undergraduate school
  • A personal statement or writing sample.
  • Professional letters of recommendation.
  • Professional references.
  • An interview
  • A resume

While many universities run a competitive program and admission is not easily obtained, they do not require applicants to take the Graduate Record Exam to gain entry into their program. These programs evaluate the applicant on their undergraduate course work and grade point average, as well as through letters of recommendation.

What Will You Learn in a New Mexico MFT Program

Marriage and Family Therapy programs have a similar curriculum to other counseling programs like clinical mental health and school counseling. The courses and topics you will learn will vary depending on your chosen program. However, all New Mexico MFT programs will prepare you with the knowledge and skills you need to become a licensed MFT.

A master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy prepares students for a marriage and family therapy career. Students are empowered to conduct effective family therapy with diverse populations based on a systems approach to interactions between individuals, families, and larger systems. They are introduced to the role, process, and implications of research.

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. After completing an MFT program in New Mexico, 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
  • Assessment
  • 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. Students will accumulate these hours by working with clients directly and offering in-direct support.

How To Become a Fully-Licensed MFT in New Mexico:

The New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department has two types of MFT licenses: 

  • Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) 
  • Licensed Associate Marriage and Family Therapist (LAMFT)

New Mexico MFT License Requirements:

  • The candidate graduated from a COAMFTE-accredited or Board-approved program with a master’s or doctoral degree in marriage and family therapy or a related area with equivalent coursework.
  • The program must include at least 300 hours of practicum experience. 
  • Pass the national MFT exam administered by the Association of Marital and Family Therapy Regulatory Boards (AMFTRB).

A temporary license (LAMFT) may be granted to those who have completed the above requirements. 

Marriage and Family Therapist License (LMFT) Requirements:

  • Completion of the requirements for a LAMFT.
  • Completion of 1,000 hours of clinical client contact supervised by an LMFT.

Another path to an LMFT in New Mexico is Licensure by Endorsement: 

  • Must currently hold a marriage and family therapist credential, which is substantially equivalent to the standards for New Mexico licensure. 
  • Must pass an exam that tests knowledge of state law relevant to MFT.

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 and accepted by the New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department.

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. The test is administered via computer and costs around $300. 

Renew Your License every two years.

LMFTs in New Mexico must renew their licenses every two years.  In addition to restoring their application, MFTs must complete 30 hours of Continuing Education Credits and provide evidence of this in their application.

Career and Salary Opportunities for LMFTs in New Mexico

Marriage and family therapy is growing, and many career opportunities for MFTs in New Mexico are available. Here, we will discuss some of the different career paths that MFTs can take and the average salary for MFTs in New Mexico. The flexibility afforded to LMFTs in New Mexico allows them to find the setting they prefer to work in.

Career Opportunities for MFTs

There are many different career paths available for MFTs in New Mexico. The MFT license gives you the flexibility to work in various settings. Some of the most common career paths include:

  • Private practice: Licensed MFTs can open their private practices and see clients individually, as well as couples and families. 
  • Inpatient and outpatient mental health facilities: MFTs can work in inpatient and outpatient mental health facilities, providing therapy to individuals, couples, and families. MFTs support patients in the hospital setting and provide them with resources to transition back into their community.
  • Community mental health centers: MFTs can work in community mental health centers, providing therapy to individuals, couples, and families who cannot afford private therapy care. 
  • Government agencies: MFTs can work for government agencies, providing therapy and case management services.

Salary for MFTs in New Mexico

Salaries for MFTs can vary depending on experience, location, and the setting in which you work. MFTs have the potential to earn higher wages as the demand for Marriage and Family therapy grows.

Here are some factors that can affect your salary as an MFT in New Mexico:

  • Experience: MFTs with more experience typically earn higher wages.
  • Location: MFTs in urban areas typically earn higher salaries than MFTs in rural areas.
  • Setting: MFTs in private practice usually earn higher salaries than MFTs who work in other settings.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics collects data on the median salaries of MFTs by state. In New Mexico, the average salary of MFTs is $59,850.  We can also compare the median salaries in the neighboring states of Texas ($66,280) and Arizona ($53,000) to get an approximate idea of the median salary of MFTs in the area. 

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 New Mexico, 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 New Mexico today!

MFT Programs in Other States