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 Rhode Island, we will lay out programs to help you achieve this goal.
Online MFT Programs in Rhode Island
While no fully online program for Marriage and Family Therapy is offered by a Rhode Island College or University, some programs offer a hybrid of online and in-person classes. Additionally, colleges outside of Rhode Island offer fully online national programs. You can live in Rhode Island 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.
Here are a few online programs that Rhode Island 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) and offers a variety of specializations, including couples therapy, family therapy, and child therapy.
- Pepperdine University: offers an online Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy (MA in MFT) 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.
- Northcentral University: offers an online Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy (MA in MFT) 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.
Accredited MFT Programs in Rhode Island
Rhode Island 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.
Only one program in the State of Rhode Island is COAMFTE accredited. It is a Master of Science in Human Development and Family Science with a Specialization in Couples and Family Therapy at the University of Rhode Island in Kingston, RI.
Here are some important facts about the URI program:
- Graduates will be prepared to sit for the licensing exam.
- Students earn their practicum training hours at the University’s Couple and Family Therapy Clinic.
- Utilizes a training program based on Outcome Management (OM) protocol where patients are surveyed about their experience in therapy.
The University of Rhode Island’s program has the following admissions requirements:
- Strong undergraduate performance. Candidates have a 3.3 GPA or higher.
- Personal Statement: Your statement should describe your interest in CFT and outline your professional goals.
- Two or more letters of recommendation: References should speak to your academic performance or, when applicable, attest to observed experience related to the helping professions and your emotional stability and maturity.
- Undergraduate or graduate courses in the following areas:
- Human Development or Developmental Psychology
- Family Relationships
- Counseling Skills
- Interview: Applicants who have been selected as candidates for admission must be interviewed by the CFT faculty.
- Resume: Submit a current resume with your application.
The Master of Science in Human Development with a Specialization in Couple and Family Therapy at the University of Rhode Island is a reputable program that has been accredited since 1985. Graduates are well prepared to pass the licensure exam and have fulfilling careers as Marriage and Family Therapists.
CACREP Accredited Marriage and Family Therapy Programs in Rhode Island
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 Rhode Island:
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 Rhode Island licensing exam.
No GRE Required MFT Programs in Rhode Island
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 to enter bachelor’s degree 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 Rhode Island that do not require the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) for admission:
- Salve Regina University: Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Although Salve Regina does not require the GRE for admission, they have another strict requirement for their competitive program.
The requirements for admission are:
- A completed online application
- Official transcripts sent directly from your undergraduate school
- A personal statement
- A current resume
- Two professional letters of recommendation.
- University of Rhode Island: Master of Science in HDF – Couple and Family Therapy.
The following items listed below are required for admission to the URI program.
- Evidence of competent undergraduate academic performance (official transcripts).
- Personal Statement
- Two or more letters of recommendation
- Previous coursework in Human Development, Family Relationships & Counseling skills
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 Rhode Island MFT Program
The specific courses and topics you will learn will vary depending on your chosen program. However, all Rhode Island MFT programs will prepare you with the knowledge and skills you need to become a licensed MFT.
After completing an MFT program in Rhode Island, students are eligible to sit for the licensure examination for MFTs. Once they have passed the test, they can become licensed MFTs and practice MFT in Rhode Island. If you are interested in a career in MFT, I recommend that you research MFT programs in Rhode Island and contact the programs to learn more about their curriculum, requirements, and costs.
Some topics and courses you will cover in your studies include:
- Ethical, Legal, and Professional Concerns in Family Therapy
- Marital and Family Therapy
- Diversity in Family Settings
- Theoretical and Clinical Problems
- Family Dynamics and Health
- Research in Family Science
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 an LMFT in Rhode Island:
Here are the steps on how to become an LMFT in Rhode Island:
- Complete a master’s or doctoral degree from a regionally accredited marriage and family therapy program or a related subject with equivalent coursework.
- Must include a minimum of 12 semester credit hours of supervised practicum.
- Must include one year of a supervised internship consisting of 20 hours a week.
- Pass the AAMFT exam approved by the Board.
- Completion of two years of post-degree work experience as an MFT.
- A minimum of 2,000 hours of direct client contact.
- A minimum of 100 hours of direct supervision spread over the two years.
Step 1: Earn a Master’s in MFT from a CACREP or COAMFTE-accredited program.
To be eligible to sit for the AMTRB exam, you must have a Master’s degree in MFT or a related field from an accredited 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.
Step 2: Pass the AMTRB exam.
The AMTRB 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 AMTRB 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 licensure with the State of Rhode Island Department of Health
Once you have met all the requirements, you can apply for licensure with the State of Rhode Island Department of Health. The Board will review your application and determine your eligibility for licensure.
You will be issued an LMFT license if you are approved for licensure. You will then be able to practice MFT in Rhode Island. You must renew your license every two years and meet the continuing education requirement.
Career and Salary Opportunities for LMFTs in Rhode Island
Marriage and family therapy (MFT) is a growing field, and many career opportunities are available for LMFTs in Rhode Island. Here we will discuss some of the different career paths that LMFTs can take and the average salary for LMFTs in Rhode Island.
Career Opportunities for LMFTs
There are many different career paths available for LMFTs in Rhode Island. Some of the most common career paths include:
- Private practice: LMFTs can open their private practices and see clients individually, couples, or families.
- Inpatient and outpatient mental health facilities: LMFTs can work in inpatient and outpatient mental health facilities, providing therapy to individuals, couples, and families.
- Schools: LMFTs can work in schools, providing therapy to students and their families.
- Community mental health centers: LMFTs can work in community mental health centers, providing therapy to individuals, couples, and families.
- Government agencies: LMFTs can work for government agencies, providing therapy to individuals, couples, and families.
Salary for LMFTs in Rhode Island
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 LMFT in Rhode Island:
- Experience: LMFTs with more experience typically earn higher salaries.
- Location: LMFTs in urban areas typically earn higher salaries than LMFTs in rural areas.
- Setting: LMFTs who work in private practice typically earn higher salaries than LMFTs who work in other settings.
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics does not have data on the median salary of LMFTs in Rhode Island. However, we can compare the median salaries in the neighboring states of Connecticut ($68,010) and Massachusetts ($55,460) to get an approximate idea of the median salary for LMFTs in Rhode Island.
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 Rhode Island, 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 Rhode Island today!