What is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT)?


Marriage and Family Therapists (MFTs) are psychotherapists licensed by the state of California to treat individuals involved in interpersonal relationships. They are trained professionals who assess, diagnose and treat individuals, couples, families and groups to support more adequate, satisfying and productive marriage, family and social adjustment. The practice also includes premarital counseling, child counseling, divorce or separation counseling and other relationship counseling. A MFT may use applied psychotherapeutic techniques to enable individuals to mature and grow within marriage, the family, and other relationships. A MFT may examine or interpret psychosexual and psychosocial aspects of relationships. MFTs practice early crisis intervention and brief, focused psychotherapy to resolve problems or reduce symptoms quickly. They also have the expertise and skills to work with individuals who require more intensive, long-term treatment. 

In the state of California, a LMFT must have (1) a graduate degree in the field of psychology/counseling, (2) completed 3,000 direct service hours as a post-graduate Intern under the supervision of a licensed mental health professional, and (3) completed two state board exams to become licensed.   

For more information, please visit the Board of Behavioral Sciences website and the CounselingCalifornia website