How Do I Get a MFT Training License?
Although the training licensing application process can initially feel a bit overwhelming, there are only a few necessary steps you'll need to complete.
MFT master’s students who are currently enrolled in a COAMFTE (the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education) accredited MFT program can apply for a MFT training license before they graduate. This is good news. Previously, most MFT students waited to apply until after they graduated. Obtaining your MFT training license before you graduate can help you on the job market and also prevent any interruptions to your clinical practice if you continue working at your internship placement following graduation.
Where to find the forms online?
All of the MFT training license applications and materials can be found on the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS) website. If you are viewing this article digitally, just click on the links to take you directly to the forms. If you are looking at a hard copy of this newsletter, here’s the MFT landing page on the DSPS website with all the applications: http://dsps.wi.gov/Default.aspx?Page=65215184-4b03-45e7-af23-004e0d74c900
To get started, download Form 2237: Information for Marriage and Family Therapist License Application. This document provides an overview of what forms you need to complete for the training license. It also lays out what you will need to complete in the future to apply for your MFT license.
The 3 required application forms
Here are the links and some helpful information on the 3 forms required to apply for the MFT training license.
1) Form 1973: Marriage and Family Therapist Licensing Application
This is the main form you need to fill out for your training license, and it requires notarization on the last page. Your bank will usually notarize a document for you for free. In the “Professional Education” section on page 1, only list the degrees (high school, undergraduate, or other graduate degrees) that you have already completed. Also on page 1 under “Application Fees,” check the first line next to “Training License.” The fee for the training license is $75. The Wisconsin State and Rule Exam and the AMFTRB exam are not required for the training license, but you can elect to pay these exam fees on your training license application if you plan to take these exams in the next year.
At the top of page 2, there is a section titled “Application To Be Reviewed According to the Following Criteria” that asks you to check one of the five boxes. Although none of the five boxes exactly describe a current MFT student applying for a training license, the fifth box (bottom box in the section) is the best choice. Check this bottom box that states: “I hold a graduate degree in a mental health field approved by the marriage and family therapist section and I am enrolled or will be enrolled in a master’s or doctoral degree program in marriage and family therapy accredited by the commission on accreditation for marriage and family therapy education or by the marriage and family therapist section.”.”
Also, be sure to include your email address on the last page of the form so that you can check your application status online.
There are also 17 “Yes or No” questions that inquire about any past ethical or legal issues as well as any “medical conditions” that could impair clinical practice. Some MFT master’s students have criminal backgrounds and have still been approved for their training licenses. The examining board will be looking for a solid demonstration that you have settled the matter and grown from the experience. Usually, a professionally written letter providing specific details helps. If you have a felony or misdemeanor conviction, also fill out Form 2252: Convictions and Pending Charges. This form also requires notarization.
2) Form 2571: Marriage and Family Therapist Supervised Practice Experience Form
This form is specifically for the training license application and is titled: “Employment Form For Supervised Marriage And Family Therapy Practice.” On this form, the term “employment” does not mean that you have to be a paid employee. You can also be a volunteer or a non-paid intern. If you are a master’s student, your clinical supervisor at your internship placement would be your point person for this form. Although a supervisor’s signature is not required, it is important that you ask permission to use her/his name on this form. Your supervisor is legally and ethically responsible for you during your internship placement. Your supervisor can provide you with her/his credentials and qualifications to complete this form.
If and when you have another clinical supervisor after graduation, you do not need to send in this form again with your new supervisor’s information.
3) Form 1972: Marriage and Family Therapists Certificate of Professional Education Form
This is the education form that you will need a Dean or Department Head from your MFT master’s program to complete and mail directly to the examining board for you. Just fill out the “Applicant” section with your name and address. Providing your social security number is voluntary. Leave the “Date of Diploma” field blank if you are still enrolled in your master’s program. Your school contact will fill out the bottom portion of this form, sign and date the form, apply the school seal, and mail it directly to DSPS. You can supply your school with an addressed, stamped envelope to ensure the form is mailed to the right place.
A marriage and family therapist training license is valid for 48 months. The training license may be renewed at the discretion of the MFT section of the Wisconsin Joint Examining Board.
If you have questions, you can also email the current DSPS Division of Professional Credentialing representative, at email@example.com
Good luck with your application. May you help many people during your successful MFT career.