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Family Counselors (AAMFC), the number of schools for training in family therapy grew and licensure/certification bills passed in more state legislatures.

Fundamental Approach to Treating Mental Health Problems The marriage and family therapist takes a systematic, holistic approach regarding environments and relationships that affect the emotional well being of the patient. The profession sees itself as offering a broader perspective than the other professionals, although among the other mental health professions, it is perhaps most like Licensed Clinical Counseling in its approach to mental heath issues. Credentialing

In 1978, AAMFC changed its name to the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapists (AAMFT) (Levison, 1995). Initially, AAMFT set the credentialing/licensing standards to ensure the public’s needs were met by trained practitioners. In 1979, the Department of Education formally recognized the commission of Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education. This meant graduate schools were now accredited and Marriage and Family Therapists officially became a unique profession, now formally separate from social work, psychology, and/or psychiatry.

In the 1990’s, AAMFT deferred the licensure/credentialing process to the individual states. However, most states used the AAMFT rules as their credentialing model. The licensure criteria for marriage and family therapists tend to be more uniform than the other mental health professions. Typically, there is one level of marriage and family therapy licensure per state, and since most of the 44 states modeled their licensing criteria upon the original AAMFT rules, there’s more credentialing uniformity in this profession than among some others. Typically, most states require a Master’s degree and 3 years supervised experience prior to licensure. Number and Distribution of Professionals

According to AAMFT, there are now 93 nationwide accredited marriage and family therapy training programs (Master’s and Doctoral level), 44 states license marriage and family therapists, and there are now 47,111 nationwide clinical Marriage and Family Therapists, of whom 45,176 are licensed. Current Issues Perception of the profession

According to a spokesperson for the AAMFT, a major obstacle to expanding the profession is a misperception among policy makers and the public, regarding the title. Many perceive these professionals to be exclusively marriage counselors. Perhaps due to this


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