Marriage and Family Therapists are licensed by their state boards to diagnose and treat mental and emotional disorders within family systems. Each state identifies requirements and fees necessary for state licensure; all states require successful completion of the Marital and Family Therapy (MFT) National Examination.
The MFT National examination is used to determine if a candidate has attained the essential skills and knowledge necessary for entry-level professional practice. The exam is also used to standardize the evaluation process across the United States.
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Approval for examination
Successful completion of the MFT National Examination is one step in the certification process, and it is required in all 50 states and U.S. Territories. Each state has different eligibility and requirements. Before you can register for the exam, you need to apply to your local licensing board. Once you are approved to sit for the examination, you will receive an approval letter containing an approval code. Licensing fees may be required by your state and are not inclusive of the examination fee.
Registration, cost, and location
You will register for the MFT National Exam online at Professional Testing Corporation’s (PTC) website. The link and approval code are provided in your approval letter. The MFT National Exam is offered once a month, with the application deadline a month before your desired examination date. The exam fee is $365.00 payable by credit card, and your registration is processed 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The registration fee is non-refundable.
Before your testing period, an email is sent to you with your candidate ID and a scheduling authorization. Once this is received, you can register for your test date on the PSI website. Follow the directions provided on your scheduling authorization to set your testing appointment. PSI Test Centers are located nationwide with exams offered Monday through Friday, and some centers have Saturday appointments available.
There are 180 multiple-choice, computer-delivered questions covering knowledge from the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM–5) assessing your knowledge essential to your professional practice in marital and family therapy. Each question has four possible answers with only one correct response, and you have four hours to complete the exam.
The Marital and Family Therapy National Examination contains six content (domain) areas:
- The practice of systemic therapy – 24%
This domain assesses your knowledge of systemic theory and perspectives and incorporating them into your professional practice activities and therapeutic relationships.
- Assessing, hypothesizing, and diagnosing – 15.5%
Tasks include the dimensions of the client system, forming and reformulating hypotheses, diagnosing the client system, and guiding therapeutic activities.
- Designing and conducting treatment – 24.5%
Questions from this domain evaluate your knowledge of developing and implementing interventions with the client system.
- Evaluating ongoing process and terminating treatment – 12%
Tasks include continuously evaluating therapeutic processes and incorporating feedback into treatment and planning for termination.
- Managing crisis situations – 10%
Your knowledge and skills in assessing and managing emergency situations, and your ability to intervene when clinically indicated or legally mandated are evaluated.
- Maintaining ethical, legal, and professional standards – 14%
Your understanding of the legal and ethical codes of your profession is examined.
On the day of your exam, leave your belongings at home or in your car, and report to the test center administrator at least 15 minutes before your appointment time. Present your identification and the printed copy of your eligibility notice for verification, and follow the directions of the test center personnel. Two sheets of paper and a pencil are provided.
During your exam, you can move forward and backward between prompts, and mark questions to review. When your time is expired, submit your test for scoring, return the scratch paper and pencil to the test proctor, and exit the facility. You do not receive a score report at the testing center.
Your total score is the number of correct responses you provide. You are not penalized for incorrect answers, so it is beneficial to answer every question, even if you have to guess. The passing score is determined by a standard based on the version of the test you take. Because there are many variations of the exam with differing difficulty levels, there is no standardized passing score. Aim to score as high as possible to ensure you receive a passing score. Results are pass or fail. You may take the exam three times in a one-year period.
Twenty days after your testing window closes, PTC reports your scores to your state board and sends you an email with a secure link to retrieve your score. Your secure link is valid for 30 days; after 30 days you have to contact PTC to obtain a new link. Scores requested after six months incur a $25.00 duplicate score report fee.
The Marital and Family Therapy National Examination is an essential step in obtaining your MTF license. All states require the exam as a part of their licensing requirements, and without it, your career is on hold. Don’t take a chance with your future, use Mometrix Test Preparation’s study guide and flashcards to guide your study. With a 100% money-back guarantee, you risk nothing but a retake.