Terms and Definitions
"Board" means the North Carolina Marriage and Family Therapy Licensure Board.
"Clinical experience" means face to face therapy between a therapist and a client, whether individuals, couples, families, or groups, conducted from a larger systems perspective that relates to client treatment plans, is goal directed, and assists the client in affecting change in cognition and behavior and effect.
- This Marriage and Family Therapy Licensure Act does not prevent members of the clergy or licensed, certified, or registered members of professional groups recognized by the Board from advertising or performing services consistent with their own profession. Members of the clergy include, but are not limited to, persons who are ordained, consecrated, commissioned, or endorsed by a recognized denomination, church, faith group, or synagogue. Professional groups the Board shall recognize include, but are not limited to, licensed or certified social workers, licensed professional counselors, fee based pastoral counselors, licensed practicing psychologists, psychological associates, physicians, and attorneys at law. However, in no event may a person use the title “Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist” or “Licensed Marriage and Family Therapy Associate,” use the letters “LMFT” or “LMFTA,” or in any way imply that the person is a licensed marriage and family therapist or a licensed marriage and family therapy associate unless the person is licensed as such under this Article.
- A person is exempt from the requirements of being licensed in order to practice MFT if any of the following conditions are met:
- The person is
- enrolled in a master’s level program or higher in a recognized educational institution,
- under supervision as approved by the Board in a training institution approved by the Board, and
- designated by a title such as “marriage and family therapy intern.”
- The person is practicing marriage and family therapy as an employee of a recognized educational institution, or a governmental institution or agency and the practice is included in the duties for which the person was employed by the institution or agency.
- The person is practicing marriage and family therapy as an employee of a hospital licensed under Article 5 of Chapter 131E or Article 2 of Chapter 122C of the NC General Statutes. Provided, however, no such person shall hold himself out as a licensed marriage and family therapist.
"Larger systems" means any individual or group that is a part of the client's environment and that potentially impacts the client's functioning or well being and potentially can assist in the development and implementation of a treatment plan.
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT)
"Licensed marriage and family therapist" means a person to whom a license has been issued pursuant to the Marriage and Family Therapy Licensure Act, if the license is in force and not suspended or revoked.
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapy Associate (LMFTA)
“Licensed marriage and family therapy associate” means an individual to whom a license has been issued pursuant to Marriage and Family Therapy Licensure Act whose license is in force and not suspended or revoked and whose license permits the individual to engage in the practice of marriage and family therapy under the supervision of an American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) approved supervisor in accordance with rules adopted by the Board.
Marriage and Family Therapy
"Marriage and family therapy" is the clinical practice, within the context of individual, couple, and marriage and family systems, of the diagnosis and treatment of psychosocial aspects of mental and emotional disorders. Marriage and family therapy involves the professional application of psychotherapeutic and family systems theories and techniques in the delivery of services to families, couples, and individuals for the purpose of treating these diagnosed mental and emotional disorders. Marriage and family therapy includes referrals to and collaboration with health care and other professionals when appropriate.
Practice of Marriage and Family Therapy
“Practice of Marriage and Family Therapy” means the rendering of professional marriage and family therapy services to individuals, couples, or families, singly or in groups, whether the services are offered directly to the general public or through organizations, either public or private, for a fee, monetary or otherwise.
Except as specifically provided elsewhere in this Article, it is unlawful for a person not licensed as a marriage and family therapist or as a licensed marriage and family therapy associate under the Marriage and Family Therapy Licensure Act to practice marriage or family therapy or hold himself or herself out to the public as a person practicing marriage and family therapy.
Recognized Educational Institution
“Recognized educational institution” means any university, college, professional school, or other institution of higher learning that:
- In the United States, is regionally accredited by bodies approved by the Commission on Recognition of Postsecondary Accreditation or its successor.
- In Canada, holds a membership in the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada.
- In another country, is accredited by the comparable official organization having this authority and is recognized by the Board.
“Related degree” means:
- Master’s or doctoral degree in clinical social work;
- Master’s or doctoral degree in psychiatric nursing;
- Master’s or doctoral degree in counseling or clinical or counseling psychology;
- Doctor of medicine or doctor of osteopathy degree with an appropriate residency training in psychiatry; or
- Master’s or doctoral degree in any mental health field the course of study of which is equivalent to the master’s degree in marriage and family therapy.