Facts about Marriage and Family Therapists (MFTs) in Minnesota
There are currently 1100 Licensees of the Minnesota Board of Marriage and Family Therapy (BMFT). The
BMFT regulates the practice of MFT in the state of MN.
There are currently 916 members of The Minnesota Association of Marriage and Family Therapy (MAMFT).
There is a MFT in every Minnesota Senate District.
In the state of Minnesota MFTs are included as mental health professionals in the Minnesota Mental Health Act
and are also included as a profession in the Professional Firms Act.
There are eight regionally and nationally accredited marriage and family therapy graduate programs.
MFTs in Minnesota are employed in hospitals, residential treatment centers, dual diagnosis programs, day
treatment programs, rehabilitative services programs, in-home agencies, social services organizations, HMO’s,
in private practice, children’s mental health programs, adult mental health programs, substance abuse centers,
school settings, and by the state of Minnesota.
Members of the Minnesota Association of Marriage and Family Therapists are also involved in the Mental
Health Legislative Network.
Members of the Leadership of the Minnesota Association of Marriage and Family Therapists are participating
in a collaborative process along with representatives of the other mental health professions, consumer groups,
and the Department of Human Services to discuss educational standards for mental health professionals and the
deliver of services.
MFT’s would like to provide their perspectives on mental health by having a designated permanent
representative on the State Mental Health Advisory Board.
MFTs in the United States
Marriage and Family Therapy is one of the fastest growing mental health disciplines. It is recognized by the
National Institutes of Mental Health (NIMH) as one of the five core mental health disciplines (along with
psychiatry, psychology, social work and counseling.) As of 2006, 48 states license MFTs, and for those states
without licensure, Clinical Membership in the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy will
demonstrate equivalent education and training.
In the United States 5.8 million people are seen annually by MFTs
Marriage and Family Therapists are mental health professionals trained to diagnose and treat mental and
emotional disorders. Licensed Marriage and Family therapists are educated with a Master’s or Doctoral degree
as family-focused psychotherapists and mental health generalists. They are then trained with a minimum of two
years of supervised clinical experience before passing a rigorous written and oral examination.
Therapies used by MFTs are based on the evidence based finding that individuals and their problems are
best treated in context, and the most important context is the family. MFTs are trained in psychotherapy and
family systems, with a focus on understanding their clients’ symptoms and the interaction patterns within the
existing environment. The MFT then works with the individual, couple, child, or family from a relational
perspective, covering a full range of mental health issues, toward a healthier family system. Research has shown
that family-based interventions are as effective as alternative interventions.
Marriage and Family Therapy is generally brief, solution-focused, and low cost:
• Average number of sessions is 12
• 65.6% of cases completed within 20 sessions
• 98.1% of clients rated services good or excellent
• 68% of Private Practice MFTs reduce fees based on an individual’s or family’s ability to pay
• $780 to $960 per course of treatment
• Family therapy has been shown to reduce health care use by 21.5%
Populations served by Marriage and Family Therapists:
• Minority populations make up 25% of clientele
• 25% work in faith-based settings
• 17% work in rural settings
• 9% are in elementary or secondary schools
Coverage of services:
• The majority of managed care organizations and third party payers reimburse services provided
• Most Employee Assistance Programs contract with MFTs
Common Disorders treated by Marriage and Family Therapists:
• Depression and other Affective Disorders
• Childhood Behavior and Emotional Disorders
• Marital and Relationship Problems
• Conduct Disorder and Delinquency
• Substance Abuse/Alcoholism
• Domestic Violence
• Severe Mental Illness
• Behavioral Aspects of Physical Illness
If you have any questions about this handout, Marriage and Family Therapy or mental health issues in the
legislature, please contact Hans C Skulstad, LMFT, Legislative Chair for the Minnesota Association of
Marriage and Family Therapy. He can be reached by calling 952-393-6828 or at