Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Health Professions
Board of Counseling
Regulations Governing the Practice of Marriage and Family Therapy [18 VAC 115 ‑ 50]
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8/1/12  1:08 pm
Commenter: Michelle Ward, LMFT

Support of Petition to Backdate Resident Hours
The MFT licensure process has become increasingly confusing and difficult to navigate. MFT students graduate from their programs of study with the intent to find a job and earn a living as a new therapist—only to be caught up in delays and procedural inconsistencies with the licensure process. Our practice has offered resident placements since 2007. While there were often problems with response-time and consistency, the delays have become increasingly concerning since 2010. Even when paperwork is completed properly, it can take months or longer for residents to hear a reply from the Board. During these periods of no contact, residents need to earn a livelihood, so they continue to maintain employment without knowing if any of their hard work will count toward licensure. There have been cases where it takes over a year to get supervisor approval, or approval is denied, while others in the same cohort with identical coursework receive approval. Meanwhile residents lose months of increased income if the hours are only approved when the Board has attended to the applications, instead of the hours counting from the start of employment. I have grave concerns about the non-supportive licensure process in which our graduates are currently launching their new careers. 


As a result of the ongoing difficulties with the VA MFT licensure process, our practice has made the difficult decision to no longer offer resident placements. I believe this is an unfair conclusion we’ve been forced to make due to a broken system.
CommentID: 23753