Washington State: Accept California's LMFT Licensing Exam for Your LMFT License

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This is a petition to request that the Washington State Department of Health view California's Clinical Exam for the LMFT license to be a suitable alternative to the National MFT exam developed by AMFTRB, as other states do already. This is especially imperative given that Washington state is now in the process of establishing a license by reciprocity program for therapists who have been licensed elsewhere. So, I want to be able to send this to the DOH to ensure our voices in California are heard!

According to a survey of state boards, conducted by AMFTRB (Association of Marital and Family Therapy Regulatory Boards), which develops and manages the MFT National Exam, Virginia, West Virginia, Florida, Texas, Wyoming, Nebraska, Oregon, Ohio, and Pennsylvania all accept the California Clinical Exam (required for California licensure as a Marriage and Family Therapist - LMFT).

There may be other states who accept this exam as well, but the only information thus far comes from this survey. WA state needs to recognize this exam as substantially equivalent, especially since in starting to establish a reciprocity program: See here: SB 5054, they found California's requirements to be substantially equivalent to Washington for many licenses, including the LMFT license: https://www.doh.wa.gov/Portals/1/Documents/2300/2019/InitialSOP-Analysis112019.pdf

Link to Behavioral Health Professions Implementation (Provides updates to reciprocity rules status): https://www.doh.wa.gov/LicensesPermitsandCertificates/ProfessionsNewReneworUpdate/AgencyAffiliatedCounselor/BehavioralHealthProfessionsImplementation

The desired outcome of this petition is to have Washington state accept California's exam rather than force licensed applicants from California to take the national exam. It costs us time and money to take another exam when we've already shown proficiency with the existing exam in California: childcare to prepare and take the exam, time off from work to prepare and take the exam, and other required expenses.)

There is no reason why Washington shouldn't help everyone wanting a license by reciprocity to get one by accepting California's licensing exam as an accepted equivalent to the National MFT exam that people from WA take. When therapists are licensed in California, they cannot choose to take the National exam, so it is a disservice whenever another state refuses to recognize the state exam as equivalent.

Patrick Tully, LMFT in California

I'm not looking to move, but the future cannot be predicted. I also enjoy telehealth, so being that Washington state is my home state, I want the DOH (WA state Department of Health) to ensure that someone who has been licensed in California who has taken the California exam won't have to take the National exam.