Morning Question # 1 – MFT trainee or MFTT?

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Counseling questions

Counseling questions.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Morning Questions. (Sometimes reader question.)

A new feature for this blog. Sometimes a question or comment comes in or someone uses a search term that needs a short answer but not a post. Occasionally in the early morning, I will post answers to those questions. Here is the first one.

Morning Question # 1 – MFT trainee or MFTT?

ALWAYS – MFT Trainee. MFT Trainees are still in school. They are not yet registered or licensed. They can only work under close supervision. Both at the school they attend and the field placement they are supervised. In California, the rule is one hour of supervision for every 5 hours of client contact. Not spelling out the full word Trainee can be misleading.

For MFT interns –  who have graduated but are still accruing hours for their license the same rule applies. They should always list themselves as MFT Interns NOT MFTI. This is to avoid misrepresenting their credentials to the public.

Both trainees and interns should also tell clients who is supervising them.

Some other professions use different labels for students and unlicensed workers. For example, most social work interns have about the same experience as MFT trainees this leads to all kinds of arguments about the merits of “interns.”  For more on this label, issue see “Therapist, Counselor or Social worker?”