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Flashcards in Legal and Ethical Issues Deck (36)
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MFT trainees and interns are required to accrue a minimum of 3,000 hours of supervised work experience during a period of at least 104 weeks prior to applying for exam eligibility.

Of the 3.000 hours, a maximum of 1.300 hours may be accrued pre-degree and a minimum of 1,700 hours may be accrued post-degree.

Supervised work experience must be gained no more than six years before an MFT applies for exam eligibility.

The only exception is that a maximum of 500 hours of supervised work experience may be accrued before the six-year period while a trainee is enrolled in a supervised  practicum.



Supervisor qualifications are specified in B&PC Section 4980.03, which states that a supervisor of an MFT trainee or intern must be licensed “as a

  • marriage and family therapist
  • licensed clinical social worker
  • licensed professional clinical counselor
  • licensed psychologist, or
  • licensed physician certified in psychiatry."

The supervisor

  • must not have provided therapeutic services to the trainee or intern
  • must have a current and valid California license and have been licensed for at least two years before the commencement of supervision
  • and, if the supervisor is a licensed professional clinical counselor, he/she must have the legally required additional training and experience.

In addition, CCR Section 1833.1 requires supervisors who are marriage and family therapists, licensed clinical social workers, or licensed professional clinical counselors to complete six hours of supervision training or coursework during every license renewal period



The Tarasoff decision refers to the California Supreme Court decision that psychotherapists have a “duty to protect" a potential victim of a client when the client has communicated to the psychotherapist a serious threat of physical violence against a reasonably identifiable victim or victims.

This duty is discharged when the therapist makes a reasonable attempt to communicate the threat to the intended victim and a law enforcement agency.



As required by FC Section 3040, child custody is granted in the following order of preference:

  1. joint custody
  2. either parent according to the best interests of the child
  3. the person or persons in whose home the child has been living in a wholesome and stable environment, or
  4. any other person or persons deemed by the court to be suitable and able to provide adequate and proper care and guidance for the child.

The law also allows the court and family to choose whether each parent will have sole or joint legal and/or physical custody.



MFTs are prohibited from terminating therapy when a client has not paid his/her fees “except when the termination is handled in a clinically appropriate manner"  (Subprinciple 1.3.4).

Although MFTs may use a collection agency to collect unpaid fees, they must give the client an opportunity to pay the fees that are owed within a specified period of time before doing so and then give the collection agency only essential information (Subprinciple 9.4).



Examples of unprofessional conduct by MFTs and MFT interns are provided in B&PC Section 4982 and include

  • being convicted of a crime substantially related to an MFT‘s qualifications or duties
  • obtaining a license or registration by fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation
  • failing to maintain client confidentiality, except as required or permitted by law
  • failing to disclose to a client or prospective client the fee for professional services or the basis for deriving that fee prior to the beginning of treatment

B&PC Section 4982 also states that "the board may refuse to issue any registration or license, or may suspend or revoke the license or registration of any registrant or licensee if the applicant, licensee, or registrant has been guilty of unprofessional conduct."