MFT vs LMFT

MFT stands for Marriage and Family Therapist; while LMFT stands for Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist.

MFT vs LMFT

MFT stands for Marriage and Family Therapist; while LMFT stands for Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist.

MFT vs LMFT

MFT stands for Marriage and Family Therapist; while LMFT stands for Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist.


The MFT vs LMFT Debate

The MFT vs LMFT debate has been raging for many years in the field of social work. MFT is a relatively new designation, which means it's not as widely known or recognized by some mental health professionals. MFT stands for Marriage and Family Therapist; while LMFT stands for Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist.

The difference between an MFT and an LMFT is comparable to the difference between a psychologist and a psychiatrist. Psychiatrists are different than psychologists in that they have a medical degree, as opposed to a Ph.D. or Psy.D in clinical psychology from an accredited graduate school of social work, counseling, and/or psychology.

Have 20 Minutes?

Test your exam readiness and take a free sample exam!

Take a Free Sample Quiz

MFT's normally provide psychotherapy, which involves talk therapy such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), person-centered therapy, or rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT). MFT’s can also do family systems work.

An LMFT also typically provides psychotherapy, which involves talk therapy such as CBT, person-centered therapy, or rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT). MFT's are more likely to work with issues in marriages and family dynamics. LMFTs are more inclined to treat mental health issues with a variety of causes.

Prepare for the LMFT Journey

The most comprehensive materials for any type of learner.

View Our MFT Materials

Both require a master's degree which trains in cognitive therapy and other types of therapeutic mental health treatments. Both MFTs and LMFTs help individuals and couples navigate difficult situations and improve their mental health.

At AATBS we provide proven study materials to assist LMFT’s and MFT’s in order to complete their licensure requirements.

Looking for more information about the difference between LMFT and LCSW? Click here to learn the differences between LMFT vs LCSW.


Other Frequently Asked Questions


The MFT exam is a test that helps to determine if someone can be called a Marriage and Family Therapist. In order to obtain your licensure as an (MFT, LMFT, LPCC), etc. You will need to pass either the National MFT Exam or the California Clinical MFT Exam.

Learn More

If you are considering becoming a therapist, there is one important decision that will need to be made: where should I go to school? There are two major paths you could take when choosing your education path. You can attend an accredited LCSW or LMFT program. Both of these professions offer their graduates the opportunity to help people in similar ways, but they do require different training.

Learn More

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook (2020), the median annual salary for Marriage and Family Therapists (MFTs) is $51,340. Salaries may vary, based on location, specialization, and experience.

Learn More

In order to become a licensed marriage and family therapist. First you must have a degree in psychology or a related field such as social work. You must also complete the academic coursework required by your state board of examiners.

Learn More

Studying for the MFT licensure exam can be a daunting task. You have to study many different topics in order to pass your exams, and you may not know where to start. Don't worry! We will offer you some tips on how best to study for the MFT exam, which should help make studying easier.

Learn More

Explore All Our MFT Products

Live Online Packages • Online Workshops • Exam Prep Bundles • Study Packages • Mock Exams • Workshops • Study Tools


Learn More