Marriage and Family Therapy Organizations in California

For any career, professional organizations offer an opportunity to develop relationships with your peers and improve your professional knowledge. In the case of marriage and family therapy, professional organizations allow therapists or counselors to discuss new research and innovation as well as best practices. Conferences allow people from across the field to share ideas and experiences. These groups may even lead to new career opportunities.

Here are a few marriage and family therapy organizations you can join in California, but many are part of larger national organizations.

California Board of Behavioral Services

California’s BBS is the government agency that is responsible for regulating the licensing of several behavioral services professions, including Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists. The group sets the standards for how students can become eligible to become a LMFT. It creates and administers the LMFT exams, and has the power to revoke or deny the license for those who lose eligibility. The board also regulates MFT internships and referral services. While not a traditional professional organization, their outreach program provides a wide library of information to the profession in California.

California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists


CAMFT is an independent professional organization of about 30,000 members who represent the interests of licensed marriage and family therapists. Despite what the title may suggest, the group is not affiliated with the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapists. CAMFT is a completely independent group that is only affiliated with smaller chapters in California.

The group has two major goals. The first is advancing their field as “an art, a science and a mental health profession.” Secondly, CAMFT is dedicated to “the advancement of the common business interests of its members.” CAMFT’s work mostly surrounds connecting its members, and the organization hosts an annual conference as well as meetings of its respective chapters. They also partner with researchers to study different aspects of the profession.

California Counseling Association

The CCA is the state branch of the larger American Counseling Association. The group works to advance the counseling profession in California primarily in the fields of mental health careers and education. The group is a more traditional networking organization and offers a variety of conferences and events, including an annual educational cruise. Many of the group’s members are LMFTs, and CCA is great for those looking to become more involved in counseling.

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California Association for Licensed Professional Clinical Counselors


Another organization for aspiring counselors is CALPCC, meant for those interested in becoming a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor instead of an LMFT. The group was born from the California Coalition for Counselor Licensure, which was replaced as the licensure arm in California by the BBS. Now the CALPCC works to further the counseling profession throughout the state. They hold several meetings and conferences, as well as communicate new trends in the profession.

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California Association of School Counselors

For those interested in working as a school guidance counselor, CASC is the largest professional organization for the profession in the state. The group advocates for the profession of school counselor and works with government officials to keep funding sustained for counseling programs – often among the first casualties during budget cuts. In addition, CASC works to encourage new counselors to join the profession.

These are just a few of the many professional organizations that marriage and family therapy students can utilize to learn more about the profession and help advance their career. The online Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy degree at Touro University Worldwide will prepare future therapists to become eligible for a MFT license in the state of California (and most other states), and you may be eligible for licensure as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor  as well. Your course work will help you develop all the skills necessary to be a valuable member of any of these organizations. For more information on becoming a marriage and family therapy student at Touro University Worldwide, visit our program page today.

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