What Is Family Therapy?
Family Therapy – or to give it its full title, Family and Systemic Psychotherapy – helps people in a close relationship help each other.
It enables family members, couples and others who care about each other to express and explore difficult thoughts and emotions safely, to understand each other’s experiences and views, appreciate each other’s needs, build on strengths and make useful changes in their relationships and their lives. Individuals can find Family Therapy helpful, as an opportunity to reflect on important relationships and find ways forward. https://www.aaft.asn.au/aaft/family-therapy/

How many levels of membership does AAFT have?
AAFT Inc. offers four tiers of membership: General, Professional, Clinical and Life.

General Membership:
General Membership is open to any applicant who does not meet the requirements for Clinical Family Therapist or Professional Membership, but has some relevant training in the practice of family focused work. Applicants must satisfy the committee that they meet the criteria to be a General Member as determined by the Committee of Management.

This Membership category is open to students, retired, non-practicing practitioners or those who have an interest and/or training in the practice of family focused work.

Professional Membership:
Professional Membership is open to any applicant who is a practising therapist or counsellor and who holds a degree in Health Science, Social Science, Education or equivalent. They must be eligible to be registered with AHPRA or PACFA and/or be eligible for membership of a Professional association (eg. APS, AASW, OTAus, PACFA College). The applicant will satisfy the committee that they meet the criteria for Professional Membership determined by the Committee of Management.

Clinical Family Therapist Membership:
Clinical Family Therapist Membership shall be open to any applicant who is a practising family therapist, who has demonstrated competence in the practice of family therapy, and has satisfied the committee of their qualifications for membership in accordance with the criteria for Clinical Membership determined by the Committee of Management.

Life Membership:
Life membership may be granted to a Clinical Family Therapist Member who has given outstanding service to the Australian Association of Family Therapy for an extended period of time.  The appointment of a Life Member shall be by resolution at a General Meeting of Members on the recommendation of the Committee of Management.  All fees otherwise payable by a Member pursuant to Rule 8 shall be waived in the case of a Life Member.

What are the benefits of AAFT membership?

  • AAFT News – four issues
  • A Professional Development program, at reduced cost or free to AAFT members.
  • AAFT membership includes online access to the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Family Therapy (ANZJFT)
  • Online access to the Journal of Family Therapy, Journal of Marital and Family Therapy and the Asian Journal of Family Therapy.
  • AAFT members save up to 35% on all Wiley books.
  • Workshops organised throughout the year, with discounts for AAFT members.
  • AAFT members only login area – you can comment on blog posts and watch AAFT PD videos
  • Networking opportunities – AAFT’s membership is diverse and multi-disciplinary in both private and public sectors. The networking opportunities for its members are great.
  • Some assistance with professional concerns.

Once I sign up, what is the membership fee cycle?
From July 2021, the annual fee cycle for AAFT membership will be issued to align with the financial year reporting (JULY-JUNE).
Pro-rata rates are available for new members who apply outside of the annual fee cycle dates, further information for new members regarding pro-rata fees is available by contacting the AAFT office.

Can non-members view resources on Members portal?
Only AAFT members and subscribers are given access to exclusive services in the Members portal.
Please contact us on admin@aaft.asn.au if  you would like to apply for membership or subscription, this will also enable access.

Do you have special provision for students?
Students enrolled in an AAFT accredited 2-year family therapy course can apply for reduced membership. Please see list of Accredited Training providers: https://www.aaft.asn.au/training/accredited-training/
You will need to complete a General Member Application form and Student Verification form to apply: https://www.aaft.asn.au/membership/general/

I want to do training in Family Therapy. What course should I do?
Please go to: https://www.aaft.asn.au/training/accredited-training/ to view a list of AAFT Accredited Family Therapy training courses.
Please contact each training organisation directly to enquire about courses.

Where can I find information about available jobs for Family Therapists?
AAFT does not have a register of vacant positions in Family Therapy.
From time to time agencies will advertise positions in either our Newsletter or our website https://www.aaft.asn.au/employment/.

I trained as a Family Therapist overseas, what do I need to do to apply for Clinical FT membership with AAFT?
You will need to apply for General or Professional membership in the first instance, see: https://www.aaft.asn.au/membership/

You will need to seek out a local Supervisor to apply for Clinical FT Membership. You will need to know that once connected with a supervisor that it will be up to them to determine your readiness for Clinical Membership. https://www.aaft.asn.au/find-a-supervisor/

You will need to supply to following documents:

Clinical Membership Application Form
Clinical Membership Principal Supervisors Report
Referee ReportAAFT Clinical Family Therapist Application – February 2023
Clinical Family Therapy Nomination Form 

Can I use the AAFT logo?
AAFT does not consent to use of our logo on your website. However should you wish to connect with your State rep to explore provision of family and systemic therapy PD then such events may be granted approval to use the AAFT logo.

How do I find a Family Therapist in my area?
We suggest you go to: https://www.aaft.asn.au/find-a-therapist/
You will need to contact each member directly to find out about fees. If there is no one listed in your area, please call the office (0499 078 211) and we may be able to recommend someone. Not all our members have opted in to this list.

I have an AAFT accredited supervisor however she is not in my workplace. Are voice recordings of my sessions for her to critique sufficient?
Yes, verbal recordings are acceptable.

Does the Committee accept recorded sessions of families being counselled?
It is the discretion of the supervisor as to whether or not they deem the work to fit within the concept of Family Therapy….we rely on their assessment.

Do you know if Family Therapy is an item that requested and paid for by NDIS?
On its own, Graduate Diploma in Family Therapy is not listed as one of the approved qualifications for any of the NDIS registration groups.
Family Therapy work is funded under NDIS, however the registration is under Psychology, Social Work, OT etc.

Also some differences exist between different state requirements.

Most registration groups have specific professions listed, as well as an option for ‘Other’ therefore some individual assessment is also conducted and perhaps where Family Therapy, in combination with Mental Health Nursing as well as skills and experience in a certain area could grant registration to offer a particular service (for example, Specialist Positive Behaviour Support, see page 13).

We recommend that you contact NDIS directly (1800 800 110) and get advice about particular circumstances

How can I pay my membership fees?
You can now pay direct by credit card on our website payment Portal – Simply go to: https://www.aaft.asn.au/aaft/make-a-payment

You can also pay by direct debit – please see following instructions

How do I find out about AAFT professional development sessions or events?
You can email the office on admin@aaft.asn.au to join the mail list for fortnightly Bulletins.
You can find PDs listed HERE

Can you advise me if my application for Clinical Family Therapist will be approved?
Due to the complexity of assessments, it is not possible to determine the outcome until a complete assessment of qualifications and relevant supporting documentation has been undertaken by the Accreditation Subcommittee.

How long does it take to process my application for Clinical Family Therapist?
Applications can take 2 – 3 months to process due to the volunteer nature of the Accreditation committee; once your application is approved it is ratified at a Committee of Management meeting held monthly.

How much does assessment of Clinical Family Therapist application cost?
There is no charge to apply. If you are a General or Professional member, you will be invoiced $23 upgrade fee to Clinical Family Therapist member. You will be invoiced at the Clinical FT member rate in the next billing cycle.

If I am registered with the relevant authority in my country of training or employment, am I automatically eligible for membership of the AAFT?
In short, no. The AAFT must still conduct an assessment of your qualification/s and individual circumstances for comparability. Please go to: https://www.aaft.asn.au/membership/clinical/ for more information.

I do not have qualifications in Family Therapy. Can I still apply for membership?
You can apply for a subscription, this will give you access to the member portal where you can access AAFT videos, PowerPoints etc., you will also receive the fortnightly bulletin. https://www.aaft.asn.au/membership/subscriber-membership/

Can I email my application and documentation to the AAFT?
Yes, AAFT now accepts all documentation as scanned copies. All paperwork can be emailed. Photographic images of documents are not acceptable.

I’ve let my AAFT membership lapse and would like to reinstate.  How do I do that?
Send AAFT an email and we will email you with options for re-instatement.

What do I need to do to become an AAFT Accredited Supervisor?
Make sure you meet the requirements, please see: https://www.aaft.asn.au/membership/accredited-supervisor-membership/

Where can I find an AAFT Accredited Supervisor?
AAFT accredited Supervisors can be located here: https://www.aaft.asn.au/find-a-supervisor/

Not all Accredited Supervisors have opted in to this online list, please contact the office with any questions.