Advocacy and Legislation

With vendorship secured, MAMFT expands its influence to other organizations, such as hospitals, agencies, insurance companies, and education programs in other disciplines to promote the value and success of systemic therapy.

Mental health in Massachusetts continues to operate under a cognitive-behavioral/medical model system. Though these paradigms have their purpose, they often fail to evaluate and affirm the relational, interconnected nature of the human experience. People and families are evaluated as problem-centered through these lenses, whereas systems theory views people as stuck, despite their strengths and best efforts, in challenging positions and interactional processes.

Please join us in our next phase of advocacy as we make relationships with numerous organizations, from schools to agencies, hospitals to policy makers.

For more information, please contact Donald Paine, our legislative and advocacy chair.


HB 2959

HB 2959, sponsored by Rep Paul Heroux of Attleboro, expands the definition of “licensed mental health practitioners” to include certified rehabilitation counselors. Licensed marriage and family therapists are not currently included in this law as “licensed mental health practitioners”. MAMFT has communicated with Rep. Heroux’s office about this oversight, and they are potentially working on rewriting this bill to include LMFTs as “licensed mental health practitioners”. This will increase the amount of protection that LMFTs have in Massachusetts.

Please note that there are other bills that operate out of HB 2959’s language of “licensed mental health practitioners” that do not include LMFTs. They are HB 527 (sponsored by Rep Garballey),

To contact Rep Heroux and ask for LMFTs to be included, call him at 617-722-2090, email him at Paul.Heroux@mahouse.gov, or write him at State House/24 Beacon St/Room 540/Boston, MA 02133.

HB 527

HB 527, sponsored by Rep Sean Garballey of Arlington, would exclude LMFTs from “licensed mental health practitioners” that are considered highest quality of care providers for child and adolescent services. This uses the same language that HB 2959 uses to define “licensed mental health practitioners”.

To contact Rep Garballey and ask for LMFTs to be included, call him at 617-722-2090, email him at Sean.Garballey@mahouse.gov, or write him at State House/24 Beacon St/Room 540/Boston, MA 02133.

HB 2181

HB 2181, sponsored by Rep Elizabeth Malia of Boston, would define “addiction specialist” as a licensed independent social worker or licensed mental health counselor among others. MFTs are not included in the definition of addiction specialist. The bill would also allow an addiction specialist to perform an examination of an individual admitted to a rehabilitation program.

To contact Rep Malia and ask for LMFTs to be included, call her at 617-722-2380, email her at Liz.Malia@mahouse.gov, or write her at State House/24 Beacon St/Room 238/Boston, MA 02133.

S 552/HB 484

S 552/HB 484, sponsored by Sen. Barbara L’Italien of Lawrence and Rep Ruth Balser, would allow an insured individual to continue treatment with a licensed mental health professional who is no longer in network through an out of network option, as opposed to completely terminate services and find a new therapist.

To contact Senator L’Italien regarding this bill, call her at 617-722-1612, email her at barbara.l’italien@masenate.gov, or write her at State House/24 Beacon St/Room 413-C/Boston, MA 02133.

To contact Rep Balser regarding this bill, call her at 617-722-2396, email her at ruth.balser@mahouse.gov, or writer her at State House/24 Beacon St/Room 136/Boston, MA 02133