3.0 Certified Workplace Financial Therapy

Become a Financial Therapist

CFT-ITM certification provides education and training that learners can use to apply research and evidence-based therapeutic techniques to help clients, advance the field of financial therapy, and engage with other practitioners.
Through our video series and certification process, candidates will gain invaluable therapeutic and financial knowledge that they can apply to their practice.



Certified Financial Therapist

CFT-I™ designation is a certification for financial and mental health professionals, developed and administered by the College of Money Therapy.

Our Education Video Series provides interested professionals with the foundational financial therapy knowledge required to complete the Certified Financial Therapist-ITM (CFT-I™) certification.

To earn the CFT-I™ designation, individuals must meet specific educational and experience requirements across the areas of

1) financial therapy,

2) financial planning and financial counseling, and

3) therapeutic competencies.

Applicants must adhere to the CMT Standards of Practice and a Code of Ethics, including a fiduciary standard and acceptable forms of compensation, a requirement to avoid product sales, and various other means of care to prevent potential abuse of relationships.

There are three planned levels of the certification; Level I is foundational and provides the knowledge and skills to complement the learner’s discipline.

CFT-I™ designation is a prerequisite for Levels II and III, which will be required for those who wish to practice financial therapy as a primary discipline.


The following areas must be met to become a CFT-I™ Professional. Before becoming a CFT-I™ Candidate, the Education & Ethical Standards must be met. As a CFT-I™ Candidate, all other areas are completed before becoming a CFT-I™ Professional. 

  1. Education

CFT-I™ applicants are required to have a bachelor’s degree or higher in:

a. A Financial related field (e.g., financial planning, finance, consumer economics);
b. A Mental Health related field (e.g., psychology, therapy/counseling, social work, human development);

c. If you hold a bachelor’s degree in any other field, plus hold the CFP® or AFC® designation, the educational requirements will be considered met;

d. If you hold anything other than what is outlined within points a, b, or c, you will need to submit for a thorough review, in which the CMT Certification Committee will conduct a study to determine how your education aligns with certification requirements, which may include a review of your credentials, experience, formal education, and personal references. No work experience, non-work experience, or personal contacts will be considered instead of completing a degree.

  1. Competency Training

All candidates for the CFT-I™ certification must acquire the necessary competency in the Financial Therapy competency areas via CMT’s educational video and additional self-study. Additionally, candidates for the CFT-I™ certification must develop competency in the Financial and Mental Health competency areas through a process of self-study based on their own experience and competency level in those areas. The self-study process for the CFT-I™ certification begins before applicants are approved for candidacy status. Additionally, individuals may purchase the CMT educational video series without entering candidacy status. Individuals may begin the self-study process by reviewing the CMT’s CFT-I™ Resource Guide and the  CFT-I™ Competency Training Outline and purchasing the CMT educational video series.

  1. Experience

Part I: The CFT-I™ experience requirement consists of a total of 500 hours*, 250 of which must be direct client service hours** (paid or volunteer is acceptable).
The remaining 250 hours can be earned through alternative experience, which includes:

a. Additional direct client experience (up to 250 hours)

b. Professional presentations (up to 50 hours)

c. Teaching (up to 125 hours)

d. Peer-reviewed research (up to 50 hours)

e. Writing financial plans or conducting financial analyses (up to 125 hours)

*Documented hours within 15 years of the application date will be accepted.
**Client contact hours can be gained from a practitioner’s home discipline and the practice of Financial Therapy. Those applicants who do not meet the minimum of 250 direct client services hours must complete
a CMT financial therapy experience training course before receiving the designationMore information on experience training courses will be available soon.

Part II: Applicants will have a letter of reference from a supervisor, peer, or client submitted on their behalf attesting to their fulfillment of the experience requirement, as well as their skills and character.

Part III: Applicants will also submit a summary narrative of how CFT-I™ education and financial therapy knowledge has impacted their thinking and work in their home discipline (a minimum of 1000 words, up to a maximum of 1500 words).

  1. Examination

Applicants must successfully pass a comprehensive CFT-I™ certification exam after completing all necessary competency training and self-study. The CFT-I™ certification exam will consist of 100 multiple-choice questions and be available online. The exam will have a 2-hour time limit. CFT-I™ candidates are granted access to the exam once they have been approved as candidates and payment for the exam is received.

  1. Ethical Standards

Applicants must adhere to the CMT Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics. This agreement includes adhering to a Fiduciary standard and avoiding all potential abuses of the Financial Therapist and client relationship for all CFT-I™ candidates and CFT-I™ professionals. The CMT Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics include acceptable forms of compensation, a requirement to avoid product sales and various other standards of care.

  1. Renewal & Continuing Education

Once certified, financial therapists must complete continuing education to maintain their certification. CFT-I™ Professionals must submit 20 hours of continuing education each bi-annually after initial certification. The initial renewal cycle is based on when a practitioner earns their CFT-I™ designation. Continuing education hours must fulfill the following minimums: 8 hours in Financial Therapy (minimum of 2 hours in CMT Ethics), 6 hours in Finance, and 6 hours in Mental Health. Hours can be submitted from various sources, including hours used for continuing education requirements for a practitioner’s home discipline (i.e., CFP Board, AFCPE, AAMFT). Hours can also be earned from completing peer-reviewed research, publishing, and attending educational events sponsored by CMT.

In addition to the continuing education requirement, all CFT-I™ Professionals must submit an annual renewal fee and re-affirmation of their adherence to the CMT Practice Standards. The price schedule is structured in the following way:

  • Education Program 101          $1500
  • Application Fee                      $50
  • Exam Fee                                $250
  • Certification Fee                     $50
  • Annual Renewal Fees
  • Members $25              Non-Members  $100

7. Summary

The CFT-I™ certificant, conferred by the College of Money Therapy, is allowed to hold themselves out publicly as a Certified Financial Therapist-I™ (CFT-I™) when:

  1. All CFT-I™ educational, experience, and competency training requirements are complete;
  2. The CMT Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics adherence agreement is signed and submitted.
  3. The applicant successfully passes the comprehensive CFT-I™ Certification exam;
  4. The applicant receives confirmation of their completed certification status by the CMT Regulatory Committee.


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