MFT Exam

The MFT exam is a comprehensive and challenging assessment for men and women looking to enter the rewarding field of marital and family therapy. In many jurisdictions, it is an essential step in obtaining certification or licensure. The test was developed by the Association of Marital and Family Therapy Regulatory Board in consultation with a team of expert exam administrators.

The MFT exam is composed of 200 multiple-choice questions, each of which has four possible answers. Candidates should allow four hours to complete the text. It's content is divided into five domains: the practice of marital and family therapy (22.5 percent of the exam); assessing, hypothesizing, and diagnosing (22.5 percent); designing and conducting treatment (32.5 percent); evaluating ongoing process and terminating treatment (7.5 percent); and maintaining ethical, legal, and professional standards (15 percent).

The MFT exam is administered at testing centers around the country. Exam scores are based on the number of questions answered correctly with no distinction between unanswered questions and questions answered incorrectly, so candidates are advised to guess when they are unsure of an answer. There is no pass/fail distinction on the exam as this decision is left up to individual jurisdictions. An unofficial score report is mailed approximately four weeks after the examination date.

MFT Exam Practice Questions

1. Family Systems Theory views the family as a type of unit. Which of the following would best describe that type of unit?

a. physiological
b. psychological
c. emotional
d. anatomical

2. Family Systems Theory consists of eight interlocking concepts. Which of the following are three of those concepts?

a. triangles, family projection, and emotional cutoff
b. hexagons, sibling position, and family projection
c. societal emotional process, emotional cutoff, and differentiation of systems
d. multigenerational transmission, hexagons, and sibling position

3. If one unit of the family is able to change his/her individual dysfunctional behavior, then other family unit members also can change productively. To which of the following choices does this statement most closely relate?

a. marital discord theory
b. Ericksonian family theory
c. Freudian psychoanalytic theory
d. systemic coaching

4. What type of approach is also known as “reality therapy”?

a. Humanistic therapy
b. Cognitive-Behavioral
c. Behavioral
d. Somatic therapy

5. In Psychoeducation, family members are

a. included with the patient in the training.
b. discouraged from taking part.
c. never present.
d. part of the teaching team.

Answer

1. C: “emotional:” Dr. Murray Bowen, a psychiatrist, is the originator of the Family Systems Theory. The basic idea of the theory asserts that families are connected strongly in an emotional manner. Even when people may feel emotionally distant from the family unit, often this feeling of distance is a perception rather than a reality, as an emotional interdependence exists within the family unit.

2. A: “triangles, family projection, and emotional cutoff:” The eight interlocking concepts of Family Systems Theory are triangles, differentiation of self, nuclear family emotional system, family projection process, multigenerational transmission process, emotional cutoff, sibling position, and societal emotional process.

3. D: “systemic coaching:” Systemic coaching analyzes relationships with the eventual purpose of altering dysfunctional behavior. This systemic approach views humans as “systems” rather than separate individuals (separate from the environment in which they reside). Systemic coaching seeks to assist the patient in setting goals and consistently moving toward those goals.

4. B: “cognitive-behavioral:” Reality therapy is a cognitive-behavioral approach (developed by William Glasser). This type of therapy focuses on what is happening in the patient’s current life and also looks to the patient’s future. Unlike many types of therapy that look for the root cause of the problem, Reality Therapy employs a problem-solving approach in order to address the current choices of behavior and how those choices can affect future outcomes in the patient’s life.

5. A: “included with the patient in the training:” The development of Psychoeducation generally is attributed to C.M. Anderson and his work in the treatment of schizophrenia. The basic idea of Psychoeducation is educating the patient and family so the particulars of the condition are made clearer, and therefore more easily managed.

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By Lindsay Downs

Last Updated: 06/20/2014

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