Answer and Rationale for FREE Practice Question on Treatment Planning

Posted by Robin Gluck

October 19, 2017 at 10:26 AM

Yesterday's FREE practice question featured the topic of treatment planning. Today we have the answer and rationale for you!

bigstock-Couple-Discussing-Problems-Wit-105454238-1.jpg

QUESTION:

A therapist meets with the parents of a 16-year-old boy who was recently suspended from school after being caught with alcohol on campus. The parents share that their son has been fighting and abusing alcohol for several years. The father cries as he expresses his sadness and frustration, noting his son’s behavior has caused a serious strain in his relationship with his wife and that is why they are seeking therapy. The wife nods in agreement, sharing their lack of intimacy and constant arguing that she hopes to address through therapy. The wife states, “our son had a difficult childhood because his sister was constantly sick and he didn’t get the attention he needed. My husband is too hard on him, he treats our son terribly.” Which of the following goals should be included in the treatment plan for this case?

A.Improve problem solving and conflict resolution between parents; Refer parents to Al Anon; Increase intimacy between parents

B.Improve problem solving and conflict resolution between parents; Refer son to Alcoholics Anonymous; Increase levels of empathy between parents

C. Increase positive communication within the family; Refer son to Alcoholics Anonymous; Increase levels of empathy between parents

D. Increase positive communication within the family; Refer parents to Al Anon; Increase intimacy between parents

The best answer for this question is A.

The question is asking which goals should be included in the treatment plan for this case. This question is not only testing your ability to identify appropriate goals for therapy, but also is ensuring you are able to understand who comprises the treatment unit. The parents are in the room and although they are having problems with their son, he is not part of the therapy and thus goals should not focus on him. The issues presented by the parents include arguing, lack of intimacy, and conflict due to their son’s behaviors. Answer A directly addresses the parents expressed concerns about their relationship and a referral to Al Anon, a support group for family members coping with loved ones abusing alcohol, would help them to understand how alcohol abuse affects their family and their relationship. Answer B and C both include referrals for the son, which is inappropriate since the son is not part of the treatment unit. Answer D includes a focus on improving communication within the family, but again this is incorrect because the entire family is not working with the therapist.

Which answer did you choose? Does the rationale fit with your understanding of treatment planning and how you would work in the clinical setting? Or did you learn something new with this scenario? If you have any further questions feel free to check in with a TDC coach. We are here to support you all along the way. And if you came up with the same answer-great job! You are right on the right track to getting licensed.

Still haven’t signed up for an exam preparation program? Our structured, straightforward approach to exam prep will provide you with exactly what you need to pass your social work exam or MFT exam and nothing you don’t. You can learn more about our social work licensing exam prep or our our MFT licensing exam prep by clicking one of the links below. If you’d like to connect directly with one of our coaches, you can do that HERE.

We look forward to helping you PASS your exam with confidence!

 

 Social Work Exam Prep Programs     MFT Exam  Prep Programs

 

 

more

Topics: MFT, Exam Prep, Practice Questions, MFT Exam Prep

FREE Practice Question: What to Include in a Treatment Plan?

Posted by Robin Gluck

October 18, 2017 at 9:23 AM

Our practice question blog a few weeks ago explored the topic of assessment. As we discussed then, therapists must conduct thorough assessments at the onset of therapy to understand why their clients are seeking treatment and what they hope to achieve in addition to managing potential crises. Armed with the information obtained through a thorough assessment, therapists are able to collaborate with their clients to develop comprehensive treatment plans, the subject of this week’s free practice question. Similar to assessment, treatment planning is an ongoing and dynamic process. What appears to be indicated at the start of therapy may change as clients’ needs change and treatment moves in unanticipated directions.

Treatment planning is a broad category, which includes identifying the treatment unit, developing short and long-term goals, identifying, accessing and collaborating with adjunctive services and community resources, and takes into account the therapist’s theoretical orientation. When taking your licensing exam, you can expect to encounter a large number of questions testing your ability to address the various components of treatment planning based on the information provided in the vignette/question stem.

With all this in mind, let’s look at this week’s practice question.

bigstock-Couple-Discussing-Problems-Wit-105454238

QUESTION:

A therapist meets with the parents of a 16-year-old boy who was recently suspended from school after being caught with alcohol on campus. The parents share that their son has been fighting and abusing alcohol for several years. The father cries as he expresses his sadness and frustration, noting his son’s behavior has caused a serious strain in his relationship with his wife and that is why they are seeking therapy. The wife nods in agreement, sharing their lack of intimacy and constant arguing that she hopes to address through therapy. The wife states, “our son had a difficult childhood because his sister was constantly sick and he didn’t get the attention he needed. My husband is too hard on him, he treats our son terribly.” Which of the following goals should be included in the treatment plan for this case?

A.Improve problem solving and conflict resolution between parents; Refer parents to Al Anon; Increase intimacy between parents

B.Improve problem solving and conflict resolution between parents; Refer son to Alcoholics Anonymous; Increase levels of empathy between parents

C. Increase positive communication within the family; Refer son to Alcoholics Anonymous; Increase levels of empathy between parents

D. Increase positive communication within the family; Refer parents to Al Anon; Increase intimacy between parents

So, what would we do here? Leave your answer in the comments below and be sure to tune in tomorrow for the answer and a discussion of the rationale!

Social Work Exam Prep Programs     MFT Exam  Prep Programs

more

Topics: Marriage Therapy, MFT, Family Therapy, Exam Prep, Practice Questions

Answer and Rationale for Practice Question on Assessment

Posted by Robin Gluck

September 23, 2017 at 11:59 AM

 

bigstock--125508848

On Friday we posted the following question on assessments, and today we have the answer and rationale for you!

A 50-year-old male client meets with a therapist on the advice of his husband. The client shares that he has been out of work for almost a year, losing his job after his company completed mass layoffs. He reports feeling discouraged by his job prospects, feels lost without a place to go each day, and feels increasing hopelessness with each passing month he is unemployed. He states, “I feel completely useless and am questioning the point of it all. I feel completely dependent on my husband and I know he’s sick of being the sole breadwinner.” Which of the following actions should the therapist take to assess this client?

A. Explore job history, identify existence of somatic concerns, identify familial coping patterns

B. Explore job history, determine current risk of self-harm, explore support systems

C. Explore mental health history, identify existence of somatic concerns, explore coping mechanisms

D. Explore mental health history, determine current risk of self-harm, explore coping mechanisms

This question provides information that should raise a red flag regarding the client’s safety and influence the therapist’s priorities for assessment. First, the client reports he is feeling hopeless and helpless, and makes the alarming statement, “I feel completely useless and am questioning the point of it all.” With this in mind, let’s look at the answer choices and evaluate which answer choice is the best.

Answer:

The best answer for this question is D.

The question is asking which actions the therapist should take to assess this client. With this type of question, it’s possible several answer options include items we would want to assess, but we need to prioritize what is most important in this case. We’ve already noted that the client’s expressions of hopelessness and helplessness should raise red flags regarding danger to self. The client is expressing thoughts and feelings that are indicators of potential suicidality. Client safety is our priority and we must immediately assess for risk of harm to self. If an answer does not include a focus on the client’s risk of self-harm or suicidality, we can eliminate it. Therefore, answers A and C can be ruled out. This leaves us with answer B) Explore job history, determine current risk of self-harm, explore support systems, and D) Explore mental health history, determine current risk of self-harm, explore coping mechanisms.

A strong consideration when assessing risk is the client’s prior mental health as well as the coping mechanisms available to the client. These two items included in answer D would help the therapist better understand the client’s level of risk based on prior mental health AND help the therapist identify strategies to manage safety. While there is nothing inherently wrong with answer B, the client’s job history is not as important a factor to consider, making it the weaker answer choice between B and D.

Which answer did you choose? Does the rationale fit with your understanding of assessment, or did you learn something new with this scenario? If you have any further questions feel free to check in with a TDC coach. We are here to support you all along the way. And if you came up with the same answer-great job! You are on the right track to getting licensed.

Still haven’t signed up for an exam preparation program? Our structured, straightforward approach to exam prep will provide you with exactly what you need to pass your social work exam or MFT exam and nothing you don’t. You can learn more about our social work licensing exam prep HERE and more about our MFT licensing exam prep HERE. If you’d like to connect directly with one of our coaches, you can do that HERE.

We look forward to helping you PASS your exam with confidence!

Social Work Exam Prep Programs     MFT Exam  Prep Programs

more

Topics: MFT, Exam Prep, Practice Questions, Suicide Prevention

Free Practice Question: Assessment

Posted by Robin Gluck

September 22, 2017 at 8:39 AM

bigstock--125508848.jpg

For this week’s MFT practice question, we explore the subject of assessment. If you are preparing for your licensing exam, whether the Law and Ethics or Clinical exam, you can expect to see multiple questions on this topic. The importance of conducting a thorough assessment cannot be overstated. Comprehensive assessments are necessary at the onset of treatment to help clinicians understand why their client is seeking treatment, what their client hopes to achieve, if any crisis issues are present and require attention, and ultimately allows them to develop an effective treatment plan. Knowing when to assess and what the priorities of assessment are will both be tested on your exam.

A crucial goal of assessment is to identify and properly manage potential crises. Therapists are legally and ethically required to both assess and manage their clients’ safety. Therapists put themselves, their clients, and sometimes even the public in harms way when they fail to identify and explore potential safety issues. It is important to note for both your exam and your clinical practice that assessments are not a one-time deal. Therapists are expected to conduct assessments when first interacting with a client and over the course of treatment. Clients are dynamic. Priorities and needs shift over time, and without continuously assessing clients, it will be hard (if not impossible), to best meet their needs. Therapist Development Center will help you understand how to approach these questions on the exam AND will allow you to carry this knowledge into your clinical practice.

Let’s move on to this week’s question:

A 50-year-old male client meets with a therapist on the advice of his husband. The client shares that he has been out of work for almost a year, losing his job after his company completed mass layoffs. He reports feeling discouraged by his job prospects, feels lost without a place to go each day, and feels increasing hopelessness with each passing month he is unemployed. He states, “I feel completely useless and am questioning the point of it all. I feel completely dependent on my husband and I know he’s sick of being the sole breadwinner.” Which of the following actions should the therapist take to assess this client?

A. Explore job history, identify existence of somatic concerns, identify familial coping patterns

B. Explore job history, determine current risk of self-harm, explore support systems

C. Explore mental health history, identify existence of somatic concerns, explore coping mechanisms

D. Explore mental health history, determine current risk of self-harm, explore coping mechanisms

The answer and rationale will be posted at noon PST tomorrow! We encourage you to post an answer in the comments section below or on our Facebook page (you can also post your reasoning behind your answer choice!). Then check back in tomorrow for the correct answer and rationale explaining why the correct answer is correct and why the other answers are not correct.

Haven't signed up for an exam prep program yet? Our structured, straightforward approach to exam prep will provide you with exactly what you need to pass your social work exam or MFT exam and nothing you don’t. You can learn more about our social work licensing exam prep HERE and more about our MFT licensing exam prep HERE. If you’d like to connect directly with one of our coaches, you can do that HERE.

We look forward to helping you PASS your exam with confidence!

Social Work Exam Prep Programs     MFT Exam  Prep Programs

more

Topics: MFT, Exam Prep, Practice Questions, Suicide Prevention

Free MFT Practice Question: Duty to Warn

Posted by Robin Gluck

August 25, 2017 at 11:30 AM

This week our practice question explores Tarasoff and our duty to protect. Oftentimes, people struggle with questions on this topic because the subject itself feels a bit abstract. Many clinicians have read case law and studied Tarasoff in graduate school, but have not encountered these situations in clinical practice. And while it is an intimidating prospect, the likelihood of our duties being triggered under Tarasoff is thankfully low. However, the BBS still wants to ensure you know what to do in the unlikely event you find yourself in this situation.

The most common question I receive regarding Tarasoff is, “What am I required to do if the potential perpetrator of violence is someone other than my client?” Many clinicians believe our duty to protect is triggered regardless of our relationship to the potential perpetrator, but that is not true. Our duty to protect is only triggered if we can reasonably determine that someone is a danger to others. To do this, a therapist must properly assess the level of risk by taking into account risk factors such as history of violence, affect, language, etc. We cannot accurately assess someone if we do not have a relationship with them and the law takes this into account. Tarasoff is only triggered when it is our client who is the potential danger.

With this in mind, let’s look at the question:

A 24-year-old woman is mandated to therapy by her probation officer for anger management. The therapist has been meeting with the client for 4 months and is nearing termination. Over the course of treatment, the woman slowly opened up to the therapist about her life, including her past involvement with gang violence and drug use. In session, she shares that her boyfriend has been very possessive and threatened to hurt a guy he thought she was flirting with. She confesses that he has a gun, has been in jail for assault in the past, and already researched where the man lives. What actions should the therapist take to address the legal and ethical issues presented in this situation?

a. Inform police of the threat and attempt to contact the intended victim.

b. Encourage client to report the boyfriend’s plan to the police and develop a safety plan.

c. Inform client that we must share this information with her probation officer since she is mandated to treatment and could be an accessory to a crime.

d. Inform client she must report the boyfriend’s plan to the police and assess client’s personal safety.

The answer and rationale will be posted at noon PST tomorrow! We encourage you to post an answer in the comments section below (you can also post your reasoning behind your answer choice!). Then check back in tomorrow for the correct answer and rationale explaining why the correct answer is correct and why the other answers are not correct.

Haven't signed up for an exam prep program yet? Our structured, straightforward approach to exam prep will provide you with exactly what you need to pass your social work exam or MFT exam and nothing you don’t. You can learn more about our social work licensing exam prep HERE and more about our MFT licensing exam prep HERE. If you’d like to connect directly with one of our coaches, you can do that HERE.

We look forward to helping you PASS your exam with confidence!

more

Topics: MFT, Exam Prep, Practice Questions

LCSW/LMSW Practice Question: Defense Mechanisms

Posted by Heidi Tobe

August 2, 2017 at 11:34 AM

This week we address another topic that is likely to show up on any one of the licensing exams you are preparing for, whether you're getting ready to take the LCSW, LMSW, or BSW exam: Defense Mechanisms. In each of our exam preparation programs, Amanda Rowan does an excellent job of teaching you how to distinguish between the defense mechanisms and apply the knowledge to exam questions. Here is one such question:

bigstock--180428599.jpgA 16-year-old male is suspended after repeated offenses of bullying a classmate. While meeting with the principal the student states, "EVERYONE makes fun of that kid! You just don't see it!" What defense mechanism is the client using?

A. Sublimation

B. Rationalization

C. Internalization

D. Denial

The correct answer is B, Rationalization. Sublimation occurs when an individual changes socially unacceptable impulses into socially acceptable behaviors. In a situation like this, sublimation may look like the 16-year-old male channelling his need for power into the role of “protector” and standing up for students who are picked on. Internalization would occur if the 16-year-old male had seen his parents or an older sibling engaging in bullying behavior and took that on as a part of himself and his identity. Denial would involve him denying engaging in the behavior at all, saying something like “I never bullied him!”

The 16-year-old is engaging in rationalization by making an otherwise unacceptable behavior justified by applying logic or reason (in this case, the idea that “everyone else is doing it”) to the behavior.

Trying to learn and apply all of the defense mechanisms can feel overwhelming. We recommend trying to think of personal or client examples for each of them to help make them stick better in your mind. What have you done to learn all of the defense mechanisms? Comment below with what has worked for you!

Our structured, straightforward approach to exam prep will provide you with exactly what you need to pass your social work exam or MFT exam and nothing you don’t. You can learn more about our social work licensing exam prep HERE and more about our MFT licensing exam prep HERE. If you’d like to connect directly with one of our coaches, you can do that HERE.

We look forward to helping you PASS your exam with confidence!

more

Topics: Exam Prep, LCSW Exam Prep, Social Work Exam Prep, Practice Questions