MFT Free Practice Question: Case Conceptualization

By Robin Gluck on February 23, 2021

 

This month’s blog will focus on the topic of case conceptualization. The ability of an MFT to conceptualize their client’s presenting issues and use that to inform their treatment plan has a direct relationship to the effectiveness of therapy. Case conceptualization is an integral part of our therapeutic work, and your understanding of it will be tested on the California MFT written clinical exam

What is case conceptualization? 

In short, it is the process used to understand our client’s presenting issues and offers a roadmap to guide the therapeutic process. We’ve written a more thorough review of case conceptualization that you can access here

How couldcase conceptualization appear on the exam?

You could be asked to:

  • Identify short or long-term goals based on the presenting issues
  • Apply a theoretical approach to developing a treatment plan
  • Identify appropriate objectives at different stages of therapy

 

MFT practice question:

A 5-year-old child is brought to therapy by his parents. The parents state that their son is in kindergarten and three months into school he still refuses to let go of them at drop-off and cries for part of the morning once they leave. He engages minimally with other students and is not meeting all of the established academic milestones. Which of the following goals should the therapist include in the treatment plan for this case? 

A. Increase the child’s self-soothing skills

Improve the child’s relationship with his classmates

Decrease child’s reliance on parents for emotional stability

B. Increase the child’s self-soothing skills

Improve the child’s relationship with his classmates and teacher

Explore underlying causes of the child’s reactive attachment style

C. Decrease emotional reactivity in classroom setting

Increase the child’s ability to tolerate time away from parents

Improve communication between the child and his teacher

D. Decrease emotional reactivity in classroom setting

Increase the child’s ability to tolerate time away from parents

Improve academic performance

(scroll down for answer and rationale…)

Treatment plan hand written

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The correct answer is A.

When it comes to questions regarding case conceptualization and treatment planning, we want to find answers that link back to what was noted in the vignette. All parts of answer A are strong. They directly address issues mentioned in the vignette–difficulty calming down when parents leave, minimal interactions with classmates, and excessive need for parents. In contrast, answer B includes exploration of reactive attachment style, which is not indicated in the vignette and can therefore be eliminated. Answers C and D include a focus on emotional reactivity, which again is not a concern in the vignette. Therefore, answers C and D are also wrong.

 

How did you do?

How did you do on the case conceptualization question? Are you ready to tackle these questions on your exam? Regardless of your answers to these questions, TDC’s MFT California Clinical Exam prep program covers it and provides you with practice questions to help you prepare. TDC’s MFT California Clinical exam prep programs give you everything you need to be successful on the exam, without overwhelming you with content you don’t need. We’ve helped THOUSANDS of MFTs PASS their exams with confidence over the past decade. Our team looks forward to helping you PASS with confidence!

 

 


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