Free MFT Practice Test

The Examination in Marital and Family Therapy (commonly known as the MFT exam) is administered by the Association of Marital and Family Therapy Regulatory Board. Several jurisdictions require prospective marital and family therapists to pass this exam in order to obtain licensure.

The format of the MFT exam is straightforward. It is composed of 200 multiple-choice questions, each of which has four answer choices. There is only one right answer for each question. The exam is administered by computer, and usually takes about four hours.

The content of the MFT exam can be broken down into five categories: Practice of Marital and Family Therapy (22.5% of the exam); Assessing, Hypothesizing, and Diagnosing (22.5%); Designing and Conducting Treatment (32.5%); Evaluating Ongoing Process and Terminating Treatment (7.5%); and Maintaining Ethical, Legal, and Professional Standards (15%).

All of the questions have been composed and edited by experts, and are meant to correlate with the knowledge and skills required for practice as a marital and family therapist. Your MFT exam score is based on the number of questions you answered correctly. There is no distinction between unanswered questions and questions answered incorrectly, so you should make your best guess on every question. The minimum passing score varies by jurisdiction. The MFT exam is administered by Prometric during the three open testing periods of each year.

MFT Exam Course Review

MFT Exam Study Guide

Practice Questions

1. In Bowenian family therapy, what does detriangulation allow a patient to do?

a. it allows a patient leave therapy early
b. it allows a patient to remain emotionally present, rather than relying on intellect.
c. it allows the patient to be in contact while remaining emotionally separate
d. allows the patient to overlook intellectual confusion until a later point in therapy

2. To which of the following does the phrase "differentiation of self" refer?

a. a type of self-help strategy
b. a way to help children overcome parent separation issues
c. a psychotic therapeutic goal
d. the ability to separate thoughts and feelings

3. Asking the family to develop a family crest or finish sentences such as "being close in this family is" are ways to gain insight into

a. family genograms.
b. family myths.
c. Somatic therapy.
d. the Milan Model.

4. The abandonment of a family ritual is often related to

a. the loss of a beloved pet.
b. family members moving away from home.
c. the onset of dysfunction within the family structure.
d. a new member entering the family.

5. In family therapy, which of the following statements is described best by the term "disengagement"?

a. the emotional "disconnect" between adult and child
b. an elevated level of intimacy between family members
c. the ending of an engagement to marry
d. the traits of a family

Answer Key

1. C: "it allows the patient to be in contact while remaining emotionally separate:" In detriangulation, patients learn to communicate by responding rather than by reacting on an emotional level.

2. D: "the ability to separate thoughts and feelings:" Differentiation of self is the ability to think logically without one's feelings being engaged. In the family therapy setting, this ability also proves useful in helping the patient think about things apart from the influence of the family structure.

3. B: "family myths:" Family myths are essentially the ideology of the family. They are the common ways of interacting within a particular family unit, upon which the family members agree. While they tend to be distortions of reality, they generally are understood within the family unit. Roles are often assigned to members of the family based on these myths.

4. C: "the onset of dysfunction within the family structure:" A family identity is often lacking when the family members cannot describe family rituals that they practice. Likewise, when a patient makes statements such as, "we used to always have a birthday dinner, but don't anymore," one often can note the onset of dysfunction prior to the abandonment of that family ritual.

5. D: "the traits of a family:" The term "disengagement" often describes the traits of a family or the current type of family interaction or functioning. Disengaged families lack intimacy between the members. Family members may feel isolated, have limited understanding of each other, and have limited common interests or interaction.

MFT exam blueprint and breakdown

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Last Updated: 03/01/2017


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