Free MFT Exam Practice Question: Working with Children and Adolescents Answer and Rationale

By Robin Gluck on March 28, 2018

Yesterday, we discussed the topic of working with children and adolescents, including a FREE MFT exam practice question to help you get prepared for your MFT exams. Did you get it right?

Practice Question:

A 15-year-old high school student is referred for individual therapy by his school counselor. The mother and father attend the first session with their son and consent to treatment. The parents dominate the session and express concern that their son suddenly appears to be struggling with severe anxiety. They tell the therapist that he was extremely active in sports and excelled in school, but recently his anxiety has caused him to drop off the basketball team and his grades have dropped. After four sessions, the client opens up and shares that he believes the anxiety is a result of all the pressure his parents place on him.  The mother contacts the therapist and asks for a comprehensive update regarding her son’s progress. Which of the following actions should the therapist take in response to this request?

A. Inform the mother that the therapist is not able to discuss the client’s progress without his permission.

B. Provide the mother with a comprehensive update regarding the son’s progress since the parents consented to treatment.

C. Discuss the mother’s request with the client and determine what information he would like the therapist to share and request a release of information.

D. Determine what information can and cannot be shared with the parents based on the therapist’s understanding of implications to therapeutic relationship.


The correct answer is C.

When working with minors, it’s important to separate consent from confidentiality. In this question, the minor is old enough to consent to treatment and therefore can determine what information can be shared with his parents.

  • Answer A is a tempting answer because the therapist is properly telling the mother that information cannot be shared. However, it is incorrect. We would need a release from the minor, not just his permission, before we can have this conversation.
  • Answer B can be knocked out quickly. We cannot provide the comprehensive update just because the parents consented to treatment. Remember, consent and confidentiality are two separate issues and should not be confused.
  • Answer D is incorrect because it indicates the therapist is determining what may or may not be shared with the parents. This would be a stronger answer if the minor were under the age of 12. However, since the boy is old enough to consent to his own treatment, he gets to make this determination.
  • Answer C is the strongest answer choice provided. In this answer, we directly address the request with the client and allow him to make the decision of what to share. We would then need a release of information to determine what information can be shared by the therapist with the parents.

MFT Exam Preparation

Which answer did you choose? Does the rationale fit with your understanding of the topic and how you would apply it in a 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 on the right track to getting licensed.

Still haven’t signed up for an exam preparation program? Or have you already passed the exam and need to complete your continuing education requirements? Our structured, straightforward approach will provide you with exactly what you need!


Commenter Name
April 2, 2018

I chose a, but understand why c is correct. I think this why I failed my clinical twice,}

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