LCSW Exam: Free Practice Question

By Bethany Vanderbilt on February 18, 2014

lcsw exam

Okay folks, this week to help you prep for the LCSW exam we're turning to the topic of therapy theories. This is one of the topics in which there's a pretty significant difference in the amount of information that you might need to know, and it all depends on your discipline.  MFT's, as I understand it, are tested on minute details of various therapy theories; they must know history, different schools within the same theory, etc.  LCSW's, on the other hand, in most cases need only  to know the major concepts of the theory and how they might apply to a clinical situation.  I'll apologize in advance to all the MFT's out there if this blog post doesn't go into enough depth for you -- hopefully it will still be useful! Okay, here's a sample test item:


All of the following intervention strategies are associated with Strategic Family Therapy EXCEPT:

A. Detriangulation

B. Restraining

C. Positioning

D. Paradoxical Directives

Strategic Therapy, in my humble opinion, is a BEAST.  There are 3 schools within this theory, and they have similarities, but there are some distinct differences, too.  Fair warning: I'm just going to go over the basics.  According to this theory, change occurs as the family learns new communication and interaction patterns.  The therapist's role is to provide directives that encourages these alterations -- it requires a very active stance.  The therapist begins by joining with the family and gaining an understanding of the family's current state of homeostasis and hierarchical structure.  The therapist then works with the family in a prescriptive and often manipulative way to change communication and interaction patterns, which then changes the family's overall functioning (homeostasis and hierarchy).  Some terms or concepts that you may want to know: family homeostasis, circular causality, feedback loops (both positive and negative), first order change, second order change, reframing, therapeutic paradox, prescribing the symptom, restraining. A big THANK YOU to Nicolle Osequeda, another member of the TDC team, who provided all of information above (and more -- we've got a great Quick Study sheet on Strategic Therapy).


The answer to the question above is A: detriangulation is a therapeutic intervention used in Bowenian family therapy (also referred to as Extended Family Systems Therapy or Bowen Family Systems Theory).  B, C, and D are all intervention techniques that are associated with Strategic Therapy.  Here's my trick to remembering some of them: when I think of strategy, I think of something active, something that requires doing, and a fair number of the interventions associated with Strategic Therapy are "-ing" words that imply movement or activity.

Think our straightforward, sensible approach could help you PASS your social work exam or MFT exam? If you're preparing for the social work exam click here- Social Work Exam Prep; if you're preparing for the MFT exam, click here MFT Exam Prep. Learn more about our exam prep at the The Therapist Development Center home page.

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Coming up next week: Psychological Phenomena



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August 21, 2016

Looking forward to learning from the blog

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