LCSW Study Guide: Practice Question

By Bethany Vanderbilt on August 28, 2013


This LCSW study guide will explore another topic that test-makers take seriously: Danger to Others. Therapists should be able to identify warning signs and intervene as needed. Here’s how it might show up in a test item:

Sample Question:

A 35 year-old man is referred to a social worker after being released from prison, where he served 5 years for aggravated assault.  He is in need of job placement services, housing resources and legal services regarding his impending divorce.  When the social worker inquires about his job-related skills, the client becomes agitated and states, "It's all my wife's fault...if it weren't for her, I'd have a great job right now.  I'll make her pay...". What should the social worker do NEXT?

A. Refer the client to an employment agency to help him find employment

B. Provide client with referrals for mediation services to assist with the divorce

C. Assist the client in prioritizing his needs

D. Clarify the client’s comments and assess his risk of danger to his wife

As therapists, we should be looking for risk factors for violent behavior, including, but not limited to: prior history of violence, substance abuse, childhood experiences of having been abused, and social isolation. In order to effectively intervene with clients who may be a danger to others, therapists need to accurately clarify the level of danger.  It should come as no surprise that the level of lethality increases with the specificity of the plan and a past history of violent behavior.


D is the correct answer, as the client is presenting with several risk factors and also makes the ambiguous statement about making his wife pay; A, B, and C may all be part of a viable treatment plan, but not until safety is established.

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.

Looking for more practice questions? Check out this free LCSW study guide below:

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Coming up next week: Crisis Intervention



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