LMSW Exam: Practice Question

By Emily Pellegrino on January 13, 2014


Well LMSW exam test preppers, this week we’ll be looking at boundaries and the impact they have on our work. Boundaries are an important part of social work because they are there to not only protect the client, but to protect you as the social worker as well. Here’s a sample question to start us off.

Sample Question:

All of the following statements are characteristics of boundaries within the client-therapist relationship EXCEPT:

A. Developing a framework that allows for a safe connection based upon the needs of the client

B. Maintaining the social work values and ethics

C. Allowing for a safe connection based upon what the client wants

D. Understanding and recognizing the power imbalance that exists within the relationship

Boundaries in the social work profession have a lot of different meanings and can include the boundaries that are within families, boundaries with clients, and even those that we set between our personal and professional lives. It's important to know for the LMSW exam that within the client-therapist relationship, professional boundaries can include a fee for services, personal disclosure, limits regarding the use of touch, and avoiding dual relationships.  Boundaries, therefore, allow for a safe connection to be created between you and the client, while keeping the client's best interest in mind.


The best answer to the above question is C.  While clients may at times push the boundaries based on what they want, it is important to keep in mind what the client actually needs and what will be most beneficial for them and their treatment goals.  While we touched upon this briefly already, A is not the correct answer because the needs of the client are identified in this statement which is necessary to create a safe and effective treatment environment.  B is not correct because the social work code of ethics state that these values must be upheld in order to avoid conflicts of interest, exploitation, and inappropriate boundaries. Lastly, D is not correct because it is important to understand the power imbalance that inherently exists within the therapeutic relationship.  The client is coming to you for your knowledge and expertise (and often help!), which puts their trust in you to create a safe and appropriate environment.

Think our straightforward, sensible approach could help you PASS your Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW) exam? If you're preparing for the social work exam check out our LMSW Study Materials. Learn more about our exam prep at The Therapist Development Center home page.

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Coming up next week: Countertransference



Commenter Name
July 23, 2019

I will be taken the lmsw exam again in August 2019. I took it in May 2019 and graduated in 2012 July. I was not able to complete the exam 60 right and need 98 to pass.

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