MFT Exam Prep: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

By Robin Gluck on May 25, 2020

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy


This month’s FREE MFT Clinical exam practice question will test your knowledge regarding the application of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is one of the most commonly used treatment modalities. As a consequence, even if you do not personally practice CBT, you will still need to be familiar with its major constructs for either the California MFT Clinical exam or the AMFTRB National exam.


What do I need to know about Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

On your California MFT Clinical or National MFT Clinical exam, you may see questions that test your knowledge of this theory on topics such as:

  •   Key Concepts (i.e. Cognitive Distortions, Automatic Thoughts)
  •   Therapist/Client Relationship
  •   Case Conceptualization
  •   Interventions
  •   Goals of Treatment


So, how well do you know this theory? Let’s see how you do on this month’s FREE MFT Clinical Exam practice question.


MFT Practice Question:

A 23-year-old male client attends an intake session at a community mental health agency. The client complains that nothing in his life is going well. He shares that he and his partner recently broke up, he thinks he will be alone for the rest of his life, and he can’t imagine ever being happy again. The therapist completes a comprehensive assessment, rules out risk of suicide or self-harm, and determines the client is experiencing symptoms of depression. A CBT therapist would consider all of the following interventions in treatment EXCEPT:

  1. Challenging the client’s cognitive distortions, while helping him develop healthier thinking.
  2. Asking the client to identify the types of distortions he is employing that are causing him to experience depressive symptoms.
  3. Teaching the client how to use an automatic thought record.
  4. Encouraging the client to use automatic thought records in between therapy sessions.


(scroll below for the answer and rationale…)























The correct answer is A.


Answer A describes an intervention that would not be used by a CBT therapist. CBT therapists take a collaborative approach when working with clients. The therapist would not challenge the client, but rather, would empower the client to identify and challenge their own cognitive distortions.  Answers B, C, and D all describe interventions that could be used by a CBT therapist over the course of treatment.






MFT Clinical Exam Preparation 

How did you do with today’s question on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy? Do you feel ready to successfully answer questions like this one on your MFT Clinical exam? Whether you feel 100% ready to PASS (or 100% like you need more practice), know TDC has you covered. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, along with many other theories, that are likely to appear on your MFT Clinical exam are thoroughly covered by TDC.

We are living in uncertain times and challenging times. We know that testing is up in the air for many of you due to the temporary closure of Pearson testing centers because of COVID-19. The good news is that (as it always has been), TDC is with you until you pass. We never charge for extensions and are here to help you get ready to pass your exam with CONFIDENCE, no matter when you’re testing. TDC provides both the knowledge and reasoning skills to help you pass your exam. We know life is overwhelming right now, so we give you everything you need and nothing you don’t so your studying can be as focused as possible.

AND you can email your coach anytime you have questions as you go through the program (all of our coaches passed their exams with at least a 90%). TDC has helped THOUSANDS of MFTs successfully pass their licensure exams. Are you next?





Commenter Name
July 25, 2020

I have taken and been studying for the last 3 months for my test Aug. 1st but don't seem to make any progress in getting increased scores. 65% on all 3 tests even with reviewing the entire serious again, rationales and so forth. I'm starting to wondering if its my learning style and have tried to do things to help me like writing and making flashcards. I don't know what else to do.

Commenter Name
August 25, 2020

Hi, did you end up passing the exam?

Commenter Name
November 1, 2020

Hello Della, how did you do on your test?

Commenter Name
July 20, 2022

This was a great and interesting article to read. I have really enjoyed all of this very cool and fun information. Thanks

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