MFT Exam Prep Study Guide

By Bethany Vanderbilt on October 7, 2013

MFT Exam Practice Question

Happy Monady MFT exam test preppers! When a news story focuses on mental illness, it's often Schizophrenia, Major Depressive Disorder or Bipolar Disorder that takes center stage.  Recently, however, a news story put a different kind of mental illness in the spotlight, and I have to admit, for me, it's been fascinating to follow.  Before I give too much away, here's a sample question that was partially inspired by the recent story involving the high school students in New York.


A 17 year-old girl is admitted to a psychiatric unit after sudden onset of symptoms.  According to her assessment, 2 weeks before her admission, she began experiencing frequent motor tics, shaking, and paralysis on her right side; she was evaluated by a team of doctors, but they were unable to account for her symptoms.  Her history indicates a lack of mental health symptoms earlier in her life, no substance use or abuse, and her academic records indicate that she has been an honors' student since she entered high school.  When the social worker interviews the girl, she states, "I've just been really stressed out...the SAT's are a week away and my whole future is riding on that."  What is the most likely diagnosis in this case?

A.  Tourette's Disorder

B.  Hypochondriasis

C.  Somatization Disorder

D.  Conversion Disorder

For our purposes in studying for the MFT exam, health-related disorders include both eating disorder and Somatoform Disorders.   All Somatoform Disorders include the presence of physical symptoms that suggest a medical condition and are not fully explained by a general medical condition, by the direct effects of a substance, or by another mental disorder. In particular, Conversion Disorder is defined by the following criteria: one or more symptoms or deficits affecting voluntary motor or sensory functioning that suggest a neurological or general medical condition; psychological factors are judged to be associated with the symptoms because the initiation of symptoms is preceded by stress or other conflict; the symptoms are not intentionally produced; the symptoms, after appropriate investigation, cannot be fully explained by a general medical condition, substance use, or a culturally sanctioned behavior/experience; the symptoms are not limited to pain or sexual dysfunction.


D is the best answer to the question above because the client is experiencing physical symptoms that would suggest a neurological condition but cannot be explained by a general medical or neurological condition and have been preceded by an increase in stress (SAT's).  A is not the best choice due to the paralysis and shaking; B is not the best choice because the client has no history of preoccupation with fears of having a medical condition; C is not the best answer because Somatization Disorder involves a variety of physical complaints that occur over a period of years.

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: Sexual Disorders



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