MFT Practice Question: Suicide

By Asya Mourraille on April 27, 2022

In this month’s MFT FREE practice question we are talking about suicide. This is an important and relevant topic, not only because you are guaranteed to see it on the exam, but also because it is a major public health concern and something every therapist will deal with in the course of their clinical practice. Unfortunately, as significant as this topic is, most therapists do not receive adequate training on how to assess and manage suicide. Amanda Rowan noticed this gap in training and decided to do something about it. She created the Edge of Life Model, a humanistic approach to treating suicidality that is the culmination of nearly a decade of research, exploration, and Amanda’s personal experiences battling suicidality throughout the course of her life. On the Edge of Life: Introduction to Treating Suicidality is already available and is the first course that will be part of a series. This course  introduces you to the phenomenology of suicide and and offers a framework to help conceptualize the level of risk for a client expressing suicidal ideation. It is rich, heartfelt and unlike any other approach to this topic out there. 

Topic of Suicide on the MFT exam

As far as the exam is concerned, whether you are taking the MFT Law and Ethics, the California Clinical or the National MFT exam, you are guaranteed to encounter questions related to this topic. You will be tested on your ability to properly assess the client, identify warning signs of suicide, and  appropriately treat a client presenting with varying levels of suicidality. 

Even if you’ve had limited experience and training in this area, TDC’s test prep programs provide everything you need know to prepare for these types of questions. We make sure that you have both the didactic knowledge and the test taking strategies necessary to answer these questions correctly. In addition, your test prep program will have a good number of practice questions for you to truly understand this topic and how it might show up on the test. 

Let’s see  how you do with this FREE practice question: 

MFT Suicide Practice Question

During a session, a 25-year-old female tells her therapist that she feels alone and untethered. She recently lost her job and has not felt  very supported by her friend group. She shares that she has been having thoughts of not wanting to be here anymore and has a tentative plan, but no means. How should the therapist manage the legal and ethical obligations in this case? 


A. Initiate involuntary hospitalization

B. Inform the client that her collateral support needs to be involved

C. Give the client a number for a suicide prevention hotline

D. Increase frequency of contact with the client. 

(Scroll down for the answer and rationale)









The correct answer to this question is B: Inform the client that her collateral support needs to be involved. The client has experienced a significant loss and is expressing feelings of loneliness and disconnection. In addition, we can see in the stem that she has suicidal ideation and a tentative plan. Since she does not have the means or a concrete plan, the level of risk at this time is moderate. Thus, initiating involuntary hospitalization would be a bit of an overreaction. However, simply giving the client a suicide hotline phone number would not be enough in this case, as the risk is moderate. Between B and D, the first thing we are going to do is talk to the client about activating her support system. She mentioned that she does not feel adequate support from her friend group, so it would be important to help her express her needs to them, or to identify other supports, such as family. If she is open to involving her support system and engaging in safety planning, then we have hope and valuable information about her level of despair. If she is unwilling to voluntarily engage and participate in creating solutions, then the level of risk goes up significantly and the therapist would need to act accordingly. After the conversation about client’s collateral support, the therapist would talk with the client about the possibility of increasing the frequency of therapeutic contact.  


How did you do? 


How did you do on this month’s practice question? Are you ready to tackle questions related to this topic on your exam? Regardless of your answer to this question, TDC’s programs for the MFT CA Clinical, MFT Law and Ethics and AMFTRB exams cover all you need to know and provide you with hundreds of practice questions to prepare. TDC gives you everything you need to be successful on the exam without overwhelming you with unnecessary content. We have helped thousands of MFT’s Pass their exams with confidence over the past decade. Our team looks forward to helping you PASS with confidence, too!


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