The Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS) is responsible for formulating the Marriage and Family Therapist licensure examination. The BBS has a downloadable study guide that reviews the basic exam procedures and provides example questions based on the exam’s two sections: the Written Examination and the Clinical Vignette Examination. Since the BBS created the exam, acquiring the study guide is the first step in preparing for the California MFT. You can use this guide as well as your experience and peer knowledge to study for the exam.
Gather any notes and guidance you have in the following MFT areas: ethics, law, clinical evaluation, crisis management, treatment, and treatment planning. All of the Written Examination questions and multiple choice answers are derived from these areas. Consider reviewing any coursework or seminar notes.
Locate the sample Written Examination questions and answers in the Board of Behavioral Science Marriage and Family Therapist Study Guide. They are related to those categories mentioned in step 1. The guideline states that there are no trick questions and that the incorrect selections may be true but not relevant statements or common errors.
Review your answers and compare them to the correct selections. Consider your experience and knowledge as to what led you to the answers. Make note of any areas that you were unfamiliar with or need additional help.
Contact your peers, supervisor or local MFT organization to form a study group. Review with them the areas for which you need help so you can gain another perspective or additional knowledge. Ask them to formulate questions and answers similar to those in the study guide.
Clinical Vignette Examination
Gather any notes and guidance for the areas listed in Section 1, Step 1. The Clinical Vignette Examination will base its vignettes and multiple choice answers on those same categories.
Repeat Section 1, Step 2 for the clinical vignettes in the same study guide. Consider your personal experiences and cases similar to those vignettes before answering each question.
Compare your answers to the correct answers. Write down any categories for which you need additional information or help.
Review your notes in those troublesome areas and create vignettes based on your notes. Present them to your supervisor or study group and ask them how they would answer the vignette question. Make note of their answers.
Paul Bright has been writing online since 2006, specializing in topics related to military employment and mental health. He works for a mental health non-profit in Northern California. Bright holds a Bachelor of Science in psychology from the University of North Carolina-Pembroke and a Master of Arts in psychology-marriage and family therapy from Brandman University.