The California Board of Behavioral Sciences will discuss clinical exams this Friday. My colleague Tony Rousmaniere and I decided to dig into these exams, beyond just the horrifying report ASWB released this summer. (TLDR: Wildly disparate passing rates by race/ethnicity.) While I’m previously on record as not a fan of clinical exams, they’re widely accepted. We figured we would follow where the data leads us. And so here it is:
Marriage and family therapists (MFTs) work with individuals, families, and couples of all types. We assess, diagnose and treat the full range of mental and emotional disorders. So, the title “marriage and family therapist” doesn’t provide the whole picture of what we do.
Should the name of the license be changed?
Back in May, I wrote about how pass rates on the California MFT Clinical Exam for licensure had fallen off a cliff. At the time, the state’s Board of Behavioral Sciences offered an explanation for why the pass rate might have been higher than expected at the beginning of 2016. However, they had no explanation for why the pass rate since then had fallen so far.
The most recent data on California licensing exam pass rates [page 25] makes clear that the alarmingly low pass rate in the first quarter of 2017 — when just 57% of first-time test-takers passed the MFT Clinical Exam — was not simply an aberration. It truly does appear that the exam is broken.
[Ed. note: With this post, I’d like to personally welcome Jeff Liebert, MA, to the Psychotherapy Notes team. Jeff is from Sacramento, currently lives and works in Los Angeles, and is ever-so-close to completing the journey to MFT licensure. His first few posts here will focus on the big decisions that come with the last 100 hours of that journey. Welcome aboard, Jeff! -Ben]
It’s here at last: The final 100 hours. I am so close to completing my supervised experience, which is the most extensive requirement in my way of being a licensed therapist. As I sit here on the edge of licensure, I am full of both excitement and dread.
MFT licensure in California looks a lot different here than it does everywhere else. And it shouldn’t have to, seeing as the profession itself — that is, our scope of practice and competence — is pretty much the same here as it is everywhere else.
What the heck is so different here, and why?