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ASWB Exam Practice: Enraged Client

booksDuring a therapy session, a client suddenly becomes enraged. She stands up, slams her fist on the desk, and throws a book across the room, breaking a picture frame. How should the clinician respond FIRST?

A. Shout for help.

B. Tell the client to sit back down in her chair so that the two of you can discuss whatever is upsetting her.

C. Order the client out of the office.

D. Remain composed and speak in a calm, soothing manner.

What's your answer?

Let's take them one at a time.

A. Shouting for help is a valid option if the clinician is or is about to be physically attacked. That's not what's happening here.

B. The client is apparently unable to talk rationally about the source of her upset at the moment-and probably in no mood to take event simple orders (e.g., "sit back down").

C. If a clinician orders a client to do something, the client may interpret this as an attempt to gain general control over her behavior, and will most likely become angrier.

D. Though it is somewhat vague, this is the correct answer. Most people cannot maintain intense anger in the face of a calm, soothing response.

So, you have your answer (it's D).

Sometimes social work licensing exam questions use as much common sense as they do textbook learning. Combining the two can get you successfully through a big bulk of the exam. But it takes practice. Get started by signing up for complete exams.

Happy studying and good luck on the exam!

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ASWB Exam Practice Question - Subjective Data

kid school A school social worker meets with a parent and child. The child has been refusing to come to school at least one day per week for the past two months. The social worker wants to gather some subjective data about the client's school refusal. Which of the following is an example of subjective data?

A. The client's grades.

B. The child's attendance at school.

C. The client's daily ratings of anxiety.

D. The client's IQ score.

What's your answer?

This is one of those vignettes that requires a simple item of knowledge. Do you or don't you know what subjective data means? And if you don't know, can you figure it out given a common sense understanding of the term subjective? That answer to that is yes.

Subjective data is client reported, based upon their internal experience. Grades? Objective. Attendance records? Also objective. IQ score? Objective. The only one of the offered answers that presents client-reported experience is C, a daily anxiety rating.

And, like that, you have your answer.

Do that 170 times with a reasonable percentage of correct answers and you're licensed! Then you can brag on IG, maybe get a raise, a better job--the whole package.

To get ready for that, try full-length practice tests. We've got a bunch of them. Sign up to get started.

Happy studying and good luck on the exam!

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ASWB Exam Practice: Fear of Flying

fear of flying You may travelling ahead. First, you have this free ASWB exam practice question about flying phobia:

A client seeks therapy to address his phobia about flying. Every time he gets near an airport, he breaks out in a sweat, and if he tries to board an airplane, he has a full-blown panic attack. The MOST effective treatment option is:

A. Exposure therapy

B. Cognitive behavioral therapy

C. Referring the client to a psychiatrist for anti-anxiety medication he can take when he has to fly.

D. Psychodynamic psychotherapy

How do you answer?

Let's take the answers one by one, from the bottom.

D. Psychodynamic psychotherapy involves looking into one's past experiences and conflicts to resolve a current situation. It's a long-term therapy and often not practical for the treatment of phobias. There's also little clinical research on its efficacy in cases of phobia.

C. Medication is a temporary solution at best. It may get the client through one or two instances when he has to fly, but over the long term, it makes more sense to work on extinguishing the irrational fear.

B. Cognitive behavioral therapy is evidence-based treatment for anxieties and phobias. It's a good answer. But is it the best offered answer here? The best answer is the more specific answer. It is...

D. Exposure therapy, in which the client is gradually exposed to more intense fear-inducing stimuli (discussion, pictures, a visit to an aiport, and, in time, a flying). Exposure therapy--which sits under the wide umbrella that makes up all CBT treatments--is the most effective of the treatments listed.

And you have your answer!

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ASWB Exam Practice: "The boy makes it clear he doesn't want to talk about the condition..."

toilet Some more free ASWB exam practice.

A mother and her 8-year-old son meet with a social worker after the child was referred by his primary care physician, who diagnosed the boy with encopresis. The boy makes it clear he doesn't want to talk about the condition and doesn't want to meet with the social worker. What treatment goal is likely to be MOST effective in reducing symptoms of encopresis?

A. The child will learn to identify and replace cognitive distortions that contribute to his feelings of shame.

B. The child's mother will establish a behavior plan that rewards him for using the toilet at regular intervals.

C. The child will learn to talk to his mother about his feelings about encopresis in family therapy.

D. The child will learn to talk openly about the encopresis to reduce his shame and embarrassment.

What's your answer?

The question tests for a combination of DSM and practice knowledge. First the diagnostic part: What's encopresis? Even if you've never encountered the word before, you can glean from the content of the answers a rough definition--"using the toilet at irregular intervals." (It's more accurately "the repeated passing of stool (usually involuntarily) into clothing.") That takes care of the DSM portion of the question.

The question asks about a MOST effective treatment goal. Let's take the answers one at a time:

For A. Replacing cognitive distortions might be effective in reducing the child's shame but won't likely reduce his behavioral symptoms.

B. Behavior modification--rewarding the child for regular toilet habits--is likely to reduce the child's symptoms.

C. While there may be a psychodynamic route to symptom reduction in this case, having the child talk about his feelings about encopresis in family therapy isn't likely to reduce his symptoms.

D. Talking about his symptoms might help reduce this child's embarrassment but won't likely resolve his encopresis.

The rationales for C&D are reenforced by the boy's unwillingness to participate in treatment. The correct answer is B.

Encopresis can be a big problem for children, causing embarrassment and shame, particularly in older children. Although talking about the encopresis with this child may reduce some of his embarrassment, it isn't likely to reduce his symptoms. Behavior plans can be effective in helping children develop regular toilet habits. Children with encopresis often avoid going to the bathroom and become constipated. Establishing regular toilet times can reduce their avoidance.

Make sense? Any childcare or family therapy you've done might also help with getting a question like this right. For behavioral changes, behavioral-oriented treatments are usually the best approach to try first.

Another way to get questions like this right: practice, practice, and more practice. We've got plenty of that at SWTP. Sign up to get started!

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ASWB Exam Practice: "Asked to assess a four-year-old girl who has been having nightmares..."

house fire A clinician has been asked to assess a four-year-old girl who has been having nightmares since a house across the street from hers burned down two months earlier. One of the BEST ways to get information from the client is:

A. Have the child undergo a sleep study.

B.  Avoid an interview with the child, which might prove too traumatizing. Instead, the clinician should speak with the child's parents and other family members.

C. Watch or engage the child in several sessions of play.

D. Ask the child gentle questions about the fire.

 

Since this question is from an old bonus exam that's no longer used on the site, there are explanations for each answer.

For A: Since the sleep issues the child is having appear to be anxiety-related, no sleep study is indicated.

B: The family should be interviewed as a part of the assessment process, but this should not take the place of meeting with the child.

C: Four-year-olds often express their concerns and fears through play. Watching or engaging in play is the best way to assess a child this age.

D: The child is too young to be able to understand or formulate a verbal response to anything but simple questions.

So you have your answer.

The longer rationale: A four-year-old child is too young to put her feelings and thoughts into words and might be intimidated by a stranger asking questions. While interviewing the client's family is a valuable source of information, it cannot be used in place of assessing the child directly. In this case, there's little reason for a sleep study. The best way to proceed is to watch and interact naturally with the child while she is playing.

Find lots more practice--complete with thorough rationales--on our full-length ASWB exam practice tests. Sign up to get started!

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