MFT Exam

  1. Accomodation
    Describes a variety of engagement techniques-such as joining- used principally by structural family therapists in which the therapists adapts him/herself to the family's style of interacting.
  2. AAMFT
    American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy Inc, the primary national professional association of MFT's-located in Washington, DC-although AAMFT makes no direct contribution to the licensing examination, many senior members have contributed test items-also wrote the Code of Ethics-which is the basis for the MFT code in all states
  3. AAMFT code of ethics
    A set of ethical guidelines and rules that all members of AAMFT are required to understand and to follow-function of the code is to define the r role of the professional, help guide professional conduct, and serve as a basis for sanctions. Many states have adopted these guidelines as part of their regulation of mft's.
  4. Acculturation
    The process by which immigrant group members adjust to the culture of their new country.
  5. Adaptablility
    From Olson's Circumplex Model, a measure of the family's ability to respond and adapt to changes in their lives- also called 'flexibility'- Families are rated on 4 levels: rigid, structured, flexible, and chaotic.
  6. AIDS
    Auto Immune Deficiency Syndrome-chronic & infectious disease in which the body's immune system is damaged, making a person vulnerable to a number of serious, sometimes fatal, infections and cancers.
  7. AA
    Alcoholics Anonymous-self help group that uses a 12 step program for recovery from alcohol addiction.
  8. Alliance
    • In the structural & strategic models- a bond or affiliation between two or more family members. Alliances differ from coalitions in that they are generally within a subsystem and not hidden.
    • OR
    • In the domestic violence literature- refers to the redemptive phase of the abuse cycle, in which the perpetrator promises never to act violently again and the victim agrees to participate in that goal.
  9. Allopoetic Systems
    Systems that can be controlled from the outside, such as machines -originated by postmoder Chilean biologist, Maturana
  10. ANOVA
    Analysis of Variance: a method of statistical analysis which enables researchers to determine the likelihood that a variable being measured (dependent variable) is associated with a second variable (independent variable) by chance alone. If the deviation (variance) from the norm (frequency of association expected by chance alone) is sufficiently large, the variables are likely to be causally related.
  11. Antilibidinal Ego
    From object relations theory-that part of the ego that is formed from interactions with the rejecting object
  12. Antilibidinal Systme
    From object relations theory- a repressed system within the ego characterized by aggression, rage, & contempt
  13. As If Structure
    From symbolic-experiential therapy- family members are encouraged to freely experiment as if they were in the role of the other-so long as they understand that the role-play is symbolic. The process allows family members to alternately experiment and return to their secure roles.
  14. Autopoetic Systems
    Systems that are self-organizing and self maintaining, such as biological & human systems- such systems can be described by second order cybernetics- originated by postmodern Chilean biologist, Maturana.
  15. Avoider
    From Satir's experiential family therapy-1 of 5 communication styles. The avoider tends to distract others from potential conflict by acting helpless,weak, and lacking understanding.
  16. Balancing Power
    Equalizing access to power in a couple which is overly organized by a hierarchy
  17. Baseline
    A beginning observable, stable performance measure against which change, particularly behavioral change, can be measured.
  18. Battle for Initiative
    From Whitaker/Symbolic-experiential therapy-follows the battle for structure-in this 2nd battle the family takes back from the therapist its authority to make choices about what is discussed and about decision that affect their lives.
  19. Battle for Structure
    Described by Whitaker as the therapist's demand that the family capitulate to his/her way of conducting the therapy, particularly during the initial stages-it is followed by the battle for initiative
  20. Beavers-Timberlawn Model
    An assessment tool- used to rate the dimensions of competence & style in a family's functioning. 5 Competence dimensions are:adequate, optimal, midrange, borderline, & severely dysfunctional. 3 Stylistic dimensions are: centripetal, centrifugal, & mixed.
  21. Behavioral Exchange Theory
    From behavioral family therapy-a way of describing relationships in terms of costs & benefits. Functional relationships= plentiful access to rewards & relatively few costs, while distressed relationships = scarcity of rewards relative to costs.
  22. Behavioral Family Therapy- BFT
    A theory & therapeutic model developed by Patterson, Reid, & others based on principles of learning and behavior change. In BFT, all family members are seen as part of the problem & symptoms are reformulated into concrete observable behaviors, each of which will either be reward or extinguished.
  23. Behavioral Parent Training- BPT
    A program for training parents in the use of contingency management to modify or extinguish unwanted behaviors and reinforce desirable behaviors in children.
  24. Bicultural
    People who belong to more than one culture and who are able to alternate between the cultures, adjusting temporarily to each depending on the circumstance.
  25. Bilateral Pseudo-Therapy
    From symbolic-experiential therapy-the tendency in some families for family members to be therapists to one another. Therapists demand that the therapy be turned over to them, asserting that the family has failed in its efforts at self-therapy.
  26. Bilateral Transference
    A therapeutic stance in symbolic-experiential therapy in which the therapist adopts the language,accent, rhythm, or posture of the family.
  27. Biobehavioral
    Biological factors that influence behavior - e.g.: depression, that is caused, in part, by faulty neurochemistry.
  28. Bi-Modal Feedback Mechanism
    From Ashby-the rule-bound mechanism by which a system remains unchanged so long as the internal or external environment is stable, but when the fluctuation exceeds the range of stability the system must respond in some new way. The system either breaks down or it makes a leap into new levels of functioning. The change results in a new set of patterns which , like the old pattern, is also bound by rules, and it, too, remains unchanged, so long as the environment is stable.
  29. Binuclear Family
    Families in which the parents are divorced, have remarried, and formed two intact nuclear families.
  30. Blamer
    From Satir's experiential family therapy- 1 of 5 communication styles. The blamer judges and complains, often for the purpose of bullying others into accepting his/her preferences.
  31. Boundary
    In Minuchin's structural family therapy-boundaries are hypothetical dividers between or among subsystems within the family or between systems. They are defined spatially by the ways family members align with one another. They are set by the implicit or explicit rules concerning who participates in which subsystem and in what manner. Boundaries and the subsystems they define may change over time and with variable circumstances. In the structural model, boundaries are described as either rigid, clear, or diffuse.
  32. Boundary Interface
    The regions between each subsystem of the family and between the family and suprasystem. In family systems therapy this interface is referred to as the familial boundary.
  33. Boundary Making
    A structural therapy technique in which the therapist establishes a functional semi-permeable (clear) boundary where either a rigid or diffuse boundary had existed previously.
  34. Bowenian Family Therapy
    Bowen's theory and therapeutic model is based on the family's emotional system, the differentiation of self within one's family, ad the multi-generational transmission of emotions and family patterns.
  35. Brief Family Therapy
    A model of problem-focused and time-limited therapy developed by the Mental Research Institute (MRI) in Pala Alto, CA-Milton Erickson & others.
  36. Caring Days
    From behavioral marital therapy, each partner identifies behaviors that his/her partner finds enjoyable & makes a commitment to increasing those behaviors.
  37. Case-Specific Symptom Prescription
    a therapeutic technique of the strategic model in which symptomatic or other undesirable behaviors are paradoxically encourage din order to lessen such behavior or bring it under conscious control.
  38. Center for Disease Control-CDC
    The US government agency that , among other things, tracks the incidence of communicable diseases and defines criteria for diagnosis of AIDS.
  39. Central Ego
    From objects relations theory- 1 of 3 parts of the ego- The Central ego is conscious, adaptable, and free to deal with future experiences with attachment figures in reasonable ways. The central ego maintains its own object, the ideal object.
  40. Centrifugal
    Defined by Beavers as part of the Beavers-Timberlawn Model, a family system dynamic in which members are expelled or encouraged to operate at the outer periphery and seek gratification outside the family.
  41. Centripetal
    Defined by Beavers as part of the Beavers-Timberlawn Model, a family system dynamic in which members are tightly bound to one another emotionally and encouraged to seek gratification from one another.
  42. Change
    • From structural family therapy- perspective change is the process by which elements of a system are transformed to new states or levels of organization.
    • &/OR
    • Developmental system change refers to the family life cycle and the transition of the family from one stage of development to another.
    • ALSO...
    • Strategic models see change as occurring suddenly and resulting from shifts in beliefs; whereas the structural and transgenerational models see change as occurring through a gradual learning process.
  43. Circularity ( Circular Causality)
    notion held by the Milan Systemic group-says causality in families cannot be thought of as a simple, singe cause& effect relationship (linear causality)-instead events, behaviors and interactions are seen in a more complex way- as mutually influencing gone another (feedback loops). Each is the effect of a prior cause and in turn influences future behaviors-becomes an endless circular chain. In this model it is meaningless to identify an individual as having caused or started a problem-all elements allow the problem to coexist-problem could not be maintained if one part was removed.
  44. Circular questioning
    A technique for interviewing & hypothesis validation designed by the Milan systemic group, based on Bateson's idea that people learn by perceiving differences. In this technique each family member comments on the behavior and interaction of two other members. It is hoped that beliefs will become less rigid when members are exposed to different perspectives.
  45. Circumplex Model
    designed by Olson- a graphic model for observing and assessing families, it measures the family's level of cohesion and adaptability. Families with ^ cohesion tend to function as enmeshed, families with not enough cohesion can be disengaged. ^ adaptability can result in excessive & unpredictable change, while too little can result in rigidity & failure to transition through the life cycle. Healthy families will be balanced-having neither too much or too little- Olson's tool FACES is used to apply the Circumplex Model to family assessment.
  46. Classical Conditioning
    a learning paradigm studied & practiced in a laboratory or other controlled environment in which a stimulus called the unconditioned stimulus (US) which naturally elicits an unconditioned response (UCR) is paired with a neutral stimulus that does not initially elicit a response. Through the repeated pairings, the neutral stimulus (now the conditioned stimulus) begins to elicit the desired response ( now the conditioned response)
  47. Closed system
    A self contained system with impermeable boundaries which resists change and operates with minimal interactions with its outside environment, thereby ^ it's dysfunction.
  48. Coaching
    In Bowenian therapy (used in other models as well) the use of an objective person, such as the therapist, to guide a family member to interact with other members in new ways and prevent the family from seducing the person back.
  49. Coalitions
    A concept described by Minuchin in which 2 family members form a covert alliance, either temporary or durable, against a 3rd party. Coalitions usually form across generational boundaries and create power blocks in families, which serve either to balance another coalition or establish control.
Card Set
MFT Exam
glossary terms to study for MFT exam