Alumni, Community and Student Engagement Initiatives

Archive for June, 2009

Licensing Exam Hell

I recently spoke with a friend who’d just taken the MFT licensing exam. Having taken it already I gave her my study materials and my insights into the domain areas and the way that the questions were worded (that I could remember) in her preparation for the exam. After countless hours of preparation, trepidation and angst, she took the exam and was devastated to find that she felt completely ill prepared. She’d known someone who had failed it by one point and was petrified of having the same fate. Worse, she felt that she likely could have put in one quarter of the preparation time and done just as well (that remains to be seen). After finishing the exam she was an emotional wreck, angry, defeated, and despondent at the prospect of waiting the 45 torturous business days before getting the results. When I spoke with her a few days later she had largely recovered but felt strongly that the exam was in no way a reflection of her abilities as a clinician and that under no circumstances would she take it again if she didn’t pass. Having been in the very same place less than a year earlier I completely understood where she was coming from, I too had been an emotional wreck after taking the exam; so I said to her what I’ve said to each of my friends who have left that exam devastated and believing that they had failed. The exam is not designed to test our knowledge, it is designed to test our application of that knowledge in real life situations. The licensing exam experience is a parallel process, it leaves us unsure, confused and questioning whether or not we did the right thing; emotions we often experience when working with clients. I also told her that everyone that I know passed the exam despite having a similar experience. Of course she won’t rest until she learns her fate, but my education at Fairfield prepared me well for the exam, after that your guess is as good as mine.

In Their Own Words…

 Priscilla – second year MFT student…


Priscilla is doing her practicum at FSW Inc., a community mental health agency in Bridgeport CT in the Behavioral Health and Domestic Violence departments. As a bi-lingual clinical intern she will be working with both English and Spanish speaking clients.

My experience as an MFT student at Fairfield University has been exceptional. The professors and the training environment throughout my course of study have helped me acquire the tools to continue this progressive journey of learning how to be a skillful therapist. I appreciate the diversity among the professors, and the knowledge and experience they bring to the classroom. It is also a joy is to see classmates and colleagues grow in their learning through the University’s clinic, supervisors, and professors; who have all been supportive guides. They are consistently looking for ways to improve the program: providing students with workshops, giving and receiving feedback, and helping in any way they can. My advisor helped me find an internship based on the population that I most wanted to work with. The university staff allows you to be who you are as a clinician, which helped me to recognize that everyone is different and has a unique style to his or her practice. As I move into the clinical piece of this program, I sense a feeling of nervousness that professors and textbooks warned us was normal, but also a sense of exhilaration. This is because I know I am exactly where I am supposed to be, dedicating my time to what I find worth living for.