LICENSE EXAM NEWS
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CALIFORNIA BBS LICENSE EXAM RESTRUCTURE POSTPONED BY LEGISLATIVE ACTION
We have previously announced that, although the California Legislature previously passed a law requiring the BBS to change its license examination structure as of January 1, 2013, the BBS was likely to request a postponement if they are not ready to implement the mandated changes. The BBS has, in fact requested such a postponement, and the legislature has approved the request.
California Senate Bill 1575 states “Existing law makes various changes to the licensing and associated examination requirements for marriage and family therapists, clinical social workers, and professional clinical counselors, effective January 1, 2013. This bill would delay the implementation of these and other related changes until January 1, 2014.” This bill passed the State Assembly on August 16, 2012, passed the State Senate on August 27, 2012, and was enrolled on August 30, 2012.
What does this mean for you? Keep doing what you’re doing. You can expect the current California license exam process to continue until January 1, 2014 when the BBS plans to implement its new Law and Ethics Examination, begin using the “national exam” (ASWB exam) for LCSW’s, and probably begin using the “national exam” (AMFTRB exam) for MFT’s as well.
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CHANGES IN THE ASWB EXAM CONTENT OUTLINE
The ASWB Clinical Level license exam is currently used in all US states except California. In 2014 this exam is likely to be used in California as well. The ASWB has adopted a new Content Outline for this exam. The exam will retain its structure of 170 questions to be answered in a four hour exam session. The new Content Outline is as follows.
THE ASWB EXAM CONTENT OUTLINE
1. HUMAN DEVELOPMENT, DIVERSITY, AND BEHAVIOR IN THE ENVIRONMENT (31%)
This involves understanding the development and dynamics of individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities with regard to both normal and abnormal behavior. It includes theories of development and behavior, the life cycle, impact of crises and changes, family functioning, addictions, and the dynamics and effects of abuse and neglect.
2. ASSESSMENT, DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT PLANNING (26%)
- Human Development in the Life Cycle
Includes personality theories, growth and development theories, child and adolescent development, the biopsychosocial interplay, attachment, bonding, and basic human needs.
- Human Behavior in the Environment
Includes Person in Environment theory, normal and abnormal behavior, family dynamics., dynamics of abuse and neglect, characteristics of perpetrators of abuse, effects of abuse and neglect on victims, and the effects of life events and crises on individuals and the family.
- Effects of Diversity
This includes the effects of culture, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation and/or gender, age and/or disability.
Includes substance use and abuse, effects of substance use on behavior and relationships, and addiction theories.
This issue covers the content and process of social work assessments. It includes information gathering, diagnostic classifications, and indicators of abuse, neglect, and danger to self and/or others.
3. PSYCHOTHERAPY, CLINICAL INTERVENTIONS AND CASE MANAGEMENT (25%)
- Information Gathering
Includes interviewing principles and techniques, use of collaterals to obtain relevant information, and use of standardized instruments in practice.
- Assessment and Diagnosis
Includes the use of observation, methods used to assess a client's strengths and weaknesses, indicators of motivation and resistance, psychopathology, DSM, co-occurring disorders, mental status exam, and medications.
- Treatment Planning
Includes criteria for selecting intervention modalities, components of intervention and treatment plans, methods used to develop an intervention or treatment plan, and the application of research to practice.
This content area includes intervention theories and models; the intervention process, treatment planning, intervention techniques, and interventions with couples, families and groups.
4. PROFESSIONAL VALUES AND ETHICS (18%)
- Therapeutic Relationship
Includes therapeutic communication, empathy, acceptance, relationship building, transference, countertransference, and professional objectivity in the social worker - client relationship.
- The Intervention Process
Includes various models of counseling and psychotherapy, group work and group therapy, differential use of therapeutic techniques, and use of objectives to guide interventions.
- Management of Cases
Includes case recording, performance evaluation, effects of policies, procedures, regulations and laws, effects of agency functioning on service delivery, and client advocacy.
- Consultation and Interdisciplinary Collaboration
Includes supervision, service coordination, team approaches.
- Ethical Issues
Includes informed consent, professional boundaries, dual relationships, ethical dilemmas, other ethical and legal issues.
- Confidentiality and its Limits
Includes legal and ethical issues and mandatory reporting of abuse.
- Value Issues
Includes professional values and ethics, client self-determination, stages of professional development, respect for client values and beliefs.
Click here for more information about the mercurial passing rates on BBS administered examinations.
LICENSE EXAM PASSING RATES
The most recent reporting period released by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences shows the following overall pass rates for its January through June, 2010 license examinations.
MFT Standard Written Exam ' 64% (down from 69% in the previous 6 month period)
MFT Clinical Vignette Exam ' 67% (up from 61% in the previous 6 month period)
LCSW Standard Written Exam ' 47% (down from 59% in the previous 6 month period)
LCSW Clinical Vignette Exam ' 70% (up from 54% in the previous 6 month period)
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