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The Dreaded “Comps” for MFTs

March 11, 2013

I remember last February, hearing all of the “second years” talking about “Comps” which is the Comprehensive Exam that USD MFT students take in their second year as the capstone event before graduation. I remember listening to them talk about what they were studying for the exam and thinking “I can not do that, it’s only a year away! How will I learn all of that?” But one year later I did it! I just took the Comps! Although I do not yet have the results back and I don’t want to jinx it, I felt confident walking out of the room and amazed by how much knowledge I have gained in the past year and a half.

            Studying for the exam was time consuming but also helpful and worthwhile. The study group that I worked with spent many hours in the library on Saturdays and Sundays for about a month prior the test. However, we brought tons of snacks and had fun quizzing each other and taking lots of study breaks.  All of the information on the exam was from classes we had already completed and information we had already been tested on. It was actually more fun and meaningful to review the information because I was seeing clients. A lot of the information that I reviewed made more sense to me now that I am seeing clients and I was able to apply the information to actual cases. I found myself using different interventions with clients and feeling more confident in my case conceptualization skills throughout the month that I was studying.           The test is comprised of three sections and you are given two hours for each section. We were tested on Assessment, Law and Ethics, and Theories. For each section we were provided with a vignette and our answers were in response to the issues presented in the vignette. It was by far the longest test I have ever taken, 6 hours! However, the day flew by and before I knew it, I was done.

            The highlight of the day for me (besides being done) was was when one of our professors, Dr. Myers, came into the testing room 15 minutes before the exam and led us all in a mindfulness meditation. I could feel the tension in the room disappear as the meditation went on. The fact that Dr. Myers took time out of his day to lead the meditation reminded me of how much our professors really do care about us not only as students but as people.

            I am so relieved to be done with Comps but truly gained a lot from the experience of studying for the exam and proving to myself on testing day just how much I have learned during my time at USD. 

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