Mnemonics for Theories: LMFT Clinical Exam

NOTE: THE FOLLOWING WILL BE BEST UNDERSTOOD IF STUDYING WITH TDC.

While I was studying for the Clinical Exam using Amanda Rowan’s TDC prep, I often wondered if there was an easier way to learn the theories. It is not an easy section for most, but there are strategies you can use to make it a little better. Others have asked me for help with this section, so I am providing my strategies here to help you in your journey towards the clinical exam.

The following are acronyms that I came up with based on interventions per theory. I did not include the intervention terms due to copyright laws. I will provide an acronym of initials, and a sentence (with no acronym) to help you recall. When you personalize each letter and sentence, it makes it easier to memorize and learn the concept of the theory. CBT, Attachment acronyms and sentences are not included. If you do not find a sentence under a theory below, it is because the term had many interventions and the sentence would be too long, making it more difficult to study the information. TDC seperates concepts and interventions, I did too here. If TDC labeled the term as a "concept," it will not be included. These are interventions only. 

These are strategies that can spark ideas and other methods that can help you learn in your own style while studying with TDC. Remember, we are only limited by the restrictions we place on our own creativity.

Best of luck Future LMFT’s!

COGNITIVE THEORIES

Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy

  • COB CALS
  • Acting selfishly bombards other life consequences constantly
    • To clarify how I am using these sentences, here are what the letters stand for:

                 Activating event, Self-Acceptance, Beliefs, Other-Acceptance, Life-Acceptance, Consequences, Common irrational belifs

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy

  • IM DEH
  • I mostly don’t erroneously hypothesize
  • Mindfully intriguing homework de-stresses emotions

Reality Therapy

This one was tough, but using your imagination helps.

  • CAT FED HR-FT
  • HEART CFFH
  • Avoiding challenges directly doesn’t help escape from really hurtful teachings

PSYCHODYNAMIC THEORIES:

Object Relations

  • PIES IS PO
  • I evade stupid internet stuff purposefully on platforms

Self Psychology

  • For all the transference terms (adversarial, idealizing, mirroring, twinship): Add Income To Me
  • For experience-near empathy, mirroring, optimal frustration, self-objects and self-object needs:
    • SOS ME
    • Enjoy many seasons of strawberries

Depth Psychology

  • MAC MAP
  • Auntie Anne makes perfect soul chicken

Alderian

  • GILD REEFS

POSTMODERN THEORIES

Narrative Therapy

  • Doctor Eli misses weightlifting sixty infant monkeys   
  • DEEM SIM

Solution –Focused

  • MUSE CAP

STRUCTURAL THEORIES:

Bowen

  • BID MORTi

Strategic

I think the sentence here helps most than the acronyms. 

  • ROP HPP
  • Prescribing powerful homework pleasantly organizes readiness

Structural

  • MET JURB
  • Uncle Mike joyfully buys refrigerated eggs

Satir Communications

  • Is MFT MFT? Pretty simple to recall this one without creating a sentence.

HUMANISTIC THEORIES:

Client/Person-Centered Therapy

  • CUES NL
  • Cats usually love every Saturday nap

Gestalt Therapy

  • BEEP H
  • Perls, being here ensures emotion.
  • Eddie buys pickles, ham, eggs.

Existential Therapy

  • MET HM

Experiential/ Symbolic Therapy

  • TAP BB
    • Each “B” here stands for Battle for Structure, or Battle for Initiative
  • Taking initiative perpetuates active structure