Working With Clients

  1. The helping process resembles a problem-solving model but is more strengths-based and is made up of the following stages:
    • Stage 1: Relationship Building, Exploration, Engagement, Asessment, and Planning. The first stage of the helping process provides a basis for intervention.
    • Stage 2: Implementation and Goal Attainment.  This stage is also referred to as the "action-oriented" or "change-oriented" stage, where the treatment plan is put into action.
    • Stage 3: Termination, Planning Maintenance Strategies, and Evaluation. Termination should occur when treatment goals have been met.  It is important for the social worker to assist the client in processing any negative emotional reactions that he or she has regarding termination.
  2. Systems Theory?
    It refers to the relationship of the parts of a system to one another and the effects of those relationship on the system. SW use systems theory in all aspects of their work. (eg. In research, social workers examine the dynamic interrelations of individuals, families, societies, institutions.
  3. Conflict Theory?
    Conflict Theory, also known as Social Conflict Theory, was born out of the philosophy of Karl Marx and then later, Max Weber.  Conflict Theory states that society is actually held together through conflict rather than function. It is argued that groups within society are born from conflict rather playing a specific functional role.
  4. Crisis Intervention Theory?
    • Crisis Intervention Theory provides the basis for treatment of individuals, groups, and families confronted with stressful events that exceed their coping abilities.
    • A crisis (hazardous event is defined as an "upset in a steady state [state of equilibrium] that poses an obstacle, usually important to fulfillment of important life goals or to vital need satisfaction, and that the individual [or family] cannot overcome through usual methods of problem solving."
    • Goals of Crisis Intervention: reduce the impact of the crisis situation in the immediate moment (reduc symptoms).
  5. Seven Stage Crisis Intervention Model?
    • Conduct a thorough biopsychosocial and imminent danger assessment.
    • Rapidly establish rapport with client.
    • Identify the major problems or crisis precipitants.
    • Deal with the client's feeling and emotions.
    • Generate and explore alternatives and new coping strategies.
    • Restore functioning through implementation of an action plan.
    • Plan a follow-up time to meet with the client.
  6. Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM)?
    Critical incidents are traumatic events that create powerful emotional reactions in the individuals who have been exposed to those events (e.g. multiple-casualty, line of duty, workplace violence). CISM was developed by Jeffrey T. Mitchell, Ph. D. in response to traumatic events and the psychological effects on first responders.
  7. Task-Centered Treatment?
    It is a short-term approach to treatment based on learning and cognitive theories. Task-centered treatment can use interventions and strategies from many models of therapy in the task-centered framework to achieve concrete goals.
  8. Classical Conditioning?
    It involves helping the client unlearn maladaptive responses to environmental stimuli (eg fear of riding in a car following an accident). It entails conditioning an individual to associate pleasant feelings with a stimulus that has been anxiety-producing (e.g learning to feel relaxed rather than anxious when flying).
  9. Systematic Desensitization?
    It is a counter-conditioning intervention frequently used in treating phobias that utilizes relaxation training, construction of the anxiety hierarchy, and desenstitization in imagination (pairing of relaxation and mental images of items from the least to the most anxiety producing image until the person can visualize all images without becoming anxious).
  10. Operant Conditioning?
    It focuses on behaviors that operate or act on the environment (operants) with the goal of obtaining some response (i.e. reinforcing behavior so it will repeated and withholding reinforcement so a behavior will not be repeated.
  11. Reality Therapy?
    William Glasser was influenced by control theory which asserts that all human behaviors is purposeful and originates from within person and that the individual is responsible for his or her behavior. Reality Therapy personality theory states that individuals have number of innate needs, including four psychological needs (i.e. belonging, power, freedom, and fun). The goal of this type of therapy is to enable the client to take better control of his or her life.
  12. Cognitive-Behavioral Therapies?
    The basic premise of CBT is that our thoughts and beliefs control how we feel and behave. There is strong evidence that CBT is the treatment of choice for depression (in combination with drug therapy). CBT is an integration of three school of thought: Behavior therapy; Cognitive Therapy; and Cognitive and Social psychology.
  13. Cognititive Therapy?
    Aaron Beck believed that depression was a bias of negative thought and that most mental illness were based on pervasive negative thoughts. For eample, depression is a negative view of one's self; anxiety disorder is a sense of psychological or physical danger, etc. Therapy is goal-oriented and problem-focused. Cognitive Therapy is time-limited, adheres to a relatively strict structure, emphasizes relapse prevention.  The patient is thought how to identify, evaulate, and change dysfunctional thoughts and beliefs.
  14. Albert Ellis' Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy?
    Albert Ellis was originally trained in psychoanalysis, but came to believe that irrational beliefs, not unconscious conflicts from early childhood, were at the root of neurotic behavior. Ellis directly attacks the client's belief system and encourages the client to challenge his or her own beliefs, unlike Beck. Therapist educates the client about the principles of REBT (i.e. about the cognitive underpinnings of much emotional distress).The client's homework includes reading relevant books and critiquing tapes of his therapy sessions in an effort to increase awareness of his irrational beliefs.
  15. Dialectical Behavior Therapy?
    DBT is a treatment approach developed by Marasha M. Linehan and is used primarily with the clients who have been diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder. This treatment is a combination of behavioral therapy and cognitive therapy, incorporating mindfulness practice as an essential part of the therapy. The two required parts of DBT include (1) an individual component between therapist and client that is focused on skill-building and (2) weekly group therapy.
  16. Solution-Focused Therapy?
    SFT is a therapeutic approach developed in part from behavioral and cognitive therapy. It approach is based on a short-term, strengths-based treatment model which empasizes an empowerment strategy to allow the client to take action himself or herself. The founders of Solution-Focused Therapy were Steve de Shazer and Insoo Kim Berg of the Brief family Therapy Center of Milwaukee. The basic premise of SFT is that the client is capable of change and growth.
  17. Neo-Freudians?
    It typically downplay the importance of instinctual forces in personality and emphasize interpersonal and social influences.  The leading theorists are Karen Horney, Hary Stack Sullivan and Erich Fromm.
  18. Jungian Psychotherapy?
    In this therapy, associated with Carl Jung, libido is defined as a general psychic energy, and it is believed that behavior is determined by past events as well as future goals and aspirations. It states that personality is the cosequence of both conscious and unconscious factors. The conscious personality is oriented toward the external world.  The unconscious personality consists of two parts: the personal unconscious and the collective unconscious. The focus of therapy is to rebridge the gap between the conscious and the personal and collective unconscious via interpretations, dream work, etc.
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Working With Clients
General guidelines for working with clients