Introduction to Social Work Practice orients the students to the role of the professional social worker. The first chapter delineates the differences between being a good friend and being a good clinician in terms of social/emotional factors, professionalism, and self-disclosure. The second chapter covers techniques for building a trusting working environment that is conducive to processing sensitive issues along with an overview of key therapeutic communication skills. The remaining five chapters detail an easy-to-remember five-step problem-solving model to guide the clinical process: 1. Assessment, 2. Goal, 3. Objectives, 4. Activation, 5. Termination.

Key features include:

role-play exercises; brief essay and response questions to build and test key communication skills; discussion points; glossary of terms; diagrams and charts that graphically represent the flow of the helping process.

The workbook presumes no prior clinical experience and uses no technical psychological jargon. It teaches fundamental communication skills while emphasizing key social work values, ethics, and issues of multicultural populations and diversity throughout.

Step II—Goal: Where Does the Client Want to Be?

Step II—Goal: Where does the client want to be?

Rationale for Setting a Goal

There is an old joke:

Joe: Where are you going?

Moe: I don't know.

Joe: How do you know when you're there?

This silly exchange makes a valuable point: Without a destination in mind, one's life is likely to meander aimlessly. One's fate is essentially left to the random winds of chance. The indiscriminate, unguided happenstances to follow are unlikely to fulfill one's unique needs or desires in a specific or timely manner. This passive approach is unsuitable when it comes to working proficiently with clients. Since the client–social worker relationship is typically time-limited, well-selected goals are needed. Basically, clients seek out the services of a social worker ...

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