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 IV—Activation: Moving from Intention to Implementation
Step IV—Activation: Moving from intention to implementation

The strategic plan that has been built thus far is fundamentally a blueprint for progressing toward a goal; however, metaphorically speaking: A blueprint is an essential step in building a house, but you can't live in a blueprint. Therefore, it is time to put the strategic plan into action.

Five Stages of Change

In order to comprehend how clients make the leap from planning actions to taking actions, it may be helpful to consider a model detailing five stages of change (Prochaska, DiClemente, & Norcross, 1992):

  • Precontemplation: The client is not even considering change. The client may be unaware of the need to change, the client may not want to change, or the client may ...
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