Assessment: Social Workers Are Often Viewed

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¶ … social workers are often viewed as someone who is a counselor and friend that is reaching out to various parties. In most situations, they will conduct their work in conjunction with other government agencies or private entities. In the case that we are studying, we will be examining a video clip tilted: Michael a Gay Son. It shows the kind of activities, that social workers will often engage in. Where, they will work within close group settings to: discuss the underlying problems that are affecting the clients they are helping. In this particular case, the social worker is assisting Michael and his family, in discussing their feelings about him being a homosexual. At the same time, they are examining each of the different parties' opinions about: how they view Michael in light of these events. This is important, because this interview is highlighting a number of different issues that social workers will face on a regular basis. The most notable include: empathy, the appropriate use of questions, rephrasing, reframing, the use of the strength based / anti-oppressive approach, crisis intervention and the systems theory approaches. As a result, understanding these different elements, in relation to the video clip will help to provide: a greater comprehension of the role that social workers are playing. (Michael a Gay Son 1980)

Empathy

The use of empathy can be seen throughout the entire session. This is when the social worker will show respect for: the person, listen to what they have to say and make comments in a non-confrontational way. This is important, because this is a basic disarming technique that is utilized to: help all parties to build some kind of trust in the counselor. As everyone will feel that they can be open with them about their feelings, while not having someone sit there in judgment of the individual. At the same time, this technique helps the social worker to be able to introduce suggestions that help the other party, to see how they could be a part of the problem. as, these different elements will help the various parties to accept responsibility, while not having to admit any kind of blame. (Gerdes 2009)

A good example of this can be seen in the video, when they are interviewing: Michaels' mother, father and sister about these different views. At first they highlight the anger and frustrations that they have. Then, after the counselor uses empathy, they begin to see how they are a part of the problem. This is significant, because it is showing how this tool is used by the social workers to: begin changing the overall tone of the conversation. (Michael a Gay Son 1980)

The Appropriate Use of Questions / Probes

Appropriately using various questions and probes is when the social worker is asking clients open ended questions. This is designed to improve communication and gain a greater understanding of what is on each individual's mind. In the video, the effective use of this technique can be seen with the different questions that the counselor was asking all of the parties. At which point, their responses were very detailed about: the overall feelings that they have surrounding Michael's homosexuality. This is important, because it shows how this technique can be utilized to help social workers to: comprehend the emotions and feelings of the different parties they are working with. (Hepworth 2010, pp. 133 -- 135) (Michael a Gay Son 1980)

As a result, this technique can be used to probe: the deepest thoughts of clients about a particular issue. Once this takes place, it means that this can be brought out: into the open and the counselor can begin discussing how this is affecting the person. At which point, they can begin to work with the client to address these issues.

The Use of Rephrasing / Paraphrasing

Rephrasing is when the social worker will repeat back to the client the different: opinions and ideas that they have expressed. The basics of this strategy are to: state the feelings and emotions that the person is experiencing in an agreeable way. Once this takes place, they will concur with: the social worker and will begin to build some kind of trust in them. As the client sees that they understand how this person is relating to their emotions, which is building a sense of trust. This is significant, because it shows how this tool can be used to help build a foundation of trust between: the social worker and the client

A good example of this in the video is when the counselor will rephrase the different emotions back to the family members in their own words. At which point, each of the parties will agree with the statements made by the social worker. This is important, because it is helping to tear down any kind of emotional barriers that could be in the way. At the same time, this is allowing the counselor to understand how these different emotions are affecting each client. (Hepworth 2010, pg. 76) (Michael a Gay Son 1980)

The Use of Reframing

Reframing is when you are having the different parties use role playing, to highlight the other side's point-of-view. This is when the individual will engage in actions, as to how they see the other person behaving. The basic idea is to have them observe: how their destructive or ridiculous behavior is contributing to the problem (by watching themselves from an objective point-of-view). This is important, because it helps to improve each person's attitude, as they will begin to see how their actions are adding to the situation. (Social Work Counseling Techniques 2010)

In the video, this technique was not specifically used. If it were, this would more than likely involve each of different party's role playing (as to how they see each other). Once this took place, it would help to improve the other sides' views. as, they can begin to: have empathy and compassion for what is occurring. At which point, all the various sides will begin to reduce the overall amounts of hostility that they have towards the other party. (Michael a Gay Son 1980)

The Use of the Strength Based / Anti-Oppressive Approach

The strengths based approach is when you are taking the assumption, that everyone has various strengths that they can use to improve their overall situation. In this case you are not ignoring the problem; instead you are changing the overall feelings and emotions that are tied to a particular situation. In the video that we examined, this kind of approach would be used to: help everyone understand how they have the power to change their thoughts. as, the overall amounts of: disappointment and frustration are based upon these views. When you change these different ideas, you are basically rephrasing the thinking pattern of each individual. At which point, the odds increase that you will reduce the overall amounts of emotional intensity that are tied to the situation. This is important, because it shows how this technique can be utilized by social workers to: refocus the thoughts of the different clients they are working with. (Robbins 1991) (Thompson 2008) (Michael a Gay Son 1980)

The anti-oppressive approach is when the social workers is discussing with the client, how they are impacted by various social injustices that could be occurring (i.e. racism and sexism). This is significant, because the use of this technique can help the social worker to address various frustrations that the client may be feeling towards society itself. At which point, they can begin understanding the emotions of: the individual and how they are there to help. Once this occurs, it means that the social worker can be able to instill a more empowering message with each person. (Becoming a Social Worker 2011)

In the video that we are examining, this technique could be used with Michael. as, he is feeling a certain amount of discrimination from: society (due to the fact that he is gay). This is important, because this will help to address the deep seeded feeling and emotions that Michael is more than likely experiencing. At which point, the counselor can begin working with him at: improving his understanding of the situation and helping him overcome the barriers he is facing. (Michael a Gay Son 1980)

Crisis Intervention

Crisis intervention is when it has become necessary, that some kind of drastic action needs to be taken to: address changes in the individual. Some of the most notable include: emotional, physical, mental and behavioral issues. In this situation, the social worker is trying to interfere in the life of the individual by: somehow forcing them to bring about radical changes. At which point, they can begin teaching patients how to: cope and deal with the various issues that they are facing. This is important, because it shows how crisis intervention can be used by the social worker to intervene in situations, where the client's behavior has deteriorated. (Crisis Intervention 2011)

In the video,… [END OF PREVIEW]

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