SUMMARY: Social work staff in many areas of practice often find themselves working with clients who did not choose social work services and are very resistant to them. Required nevertheless to provide assistance, staff can become understandably frustrated and challenged by these resistant or sometimes quite hostile clients. Participants in this workshop will learn how to recognize clients’ “normal patterns of reactance” to involuntary social work and to develop successful service contracts that are honest and non-coercive, thereby affording the client a range of thoughtful, potential choices. The social worker’s effective use of language, ways of deescalating anger and the skill of reframing problematic issues are all illustrated, along with attitudes of genuine respect. Ethical considerations and social work values are carefully considered as well.

GOAL: Participants will learn to recognize and better understand clinically a variety of common reactant, resistant, and/or hostile behaviors of clients and how to engage such clients respectfully and effectively.

OBJECTIVES: To recognize specific types of reactance to involuntary social work.—To learn and to practice effective ways of speaking to such reactant hostility.—To identify the most common forms of “clinical resistance” (vs. “reactance”) and how to respond to these.—To learn and to practice four strategies for effective, ethical engagement of involuntary clients.—To understand and respond well to race, gender, age or religion, if they become “issues” for clients.

Presenter: Vic Compher

Vic CompherVic Compher is a licensed, clinical social worker who has practiced for a number of years in child welfare, adult and aging, and hospice services. His workshops address such subjects as working with resistant and hostile clients, coping with secondary trauma when tragedy occurs on one’s caseload, understanding adult psychopathology, and supervising social workers and students. Among various articles and books he has written, Vic is the author of, “Family-Centered Practice: The Interactional Dance Beyond the Family System” (NY: Human Sciences/Plenum Press, 1989). He has produced and directed 3 films, including an intergenerational documentary called, “I Cannot Be Silent: Testimonies of Peacemaking”. His current and new documentary project, “Caregivers”, addresses the personal and professional impact upon helping professionals of their work with traumatic cases.

Date: June 10, 2016
Time: 8:30am registration, workshop: 9am to 4pm (1 hour lunch break)
Location: Belmont Behavioral Health, 4200 Monument Road, Philadelphia, PA 19131
Approved Credits: 6 CEU’s for PA Social Workers; MFT’s and PC’s

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