Clinical Rationale

SSS 822 Clinical Social Work with Families

Clinical social workers engage in various strengths-based clinical interventions with clients – most of which are constructed as questions. Clinical techniques, as understood from this perspective, are those actions of a social worker with a client family that are intended to move the family forward in its psychosocial functioning.

This assignment is intended to enhance your skill at intervention with clients through the composition of a series of thoughtful, solution-focused questions. Such questions are based on encouraging a client to engage in two therapeutic functions. First, these questions assist the client to envision possibility rather than to focus on deficit or dysfunction; and second, they encourage the client toengage in action aimed at realizing that possibility – making the abstract concreteIn class discussion, we referred to these processes as cognitive envisioning and behavioral activation.

Review the two case scenarios listed and choose one. Then, compose a section of a client interview as a series of questions and answers that engages the client(s) in a dialogue between social worker and client. You are free to define who the specific client is with whom you are working in the context of the clinical interview. The interview should be written out in the form of dialogue and should be approximately 2 1⁄2 to 3 pages double-spaced

Your interview should include a minimum of 3 substantive solution-focused questions and the corresponding client responses. Your three solution-focused questions should be clearly indicated in the context of the dialogue. There may be “non-substantive” follow-up questions that keep the flow going. Within the dialogue, the two functions of solution-focused questions (envisioning and realizing possibility) should be evident to the reader. The client responses can be crafted to take the social worker smoothly along the path desired, or they may shift the social worker’s direction. That is, you can indicate a gap in time and take a different direction. Be creative, but allow the client to move forward. It will not be helpful for the purpose of this assignment for you to make the clients particularly “resistant.”

For each of the solution-focused questions labeled in the client family dialogue, please construct a paragraph analyzing the intervention. The paragraph should contain the following information.

  1. Name of technique demonstrated.
  2. Function of technique – how does it serve in the context of the interview to move client forward.
  3. Clinical rationale – why is this specific technique preferable to others in this clinical situation.
  4. Potential risks – any potential risks of using this intervention. What might be missed or overlooked?

Finally, provide one paragraph detailing a chosen intervention from the narrative therapy approach. Describe how you might use this type of intervention with this family system or individual. Why might it be preferable, or not, to a solution-focused approach?

The final assignment should include:

  • Two to three page client / family dialogue with 3 solution-focused questions / interventions clearly labeled. (50 points)
  • Three paragraphs describing your solution-focused techniques in the format provided above (1 paragraph per technique). (30points)
  • One paragraph describing a potential narrative therapy intervention. The narrative therapy intervention does not need to be part of the client dialogue. (20 points)

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