The Center for Professional Development

Working with Involuntary Clients:  Language, Contracting, and Values

NOTE: This workshop has been cancelled.

Friday, November 8, 2013

$125 (see Registration Information for discount information)
6 CEUs

Social workers in various areas of practice may find themselves working with clients who did not choose the services the provider is mandated to offer.  In such circumstances, the social worker may feel challenged by clients they perceive as hostile.  Participants in this workshop learn to recognize clients’  normal patterns of reactance to involuntary social work and to develop meaningful service contracts that are honest and non-coercive, affording the client a range of thoughtful and potential choices. The social worker’s effective use of language, ways of deescalating anger and skills for reframing problematic issues are illustrated in the context of the social worker’s genuine respect for the client.  Ethical considerations undergird the approach.  Upon completion of the workshop, participants are able to 1) recognize specific types of reactance to involuntary social work; 2) practice effective ways of speaking to clients with perceived hostility; 3) identify and respond to the most common forms of clinical resistance (vs. reactance); 4) utilize four strategies for effective, ethical contracting with involuntary clients; and 5) understand and respond well to issues of race, gender, age or religion.  Diversity and the need for sensitivity will be addressed in both the observation of and response to reactive behaviors of involuntary clients. The presenter will also share a brief segment of his documentary film, CAREGIVERS, which is in production and that pertains to social workers’ responses to involuntary clients in sometimes hostile environments. This workshop is appropriate for beginning and intermediate post-master’s, as well as advanced bachelor’s, degreed practitioners in areas such as child welfare, family services, mental health, juvenile and criminal justice, and who have at least two years direct practice experience with a broad range of clients.

Vic Compher, MSS, LCSW, has worked for many years in child welfare and community mental health settings and is the author of Family-Centered Pratice:  The Interactional Dance Beyond the Family System.