What REALLY Helps in a Helping Relationship: Critical Thinking About Helping, Healing and Persuasion

NASWME Chapter 0 22

Four (4) Clinical CEUs approved by NASW VT

Please note this workshop May 4th and May 11th. You must attend both sessions for CEUs.

Helping relationships are constructed of many disparate elements, some obvious and some more subtle and hidden. To be truly helpful to our clients social workers need to be aware of the full spectrum of helping elements that support (or sometimes hinder) our helping skills.

This two-part program will examine the generic and sometimes hidden components of a successful helping relationship. In the first session we will examine what social workers can learn about helping from healers and shamans in other cultures, and discuss the ways that we can implement these universal approaches in our work. We will consider the work of Jerome Frank, E. Fuller Torrey, and Viktor Frankl in this section, but will focus on genuinely practical approaches to improving our capacity to be helpful to our clients.

In the second session we will discuss how to use the skills of critical thinking in our work, to effectively evaluate and choose treatment techniques, make effective and accurate treatment plans, and evaluate treatment resources and programs. As a counterpoint to this we will also look at some famous treatment approaches of the past that have been proven to be ineffective, fraudulent or even harmful when examined through a critical thinking lens. We’ll also briefly examine the infamous “Dr. Fox Lecture”, and the story of the psychologist who was able to obtain extensive professional credentials for his cat.

In addition to brief didactic presentations in both of the sessions we will also use case studies as a particularly effective learning tool. Although we’ll touch very briefly on statistical analysis this program will not dwell on statistics, and we will devote most of our time to discussion, case examples, and case studies.

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