Academic journal article Best Practices in Mental Health

101 Social Work Clinical Techniques

Academic journal article Best Practices in Mental Health

101 Social Work Clinical Techniques

Article excerpt

101 Social Work Clinical Techniques Francis J. Turner and William S. Rowe New York: Oxford University Press,2013 624 pages (paperback), $77.00, ISBN 978-0195300543 Reviewed by Kevin Corcoran

Turner and Rowe are to be commended for writing such a remarkable book. It is one of the most practical social work books published in recent years, and none of the others offer so much useful material for social work students and established practitioners, neophytes and experienced ones alike. The purpose of this book, as stated by the authors, is to "produce a volume of readily available social work techniques that have been shown to be useful in clinical social work practice" (p xiii). By techniques, Turner and Rowe mean a "spectrum of actions we consciously do for, with, and to clients in the process of the professional intervention" (p. 6).

The book is divided into three parts. Part 1 is a short chapter that overviews the use of techniques in clinical social work practice, tracing these techniques back to 1950. Here the authors develop a categorization for the 101 techniques that follow:

1. General techniques related to the use of self in interviewing

2. Techniques by which the social worker does something specific with the client during the interview

3. Techniques in which the client is asked to do something specific during the interview

4. Techniques using a tangible object directly with the client

5. Techniques using a particular person directly with the client

6. Techniques using technology

7. Techniques in which the social worker makes specific use of the setting for a therapeutic goal

8. Techniques in which the client is encouraged to do something specific outside of the interview

9. Techniques in which the social worker acts on behalf of the client outside of the interview

10. Techniques that originate from Native American, Alaskan Native, and First Nations peoples and the traditions and practices of other cultures

The book includes an easy to use table including each technique, its category, risk factor, and page location. The table and these categories are very helpful in locating and selecting new techniques to learn and use in practice.

In this first section the authors develops a four-point rating scale, labeled a-d, that evaluates the risk of each of the techniques. The authors admit that this system lacks accuracy and is subjective. I agree; I don't believe this system is worth the bother. …

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