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SWK 4605H – Social Work Practice with Individuals and Families - Required

Our policy is that after the first week of classes the first year sections are set. We do not allow switches unless there are major extenuating circumstances.

This course provides fundamental preparation for students to understand clinical social work practice with individuals and families. Building on the engagement, alliance development and assessment skills students have mastered in the first term, this course introduces students to basic intervention strategies and procedures commonly utilized in clinical social work practice with individuals and families. The course approaches practice from a biopsychosocial perspective, highlighting neuro-cognitive, intrapersonal, interpersonal, community, social, political and economic factors that influence personal and interpersonal well-being, and social justice. The course is anchored in a client-centered and client-focused approach to practice which emphasizes engagement throughout the helping process.

One focus of the course will be on applying selected theoretical frameworks to engagement, assessment and intervention in practice with individuals in an ecological context. Each framework will be examined from the perspectives of problem definition, intervention strategies and critiques of biases, as well as the research evidence. Concepts of transference and countertransference as they apply to clinical work will be covered and applied to case examples.

Each learner will be encouraged to develop the details of his or her own approach to practice which incorporates professional values and focus, ethics, theories, intervention strategies, evaluation approaches, and previous learning. Learners will refine this individualized, professional model of practice throughout the course. Since this course is offered concurrently with the practicum, emphasis will be placed on the integration of classroom learning with students’ practicum experiences.