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Interpersonal Practice Skills Laboratory


Credits: 3
Prerequisites: None

Course Description

This course offers students the opportunity to practice the assessment, engagement, intervention and evaluation skills essential to interpersonal practice with individuals, families, and small groups while considering the community, organizational, and policy contexts in which social workers practice. The student's field experience and future practice methods courses will build upon the skills rehearsed in this basic course. Throughout this course, students examine social work values and ethics as well as issues of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, and ability as these relate to interpersonal practice.


Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:
(1) Demonstrate skills for engagement such as empathic inquiry, active listening, collaborative exploration, case recording and goal setting.

(2) Utilize three assessment tools to identify client strengths and vulnerabilities, as well as sources of biopsychosocial, cultural, sociopolitical and spiritual risks and supports.

(3) Recognize the impact of age, race, gender, ethnicity, social class, sexual orientation, power and privilege on interpersonal practice by
(a) Demonstrating self-awareness of their own privilege, identity, positionality and life experiences impact on their capacity to relate to others with different personal privilege, identity, sociopolitical and life experiences.
(b) Describing how others who are very different may perceive them and how status and power issues impact professional relationships with clients, colleagues, and other professions.

(4) Conduct culturally sensitive interpersonal practice by:
(a) Articulating socio-political, environmental, family and/or individual-level contributing factors of at least two specific disorders, prevention and/or treatment goals, developing measurable prevention and treatment objectives, and employing measurement tools to monitor and evaluate practice while maintaining sensitivity to the individualized needs of clients.
(b Implementing treatment protocols consistent with treatment plans and sensitive to clients' situations
(c) Recognizing basic termination issues that pertain to interpersonal practice.

(5) Demonstrate intervention skills specific to two evidence informed treatment modalities such as CBT, Motivational Interviewing, and Psychodynamic Psychotherapy.

(6) Demonstrate capacity for strategic use of self in the therapeutic relationship by identifying their own sociopolitical, environmental, and experiential or emotional/cognitive factors that may support or impede the therapeutic relationship.


This course will use various methods such as individual exercises, simulations, class discussion, and small group work to examine and practice the material presented.

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