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Interpersonal Practice with Individuals, Families and Small Groups


Credits: 3
Prerequisites: None
Faculty Approval Date: 10/17/2012

Course Description

This course presents social work foundation knowledge and skills essential to interpersonal practice with individuals, families and small groups in social contexts. It integrates content on multiculturalism, diversity, and social justice issues, and it relies on the historical, contextual, and social science knowledge presented concurrently in the foundation SWPS and HBSE courses. The student's field experience and future practice methods courses will build upon the skills presented in this basic course. Throughout this course, students examine social work values and ethics as well as issues of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, religion, and ability as these relate to interpersonal practice.


Upon completion of this course, students using a social work practice framework will be able to:

1. Describe and apply research-based knowledge and frameworks in interpersonal practice with individuals, families and small groups and critique the strengths and weaknesses of these various frameworks. (Practice Behaviors 3.1, 3.2, 6.2, 7.1, 10b.4)
2. Recognize the potential impact of race, gender, ethnicity, social class, sexual orientation, power and privilege on interpersonal practice. (Practice Behaviors 4.1, 4.3, 5.1)
3. Carry out the roles of counselor/clinical social worker, client services manager, group facilitator mediator, and advocate in a culturally responsive manner (by attending to social identities such as race, gender, ethnicity, social class, sexual orientation, and to power and privilege). (Practice Behaviors 1.1, 1.3, 4.1, 4.2, 4.4, 5.2, 5.3, 10c.2, 10c.3, 10c.4)
4. Demonstrate basic interpersonal practice skills including active listening, empathic responding, critical/creative thinking, case recording, and contracting. (Practice Behaviors 1.4, 3.1, 3.3, 10a.1, 10a.2, 10a.3)
5. Operationalize the NASW code of ethics and other ethical codes, and recognize value dilemmas that emerge in interpersonal practice. (Practice Behaviors 2.2, 2.3)


This course employs a number of pedagogical strategies to promote skill development such as: gamed simulations, case analysis, interactive media simulations, exercises in vivo, practice within the classroom through role playing, didactic presentation of theory/models/procedures, etc.

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