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

Sponsor: NASW NH Chapter

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.

Learning Objectives

  • Describe the universal generic elements of helping relationships, and consider how they can utilize these elements in their work
  • Discuss key elements of critical thinking skills, and learn how to make these skills integral to their professional practice.
  • Explain the dangers of approaching professional work without being able to utilize the skills of critical thinking.

About the Presenter:

Jacob Stone, formerly on the faculty at the Marywood University School of Social Work in Pennsylvania and the social work program of the University of Alaska (Fairbanks), is retired after a half-century of practice as a direct service provider, nonprofit executive, consultant, field instructor, and teacher and trainer. He served for many years as chair of the ethics committee of NASW-PA, and during the past twenty years he has focused his work and study on professional ethics, providing training and consultation on ethics through NASW and diverse other settings. Jacob moved from Pennsylvania to Vermont six years ago, and in retirement has continued to provide training and ethics round table discussions through NASW-VT.

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Event Details

May 4, 2021
8:45 am - 11:00 am
NASW member - $60.00
non-member - $80.00
Social work student - non-member - $10.00
NASW student member - free