Student’s description of site-specific activities this quarter: To define the profession of social work, distinguish it from other professions ad determining if the profession is the right choice for me, to define and use social work values and ethics , and to begin to develop a professional identity that is the goal of my generalist micro/mezzo course. this was clearly proven by my assignment to complete a video counselor assessment.
I always think it is a great idea to tie academia into real world practice and to question the gaps. This quarter was a course in that. The video counselor assessment was nerve wrecking. I remember everyone in my cohort was giddy but a little freaked out like “Um you want me to provide therapy to a real person…but what if…” I dug out my DVD, which had the grading sheet neatly folded inside it (but I’ll get back to that in a moment). I watched a 20-year-old me. My client was a middle-aged Caucasian woman, who was facing ageism at work, lived alone, and “enjoyed” beer. Finishing the video, I reviewed the grading sheet. My professor marked me down, as I did not address the substance abuse issue. The client was drinking three beers a night every day but Sunday. My professor also wrote “You appear very comfortable in silence, body language, great reflecting skills. Perhaps you could have also used some paraphrasing when she mentions why she drinks. Nice insight into her employer, without leading the client.” I am a firm believer that you meet a client where they are at, and I don’t think it is ever wise to confront a client in an initial session on something they are not ready to discuss. I always believe it is best practice to ask a client, “What do you believe I can help you with?”, which I did less than five minutes into the video. She was looking for help on how to obtain a promotion.