Social Work Practice: An Individual Educational Resource for Clinical and Mental Health Social Workers

Social Work Practice: An Individual Educational Resource for Clinical and Mental Health Social Workers 800 450 Social Work Practice

In the demands of everyday practice, it is difficult to find time to engage in continuing professional education. Consequently, finding educational input relevant to the practitioner’s interests and concerns is often difficult.

Social Workers engaged in providing clinical services and mental health services are called upon to engage therapeutically with their clients with a great deal of interpersonal skill and relational capacity. They often find themselves in complex interactions that demand that they have access to sophisticated theoretical concepts and technical therapeutic skills, as well as the compassion that comes from a clear values position. Much of clinical and mental health social work occurs in a unique space where psychotherapy and family therapy are put to work in the maelstrom of complex socio-economic, socio-political problems and the realities of immediate complicated life circumstances.

At times, Social Workers find that their broad sociological understandings, their capacity for critical analysis, and the ideological positions that they have been taught do not equip them well for the intricacies of therapeutic engagement. Moreover, generic interpersonal engagement skills and popular models of practice often do not “map on” to, nor construe, the territory of the complexity of genuine clinical demand.

The Social Work Practice website makes available to Social Workers 57 individual modules of theoretical and practice concepts that will enliven, inform and radical improve your practice. This material is also available at our Psychotherapy Workshop site. The difference here is that it has been re-formatted to be individually accessible as single modules (as opposed to large workshops with multiple seminars) and can be purchased singly if needed and precisely to the topic that the practitioner requires. Further, specific Social Work content has been added and will be continually added in the coming months and years.

We can guarantee you that you will encounter therapeutic theory and practice concepts that you will have never encountered in your formal Social Work Education. And we can assure you when grasped and reflected upon, these theories and concepts will deepen and enhance your practice.

 About the presenter:

Dr Paul Gibney is a Social Worker who studied Social Work at the University of Queensland from 1976-1979. He worked in psychiatric Social Work from 1980 to 1988. He has been in private practice since 1988.

His doctorate (awarded in 1993) was concerned with the relationship between psychoanalysis and family therapy, and with a consideration of time and context, developed a meta-model of therapeutic practice.

His 2003 text The Pragmatics of Therapeutic Practice has been a set text in five Masters of Counselling courses in Australian universities. He is the author of over 20 academic papers and five book chapters. Dr Gibney held a part time Senior Lectureship at the University of Queensland (1996 to 2005), where he taught Advanced Casework, and Family Therapy.

He has presented over 30 plenary addresses at Family Therapy, Psychotherapy and Guidance and Counselling Conferences over the past three decades. He has conducted workshops regularly throughout Australia and New Zealand since 1989.

Dr Gibney consults to, and provides group supervision to practitioners in the following practice arenas: psychiatry, cross cultural counselling, residential care, child protection, youth justice, corrective services, and family therapy. He is a much sought after teacher, presenter and mentor across the Human Services sector.

A Social Worker to the core, Dr Gibney has a deep commitment and obsession to the concepts of “everyday practice” and “putting therapy to work”. Therapeutic theory means nothing if it cannot be translated and made useful in the child protection interview, in the psychiatric clinic, in the end of life discussion in the emergency department of palliative care units, in the “you need to consider aged care” conversation, and in the 100 other complex situations in which Social Workers find themselves- “everyday practice”. This constitutes “putting therapy to work”: applying therapeutic theory to the complex situations in which Social Workers find themselves.

Mary Ellen Richmond, the mother of American Social Work, and a mother and inspiration to all Social Workers said that the caseworker was concerned with the person in the situation, and could no more ignore the psychology of the client, than they could ignore the socio-political situation of the client. We support her exceptional and illuminating vision and invite you to explore “our” end of this continuum: when a lone worker sits down with a distressed other, and/or a distressed family or group, and has to make that encounter meaningful and helpful. This is our space.