Focused Psychological Strategies for Social Workers

Thursday, May 10, 2018 - 9:00am to Friday, May 11, 2018 - 5:00pm
Members $380.00 (inc GST) Student Members- $180.00 (inc GST) Non-Members- $480.00(inc GST) Studen
This two full day workshop is designed to encompass Focused Psychological Strategies which can benefit the quality and efficacy of casework relationships by adding a deeper Psychological dimension to social work and other practices.

The Focused Psychological Strategies workshop is divided into six sections of 90 minutes and will be delivered over two days: three sections focus predominantly on ideas and theory, and three have a main skills and experiential focus. Each section will be ‘top and tailed’ by group discussions and feedback to facilitate optimal learning.

1. Psycho-education:

  • Target populations - critical incidents and ‘hard to reach’ clients (‘normalizing’ experience); motivational interviewing.
  • Content - how the mind works (conscious and unconscious, child development); the grief process and regression; neuroscience and change; signs & symptoms (anxiety, insomnia, irritability, etc.)

2. Intrapersonal skills

Mind/body somatic skills - Kinaesthetic awareness & relaxation techniques: mindfulness; meditation; breath-awareness & control; progressive muscle relaxation; active imagination & guided imagery.

3. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy:

Cognitive distortions vs. rational response; ‘automatic thoughts’ & ‘psychological time’; ‘exposure’ strategies; ‘distress tolerance’; ‘negative skew’ and relapse prevention.

4. Intrapersonal skills

Cognitive skills. - anxiety, anger & stress management skills: self-observation strategies (identifying moods & triggers); ‘ranking’ (‘suds’), ‘scheduling’; problem-solving; positive self-talk; ‘take in the good’.

5. Interpersonal therapy and casework:

  • The therapeutic relationship: facilitating change, dependence and autonomy, power relations.
  • Diagnosing dysfunctional dynamics: guilt-blame-reparation cycles and ‘empathy blockers’.

6. Interpersonal skills:

Communication skills: a win/win mind-set; assertiveness (‘I-statements’); enhancing empathy (active listening); parent training strategies (child development issues; ‘one-liners’, etc.)

Who should attend?

Social workers and professionals who are interested in mental health and expanding their case work skills.

Learning Outcomes?

  • Understanding how psycho-education, and motivational speaking, are useful with particular client groups, and be able to articulate how the mind works, and the nature of change and modern neuroscience.
  • Knowledge and assessment of the trajectory of the grief process, signs & symptoms of mental ill health, and the legacy of child developmental issues.
  • Understanding mind/body integration ideas and skills: somatic/kinaesthetic awareness and relaxation skills; mindfulness; meditation; breath-awareness & control; progressive muscle relaxation; active imagination & guided imagery.
  • Understanding the ‘active mental stance’ of cognitive behavioural therapy processes: cognitive distortions vs rational response; the influence of automatic thoughts; ‘exposure’ strategies and distress tolerance; ‘psychological time’; ‘negative skew’ & relapse prevention.
  • Knowledge and skills-acquisition of anxiety, anger & stress management skills: self-observation strategies; identifying triggers; ‘ranking’ emotional distress (‘subjective units of distress scale’); ‘scheduling’ and problem-solving; positive self-talk; ‘take in the good’
  • Understanding the nature of the therapeutic relationship; and its importance in terms of interpersonal psychotherapy (IP), and casework in general.
  • Ability to diagnose dysfunctional dynamics, and teach the interpersonal skills of a win/win mind-set; assertive communication (I-statements), and empathy (active listening), including parenting skills (the importance of child development, ‘one-liners’, etc.).

Meet the Presenter

Ruth Crowley Brown BA (Hons), Dip Psychotherapy, CQSW, AMHSW, is a social worker, psychotherapist and writer, with over 25 years’ experience.

Her post-qualification professional trainings include Family Therapy, Group Analysis and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy in London; and in Australia include: Cert IV Workplace Training & Assessment and Diploma in Community Services Management (TAFE), Strengths-based Practice (Kyabra) and Parents-Under-Pressure (Griffith Uni). She has extensive experience of providing case work and counselling services: spending seven years as Senior Social Worker in a North London Child & Family Mental Health Service, including working in the Adolescent Suicide Clinic and with Refugees and Minorities. In Brisbane, her work has included Foster Care (Lifeline Community Care and Key Assets Qld), Employee Assist Counselling (ADFQ), and Referral for Active Intervention (Mission Australia) and Domestic & Family Violence (BDVS) services in Inala working with Indigenous and non-indigenous families. She also has considerable experience of working with children with disabilities and their families. She is longtime practitioner of Vipassana meditation.



Thursday 10 & Friday 11 May 2018 - 9.00am - 4.15pm

Registration from 8.45am

Morning tea will be provided.

CPD: 12 Hours

Members - Please log on to the website prior to registering to take advantage of the member rates.


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