Strengths-Based Problem-Solving Interviews Chapter 4 LEARNING OBJECTIVES 1. Understand the empowerment perspective 2. Understand the strengths perspective 3. Understand the risk and resilience perspective 4. Begin to understand the role of multiculturalism, social pluralism, and socio-demographic issues that may hinder or help the interviewing process 5. Understand specific techniques of interviewing 6. Begin to understand communication patterns to avoid The Professional Interview Exchange of information between social worker and client system which enables: Tracking of client system’s needs and wants Identification of preferred goals and objectives Implementation of a plan to solve problems and address issues and needs. The Professional Interview The social workers is guided by the: Empowerment perspective Strengths perspective Risk and resilience perspective These establish the attitudinal and belief framework for working with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities as client, action, and target systems in micro, mezzo, and macro practice. Elements of Strengths-Based Problem-Solving Interview with Micro, Mezzo and Macro Clients Empowerment Perspectives Strengths Risk and Resilience Think of Johnny… The Interview Process The social work interview is a set of communications with four special characteristics: 1. 2. 3. 4. has a context or setting; is purposeful and directed; is limited and contractual; and involves specialized role relationships. (Compton & Galaway, 1994, p. 310) Social Work… Helps people help themselves… EMPOWERMENT PERSPECTIVE Rescuer (Social Worker) Oppressor Victim Self Empowered person Facilitator (Social Worker) Oppressor Social Work & Empowerment (Adams 2003) Historical Roots • Dual focus on persons in transaction with their environments • The founders of social work set the course for commitment to social change in the interest of social justice and the enhancement of wellbeing Jane Addams (1860-1935) “Nothing could be worse than the fear that one had given up too soon, and left one unexpended effort that might have saved the world." ~Jane Addams Hull House 1889 Improving social conditions for underserved peoples Mary E. Richmond (1861-1928) • Charity Organization Society • Social diagnosis, social casework, group work, therapeutic relationship Bertha C. Reynolds (1885-1978) • Offered alternatives to the psychopathologizing of "everything" in favor of systemic, structural, institutional and organizational perspectives and our behavior within and in response to them. Empowerment A process of increasing personal, interpersonal, or political power so that individuals, families, and communities can take action to improve their situations. Consists of recognizing and identifying the processes of oppression, facilitating client system learning, and promoting client system actions to obtain needed assets.” (Gutierrez, 1994) Domains of empowerment Community Organisation Group Interpersonal Self Therapist as Technical Expert Disempowering Therapist as Reflector Empowering The Empowerment Process The empowerment process consists of helping client systems To: 1. 2. 3. 4. Develop critical thinking skills Reduce self-blame Assume responsibility Enhance self-efficacy Selflove Not blame Empowerment Tasks 1. 2. 3. 4. Bolster motivation Offer psychological comfort Enhance problem-solving Promote self-direction Empowerment: Case Study • Stepping Stones provided shelter services to a mother and her 3 children. In the beginning, the mother was very hesitant to receive counseling services and found it difficult for her to share her feelings and deal with her issues. • The client was reluctant to attend individual counseling and support groups, but consistently attended her scheduled Advocacy appointments and was persistent in accomplishing her goals. • As the client worked on her goals in Advocacy, she had identified a need to receive counseling services. • The client had begun attending individual counseling and consistently attends the Family Focus and the Women’s Empowerment Group. • They were able to exit the shelter and move into affordable housing there. At this time, the client continues to attend individual counseling appointments, and is accessing non-residential Advocacy services and considering family counseling with her mother. The Strengths Perspective The strengths perspective is a distinctive lens wherein …“everything you do as a social worker will be predicated, in some say, on helping to discover and relish, explore and exploit clients’ strengths and resources in the service of assisting them to achieve their goals, realize their dreams, and shed the irons of their own inhibitions and misgivings.” (Saleeby, 1997) Strengths Principles Every system has strengths Difficulties = chance for growth and change Every system has aspirations for change Systems have expertise in: Understanding, coping with, and responding to their problems, needs, and issues of concern Every system has strengths, resources, and assets to bring to bear on the current difficulty Strengths-Based Interview Questions Strengths-base interview questions help the client system Focus on the future Embrace the possibilities inherent in a situation Shift the frame of reference from limitations and a deficit model to a strengths-based perspective The Miracle Question Ask the client system to imagine that the problem has been miraculously solved overnight and to describe all the signs one would see that indicate the miracle has occurred. Helps clients envision solutions to their issues and needs. Vision of the future engenders hope and helps lead the client system to fill in the picture of how to get there. From a Social Worker… • One of the most powerful tools that I use is the Miracle Question. This engages the individuals’ imagination in changing the present and planning for a more desirable future. The language is solution focused. • The Miracle Question is used to help clients generate descriptions of their dreams and visions for the future. They dare to dream about a better life, to remember hopes and aspirations they once had. The question generates a feeling of hope that things can improve. Here is a simple version of the question: …The Miracle Question Itself • ‘I am going to ask you a rather strange question. After we finish talking today I will go away back to my office and you will get on with the things that you need to do today. I want you to imagine that later on, tonight, when it is quiet, and everybody has gone to bed, and you are fast asleep, a miracle happens. And the miracle is this: all the things that have brought you here today, the things that are causing you difficulties, that you have or that other people think you have, all these problems have gone. A miracle has happened and the problems have all disappeared. But because this has happened when you are asleep, you don’t know it has happened, nobody knows the difficulties are solved. So when you are slowly waking up, what difference will you notice that will make you wonder that things have changed?’ • This question allows the individual to use their imagination to create a better life and then work backwards to the present day to think about what needs to be done differently. • Your role having asked the question is to listen and to prompt for more detail, what colour, what taste, what is your room like, how are you behaving, etc. • Sometimes people will drift off onto negative things for instance complaining about others behaviour. When this happens your role is to gently bring them back onto talk of what is good, what is better, what lets you know that things have improved and a miracle has happened. The Exception Question Ask the client system if there are times when the problem is not present or is less severe. This allows the client system to guide the generalist practitioner to relevant areas where satisfaction and success are envisioned. The vision of the future tells the generalist about strengths, resources, and abilities. The Difference Question Ask the client system what difference it made by taking this different action. This helps the client system realize they have the ability to do something different than what was tried in the past. The identified difference reinforces the intention of changing, reaching a goal, and taking purposeful action. Miracle…Exception…Difference AND Resilience What Gives You Strength? • Write down one thing you have accomplished that you never thought you could do. • With this accomplishment in mind, discuss with a partner: – What barriers you encountered – What gave you strength to meet this goal Considering Your Story • • • • Were you resilient? Were you vulnerable? We are all both vulnerable and resilient. There is no such thing as a vulnerable person, client, population… • But you wouldn’t know it from the professional literature about the people we serve… • There is no such thing as a resilient person. • Resilience is not – An intrinsic quality of lucky people The Power of Words • 2 Minutes: – Tell a story of yourself as a victim. – 3 words describing how you feel • 2 Minutes: – Tell a story of yourself as a. survivor. – 3 words describing how you feel What is Resilience? • History of resilience research • Resiliency is positive adaptation in response to adversity. • Most people who experience adversity have positive outcomes. • Why? Who is Resilient? We all are! Who is Vulnerable? We all are! Risk and Resilience Perspective Risk and Resilience is a general framework of experience and beliefs that allows client systems to define a problematical situation ….. “as an opportunity to act with understanding, confidence, and persistence in overcoming or rebounding from the consequences of associated adversities through environmental mastery and individual adaptation.” (Richman & Bowen, 1997, p. 101) Risk and Resilience Perspective The fundamental principle of risk and resilience generalist in practice is to increase exposure to protective factors and decrease exposure to risk factors. Risk and Resilience Perspective The Risk and Resilience Perspective must include assessment and intervention efforts associated with micro, mezzo, and macro client systems. Micro Macro Mezzo Risk and Resilience Perspective Risk factors are defined as “…any influence that increases the probability of onset, digression to a more serous state, or maintenance of a problem condition.” (Richman & Bowen, 1997, p. 101) Risk and Resilience Perspective Resilience is a term that describes client systems who have achieved positive outcomes in the face of risk. (Kirby & Fraser, 1997) Risk and Resilience Perspective Three types of Resilience are 1. Overcoming the odds or attaining a positive outcome despite high-risk situations 2. Competence under stress or retaining or restoring equilibrium in the face of interpersonal or environmental stress 3. Recovery from trauma or adapting in the face of great adversity. Risk and Resilience Perspective Protective Factors are the internal and external forces that help micro, mezzo, and macro systems resist or ameliorate risk factors. Preventing Drug Abuse among Children and Adolescents What are risk factors and protective factors Preventing Drug Abuse among Children and Adolescents Risk Factors and Protective Factors The General Method Interview W h a t a r e r i s k f a c t o r s a n d p r o t e c t i v e f a c t o r s The General Method Interview is the main data collection instrument for the social work profession. The General Method Interview Ethnographic Interviewing The General Method Interview includes data related to understanding the role of Multiculturalism, Social pluralism, and Socio-demographic All issues that may hinder or help the assessment and intervention process. The General Method Interview Techniques Listening Open-ended questions Closed-ended questions Clarification Questions Paraphrasing Furthering What is Listening? • Listening (ILA, 1996): the process of receiving, constructing meaning from, and responding to spoken and/or nonverbal messages; to hear something with thoughtful attention • Effective communication is 2-way – depends on speaking and listening Listening vs. Hearing • Hearing- physical process; natural; passive • Listening- physical & mental process; active; learned process; a skill • Listening is hard! You must choose to participate in the process of listening. Fast Facts • We listen at 125-250 wpm, think at 10003000 wpm • 75% of the time we are distracted, preoccupied or forgetful • 20% of the time, we remember what we hear • More than 35% of businesses think listening is a top skill for success • Less than 2% of people have had formal education with listening Percentage of Communication Mode of Communication Formal Years of Training Percentage of Time Used Writing 12 years 9% Reading 6-8 years 16 % Speaking 1-2 years 30% Listening 0-few hours 45% Barriers to Listening • Equate With Hearing • Uninteresting Topics • Speaker’s Delivery • External Distractions • Mentally Preparing Response • • • • Listening for Facts Personal Concerns Personal Bias Language/Culture Differences • Faking Attention Bad Listening Habits • • • • • • • Criticizing the subject or the speaker Getting over-stimulated Listening only for facts Not taking notes OR outlining everything Tolerating or creating distraction Letting emotional words block message Wasting time difference between speed of speech and speed of thought Active Listening • … Allows you to make sure you hear the words and understand the meaning behind the words • Goal: go beyond listening to understanding Active Listening Requires… • • • • Definite Intent to Listen Focus on the Speaker Verbal and Non-Verbal Encouragers Feedback Loop to Insure Accuracy Active Listening (4 Steps) 1. Listen 2. Question 3. ReflectParaphrase 4. Agree Step 1: Listen • To Feelings As Well As Words – Words – Emotions -- Implications • Focus on Speaker – Don’t plan, speak, or get distracted • What Is Speaker Talking About? – Topic? Speaker? Listener? Others? • Look At Speaker • Use Verbal & Non-Verbal Encouragers Step 2: Question • 3 Purposes – Demonstrates you are listening – Gather information – Clarification • Open-ended – Tell me more? – How did you feel? – Then what happened? Step 3: Reflect-Paraphrase • Reflect What Is Said (In your words) • Reflect Feelings • Reframe – Capture the essence of the communication – Remove negative framing – Move toward problem solving Step 4: Agree • Get Speaker’s Consent to Your Reframing • Speaker Has Been Heard and Knows It! • Solution Is Near! Identify each of the following as either Open or Closed Ended Questions? 1. Did you have a good relationship with your parents? 2. Tell me about your relationship with your parents. Questions • Open-ended • Closed-ended The General Method Interview Techniques Reflection of Feelings Summarization Information Giving Confrontation Interpretation Silence • UP TO HERE FOR • TUES. OCT. 9TH, 2 The General Method Interview Pitfalls to Avoid Advice giving Inappropriate use of humor Interrupting the client system Abrupt transitions Inappropriate and irrelevant questions Judgmental responses The General Method Interview Pitfalls to Avoid Continued Offering false assurance Inappropriate social worker selfdisclosure Premature confrontation Overwhelming the client with information Premature problem-solving.