Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Free Exam Practice

It used to be that everything cost something. News, information, entertainment. The internet has changed that. We've grown accustomed to free and steady updates of news, gossip, and cat videos. Why shouldn't the same apply to social work licensing exam help? Well, it does!

Here, via SWTP, is a series of free practice questions. Each question comes with some explanation about content and how to work your way to the right answer. Plus, a link to other sites to get more (free) information on the topic. Click "DSM" or "Ethics" under the questions if you want to focus just on those. Otherwise, the link will get you the whole batch of free questions. Edge your way back through blog time and on toward your eventual licensing exam success!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The 6 Core Values of Social Work to Remember for the Social Work Exam

According to the NASW Social Work Code of Ethics, the 6 core values of social work are:

1. Service- to provide help, resources,  and benefits to help people achieve maximum potential
2. Social Justice- to uphold equal rights, protection, opportunity, social benefits to everyone
3. Dignity and worth- every person is unique and worthwhile
4. Importance of human relationships- to value the exchange between social worker and client
5. Integrity-maintain trustworthiness 
6. Competence-practice within the scope of known skills and abilities

They really are such beautiful values for a profession, don't you think?

Don't forget to be proud of choosing such a helpful and worthwhile profession and make sure to study up on the Code of Ethics found here. And also remember that practice really helps lock all this information--you're going to pass the exam!

Friday, May 2, 2014

The Top 4 Goals of Analytic Therapy

Carl Jung is well known for his analytic therapy where the idea of the collective unconscious and the personal conscious came about. He believed that our past does not dictate who we are but rather can be reintegrated and changed with our future selves. This development of self knowledge by reflection from the past is a key goal in Analytic Therapy. It also is not a brief therapy and oftentimes clients are in therapy for a number of years.

The top 4 goals are as follows:

1)Reclaiming parts of the self through looking back on the past

2)Diving into the unconscious (dreams and emotional analysis) and conscious

3)Learning to become self aware

4)Bringing the past and present together

Friday, April 25, 2014


Please read the summary below and answer the question: 
What Would a Social Worker Do?

A social worker meets with a single mother in her home for an assessment in order to provide parenting skills ordered by the court system. The social worker walks into the home to find a mother attempting to feed her 2 year old daughter who is running around the house, without clothes on, while throwing her toys around the room. The mother apologizes to the SW when she walks in but states that she believes that her daughter will come to her when she is ready. The mother stated that she was abused as a child and wants to make sure that her daughter is treated with respect and therefore allows her to "be herself" and does not punish her in any way. The social worker thanked the mother for being open to discussing her parenting style and the reasons why she parents the way she does. 

What type of parenting would be helpful in this situation and WWSWD next?

a)Permissive Parenting Style- SW would state that what she has been doing is permissive parenting and it can be very effective in giving her daughter independence. SW would help the mother continue to teach her daughter independence.

b)Authoritative Parenting Style- SW would state that it's important for her daughter to have stability from her mother but to also have rules that she must follow.  The SW would explain to the mother that she can still encourage her daughter to be independent but standards and rules must be set while allowing the daughter to question them and actively take part in understanding the rules.

c)Authoritarian Parenting Style- SW would state that it is important to be a parent, not a friend. The SW would explain to the mother that standards and rules must be set and enforced without question from her daughter.

The correct answer would be (b). The Authoritative parent is the most effective as it allows the child to take part and understand the discipline rather than having full-time independence with no punishment (permissive) and/or being too overbearing/rigid (authoritarian).

Read more about parenting styles here 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Conduct Disorder vs. Oppositional Defiant Disorder

For the Social Work Exam you want to make sure to remember the differences between, somewhat similar, DSM diagnoses. I always get confused with these two "labels". Just remember that Conduct Disorder (CD) is the extreme form of Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD). Below is a list of childhood symptoms for each:
For at least the last 6 months there is continued hostile negative defiant behavior with episodes where the child loses their temper, angry, vengeful, easily annoyed, argumentative, defies rules, blames others for mistakes, and/or annoys others intentionally.

A child must show 3 major symptoms in the last 3 months with a major symptom occurring in the last 6 months. These behaviors impair the child's social/school life. The symptoms are aggression towards people and/or animals, theft, serious violations of others' rights, and/or destruction of property.

In children, CD is often co-occurring with ADD/HD. It is also said that CD is a precursor to adult Antisocial Personality Disorder. 

Learn more about these two diagnoses in childhood here

Thursday, April 17, 2014

The 7 Steps of Crisis Intervention

As social workers we are always putting out fires. Sometimes they are even literal fires, LOL. All jokes aside, it's important to realize that social workers already know the steps to take in a crisis, even if you haven't studied the theories recently. Here is a refresher for you and please let me know an example you may have had following these stages:

Roberts is one of the founders of the crisis intervention model used by most clinicians today. Here are the steps defined:

1) ASSESS for safety/suicidality and provide a brief biopsychosocial assessment
2) Continue to develop RAPPORT by being empathetic and warm
3) IDENTIFY PROBLEM/what lead to crisis and what other problems are concerning them at that moment
4) Address FEELINGS and allow client to vent while validating and actively listening
5) Identify ways they will COPE with situation and how they have coped with difficulties in past
6) Create an ACTION PLAN with client, time to come to terms with crisis and attempt to resolve
7) FOLLOW-UP with client via phone, in-office counseling, etc..

Learn more about crisis intervention by clicking here! Find practice question about crisis intervention and a bunch more here.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

How to Understand Alcohol Abuse vs. Dependence Questions on the SW Exam

Some of the easiest questions to miss on the Social Work Exam are those that make you apply a simple definition to a case example. Below are definitions and case examples to help you remember:

Alcohol Abuse is not as extreme as Alcohol Dependence, although they both are harmful. For the full DSM-IV-TR criteria, click here

Example 1:
For the past year, a 23 year old woman parties every weekend and will often wake up in unknown places. She is always late to work and fears that she will lose her job due to being too hung over all of the time. She recently was pulled over for a DUI but still continues to drive drunk.

This would be an example of Alcohol Abuse because this woman has continued substance use that resulted in failure to perform work, legal implications, and continued drinking even after she was aware of the consequences. The DSM states that only one of the impairments described above need to be in place in the last 12 months to be considered a Substance Abuser. 

Example 2:
A 40 year old man recently left his wife and children after a 3 day binge and losing his job. For the past year, this man has been drinking daily and has needed more and more to feel normal. He has attempted to stop many times but is unable to deal with the withdrawal symptoms. He hangs around his buddies more than his family because they understand him and don't mind his drinking.

This man is suffering from Alcohol Dependence. The DSM states that within a 12 month period someone needs to show 3 of the following: signs of tolerance, withdrawal, the need for more to achieve the desired effects, failed attempts to stop, wasted time on drinking activities, missing other life events in order to drink, continued use even after known harmful effects are present. 

Please be aware that the DSM V (published May 2013) no longer distinguishes between alcohol abuse and dependence and instead places both terms together as part of the overall diagnosis of a Substance Use Disorder. A Substance Use Disorder is now evaluated on a continuum of abuse. According to the ASWB website, the new DSM V will not be reflected on any exam until July 2015. Click Here for the official announcement from the ASWB site.