The Social Work Helping Process on the ASWB Exam
This process will be extremely helpful for you to know and understand for the LCSW and LMSW exams, especially for questions that end in FIRST and NEXT.
What is The Helping Process?
This six-step process is very helpful to have a mastery of when you are taking your exam.
1) Engagement: You cannot build a therapeutic relationship without engaging the client. Also includes intake, confidentiality, consent, and explaining the risks of treatment. Additionally, you’ll be setting boundaries during this session.
2) Assessment: Assessment is when you are determining the client’s presenting problem. This step is used to collect information that will be helpful in treatment. This may include a biopsychosocial assessment. We need to determine strengths and weaknesses so we can identify areas that will be worked on in treatment.
Example: In this phase, you may determine anxiety is the main problem you will work on treatment.
3) Planning: The planning stage refers to planning for treatment. This includes setting goals and objectives. Treatment modality may also be determined in this stage. In this stage, you are making an action plan for the next steps in treatment.
Example: You have determined that you will address the client’s anxiety through 12 weeks of CBT. The goal will be to utilize coping strategies to decrease negative thinking in 3 out of 5 situations.
4) Intervention: This is where the “bulk” of the clinical work will be done. This is when you are actively working with the client. In this stage, you may be utilizing a variety of techniques to work towards established goals. You may also give clients activities to work on outside of the session. Depending on the type of work you are doing, this phase may be long or short-term in nature.
Example: During the intervention phase you will be utilizing CBT. This may include working on distorted thoughts, practicing muscle relaxation, and mindfulness.
Learn more about different intervention methods in this post: Mastering Clinical Social Work Interventions For The ASWB Exam
5) Evaluation: This is where you are looking at the client’s progress. Are they making progress towards established goals? Are there areas that need to be changed? Is the treatment modality working? This is an ongoing process that should be used to determine if changes need to be made in the treatment process.
Example: Is my client making progress towards a decrease in negative thinking? Are the CBT techniques and strategies helping the client cope with anxiety?
6) Termination: Termination is signaled by the close or ending of the therapeutic relationship. Ideally, termination occurs once the client and therapist agree that the treatment goals have been met and services are no longer needed. However, a client can terminate at any time. Termination should be discussed early and clients should have time to prepare for the end of treatment.
Learn more about the Termination stage in this post: Termination Of Clients On The ASWB Exam
** For some people termination is signaled by joy and pride. For others, it is more challenging and may be signaled by fear and anxiety. Support your client’s through the termination phase.
Want to learn more about the different stages of the helping process? Watch the video below!
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A little bit about me: I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and I have been providing individualized and group test prep for the ASWB for over three years. From all of this experience helping others pass their exams, I have created a course to help you prepare for and pass the ASWB exam!
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Disclaimer: This video content has been made available for informational and educational purposes only. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical or clinical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.