Social Workers Reflect on Engagement with Involuntary Clients.pdf

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St. Catherine UniversityUniversity of St. ThomasMaster of Social Work Clinical Research PapersSchool of Social Work5-2013Social Workers Reflect on Engagement withInvoluntary ClientsCourtney A. JacobsenSt. Catherine UniversityThis Clinical research paper is brought to you for free and open access by the School of Social Work at SOPHIA. It has been accepted for inclusion inMaster of Social Work Clinical Research Papers by an authorized administrator of SOPHIA. For more information, please contact[email protected].Recommended CitationJacobsen, Courtney A.. (2013). Social Workers Reflect on Engagement with Involuntary Clients. Retrieved from Sophia, the St.Catherine University repository website:
Social Workers Reflect on Engagement with Involuntary ClientsByCourtney A. Jacobsen, BSW, LSWMSW Clinical Research PaperPresented to the Faculty of theSchool of Social WorkSt. Catherine University and the University of St. ThomasSt. Paul, Minnesotain Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree ofMaster of Social WorkCommittee MembersCarol F. Kuechler, MSW, Ph.D, LISW (Chair)Roxanne Sanderson, MSW, LICSWDana Swayze, MSWThe Clinical Research Project is a graduation requirement for MSW students at St. CatherineUniversity/University of St. Thomas School of Social Work in St. Paul, Minnesota and is conducted withina nine-month time frame to demonstrate facility with basic social research methods. Students mustindependently conceptualize a research problem, formulate a research design that is approved by a researchcommittee and the university Institutional Review Board, implement the project, and publically present thefindings of the study. This project is neither a Master’s thesis nor a dissertation.
iAbstractFor social workers, engagement refers to the process through which clientsbecome active and involved in their treatment. Involuntary clients, or clients who arelegally mandated or feel pressure to seek treatment, struggle with engagement and areoften viewed as being resistant. This study examined the engagement process throughinterviews conducted with social workers who have experience in working withinvoluntary clients. Five social workers discussed the engagement process and strategiesthey use to encourage the engagement process with involuntary clients. They emphasizedthe importance of giving the clients choice and control over their treatment, and havingthe capacity to genuinely like the client. Motivational interviewing and relationalapproaches were cited as beneficial for fostering engagement with involuntary clients, aview that is consistent with previous research.
iiAcknowledgmentsFirst, I would like to thank my committee chair, Dr. Carol Kuechler, for herunwavering support, guidance and encouragement through this research process. Herhigh expectations for my work gave me the confidence and motivation to I needed to besuccessful in the completion of this work.

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