Friday, January 13, 2017

Quick Quiz Collection

Every once in a while we put up a quick quiz to test your readiness for the ASWB exam. These aren't vignette questions like most of the items on the real exam are. (If you want vignette practice, try the ones at SWTP.)

These are more fun (at least we think so). They're little games--fill-in-the-blank, matching games... Some additional exercise to help you get prepped for the big exam. Have you tried them all? There' no time like the present. Here they are.

Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

What is Paranoid Personality Disorder?

Continuing through the personality disorders, let's take a moment to review the criteria for paranoid personality disorder. Paranoia is a feature in other disorders (e.g., schizophrenia). What makes that paranoia a personality disorder?

Read on. The disorder is characterized by "A pervasive distrust and suspiciousness of others such that their motives are interpreted as malevolent, beginning by early  adulthood and present in a variety of contexts."

Four of the following are required for a diagnosis of paranoid personality disorder to be made:

1. Suspects, without sufficient basis, that others are exploiting, harming, or deceiving him or her.

2. Is preoccupied with unjustified doubts about the loyalty or trustworthiness of friends or associates.

3. Is reluctant to confide in others because of unwarranted fear that the information will be used maliciously against him or her.

4. Reads hidden demeaning or threatening meanings into benign remarks or events.

5. Persistently bears grudges.

6. Perceives attacks on his or her character or reputation that are not apparent to others and is quick to react angrily or to counterattack.

7. Has recurrent suspicions, without justification, regarding fidelity of spouse or sexual partner.

Symptoms cannot appear exclusively during the course of schizophrenia, bipolar I or II, or depressive disorder with psychotic features.

When you see a list of rule-outs like that, you know it's time to stare at them an imagine a question like this:

A social worker who sees a client who [LIST OF PARANOID SYMPTOMS]...What is the MOST likely diagnosis for this client.

A. Schizophrenia

B. Bipolar disorder

C. Depressive disorder with psychotic features

D. Paranoid personality disorder.

Different contents of those brackets will get you different correct answers. Before answering D) Paranoid personality disorder, be sure that paranoid attitudes are pervasive and in multiple contexts. Attributing malice and deceit to a single political candidate, for instance, isn't criteria-meeting. Believing in unprovable conspiracies also isn't a fit. (Delusions are not a criteria in this disorder.) What you should look for is a life-long pattern of extreme suspiciousness regarding a wide range of people. Non-delusional, far reaching, long-lasting. That's paranoid personality disorder.

More reading here:




Monday, December 5, 2016

What is Histrionic Personality Disorder?

Personality disorders have been in the news. Does that make them any more likely to show up on the social work licensing exam? Maybe, maybe not. In any case, it's still a good idea to get to know each of them. That's knowledge that may very well get you through a question or two on the exam. It will certainly help you in social work practice. Earlier, we reviewed NPD. Let's move on today to histrionic personality disorder. Here are the DSM basics. It is:

A pervasive pattern of excessive emotionality and attention seeking, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five or more of the following:

1. Discomfort in situations in which he or she is not the center of attention.
2. Inappropriate sexually seductive or provocative behavior with others.
3. Rapidly shifting and shallow expression of emotions.
4. Consistently uses physical appearance to draw attention to self.
5. Excessively impressionistic and detail poor style of speech.
6. Shows self-dramatization, theatricality, and exaggerated expression of emotion.
7. Easily influenced by others or circumstances.
8. Considers relationships to be more intimate than they actually are.

People with histrionic personality disorder can initially seem appealing and exciting by way of flirtation and a bigger-than-life presentation. The persistence of symptoms and absence of other modes of relating to others may soon make it clear that what is occurring is a disorder. Histrionic personality disorder shares some characteristics with borderline personality disorder. A savvy test writer may create a vignette that gives you a close call choice between the two. But they are distinct disorders--knowing the details of each is your best foot forward.

For more reading about the disorder, try:

Monday, November 28, 2016

Quick Quiz: Kleptomania

All this talk of kleptocracy brought us to the kleptomania page of the DSM. Here's a quick quiz that should help you if you encounter a kleptomania question on the ASWB exam.

According to DSM-5, which of the following is NOT a criterion for kleptomania?

A. Recurrent failure to resist impulses to steal objects that are not needed for personal use or for their monetary value.

B. Decreasing sense of tension immediately before committing the theft.

C. Pleasure, gratification, or relief at the time of committing the theft.

D. The stealing is not committed to express anger or vengeance and is not in response to a delusion or a hallucination.

What do you think?

The answer is in comments.

Heads-up: You won't see "NOT" questions like this on the ASWB exam. You will encounter BEST and FIRST questions, though. To get practice questions in ASWB format, check out the SWTP blog and complete practice exams.

Good luck!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Quick Quiz: The Core Values of Social Work

Here's the quickest of quick quizzes. Can you name the six core values of social work as laid out in the NASW Code of Ethics? They're also known as social work's Ethical Principles.

1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.

Think on it. Here are the first initials if you need a hint: S, SJ, DaWotP, IoHR, I, C.

Got 'em? Great! The ASWB exam won't ask you to list things out like this, but straining your brain a little bit to remember just what social work stands for may help you come exam day.

The answers are right at the beginning of the Code.

Good luck with the exam!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Social Workers Challenge Social Injustice

From the NASW Code of Ethics:

Value: Social Justice
Ethical Principle: Social workers challenge social injustice. 
Social workers pursue social change, particularly with and on behalf of vulnerable and oppressed individuals and groups of people. Social workers’ social change efforts are focused primarily on issues of poverty, unemployment, discrimination, and other forms of social injustice. These activities seek to promote sensitivity to and knowledge about oppression and cultural and ethnic diversity. Social workers strive to ensure access to needed information, services, and resources; equality of opportunity; and meaningful participation in decision making for all people.