Thursday, April 9, 2015

Free ASWB Exam Help

If there's one major theme on these pages, it's that you can prepare for the social work licensing exam without spending an amount of money you're going to regret. It used to be exam prep could cost hundreds of dollars. That paid for audio CDs, for thick volumes of materials, and for practice exams. Now, with all the free resources on the web, that's just not the case. Audio comes free via a variety of amazing podcasts. Books full of info are made more-or-less obsolete by sites you know well, such as Wikipedia. There are lots of free practice exam questions scattered around the web, and if you want to take full-length real-time practice exams (recommended), it can cost as little as twenty-something dollars per complete exam (that's the case, at least, with SWTP's exams purchased with the bundle discount or with a coupon code).

Here are some of the sites mentioned above--and a couple of others for your clicking, studying, passing pleasure:

The Social Work Podcast

Social Work Test Prep

Portal:Psychology - Wikipedia

inSocialWork Podcast Series - UB Social Work

Psychology Basics 101

Social Work Today - Eye on Ethics:

Code of Ethics - National Association of Social Workers

Good luck with the exam!

Monday, April 6, 2015

Social Work Exam and Culture: Maladi Moun

Continuing with DSM-5's culture-bound syndromes, here's maladi moun.

Here's a definition from Medscape:
Aka "humanly caused illness" found in Haitian communities, is seen as an explanation for a number of medical and psychiatric symptoms. It is thought that illness is literally "sent" by others out of envy and hatred and can describe psychosis, depressive symptoms, and even academic or social problems.
There are other, similar conditions, per the World Health Org:
Haitians divide illnesses into several broad categories, including: maladi Bondye (God’s disease, or those of “natural” origin), maladi peyi (“country”, or common, short-term ailments), maladi moun fè mal (magic spells sent because of human greed), and those of supernatural origin, maladi lwa (‘disease of God’) and maladi Satan (Satan’s or “sent” sicknesses)  
The Dictionary of Psychology entry on the topic is here. As of this writing, that about does it for what the web has to offer. But it should be more than enough to field a question about maladi moun on the social work licensing exam. Good luck!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Social Work Exam and Culture: Kufungisisa

Continuing our series profiling the cultural concepts of distress included in DSM-5. Next up, Kufungisisa. Here's a quick summary, helpfully posted on Facebook:
Kufungisisa, or "thinking too much," a disorder of distress reported by the Shona people of Zimbabwe. The term represents both a cause of conditions akin to anxiety and depression (eg, "my heart is painful because I think too much") as well as an idiom of psychosocial stressors, such as financial or marital problems. Symptoms can overlap with several DSM diagnoses, including anxiety, panic disorders, and depression. Ruminations and somatic symptoms may be addressed with cognitive-behavioral psychotherapeutic approaches; otherwise, standard treatments for anxiety or depression can be tried.
 More from details around the web:

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Social Work Exam and Culture: Khyâl Cap

Continuing to survey the nine cultural concepts of distress listed in DSM-5. Here's Khyâl cup (or Khyâl Attack). Here's a quick definition adapted from the slideshow below.
A syndrome found among Cambodians in the U.S. and Cambodia. Common symptoms include those of panic attacks, such as dizziness, palpitations, shortness of breath, and cold extremities. Catastrophic cognitions center on the concern that kyaal (a wind-like substance) may rise in the body and cause dangerous effects (eg lung compression, asphyxia).
Here's the full definition and a the complete list of nine via

More about Khyâl cap at these links (but not, for the moment, at Wikipedia):

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Social Work Exam and Culture: Dhat Syndrome

Next up in our survey of culture-specific mental health complexes: Dhat Syndrome. Wikipedia summarizes:
Dhat syndrome is a condition found in the cultures of the Indian subcontinent in which male patients report that they suffer from premature ejaculation or impotence, and believe that they are passing semen in their urine.
Simple as that. Good to know for practice, and possibly for the social work licensing exam.
More on dhat syndrome from around the web:

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Socal Work Exam and Culture: Ataque de Nervios

The DSM-5 takes a new approach to culture-specific syndromes. But the content is the same. Here's a first in a series to get you up to speed on these syndromes, regardless of which DSM you're using for the exam. First, ataque de nervios. This is from the APA:
Ataque de nervios (“attack of nerves”) is a syndrome among individuals of Latino descent, characterized by symptoms of intense emotional upset, including acute anxiety, anger, or grief; screaming and shouting uncontrollably; attacks of crying; trembling; heat in the chest rising into the head; and becoming verbally and physically aggressive. Dissociative experiences (e.g., depersonalization, derealization, amnesia), seizure-like or fainting episodes, and suicidal gestures are prominent in some ataques but absent in others...
Want more than that? Try:

DSM-5 Practice Exams

DSM-5 doesn't show up on the ASWB exam till July 1st. But it's appearing at a practice exam near