Monday, March 31, 2014

Group Therapy and the Social Work Exam

Let's jump into that list of psychotherapies from the previous post and take a look at group therapy. Here's another topic about which there's way more to know than could possibly show up in questions on the social work licensing exam. And here again, to narrow down your exam prep, you might try to approach the topic as an exam item writer. If you had to come up with a few questions about group psychotherapy, what would first come to mind? Maybe personal experience. Maybe a textbook or two from school. Chances are that one of those textbooks would be Irvin Yalom's The Theory and Practice of Group Psychotherapy. Read it? Great. If you remember the basics, you're probably good to go for this topic and the exam. Need to learn and/or get refreshed on it? The web is happy to provide a summary, especially about Yalom's key principles of group:
How might this material show up on the exam? Maybe as an item about establishing group rules--who's in charge? Maybe as an item about CBT vs. other approaches (e.g., a psychoed or process group)--really an intervention question posing as a group question.  Or you may see a question about the appropriateness of group for a certain type of client (say, those diagnosed with ODD or BPD). Given a passing familiarity with the topic, these don't have to be particularly vexing questions. As ever, just think like an ideal, textbook social worker, and choose the ideal, textbook response. Good luck!

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