Sunday, August 24, 2014

Psychiatric Terms for the Social Work Exam

You're not being tested on you knowledge of psychiatry for the social work licensing exam. Often, you're being tested on whether or not you know the line between what social workers do and what MDs do. "Refer for psychiatric evaluation" is the correct answer to many vignette questions that try to trap overzealous, scope-of-practice disregarding social workers in overshooting the limits of the profession.

That said, there's a lot of overlap between what psychiatrists and social workers see and the terminology they use. MDs prescribe meds. Social workers do most everything else. To communicate with each other, and within the field in general, common language is needed. Here, via Wikipedia, is a list of psychiatric terms you might consider eyeballing as you prepare for the SW test. Lots of it is irrelevant to the social work exam--but not all! Here are a few semi-random selections to whet your appetite for psychiatric/social work lingo.

Abreaction is a process of vividly reliving repressed memories and emotions related to a past event. Sigmund Freud used hypnosis to rid their patients of pathological memories through abreaction

Ideas of reference
Ideas of reference are a delusional belief that general events are personally directed at oneself. For example, someone might believe that he or she is receiving messages from the TV that are directed especially at him or he.
Stockholm syndrome
The Stockholm syndrome is a psychological response sometimes seen in a hostage, in which the hostage exhibits loyalty to the hostage-taker, in spite of the danger (or at least risk) in which the hostage has been placed. Stockholm syndrome is also sometimes discussed in reference to other situations with similar tensions, such as battered person syndrome, child abuse cases, and bride kidnapping.

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