May 22, 2018 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn

Current High School students learned how to apply social work tactics including conversation skills into their own lives during interactive group work led by King’s MSW students.

A group of 15 high school students spent 10 minutes at each of three stations learning how to apply motivational interviewing, cognitive behavior therapy and experiential accelerated dynamic psychotherapy into their day-to-day experiences. MSW students explained the three tactics, demonstrated how and why they are used in social work practices and then led the high school students through a scenario.

In the motivational interviewing group, first-year MSW student, Christopher Sterling-Murphy led the youth in role-playing on how to ask open-ended questions. He explained how these questions lead to deeper discussion and ultimately empower clients to make their own decisions and come up with their own changes. High school students agreed that this is a technique they could apply in their own lives in conversations with family and friends.

The experiential accelerated dynamic psychotherapy group was led by first-year MSW students Jackie Schindler and Gillian Scott. They asked the youth to think about how some people might feel when coming to a social worker for the first time. Students suggested people might feel anxious, embarrassed, scared, or ashamed. The group presenters explained that they use mindfulness and meditation techniques at the beginning of meetings with clients to help the person sitting across from them slow down their mind and get in touch with what they are feeling. The MSW students led the groups through a guided mindfulness exercise of deep breathing to demonstrate how it helps reduce those stressed feelings that clients might initially have. High school students were encouraged to use this technique any time they felt overwhelmed or anxious.

 The third group was led by Christopher Saxby and Holly White about Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT). The MSW students explained that our core beliefs shape our thoughts, feelings and behaviors. By targeting, evaluating and modifying certain thoughts, people can change their feelings and behaviours.

The youth were given a worksheet and a scenario. They were instructed to write down what they first think and feel and what they would do as a result. The participants discussed their results and were able to understand how to people can create powerful changes in their behavior by using CBT.

Prior to the group work, the MSW students led a presentation about social work values, the skills required in the field, and what educational paths are available to progress in a career in social work.

Dr. Andrew Mantulak joined the MSW students for their presentation and he ended the 90 minute workshop with giving thanks to them for volunteering to put on this event.

As they were leaving, each high school student received a swag bag from King’s full of additional information about studying social work at King’s. We hope to see them back on campus in the years to come!