This chapter demonstrates how social work ethics apply to ethical and legal decision making in forensic social work practice. It discusses the context of social work practice in legal systems. The chapter also details the basic structures of the United States (U.S.) civil and criminal legal systems. It lays the foundation for the criminal and civil court processes in the United States and introduces basic terminology and a description of associated activities and progression through these systems. The chapter focuses on providing an introductory, and overarching, picture of both civil and criminal law in the U.S. and introduces the roles social workers play in these systems. It focuses on the ETHICA model of ethical decision making as a resource and tool that can be used to help forensic social workers process difficult and complex situations across multiple systems.
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- Go to chapter: Social Work and the Law: An Overview of Ethics, Social Work, and Civil and Criminal Law
This chapter explains the theoretical basis for motivational interviewing (MI). It reviews the empirical evidence for the use of MI with diverse populations in forensic settings. MI involves attention to the language of change, and is designed to strengthen personal motivation and commitment to a specific goal by eliciting and exploring the person’s own reasons for change within an atmosphere of acceptance and compassion. It is now internationally recognized as an evidence-based practice intervention for alcohol and drug problems. MI involves an underlying spirit made up of partnership, acceptance, compassion, and evocation. The chapter discusses four key processes involved in MI: engaging, focusing, evoking, and planning. It also describes five key communication microskills used throughout MI: asking open-ended questions, providing affirmations, offering summarizing statements, providing information and advice with permission, and reflective statements.
Grief is the process that occurs before people come to acceptance. It can be a painful experience involving many different feelings. Losses includes health issues, loss of a career, loss of relationships, an unborn child, and/orability or desire to have children. Experiencing loss and grieving may include physical, emotional, social, and spiritual responses. Grieving is essential for coming to terms with and processing the trauma and resultant losses. Trauma and its accompanying sense of loss may result in a terrible sense of disappointment and failure. Working with mental health professionals and other survivors can be extremely helpful in working through the grieving process. The grieving process involves acknowledgment and acceptance of loss. Psychotherapy is a process of “re-parenting” the inner child who may have had less than ideal caretaking. The neural connections in the brain can heal and change with new experiences.
- Go to chapter: Stabilization Phase of Trauma Treatment: Introducing and Accessing the Ego State System
This chapter aims to help clinicians learn stabilization interventions for use in the Preparation Phase of eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) treatment. Using these interventions will aid clients in developing readiness for processing trauma, learning how to manage symptoms of dissociation, dealing with affect regulation, and developing the necessary internal cohesion and resources to utilize the EMDR trauma-processing phase. Earlier negative experiences stored dysfunctionally increase vulnerability to anxiety disorders, depression, and other diagnoses. When assessing a client with a complex trauma history, clinicians need to view current symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or depression as reflections of the earlier traumas. The chapter outlines the strategies dealing with dissociative symptoms, ego state work, and internal stability that help clinicians to develop an individualized treatment plan to successfully guide the client through the EMDR phases of treatment.
- Go to chapter: ACT-AS-IF and ARCHITECTS Approaches to EMDR Treatment of Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID)
This chapter describes key steps, with scripts, for the phases of therapy with a dissociative identity disorder (DID) client, and for an eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) session with a DID client. In brief, the method employs the artful use of EMDR and ego state therapy for association and acceleration, and of hypnosis, imagery, and ego state therapy for distancing and deceleration within the context of a trusting therapeutic relationship. It is also endeavoring to stay close to the treatment guidelines as promulgated by the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation. The acronym ACT-AS-IF describes the phases of therapy; the acronym ARCHITECTS describes the steps in an EMDR intervention. Dual attention awareness is key in part because it keeps the ventral vagal nervous system engaged sufficiently to empower the client to sustain the painful processing of dorsal vagal states and sympathetic arousal states.
One way of thinking about procrastination is to regard it as a form of addiction; an addiction to putting things off. As with other addictive patterns, the client will choose a short-term gratification instead of going for a long-term result that might, in the end, be more satisfying or empowering. As with other addictions, a procrastinating client often suffers ongoing erosion of her self-esteem. Quite often, procrastination may function as a defense as a way to avoid other life issues that are disturbing. With this type of problem, we can use a variation of Popky’s addiction protocol, and the level of urge to avoid (LoUA) procedure. It is also important to use resource installation procedures to help the client develop an image of the benefits that would come with being free of this problem.
The important elements of the Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and Phantom Pain Research Protocol are client history taking and relationship building, targeting the trauma of the experience, and targeting the pain. This protocol is set up to follow the eight phases of the 11-Step Standard Procedure. This chapter presents a case series with phantom limb patients obtained a few before and after EMDR magnetoencephalograms (MEGs) at the University of Tübingen, Germany on arm amputees that show the presence of phantom limb pain (PLP) in the brain images before EMDR and the absence of it after EMDR. In these case series, it is found that PLP in leg amputations is much easier to treat than arm amputations, likely due to the much more extensive and complex arm and hand representation in the sensory-motor cortex compared to the leg and foot representation.
The medical model in psychiatry assumes medical intervention is the treatment of choice for the constellations of diagnosed symptoms that comprise various mental disorders. These treatments may include pharmacotherapy, electroconvulsive treatment, brain stimulation, and psychosurgery. Therefore, psychopharmacology for older adults can be considered palliative rather than a cure for a brain disease causing psychopathology. Older adults experience many psychopathological problems, including anorexia tardive, anxiety disorders, delusional disorders, mood disorders, personality disorders, schizophrenia, and co-occurring disorders with substance abuse/dependence disorders. Therefore, it is critical for the social worker to understand the various manifestations of psychological problems in older adults from the perspective of an older adult, rather than extrapolating information commonly taught in social work programs that neglect to focus on older adults and restrict teaching to psycho-pathological problems in younger and middle-aged adults.
The baby boom cohort brings with it multiple types of substance abuse. Bisexual older adults have more co-occurring psychological problems than heterosexual older adults, older gay males, and older lesbians. An interesting finding is that immigration is contributory to older adult substance abuse. Older adults with alcohol-abuse problems do not seek help for their problems. Rather, they are often identified as having an alcohol-use problem when seeking care for other medical or psychological problems. Social workers assessing an older adult for alcohol abuse often confuse symptoms of possible alcohol abuse with dementia. Prescribing opioids and synthetic opioids to an older adult is complicated. An older adult can suffer from many forms of inner tension. Combining motivational interviewing with cognitive behavioral therapy is shown to be more effective for treating substance abuse that either therapeutic modality alone.
For older adults, the phenomenon of death is accepted and does not induce the fear experienced by younger adults. Older adults who do not engage in end-of-life planning may receive unwanted, unnecessary, costly, and painful medical interventions or withdrawal of desired treatment. Many older people feel that the goal of palliative care is to make the best possible dying experience for the older adult and his/her family. In addition to palliative care, an older adult will most likely find himself or herself in an intensive care unit as part of his or her terminal care. Euthanasia, or hastened death, is seen by some as an alternative to palliative care. A psychological aspect of death that an older adult is concerned with, in addition to place of death, is whether he or she will die in his or her sleep or die suddenly, making the death experience an individual phenomenon.