Helping Family Members with Maladaptive Communication 123 10.5 The executive system Children Martha Gwen Freeman-Walters Executive System Social Work Methods and Skills As we have noted, many students may not have direct experience working with families. Therefore, you may need to rely upon role-plays—in which you will need to play the worker—to assist students in understanding the methods and skills that social workers employ in family work. You may use family scenarios from your practice or ones suggested by students. Alternatively, you can use one or more of the case scenarios presented in the chapter. 1. If you use one of the cases in the chapter, begin by asking students to share their understanding of the case, including the problematic dynamics and the reasons for their existence. For example, if you use the example of the teen- ager, Tom, whose mom has a drinking problem that his siblings and father are ignoring, review with students the assessment that we provided of this case. Ask students to consider which family members they would want to include in a first session, as well as their rationale. Have students describe how they—as the worker—would introduce themselves in the family session. At this point, you can continue with the case by asking several students to enact the roles of various family members, while you (or another student or a group of students) take on the role of worker. We note in the text that family members’ problematic interactions often reveal themselves in the session. Prior to engaging in role-play, you may need to meet with the “family” members to provide some guidance as to how they might enact their roles in the session.
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