Date of Paper

5-2013

Type of Paper

Clinical research paper

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)

Department

Social Work

First Advisor

Carol F. Kuechler

Abstract

For social workers, engagement refers to the process through which clients become active and involved in their treatment. Involuntary clients, or clients who are legally mandated or feel pressure to seek treatment, struggle with engagement and are often viewed as being resistant. This study examined the engagement process through interviews conducted with social workers who have experience in working with involuntary clients. Five social workers discussed the engagement process and strategies they use to encourage the engagement process with involuntary clients. They emphasized the importance of giving the clients choice and control over their treatment, and having the capacity to genuinely like the client. Motivational interviewing and relational approaches were cited as beneficial for fostering engagement with involuntary clients, a view that is consistent with previous research.

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