Date of Paper

5-2014

Type of Paper

Clinical research paper

Degree Name

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

Department

Social Work

First Advisor

Sarah M. Ferguson

Abstract

This clinical research project investigates how and when Licensed Independent Clinical Social Workers (LICSW) in the State of Minnesota received training in somatic methods of helping. As a Masters of Social Work (MSW) student examples of somatic methods permeate class lecture, training videos, and observations made in the field. Though ubiquitous in clinical practice, methods of engaging clients somatically are not typically part of the core social work curriculum. This paradox laid the foundation for the Somatic Methods Survey which provided insight into how and when LICSWs develop skills in somatic methods of helping.

The Somatic Methods Survey was completed by N=28 LICSWs licensed in the state of Minnesota. Of N=28 respondents, N=25 (89%) of respondents indicated they use somatic methods with their clients. Respondents who use somatic methods identified a wide range of physically based methods used with clients, and indicated an average of N=2 somatic methods may be used in their clinical practice. This dedication to the use of somatic methods by clinical social workers is notable, and has implications for the future of social work education.

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