Social Work

School of Social Work

Clinical Practice with Individuals

SSW CP 770

Grad Prereq: (SSW CP 759) Required of all clinical students. Grad Coreq: Required to be in a field placement with this course. The purpose of this course is to deepen skills of differential assessment, formulation, and intervention with individuals. Three theoretical approaches guide this work: Cognitive (focusing on thoughts, feelings, and behavior), Behavioral (focusing on monitoring and reinforcing positive behavior), and Psychodynamic (focusing on dysfunctional childhood patterns repeated in the present). Using these perspectives, students analyze videotaped treatment sessions, demonstrate therapeutic approaches through classroom skill-practice, and present cases from their field internships for analysis and discussion. Students also learn to make five-axial clinical diagnoses using the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. 2 cr. Tuition: $1806

Summer 1 (May 21-June 12)


Clinical Practice with Groups

SSW CP 771

Grad Prereq: (SSW CP 759) Required of all clinical students. Grad Coreq: Required to be in a field placement with this course. Students build on skills learned in CP 759 by examining group work methods with a range of client populations, in various community and clinical settings, and with differing client problems/issues of concern. Attention is paid to race, culture, gender, and class and to social and environmental stressors as students make decisions about group composition, contracting, problem solving, and successfully terminating groups. 2 cr. Tuition: $1806

Summer 2 (July 16-August 7)


Clinical Practice with Families

SSW CP 772

Grad Prereq: (SSW CP 759) Required of all clinical students. Grad Coreq: (SSW CP 759) Required to be in a field placement with this course. Students build on family theory, dynamics, and skills learned in CP 759. They deepen their ability to build alliances with the family as a whole, assess families using common family assessment tools, and develop hypotheses about the family's experiences, structure, and internal dynamics that may contribute to the presenting problem. Particular attention is paid to family structure, roles, rules, and life cycle. Students practice the therapeutic techniques of joining and reflecting, employing the genogram to help families think differently about their history, identifying strengths and resilience in the family as a whole, motivating the family to change, and facilitating communication shifts and experimentation with new behavior. Emphasis is placed on the clinician's use of self in working with diverse families who present with a range of problems and are seen in various community and clinical settings. 2 cr. Tuition: $1806

Summer 1 (June 18-July 10)


Brief and Time-Effective Treatment

SSW CP 799

Grad Prereq: (SSW CP 759 & SSW CP 770 & SSW CP 771 & SSW CP 772) or permission of department chair. Surveys a range of brief and time effective treatment models including crisis intervention/single session interventions, solution focused brief therapy, narrative therapy, and stages of change/motivational interviewing. Students develop skills in brief treatment that can be used with children, adolescents, families, and adults who present with substance use, trauma, depression, anxiety, domestic violence, and other issues of concern in multi-stressed urban populations. Students acquire understanding of the theoretical and empirical bases, strengths, and limitations of each model. Use of in-class and videotaped role plays along with small group exercises help students become more creative, flexible, and accountable in their approaches to treatment, and will direct students away from a deficit (pathology) model towards a resource (possibility) treatment model. Students learn to collaborate with clients to create well-formed treatment goals, and to measure change as it occurs over time. Finally, students explore how their own values and beliefs about change may help or hinder clinical practice in the current health care environment. 3 cr. Tuition: $2709

Summer 1 (May 21-June 25)


Clinical Practice with Adult Trauma

SSW CP 803

Grad Prereq: (SSW CP 759 & SSW CP 770 & SSW CP 771 & SSW CP 772) or permission of department chair. Students learn different theoretical approaches to trauma and examine clinical strategies for intervening with traumatized adults from diverse backgrounds. Sources of trauma including natural disasters, the refugee and immigrant experience, interpersonal violence, and the accumulation of traumatic events over the life span are discussed in terms of their physical and emotional consequences. Students examine diagnostic issues including PTSD and complex PTSD, and co-occurring psychiatric disorders. Evidence-based interventions and emerging areas of practice with traumatized adult populations are highlighted. Larger social, cultural, and political forces are considered in shaping both exposure to and recovery from traumatic stressors. Finally, a theme of the course is the impact of trauma work on clinicians and strategies for self-care and reducing burnout. 3 cr. Tuition: $2709

Summer 2 (July 1-August 5)


Adult Psychopathology

SSW HB 723

Grad Prereq: SSW HB 720 or permission of department chair. Provides students with a framework for understanding human behavior when challenges to healthy adult functioning overwhelm coping mechanisms and resources. A biopsychosocial model of psychopathology is emphasized as we study some of the disorders classified in the DSM-5, including anxiety disorders, mood disorders, psychotic disorders, PTSD, dissociative disorders, personality disorders, eating disorders, and substance abuse/addictions. Complex factors in the etiology of various disorders are considered, including genetic, neurochemical, biological, developmental, familial, sociocultural, and political variables that affect the occurrence, presentation, course, and treatment of a problem. While learning the perspective and language of the phenomenological approach outlined in the DSM-5, we also highlight weaknesses and blind spots in the traditional approach to diagnoses. In particular, we explore the impact of oppression and bias on the naming and treatment of mental disorders, including the influences of race, gender, sexual orientation, class, disability, religion, and ethnicity on the diagnostic process. Students learn to consider the DSM-5 classification system as a social construction that reveals as much about society and its views of human behavior as it does about the clients with whom social workers have contact. While this course is not designed to focus on treatment, students have the opportunity to consider how diagnoses inform treatment and review current research on both biological and psychosocial treatments for different disorders. Finally, we seek to enhance empathic understanding of our clients' experiences and the experiences of their families and loved ones, remembering that people are not their diagnoses, that what is labeled individual "pathology" may be an adaptive response to oppressive external circumstances, and that people who experience a breakdown in functioning demonstrate not only difficulties but also compelling strengths. This course employs lecture, large and small group discussion, case presentations, and videotapes. Clinical vignettes from instructors and class are used to illustrate mental disorders and theoretical perspectives, and make material relevant to clinical practice, particularly with urban populations. 3 cr. Tuition: $2709

Summer 1 (May 20-June 24)


Racial Justice and Cultural Oppression

SSW HB 735

Grad Prereq: SSW HB 720 or permission of department chair. Required of all students. Examines the social, psychological, and institutional causes and implications of racism as a dynamic force influencing social work. Builds on and integrates concepts presented in foundation courses. Analyzes and evaluates the social, cultural, political, economic, and interpersonal contexts of racism that bear on our current policies and institutional arrangements. The course is designed to familiarize students with 1) theoretical overviews of race and racism; 2) historical accounts and contemporary experiences of racism; 3) the formation of racial identity; 4) multicultural contexts and fundamentals of cultural competency; and 5) effective social change efforts based on organizational analysis. 3 cr. Tuition: $2709

Summer 1 (May 21-June 20)

Summer 2 (July 9-August 8)


Spirituality and Social Work Practice

SSW HB 744

Grad Prereq: (SSW HB 720) or permission of department chair. The goal of this course is to acquaint the student with current theories regarding religion and spirituality and their role in clinical work. Particular attention is given to the function of spirituality and religion in bridging internal and external adaptations throughout the life cycle. Utilizing psychodynamic and narrative frameworks, this course addresses ways of assessing and working with an individual's spiritual and existential belief systems and attending to the ways in which spiritual beliefs and practices provide a window into a client's inner world. In addition, the course addresses issues of transference and countertransference as they arise in the exploration of religious and spiritual material in psychotherapy. The course draws heavily on case material, film, and fiction. 3 cr. Tuition: $2709

Summer 2 (July 3-August 7)


Ethics and the Social Work Profession

SSW SP 741

This required seminar is intended to inspire the moral imagination of social work students, and prepare them for competent and compassionate ethical practice as professionals. Examines the issues of social work professionalism, the process of becoming a social work professional, the tensions inherent in the goals of social work, and the ways these interrelate to produce conflicts of values and ethics in social work practice. Focuses on acquiring and practicing the skills of ethical decision-making, including values clarification, application of ethical theory, utilization of codes of ethics, and models of ethical analysis. Both clinical and macro aspects of social work are explored, with an emphasis on the contemporary challenges of practice in multicultural and urban settings. Issues of self-care, impairment, licensure, malpractice, whistle-blowing, and other professional challenges are explored. The course is set in the advanced curriculum as an integrative "capstone", designed to be concurrent with the student's final semester in the MSW program. 3 cr. Tuition: $2709

Summer 1 (May 20-June 19)


Social Work Research II

SSW SR 744

Grad Prereq: Satisfactory completion of SSW SR 743 (C or above) or permission of department chair. Required of all students. Students are introduced to the concepts and procedures that are fundamental to both descriptive and inferential statistics. Empirical research examining the effectiveness of social work practice, particularly in the urban environment, is explored. Utilizing existing national data sets, students generate their own research hypotheses and then formulate and carry out an analytic strategy to answer these questions effectively. Emphasis is also placed on gaining skills in presenting and communicating key findings to relevant audiences and stakeholders. 3 cr. Tuition: $2709

Summer 1 (May 20-June 19)


Family Law and Children's Rights

SSW WP 710

Grad Prereq: (SSW WP 700 & SSW WP 701) or permission of department chair. Provides a framework for understanding law and social policy. Examines the impact of law on the social work profession. Discusses issues of marriage and divorce, child custody and support, children's rights, and legal research. 3 cr. Tuition: $2709

Summer 1 (May 19-June 30)