Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Professional development: Tuning in: The Person of the Therapist - Vancouver

Vancouver Couple & Family Institute

Date: Oct 20 - 21, 2016                Time:  9:00am - 5:00pm

Location: Canadian Memorial Centre for Peace - 1825 West 16th Ave Vancouver, BC

In this workshop you will discover new ways to use your inner experience to navigate stuck places and nurture healthy bonds in your work with individuals and couples.

We will incorporate video excepts, engaging didactic presentation and small group exercises focusing on:

1) Helping therapists find new ways to share how we are impacted by our clients.
2) Exploring how to navigate and repair times when we become triggered in our therapist role.
3) Self-care.

Ethical Decision-making Models and Tools for Social Workers

Social workers are faced with many different types of ethical dilemmas in our professional work and practice. When making ethical decisions in our work, it helps to use ethical decision-making models. To support ethical decision-making in our work some social work models and tools are presented below. 

Ethical Decision Making Toolkit. BC Association of Social Workers. Retrieved from:

Ethical Decision-Making in Social Work Practice. Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Social Workers. Retrieved from:

Ethical Decision-Making Models in Resolving EthicalDilemmas in Rural Practice: Implications for Social Work Practice and Education. 
Edwards, B. and Addae, R. (2015). Journal of Social Work Values and Ethics, 12, (1). Copyright 2015, ASWB. Retrieved from:,_vol._12,_no._1/articles/88-JSWVE-12-1-Rural%20Practice-Resolving%20Ethical%20Dilemmas.pdf

Essential Steps for Ethical Problem-Solving
From the National Association of Social Workers. Retrieved from:

1. DETERMINE whether there is an ethical issue or/and dilemma.

Is there a conflict of values, or rights, or professional responsibilities? (For example, there may be an issue of self-determination of an adolescent versus the well-being of the family.)

2. IDENTIFY the key values and principles involved.

What meanings and limitations are typically attached to these competing values? (For example, rarely is confidential information held in absolute secrecy; however, typically decisions about access by third parties to sensitive content should be contracted with clients.)

3. RANK the values or ethical principles which - in your professional judgement - are most relevant to the issue or dilemma. 

What reasons can you provide for prioritizing one competing value/principle over another? (For example, your client's right to choose a beneficial course of action could bring hardship or harm to others who would be affected.)

4. DEVELOP an action plan that is consistent with the ethical priorities that have been determined as central to the dilemma.

Have you conferred with clients and colleagues, as appropriate, about the potential risks and consequences of alternative courses of action? Can you support or justify your action plan with the values/principles on which the plan is based? (For example, have you conferred with all the necessary persons regarding the ethical dimensions of planning for a battered wife's quest to secure secret shelter and the implications for her teen-aged children?)

5. IMPLEMENT your plan, utilizing the most appropriate practice skills and competencies.

How will you make use of core social work skills such as sensitive communication, skillful negotiation, and cultural competence? (For example, skillful colleague or supervisory communication and negotiation may enable an impaired colleague to see her/his impact on clients and to take appropriate action.)

6. REFLECT on the outcome of this ethical decision making process. 

How would you evaluate the consequences of this process for those involved: Client(s), professional(s), and agency (ies)? (Increasingly, professionals have begun to seek support, further professional training, and consultation through the development of Ethics review Committees or Ethics Consultation processes.)

From discussion by Frederick Reamer & Sr. Ann Patrick Conrad in Professional Choices: Ethics at Work (1995), video available from NASW Press 1-800-227-3590. Format developed by Sr. Vincentia Joseph & Sr. Ann Patrick Conrad. NASW Office of Ethics and Professional Review, 1-800-638-8799
Reamer, F. G. (2002). Making Difficult Decisions. Social Work Today: Eye on Ethics. Retrieved from: