Discussion 1: Identifying Micro Skills

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As a new social work student, it takes a lot of time and practice to learn how to work with clients. Knowing when to use micro skills such as rephrasing or clarifying a statement, confronting a situation, or disclosing your personal experiences can be unclear at times. Suppose a client you are working with shares experiences of child abuse. You also experienced child abuse, although, not to the extent that your client is sharing. Do you share your experience with the client? What would be the purpose of this self-disclosure? When is it appropriate to tell a client about your history? The latter question not only depends on your comfort-level with the disclosure; it also depends on the rules and regulations of your agency. Some settings, such as those involving substance abuse, encourage the hiring of people with substance abuse histories and, in turn, allow self-disclosure. However, hospital and psychiatric settings may restrict self-disclosure to protect their clients and the social worker. When might one micro skill be more appropriate than another? What challenges might you face when using micro skills if they are not used properly?

For this Discussion, review this week’s Learning Resources. Consider any challenges you might encounter when using micro practice skills while interviewing the client. Then think about what other skills you might use to overcome those challenges. Finally, reflect on any skills at which you think you might excel while working with the client.

Post by Day 3 an explanation of the challenges you might encounter when using micro practice skills while interviewing the client. Then explain what skills you might use to overcome those challenges. Finally, explain what skills you think you might excel at while working with a client and why.

Support your posts and responses with specific references to the Learning Resources. Be sure to provide full APA citations for your references.

This is how I want it to be done I send a Students, I have provided another student exemplar for your review.

Challenging Skills

There are some skills that I find challenging and could cause potential problems in an interview with a client. One of these skills would be eye contact. I had to practice eye contact in an exercise in school when I was getting my associate’s degree, and it was extremely difficult for me. I do not know if it was because I was self-conscious and that made it more difficult or because my partner for the exercise was a male and it made me feel awkward, but it was a very uncomfortable and awkward exercise for me. I do not know if I have grown in this or if it was an isolated incidence, but I hope it won’t present a challenge in future interviews with clients.

Another skill that I would struggle with would be confrontation. I am very non-confrontational and avoid confrontation just about at all costs. I know this would be necessary with clients in some instances and therefore something I need to work on.  A circumstance that I think I would struggle with would be working with involuntary clients.  I think I would have a hard time embracing that it was not their choice to seek out help and that would make it difficult for me to engage with them.

Overcoming Challenges

What the text states about eye contact puts me at ease, “The appropriate type and amount of eye contact varies depending upon the client’s cultural background.  Moderate eye contact, somewhere between no eye contact and constant eye contact, seems most likely to put people at ease.”  (Kirst-Ashman & Hull, 2015, p. 56)  I think moderate eye contact would be comfortable and manageable for me during an interview with a client.

The text also put me at ease about confrontation when it states, “Confrontation in almost any situation is difficult for most people” (Kirst-Ashman & Hull, 2015, p. 82).  I think part of what makes me avoid confrontation is involves “risking a negative or hostile reaction from the person you are confronting” (Kirst-Ashman & Hull, 2015, p. 82).  I tend to avoid emotions, especially negative ones.  This is something that I have been working on for quite some time. It takes practice and work, but I will keep trying. I also like that the text offers suggestions for using confrontation, and I will do my best to incorporate these suggestions.

Skills at which I Excel

Some skills that I excel at would be the following: attentive listening, warmth, empathy, genuineness, encouragement, rephrasing, interpretation, reflective responding, clarification, empowerment, summarization, eliciting information, use of why, and sensitivity and tact.  I will highlight some of the text’s definitions of these strengths.  “Displaying warmth involves conveying a feeling of interest, concern, well-being, and affection to another individual” (Kirst-Ashman & Hull, 2015, p. 59). “Empathy involves not only being in tune with how a client feels, but also conveying to that client that you understand how he or she feels” (Kirst-Ashman & Hull, 2015, p. 60). The text describes genuineness as “the honest, natural, and open expression of yourself” (Kirst-Ashman & Hull, 2015, p. 62).  After reviewing several definitions and reflecting on my personal and professional experiences, I think I excel most at attentive listening, warmth, encouragement, sensitivity, and tact.



Kirst-Ashman, K. K., & Hull, G. H., Jr. (2015). Understanding generalist practice (6th ed.). Stamford, CT: Cengage Learning.


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