RE: SOCW6060: Resopnse to 2 Students Discussion 1(WK10)

Respond to two colleagues:

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  • Provide a suggestion for how a social worker could help clients to understand and make meaning of the trauma within the client’s values and belief framework. (use 2 APAP peer reviwed references, be detailed in response and ask question to student to further conversation)

Response to Heather

Existential question

Why would you hang yourself at the back of your ex-wife and children’s home?

Potential grown for client

“Research in the area of posttraumatic growth has suggested that the immediate reaction to trauma challenges an individual’s worldview and meaning.” (Vis et el, 2008) This family may look at mental health differently and may allow them to help others or themselves in need. This could enable my client an opportunity to seek for meaning, purpose, and connection with themselves, others, and the universe and reality. (Vis et el, 2008) By exploring spirituality, it could help my client with coping, the way they see the world, and arising from the struggle of the life crisis.

Potential growth for me

“Researchers in this area outline how the training and skill development of social workers are a natural fit for assisting individuals who have been exposed to trauma or crisis events.” (Vis et. el., 2008) As we work with clients who are diagnosed with PTSD, we continue to gain experience and knowledge of how to work with patients who suffer from this diagnoses. We get to see how they interact and talk with us about their situations and this helps us with knowing what to expect as we continue to work with this population. We have to be very observant as we keep working with clients who have PTSD.


I see a few different challenges when working with a client who suffers from their parent committing suicidal near their home. When working with youth, they ask a lot of questions. This occurred to me when I went onto the scene of a father who hung himself in the back of his ex-wife’s house where there four children lived. The mother saw him and so did the son. A challenge to this kind of scene is that the children have a lot of questions. During this crisis, the family looked to us social workers as if we had all the answers right now for them. In this situation, I didn’t know what to say and continued to think what I could say to make it better. During this event, I learned that silence is key and just being there is what was needed most. At the moment it felt like I should have had the answers to the children’s questions, but then I had to think how would having all the answers bring back their father? Reality is…. My answers wouldn’t have changed what happened only minutes before we got the call.

Vis, J.-A. & Boynton, H. M. (2008). Spirituality and transcendent meaning-making: Possibilities for enhancing posttraumatic growth. Journal of Religion & Spirituality in Social Work, 27(1/2): 69–86.…

Response to Danielle

In 1 sentence, identify an existential question with which you have grappled in relation to a client who has been traumatized.

Why are people victimized by horrible atrocities?

In 3 to 4 brief sentences, describe where there is potential for growth for the client as a result of the trauma.

My client M. had experienced several traumas throughout her life. M. was sexually molested as a young child, by her brother. Relatives have taken advantage of her and exploited her financially. M. was raped by a man that offered to give her a ride home. I believe that there is potential for growth because she is willing to participate in therapy, in other words she wants help with be able to continue on with life mentally and emotionally healthy. M. has disclosed symptoms related to PTSD, such as depression, night mares, paranoia, distrust in men, etc.

In 3 to 4 brief sentences, explain where there is potential for growth for you, the social worker, as a result of listening to the client’s stories and bearing witness to their trauma.

I am encouraged by her resiliency and strength to not give up on life; she has continued striving to accomplish her goals. As a social worker I have realized that just because a person is always smiling or in good spirits does not mean they do not have underlying issues effecting them. My client inspired me to exert myself in striving towards my aspirations, regardless of how I am feeling at the time.

Describe any challenges you may experience between the meaning you hold based on your personal beliefs and working within the client’s potentially different belief framework.

I think a challenge in therapy is a client dismissing services because it conflicts with their religious beliefs. My client decided to stop therapy with a psychiatrist, partnered with the agency. One of the doctor’s treatment methods was a type of spiritual cleanse in which objects were used as cleaning apparatuses. My client considered the process as being witchcraft and refused to continue therapy. I tend to keep my religious beliefs to myself unless I am asked to share my insight on situation. I think in this case I understand my clients sentiments on this issue, however I think instead of completely cutting ties M. should have communicated her feelings toward that specific method and allow the doctor to try to find another treatment method. (Vis & Boynton, 2008)

Knight, C. (2015). Trauma-informed social work practice: Practice considerations and challenges. Clinical Social Work Journal, 43(1), 25–37.

Vis, J.-A. & Boynton, H. M. (2008). Spirituality and transcendent meaning making: Possibilities for enhancing posttraumatic growth. Journal of Religion & Spirituality in Social Work, 27(1/2): 69–86.…

Reference (you have this reference)

  • Read about trauma-informed social work, and read this article listed in the Learning Resources: Vis, J.-A., & Boynton, H. M. (2008). Spirituality and transcendent meaning making: possibilities for enhancing posttraumatic growth. Journal of Religion & Spirituality in Social Work, 27(1/2): 69–86.…