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Unit Introduction and What You Will Learn

In week 12, we look to develop strategies for how to impact change with our clients. This is generally the goal with most services we provide as social workers. To understand how we affect change, we will look at the following:

Unit Assignments

A-01: Class Engagement and Participation

Attend class

A–02: Reading Quiz

Read chapters 17 and 18 and complete a reading quiz before class via My Heritage

Unit Resources

There are different lenses people see and understand the process of change through. Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) provides many helpful and valuable resources. The 2012 working definition of recovery is a practical framework for considering change in clients. Go to the brochure and read through it. Then, consider which aspect of the ten principles for recovery you find to be the most important and how you see implementing that into your practice.

This week, I also include two other readings I’d like you to look at around motivational interviewing. If you get the chance in graduate school to take a course in motivational interviewing, I’d highly recommend it. As a practitioner, I find the strategies immensely useful. Miller and Rollnick (2013) are the basis of the therapeutic intervention. In 2002, Moyers and Rollnick published a paper attempting to put into perspective client resistance and is a foundational aspect of motivational interviewing. It is also much more approachable, and I’ve provided a link in the reference list entry to read it if you would like. Interconnected with motivational interviewing is understanding if your client is ready for change. We have talked some about this in class, but Littell and Girvin (2004) offers a helpful analysis of how we can consider the stages of change and the complex interactions that often are related to child welfare. Reactance Theory is also highly connected with motivating clients for change, Steindl et al. (2015) provides a good overview and understanding of reactance theory. Students are encouraged to read through it.

The slides for this week can be found at This week is Fall 2023 SOWK 486w Week 12: Effecting Change

You can find the recording of all of our classes in the lecture videos for this course.


Hepworth, D. H., Vang, P. D., Blakey, J. M., Schwalbe, C., & Evans, C. (2022). Empowerment Series: Direct Social Work Practice Theory and Skills (11th ed.). Cengage Learning, Inc.

Littell, J. H., & Girvin, H. (2004). Ready or not: Uses of the stages of change model in child welfare. Child Welfare Journal, 83(4), 341-366.

Miller, W. R., & Rollnick, S. (2013). Motivational interviewing: helping people change. Guilford Press.

Moyers, T. B., & Rollnick, S. (2002). A motivational interviewing perspective on resistance in psychotherapy. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 58(2), 185-193.

Steindl, C., Jonas, E., Sittenthaler, S., Traut-Mattausch, E., & Greenberg, J. (2015). Understanding psychological reactance: New developments and findings. Zeitschrift für Psychologie, 223(4), 205-214.

Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration. (2012). SAMHSA’s Working Definition of Recovery.

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