Communication Skills In Social Work

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As a social worker it is important to have basic communication skills in order to connect with clients. There are six basic and four advanced skills that are used in direct practice to make communication more effective. The basic skills include reflection of feelings, paraphrasing, open ended questions, closed ended questions, clarification and attending behaviors. Advanced skills consist of summarization, information giving, interpretation and confrontation. Not only is it important to know what these skills are, it is also important to know what the appropriate and inappropriate uses are. It is also important to self-reflect on your use of these skills, and whether it is a strength or something to continue to work to improve on.
Paraphrasing is a skill that is used to restate a client’s message using your own words. In this way a social worker can check to see if
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I am afraid that I will misread a clients’ emotions and upset them further. This is one of the skills that I feel that it going to take practice and time to fully get a grasp on it for I do not upset a client further.
Open ended questions are a way that a social worker can receive more detailed response from a client. Open ended questions allows for open communication with a client. This type of question allows the client to bring to the conversation what is important to them. A social worker does not want to use open ended questions when it is irrelevant, a leading question or ask too many questions at once. Open ended questions are particularly useful for inviting or encouraging a client to elaborate and opening a session (Cummins, Sevel, Pedrick, p.93-95). I think open ended questions are one of the skills that I am most comfortable with. I just have to be careful not to use why questions too much in an interview because a client may not know why or it can make them feel blamed for something. Other than that I think it is relatively easy to
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