Gunshot, sirens, smoke, and non stop noise filled my Sunday afternoon, well into the evening. I sat on my bed and listened to the chaos and destruction happening in my own back yard. Fire trucks, police sirens, and helicopters roaring in the air. “All I want to do is rest, have some peace and a good nights sleep,” I said to myself. But I get it, the pain is immense, but this is not the way!
Yes, this was happening in my own backyard. I am afraid to open my doors and go outside. I fear for my black sons who can not leave our home, go outdoors and enjoy live life. I worry constantly about my husband, brothers, cousins and friends who must leave their families, get in their car drive to and from work. Driving while black is a death sentence you know. I hear them screaming my name, “Mom help, I can not breath.”
What will it take to show we are human? We are people who deserves to live. Although I feel this pain and this is my reality, rioting, looting and burning down our communities will not solve the problem.
But get this, we need to be heard! We must be heard! Please know that I have a voice! My life matters as do the lives of my people.
George Floyd said, “help me please, I can’t breath.....”. The world heard it and you did nothing. You let him die.... No, you killed him and the rest of us with him.
Research informs practice. In order to be effective at what you do you as a Social Worker (Clinical or otherwise), you need to understand research and how it is used in Practice. Social work is a discipline that values the importance of using “Evidence Based Practice” in our field. The researched based interventions are implemented in the services we provide. It speaks to the efficacy of the interventions and what it is best suited to treat. EBP such as:
Cognitive Behavior Therapy
Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy
Emotion Focused Therapy
Trauma Focused CBT
Dialectical Behavior Therapy
All of these EBPs have been research, tested and produced results to show it’s effectiveness. Now granted, It is your job as the professional to do the research, and to identify which treatment modality and interventions best fit the needs of your individual client. How can you meet their need if you’re “Generalizing” their treatment plan, and using an intervention that may not be what’s best for their SPECIFIC NEED?
We must stop using interventions simply because the organization use this interventions. We use the interventions that speaks to the need of the individual client. The mark of a good worker will take the extra step to do the work, to identify the appropriate interventions and implement them accordingly, or refer out to a professional that may be able to better address their need.
Now, keep in mind, conducting an actual research study is probably something you will not have to do, but reading it, doing literature reviews and understanding the methods used and results are necessary.
Don’t fear Research, It is your friend!
Test Taking Tip:
Now when it comes to the exam, the questions are shuffled, it could have multiple questions on research or it may not, no one knows. It could be the difference between you passing or failing. I understand how complex it could be, but it is necessary to understand post licensing and for daily practice purposes
For the exam know the basics:
Types of research designs
I believe in you #NowGoGetWhatsYours! #SlayTheGiant #IChoseMe❤️
Happy Test Week to some, and Preparation Study Time to others. I want to encourage any one who is preparing for the ASWB exam to stay focused on roboustly studying all the content materials and getting yourself connected with an reputable Study Prep Course, as this can really help you along the way.
Please keep in mind that you literally have to study everything that the ASWB has enclosed in the KSAs (which stands for Knowledge, Skills, and Ability). When it comes to the actual test day, you want to be absolutely prepared as you don't know what version of the exam you will get. The ASWB noted that there are four variations of this exam for the Bachelors, Generalist, Advanced, and Clinical. These exams are shuffled regularly, and you could get any one of the mixed bags. So please study all the KSAs. You want to be fully prepared.
When I took My ASWB Practice Exam, I did not know what to expect. However, to my surprise, what I found out was that the majority of the exam WAS BASED ON REASONING SKILLS!! At first I was disappointed because it appeared to be nothing that I studied. But that was far from the truth. What really helped me get through this exam, was taking the ASWB practice exam and reviewing all the test questions and rationales to get an understanding of what I did right and wrong, and to gain an understanding of what the ASWB was looking for in terms of processing and reasoning.
What I learned through that process was that the exam required that I be able to conceptualize, synthesize, and draw inferences when reading the questions. That required a healthy understanding and internalization of the KSAs, and not memorization of the KSAs. I took time to understand and internalize medications, ethics and law, theories, clinical and treatment interventions, problem solving, crisis intervention, developmental stages and life cycle, therapeutic relationships, parenting etc.
Yes the ASWB Practice Test was massive. But, I studied and prepared before taking it. I devised my learning plan around my learning style. I stayed committed to my learning plan because the goal was to be successful on the exam. I spoke positive affirmations, assisted other people along the way, shared any knowledge and information I gained, and stayed focused on why we do what we do as social worker. My confidence increased, and I gained the ability to work through the reasoning questions, for the most part with ease (very little anxiety).
When it came to understanding what frustrated me the most about answering reasoning questions, I realized that I did not understand how to RANK THE ANSWERS CHOICES IN ORDER OF IMPORTANCE. Seeing the answers, I go frustrated because I knew I could answer them, but I got tied up on the proper way to rank them, in order of importance. In all honesty, I don't think I would have passed the exam if I did not know my KSAs. So, my advice to you:
1. Find a good study system. It could be gathering content related material or participating in a prep program. What ever you do, make sure your information includes the ASWB KSAs.
2. Learn how to read and answer the questions. This skill is learned through active participation with a study group or study partner. Remember there are so many ways you can approach this exam and prepare for it. What’s important is that you find a way that works for you.
3. Stay positive along the way, and remember the exam is not meant to hurt you but to build and establish competent social works that love what they do.
This is just my bit of Advice and my Opinion on how to master the ASWB exam. It's not fact!!!
Now #GoGetWhatsYours there's #ProgressInTheProcess so #DontGiveUp!
Are you preparing and studying for the ASWB exam? If so, I want to encourage you to stay focused on studying and to get connected with an reputable Study Prep Program, if you can, as it really helps. Keep in mind that you should access the ASWB website and read the information provided about test taking strategies. You should also purchase the ASWB Practice Test, as this will be the best replica of the actual exam given you. What I’ve learned from my experience is that it’s important to study everything that ASWB has enclosed in the KSAs, which stands for Knowledge, Skills, and Ability. When it comes to test day, you don't know what version of the exam you will get, so you want to prepare well. ASWB noted that there are four variations of the exam. These exams are shuffled regularly, and you could get any one of those versions.
Make Up of the Exam:
When I took My ASWB Practice Exam, I was grateful that, I passed. Going in, I did not know what to expect when I took it. However, to my surprise what I found was that the majority of the exam WERE BASED ON ALL REASONING QUESTIONS!! At first I was disappointed because it appeared to be nothing that I studied. But after seeing that I had passed, it only made sense that I review all the test questions and rationales to get an understanding of what I did right/wrong, and to gain an understanding of what the ASWB was looking for. What I quickly learned was that the exam required that I had a basic understanding of all the KSAs. That included: medications, law, theories, interventions, problem solving, crisis intervention, life cycle, stages of development, parenting etc.
How to Prepare and Study:
Yes the Practice Test was massive. But, I had the help of a prep program, you tube videos, podcasts, and study tools that Ive created to assist me through it all. I can not tell you which program to use, but I will encourage to select the one that speaks to your learning needs as well as provide you with the information that You will needed to be successful on the exam. I worked on becoming confident as a test taker and I did lots of research to sharpened my understanding of why we do what we do as social worker. With this newfound confidence, I gain the ability to work through the reasoning questions, for the most part with ease and very little anxiety.
Managing Frustrations and Anxiety:
When it came to understanding what frustrated me about answering reasoning questions, I realized that I did not understand how to RANK THE ANSWERS CHOICES IN ORDER OF IMPORTANCE. Seeing the answers, I got frustrated because I knew I could answer them, but I got tied up on the proper way to rank them; by order of importance. In all honesty, I don't think I would have passed the exam if I did not know my KSAs. My advice to you, is to find a good study system. It could be gathering content related material or participating in a prep program. What ever you do, make sure your information includes the ASWB KSAs.
Also learn how to read and answer the questions. This skill is developed by understanding “Higher Order Thinking.” The ASWB uses Higher Order test questions for a reason. These questions were designed so that you cannot just answer by simple recall or by reading the information “verbatim” from the textbook. Higher-order questions expects that you to think beyond the literal questions. It requires critical thinking skills because these types of questions expects you to apply, analyze, synthesize, and evaluate information instead of simply recalling facts.
Remember there are so many ways you can approach this exam and prepare for it. What’s important is that you find a way that works best for you, stay positive along the way, and remember the exam is not meant to hurt you but to build and establish competent social works that love what they do.
This is just my bit of Advice and my opinion only, and not the facts! Now...
#GoGetWhatsYours - There's
#ProgressInTheProcess - So
This article/video may be very powerful and extremely disturbing for some. Suicide does not discriminate and can come upon anyone.
Depression is real and this can happen to anyone. When suicide plagues the mind, this suggest the one has reach such a depth of despair that they feel and believe that the world is better off without them. Their thinking is that life would be better without them in it.
It may seem as though one can not stop or prevent a suicide from occurring, but that is far from the truth. Talking openly about suicide and what the person is feeling helps. Keeping them away from Lethal means of talking their lives such as guns, decreases the likelihood of this happening, and properly assessing individuals for mental illness is another huge factor in preventing suicide. Most people who have committed suicide has seen a doctor at least once in the same year if talking their own lives, but was never diagnosed for a mental illness.
Don’t be afraid to ask the questions and look for the warning signs. These signs can include:
1. Feelings of despair or hopelessness
2. Unable to sleep or insomnia
3. Increased feeling of fear with panic attacks
4. No friends, keeping to oneself, and social isolation
5. Feeling angry
6. Feeling irritable
7. Feeling like they are a burden to others.
Suicidal individuals want to live, but they’ve lost hope and they have an immense amount of pain that they are feeling inside. What we can do to help is let them know, it will pass. Asking about suicide has become so taboo. Talking about it openly does not put the thought of executing it in the persons mind. Let them know you are there for them and want to help and don’t leave them alone.
Take caution when viewing and reading this article:
You know so many people are going through life feeling extremely miserable, very unhappy and non-accomplished. There’s many reasons why I believe this occurs. One primary reason in my opinion, is that folks haven’t learned how to take a Good look at who they are, what they have, and recognize and appreciate the good and beauty in what’s in front of them.
Sometimes, we get so focus on looking at what we don’t have, that we miss enjoying the good in what we do have. We can easily lose sight of what our life can really be like because we concentrate to much on what we don’t have. You know there is always someone worse off than you are, and they would love to have what you have. We can always find something to be unhappy about and we can always find room to complain about it. But strangely enough, we find it very difficult to love and appreciating our life, as is it.
Research show that at least 70% of working people hate their job. Most of them only remain on the job because they fear change, or they walking away from the income they’ve become accustomed to making. I can remember being a part of that 70%. I was getting up everyday going to a job That I hated. I was afraid to leave because the money was good. When I learn that you could put a price tag on my happiness, transitioning out of that job was the best thing that I event did. Yes my income slice 3/4 of what I was making. I had to learn a new way of living and budgeting better. My life became better because I chose happiness over money. My bills got paid and my credit score fee. Here I am now, working less hours, making less money with a 800 credit score. How does that happen. I learned to appreciate life on the Phase and stage of life that I was in.
Just to be clear, this is not only about people not being happy on their jobs. But, folks are unhappy for other reason such as their marriages aren’t fulfilling or what they expected it would be; yet they wont do anything about beautifying it, and Changing the circumstance. There are people who will associate and hang out with folks of whom they feel uncomfortable with because they fear being alone. There are others who are just unhappy about not having a social circle, yet they won’t go out or make themselves known and befriend others.
Why live a life that you’re unhappy with. Why go through the motion and settle where you are just to look like you are doing something and have things are happening for you. I mean think about this way; This is your life. Learn to Live and love it as it is.
So how can you live and love life as it is, Especially when you’ve been living so unhappy for such a long time? Let me give you a few ideas on ways you can learn to start living and loving the life you have:
Suicide is one of those topics that many find very difficult to talk about. Unfortunately the issue of suicide is not going to go away and the only time we seem to talk around it, is when a known celebrity or some type of mass murder ending by suicide occurs. The issue of suicide is a real social problem and as a license clinical social working, the discussion of suicide and suicidal ideation is a regular part of daily my conversation in sessions.
Some of the risk factors associated with suicide ideation and suicide attempts are: mental illness, substance abuse, feeling hopeless and unloved, wanting to stop the pain, made a bad decision, philosophical views about death and dying, and crying out for help just to name a few.
Statistics show that nearly 40,000 people die from suicide in the United States every year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention list suicide as the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S. It is estimated that a young person dies from suicide at least every two hours. That’s a disturbing number. What’s even more disturbing for me, is that most people who attempt suicide, never seek professional help.
Suicide is not just an individual issue, rather I t is a problem that effects everyone who is connected to the person who’s attempted, and succeeded with suicide. Family, and friends alike tends to carry the burden of a loved one who’s ended his/her life by suicide. Preventing suicide is not an easy task and it takes everyone’s support to spread awareness. Society has complicated this process by attaching a negative stigma on people who tries to share their thoughts of committing suicide.
One of the biggest ways we can prevent suicides from occurring is by teaching individuals how to recognize the signs, how to become more aware, and how to become open and sensitive to hearing and allowing others to share their pain. In order to do this properly, there are a few things that one should understand about suicide. Knowing these truths can help to spread awareness and hopefully to prevent the inevitable from occurring:
For anyone that may be struggling or know someone who is battling with depression and thoughts of suicide , please know, there is help. You don’t have to handle depression or any other serious mental illness on your own. You can always talk to a loved one, a Pastor, a friend, a teacher, or a neighbor. If you do not have someone to turn to, you can call the suicide prevention hotline at 1-800-273-TALK.
Other online available resources:
I'm a licensed Clinical Social worker, license to work in the State of Pennsylvania. I have over 19 years experience working in the Mental Health Field as a Child Welfare Worker, Administrator, Consultant, Educator and Clinician. I'm dedicated and committed to the work I do which includes impacting and changing lives. In my spare time I like to write poetry, watch movies, and share my thoughts through blogging.