Friday, February 06, 2015

Theories to Know for the Social Work Exam

Every time an ambitious PhD gets hold of a grant, it seems like a new approach to psychotherapy is born. Which is great, but can be overwhelming. Just look at Wikipedia's list of psychotherapies for a sense of how vast the literature on psychotherapy is. If you're preparing for the social work exam, not to worry. What you might reasonably expect to see appear on the exam doesn't include that whole list. Far from it. The Code of Ethics directs social workers to utilize empirically validated forms of psychotherapy. Social work schools like students to be grounded in the history of psychotherapy. In those two categories, you should be able to locate everything that might possibly show up on the exam, theory-wise. If it's not empirically validated or historically relevant, it might be interesting to learn about, but that's learning that won't necessarily help you on exam day. Here's a quick list of therapy's greatest hits--with links to Wikipedia, pruned from the longer list. A cheat sheet for your exam prep:
Remember not to overstudy. You don't need to know all of these inside and out for the social work exam. You just need a general idea of what's what with each (if that!)--some key concepts and no more. Anything missing? Comments are open.