100794: The Language of Empowerment and Strengths in Clinical Social Work

A Constructivist Approach

About the Course:

Enhancing client empowerment is a major concern of clinical social workers. Empowerment is a process and an outcome. There are numerous interventions that enhance client empowerment, and among them is focusing on client strengths. Both the strengths-based and empowerment-based approaches emphasize the importance of skillfully using language in dialoguing with clients; however, there is little specificity in either of these two approaches on how to operationalize this process. This article discusses specific ways to use language in working with client strengths and empowering clients. The discussion and examples are presented from the metatheoretical perspective of constructivism. COURSE SYLLABUS I. Introduction II. Client Empowerment III. Working with Client Strengths IV. Constructivism V. Language VI. Ways of Empowering Clients Through Language VII. Case Example VIII. Conclusion

Publication Date:

2005/ Vol. 86, No. 2


Gilbert Greene, PhD, ACSW; Mo Yee Lee, PhD; Susan Lynch, PhD

About the Authors:

Professor Ohio State University School of Social Work

Professor Ohio State University School of Social Work

Coordinator of the BSW Program University of Arkansas at Little Rock

Recommended For:

This course is recommended for social workers, counselors, psychologists, and other human services and behavioral health professionals who seek knowledge about empowerment. It is appropriate for participants with all levels of knowledge about the topic.

Course Objectives:

  1. describe specific ways of empowering clients through language.

  2. describe the empowerment-based, strengths-based, and constructivist perspectives on clinical social work.

Exam Questions

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