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cheraldo Sweatt

RE: Discussion 2 – Week 7


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Engaging Mandatory and Involuntary Clients

Working with mandatory and involunt5ary clients can sometimes be very difficult and challenging. In the video, the Hernandez family were defensive stating that “I don’t know what I did wrong” (Laureate Education, 2013). Normally, involuntary clients view clinicians, intrusive, and the interventions as unnecessary.

When working with involuntary clients like the case of the Hernandez family, using strength based approach would be necessary. The opening interview will basically set the basis for subsequent treatment. It is important to clearly set the boundaries and clear expectations in this time and also explain the impacts of non-compliance. The interview will give an opportunity of establishing a therapeutic rapport with the client in the process of engaging, assessing, and evaluating the person (Kirst-Ashman & Hull, 2015).

During the early encounter, social workers should basically apply the use of empathy with the clients. Several clients visit the agencies when they are devastated and broken because trauma. This was not a different case with the Hernandez family. They did not view the behaviour as an issue because of their worst experience as children (Plummer & Brocksen, 2014). Empathy enables the clinician to be on the same level with client and also enhance communication with the clients since the feelings and thoughts are taken into consideration. Additionally, empathy assists in deescalating any form of conflict (Kirst-Ashman & Hull, 2015).

Empowering mandated clients also require the use of solution-focused approach to put the client in control and be responsible for the changes that they wish to see in their lives. This method is basically empowering to the clients and it encourages them to get answers instead of concentrating on what concentrating on things that cannot help them (De jong & Berg, 2001).



de Jong, P., & Berg, I. K. (2001). Co-constructing Cooperation with Mandated Clients. Social Work, 46(4), 361–374.

Kirst-Ashman, K. K., & Hull, G. H., Jr. (2015). Understanding Generalist Practice (7th Ed.). Stamford, CT: Cengage Learning

Laureate Education. (Producer). (2013).  Hernandez Family Episode 1  [Video file]. In Sessions. Retrieved from

Plummer, S.-B., Makris, S., Brocksen S. (Eds.). (2014). Sessions: Case Histories. Baltimore, MD: Laureate International Universities Publishing. [Vital Source e-reader]





Mavis Braxton RE: Discussion 2 – Week 7

1. Response to the professr’s question

Can you share with us what the literature says about the perception of clinicians by involuntary clients?


Total views: 9 (Your views: 1)

Hi Cheraldo

Thanks for your post. You mentioned that involuntary clients view clinicians as intrusive,etc. Can you share with us what the literature says about the perception of clinicians by involuntary clients?

Thanks! Dr. Braxton

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