Socratic Questioning for Social Workers: Practical strategies to overcome common pitfalls




Socratic Questioning for Social Workers: Practical strategies to overcome common pitfalls

Friday, December 3, 2021

9:00 am to 11:00 am EST


Presenter: Scott Waltman, PsyD, ABPP

NASW-NYS Members: $20

NASW Other Chapter Member: $40

Non-Members: $50

NASW-NYS Student Members: FREE

This workshop is approved for 2.0 continuing education credit hours for licensed social workers, licensed mental health counselors, licensed marriage and family therapists and licensed psychologists

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Workshop Description

Socratic questioning is a transtheoretical, widespread psychotherapeutic process. Effective use of Socratic questioning in session is predictive of symptoms change; this relationship holds even after controlling for the relationship. However, there is some evidence that learning to artfully and competently use Socratic strategies in session is among the hardest skills for a clinician to learn. Of course, Socrates was not a therapist and a pure application of the Socratic Method with a perfect fidelity would not be therapeutic.

This webinar presents a more empathic and collaborative approach to using Socratic strategies in a clinical context; Socratic strategies are integrated with good clinical practices in a manner that is consistent with the evidence-base of what constitutes effective social work practice and therapy. This webinar uses examples and demonstrations to present a four-step framework based on methods that have proven effective training several thousand frontline public mental health therapists in how to deliver high quality cognitive behavior therapy. Based on Socratic cognitive and behavior change strategies, this framework uses empathetic listening and collaborative techniques to join with the client in applying scientific curiosity to their thought processes. The stages of focusing on key content, facilitating understanding of belief systems, promoting collaborative curiosity and achieving summary and synthesis are explained through applied examples and demonstrations. 


Learning Objectives

After the completion of this webinar, participants will be able to:

  • Identify key cognitions and behaviors that are optimal targets of Socratic change strategies
  • Use validation and perspective taking strategies to develop a better understanding of the target cognition and behavior
  • Use collaborative empiricism and curiosity to create fuller and more balanced perspective
  • Summarize and synthesize the Socratic dialogue to consolidate learning and create a focus on behavior change

This workshop is approved for 2.0 continuing education credit hours.

NASW-NYS is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers (Provider ID #0014), licensed mental health counselors (Provider ID #MHC-0053), licensed marriage and family therapists (Provider ID #MFT-0037) and licensed psychologists (Provider ID #PSY-0088).

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Scott H Waltman, PsyD, ABPP, is a clinician, international trainer, and practice-based researcher. His interests include evidence-based psychotherapy practice, training, and implementation in systems that provide care to underserved populations. He is certified as a qualified Cognitive Therapist and Trainer/Consultant by the Academy of Cognitive & Behavioral Therapies. He also is board certified in Behavioral and Cognitive Psychology from the American Board of Professional Psychology. More recently, Dr. Waltman, worked as a CBT trainer for one of Dr. Aaron Beck’s CBT implementation teams in the Philadelphia public mental health system. Currently, he works as a clinical psychologist in private practice and a managed care system, where he is a frontline clinician and practice-based researcher. Clinically, Dr. Waltman strives to flexibly and compassionately apply cognitive and behavioral interventions to help people overcome the barriers in their lives, to facilitate building meaningful lives that are guided by passion and values.  



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December 3rd, 2021 9:00 AM through 11:00 AM
Event Fee(s)
NASW-NYS Member $ 20.00
NASW Other Chapter Member $ 40.00
Non-Member $ 50.00
NASW-NYS Student Member $ 0.00