Behind the Mirror

One of my favorite aspects of the academic experience at GSSW is the opportunities for pragmatic practice that our professors incorporate into the classroom.  Theories and frameworks for social work are of course integral and necessary, but at the end of the day, I believe I take more away from practice than theory.  Many of my professors feel the same way.  For example, as the culminating project of my Family Systems Theories class last quarter, we were divided into groups and had to demonstrate a particular style of therapy.  The four therapeutic styles we demonstrated were Solution Focused, Brief Strategic, Structural, and Bowenian.  Each group spent roughly 30 minutes behind our one-way mirror system in the classroom, engaging in a mock therapy session.  Each group attempted to demonstrate the specific skills of their assigned therapeutic style for the rest of the class to observe – such as the use of exception questions for Solution Focused therapy.  The one-way mirror system allowed observing students to discuss the mock session in real time as well as take notes.  It was a fantastic way to put our knowledge of theory into action and I am looking forward to similar experiences in the subsequent quarters.

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