101 Social Work Clinical Techniques, by Francis J. Turner and William Rowe, 2013, New York, Oxford University Press, 596 pages, $65.93, ISBN: 978-0-19-530054-3.
Where has this book been throughout my social work career? Dr. Turner and Dr. Rowe have created an encompassing list of techniques that is timeless and is unrivaled in any previous texts I have ever seen. These techniques are clearly described in a useful manner for the consumer to adequately assess the skill level required and to carefully consider the risk analysis of implementing the technique for the client. The multiple scenarios offer another mechanism to envision how the technique would be applied. The scenarios also appeal to different learning preferences, in contrast to the description of a technique.
I see this compilation as a resource in academe from the beginning practice skills all the way to its application in field placements. The conversations would be well structured and could be used in small groups to apply a technique in a fishbowl setting. This would assist in bridging the gap between classes and practice in the field in a lively manner. In seminar, a student could verbalize feeling challenged by a client’s situation, and the classmates could offer technical suggestions based on this book. The authors’ thoughtful consideration in listing why each method is important to social work is extremely necessary in work with students. The methodology of applying a technique could also be an essential tool for constructive conversations during supervision with students to foster competency. There seems to be an obvious delineation of clinical expertise necessary to skillfully and appropriately apply with clients. The most advanced clinicians could use this book to help prevent burnout. Clinicians could access this book regularly, which could foster the creative energy and enthusiasm a clinician receives by attending workshops or conferences. The repertoire would enhance a clinician’s toolbox. I can see a clinician tracking which methods they have tried like a favorite cookbook, marking tried and true recipes and dates of success.
Reviewed by Carlene Quinn, LCSW, ACSW, Faculty & Field Coordinator, Indiana University School of Social Work.