Co-constructing cooperation with mandated clients.
- PubMed: 11682977
Dominant practice models for social work were originally developed and intended for work with voluntary clients. The professional literature indicates that use of these models with involuntary clients often alienates rather than engages. This article describes the use of solution-focused interviewing as a way to engage involuntary and mandated clients. A conversation with a court-ordered client is presented and analyzed to demonstrate how practitioners can begin the co-construction of cooperation with mandated clients through adopting a not-knowing posture, focusing on and amplifying what clients want and client strengths and successes, and asking relationship questions to generate possibilities for change specific to the mandated context. The ethical implications of this noncoercive, nonconfrontational approach are addressed, along with its implications for a view of how clients change.