Saturday, June 6, 2009

Mental Status Exam

Mental Status Exam (MSE): includes the social worker's observations and sense of the client. MSE should also include how the worker's observations change over time

MSE should include the following areas

-Appearance (dress, hygiene)
-Speech and Language (rate, rhythm, prosody, flow, content, first language, pressured, slurred)
-Mood (overall mood over time)
-Affect (how the client presents currently)
-Thought Process and Content
-Some types of thought process: circumstantial, perseveration, associations, tangential, loose associations, flight of ideas, thought blocking, confabulation)
-Sensory Perceptions (Delusions, Hallucinations)
-Mental Capabilities (is the client oriented to time, place and person?)

Biopsychosocial Spiritual Assessment

The Biopsychosocial Spiritual (BPSS) Assessment offers a historical context for what the client presents with and assesses the client's history, strengths, and resources.

The BPSS should answer the question: "How do these four areas contribute to the client's current functioning?"

The BPSS should ask questions to address each of the following aspects in detail:
Biology: basic needs - the client's access to food, shelter, etc
history, personality, self-concept, medication, diagnosis and treatment history
Social: support system (friends, family, social environment)
-may use genogram here
-use both open and close-ended questions
-knowledge of life stages and development are essential
Spiritual: sense of self, sense of meaning and purpose in life, religion and its context in client's life

ROPES method of identifying strengths: Resources, Options, Possibilities, Exceptions, and Solutions

other notes:
-when working with kids, ask assessment questions of both kids and their parents. also, be sure to know and express the intended role of the parent in therapy or treatment
-BPSS creates a context and could be used to create a diagnosis, but is much more thorough than a diagnosis

Systems Theory

Systems Theory: the systems in a person's life affect them and interact with one another

5 Principles of Systems
1- All systems seek goal attainment and balance
2- All systems have boundaries
3- All systems are made up of subsystems
4- The whole is greater than the sum of its parts
5- All systems create feedback

Physical Environment: living location and conditions

Social Environment:
economic, employment, education, community (neighborhoods, work, cultural communities), organizations, social networks (family, friends, co-workers, co-religionists, neighbors)

Fun Facts about Systems Theory
*individuals are a part of many systems - they are affected by systems and affect the systems

*change in one system or one part of one system will have consequences on other systems

*problems arise because of a poor fit into a system

*social workers should enhance the fit between the individual client and the system

Ecological Perspective: emphasizes that person-environment relationships are characterized by continuous reciprocal exchanges and transactions, in which people and environments influence, shape, and change one another


In my initial research about studying for the Social Work Masters Licensure exam, I've found few free resources. I did find a blog that a girl started, intending to share what she is studying. As I have started to study, I decided to start a similar blog of my own to share the things that I have been studying as well.

A little bit about me: I graduated about a month ago from Michigan State University's Advanced Standing MSW program. Since then, I have moved to Philadelphia, PA, where I plan to pursue licensure and a social work job, preferably in the field of domestic violence. I will probably take the exam toward the end of July.

I look forward to using this blog as motivation to study and share what I learn.