Couples therapy is a topic the ASWB loves to put on their licensing exams. This can be a challenging area for many people preparing to test, as a lot of us do not have any experience engaging in couples work. One of the areas within couples therapy they like to assess your knowledge and skill on is what you would do if a couple divulges physical or emotional abuse to you. Do you know what to do when this occurs? This is important subject matter for both the exam and your practice should you ever encounter it. Here’s a sample question to see if you are ready to successfully approach this topic on the exam!
A social worker has been meeting with a couple for 6 months to work on issues related to physical intimacy. During a recent session, one partner shares that during recent arguments she has slapped her partner, but notes that it has never left a mark. What should the social worker do?:
- Develop a safety plan
- Explore what is leading to the physical aggression
- Continue seeing them as a couple and refer the abusive partner for individual therapy
- Refer each of the clients to individual therapy
What would you do in this situation? Share your answer and rationale in the comments below and be sure to tune in tomorrow for the answer and a discussion of the rationale!