Social Workers

Watch the video with the link below and then identify at least 15 or more instances of: (Must have no less than 15 instances)

  1. When you observe specific listening skills, such as reflecting, validating, acknowledging, summarizing etc. Be specific! Ex: Do not simply say  ‘active listening’- are they using acknowledgement? Reframing? Also remember that an instance may be more then one skill. For example, a statement may include both validating as the first sentence and perspective taking following it. Notice both verbal and nonverbal communication.
  2. Specific points in the video when you observe warmth, empathy, and unconditional positive regard. Again, be specific.
  3. Also, make a note when the social worker could respond more effectively. What can he say and do differently to support the client, demonstrate empathy, improve his active listening skills? How might the client respond differently? Please identify at least two of these moments.



Listening Skills

In the conversation between Hannah and the social worker in the YouTube video, certain instances showcase the social worker’s listening and basic interaction skills. There were other situations when the social workers could have responded better. Some of these instances are briefly discussed here;

0:33- Validating; the social worker says “okay” while the client is talking to show that she is listening and that the client’s disclosure is legitimate and understandable. Validating involves conveying acceptance, even in disagreement (Edmond & Keefe, 2015).

0:53- Acknowledgement; in this scenario, the social worker acknowledges the client’s situation by stating that moving out was a big step and a big change that may have contributed to her condition. She recognizes the move’s impact on Hannah’s health and well-being and accepts it as the truth.

1:44-Summarizing; in this instance, the reiterates what the client has told her regarding Hannah’s experience with anxiety and her recent move, which triggered her anxiety, causing her to go to her GP. Consolidating all of these details and expressing them in one sentence indicates that the social worker has been listening and paying attention to the client.

2:32- Nodding; the social worker is seen nodding as the client speaks. Nodding is a non-verbal cue that shows a person’s interest in the conversation. In this case, for example, the social worker shows her interest in what the client is stating and that she is actively listening.

3:05- Reflecting; in this section of the conversation, the social worker reflects on the client’s situation. She repeats certain words, such as work and friends, that appear important in her discussion with the client. Furthermore, she focuses on the client’s worldview and analyzes more than what the client has said. She demonstrates understanding not just of the client’s words but her emotions and feelings.

4:01- Reflecting; at this point in the conversation, the social worker reflects on the client’s history of anxiety, thinking back to when it began and approximating her age (Johnson, 2014). This indicates that she is following the conversation keenly and is interested in that part of the discussion. She further engages the client by asking her a question about when her anxiety began, which is a form of active listening.

6:24- Perspective taking; the social worker engages the client about her thoughts when she gets social invitations. The social worker expresses the perceptions and thoughts of the client, as previously outlined by Hannah, in such a way that shows that the social worker understands how the situation appears to the client and how it affects her.

8:37-Validation; at this point, the client gets visibly anxious when recalling a recent work event that got her anxious. The social worker validates the client by stating, “I can tell you are getting kind of anxious even just thinking about that day” (Johnson, 2014). This shows that she is listening to understand the client’s point of view and feelings.

8:40- Reflecting; during this part of the conversation, the social worker reflects on a specific event that made the client anxious. She uses some bits of information the client provides to make more inquiries and better understand the client’s worldview, thoughts, perceptions, and motivation.

11:11- Summarizing; in this scenario, the social worker shows that she is listening to the client by reiterating what the client has said, particularly regarding what she did in the situation that caused her anxiety. She simply summarizes the client’s words without any interpretation or judgment.

Warmth, Empathy, and Unconditional Positive Regard

0:53- Warmth; one way the social worker shows warmth in this conversation is through actively engaging in the conversation and showing genuine interest in the conversation and concern for the client. In this scenario, for instance, the social worker expresses her understanding of the client’s situation and curiosity and encourages her to open up.

3:18- Empathy; in this scenario, the social worker demonstrates the capacity to understand the client’s situation by acknowledging the challenge the client faces as a freelance photographer unable to take up certain types of work due to her anxiety and difficulties. She shows an understanding of how the anxiety is affecting the client’s work life.

9:28- Unconditional positive regard; in this scene, the client explains a situation that made her feel anxious, and the social worker shows complete acceptance and support for the client by validating her reactions and attributing her reaction in the situation to her thoughts and worries. These attributes allows for the social worker to feel accepted and supported (Ackerman, 2018).

Opportunities for Better Response

7:38- Interruption; at this point in the conversation, the social worker interrupted the client and possibly discredited her feelings by stating that the event sounded “interesting” when it made the client uncomfortable. The social worker should have waited until the client finished her sentence and asked about the client’s thoughts before pushing her opinions on Hannah.

10:16- Repetition; the social worker asks about the client’s fashion sense and how she thinks she looked during a past event. While this is a valid question, it does not make the client feel any better but rather reinforces her negative feelings about herself. For this reason, it would have helped if the social worker had taken a different approach or focused on another issue altogether.


Ackerman, C. E. (2018, May 22). What is Unconditional Positive Regard in Psychology? Retrieved from Positive Psychology:,(Rogers%2C%201957).

Edmond, S. N., & Keefe, F. (2015). Validating pain communication: Current state of the science. Pain, 156(2), 215-219.

Johnson, J. (2014, November 6). Case study clinical example: First session with a client with symptoms of social anxiety (CBT model). Retrieved from YouTube:



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