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Focused Psychological Strategies for Social Workers

Event Details
Date: 22 & 23 April 2020
Time: 9:00am - 5:00pm
Venue: AASW Melbourne Office, VIC
State: Victoria
CPD hrs: 14

AASW Members: $440
AASW New Graduates: $380
AASW Students: $340
Regular: $560

Organiser: AASW Victorian Branch

AASW Victorian Branch
T: 9320 1000 press opt 8 then opt 1

This workshop is now fully subscribed. If you would like to go on the waiting list, please email

14 CPD hours

The Focused Psychological Strategies workshop offers a comprehensive and accessible exploration of the broad and eclectic strategies contained in the Medicare protocol.

Beginning with a brief historical overview of mental health interventions, we then investigate the theoretical underpinnings, diagnostic categories and treatment strategies of the four main therapeutic modalities: psychological (cognitive behavioural therapy and neuroscience), psychotherapeutic (the unconscious mind and ‘therapeutic relationship’), systemic (family and narrative) and holistic (mindfulness and mind/body).

This two day workshop includes a colourful slide presentation, individual experiential exercises, pair-work and group discussions; and the opportunity to develop and consolidate your therapeutic skills and knowledge.

Who should attend?

This workshop is for social workers who would like to enhance their practice, and who may want to apply for accredited mental health social worker status. Participants need to have had a minimum of 2 years post-qualification work experience (unless they have previous work experience, e.g. counselling).

Learning Outcomes?

1. An historical perspective of mental health treatments, the signs & symptoms of mental ill health, and referral and therapeutic assessment processes.

2. The basic tenets of psychoanalytic theory and modern neuroscience in relation to the therapeutic process and psychological issues (such as habit, attachment and brain plasticity).

3. The usefulness of specific interventions with particular client groups, e.g. psycho-education in ‘crisis intervention’ situations, and with hard-to-reach clients.

4. The nature of the ‘therapeutic relationship’, in relation to interpersonal therapy (IP) and motivational interviewing in particular, and casework and skills training in general.

5. The ‘active mental stance’ of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) processes, the influence of negative ‘automatic thoughts’, and the diagnostic categories of cognitive distortions.

6. CBT treatment strategies (rational response): positive self-talk, recording experience and guided imagery; ranking, scheduling and problem-solving; Behaviour Therapy strategies (‘exposure’ and ‘distress tolerance’); and relapse prevention.

7. Emotion regulation skills: anger, anxiety & stress management; diagnosis of dysfunctional dynamics (Conflict Triangle), and interpersonal social and communication skills.

8. Mind/body integration ideas and skills: somatic/kinaesthetic awareness and relaxation; mindfulness and meditation.

Meet the Presenter

Ruth Crowley Brown, BA (Hons), Dip Psychotherapy (Integrative), CQSW, AMHSW, is a social worker, psychotherapist and writer. She has worked in London, England, and Brisbane, Australia, in the fields of Child & Adolescent Mental Health, Children with Disabilities, Foster Care, Domestic & Family Violence, and with minority groups including Refugees and Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Australians. Her post-qualification professional trainings include: (in London) Family Therapy, Group Analysis and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy; and (in Australia) Cert IV Workplace Training & Assessment and Diploma in Community Services Management. Ruth has 30 years’ professional experience, and is also a longtime practitioner of the Alexander technique and Vipassana meditation.

Testimonials from previous AASW 2 day FPS workshops

  • Hands down the most enjoyable professional development I've ever done. Loved the content, loved Ruth's presenting style. Going away with lots of useful tools. Thankyou so much!
  • A very useful 2 days, there was ample opportunity to contribute. Facilitator (Ruth) has a lovely, easy style. Lots of opportunity to re-connect with therapeutic practice and to think of own practice with new language :)
  • Great topics and useful exercises, amazing atmosphere, great learning opportunity
  • Thoroughly enjoyed presentations, networking and knowledge of presenter.
  • Ruth is a very knowledgeable and compassionate individual and professional.
  • Thank you so much. I enjoyed your presentation. Very informative and helpful for my practice.
  • Great presenter. Great Group. Great participation. Great pace.


AASW Melbourne Office
Level 7, 14-20 Blackwood Street, North Melbourne

Our venue is close to Flemington Road and near the Royal Women's and Royal Melbourne Hospitals.

Please note: We recommend travelling via public transport if possible. Our office is close to the CBD and a short walk from the Haymarket Walk/Elizabeth Street tram stop (trams 19 & 59) and the Grattan Street tram stop (trams 55 & 59). Parking in the area is generally on-street, metered parking and is limited. There are limited 2 hour free street parking spaces near-by in Courtney Street or metered 4 hour parking in Blackwood Street, Howard Street and surrounds.

The Blackwood St Car Park (located on the ground level the AASW is located in) is currently offering a $20 flat rate per day per exit between 7:30am to 7:30pm. You must book online as early as possible prior to arrival so you can be issued a pin number to enter and exit the car park. Visit Blackwood St Car Park.

There is also a parking facility at the VCCC building that offers safe car parking every day of the week from 6:00am to 9:00pm. Cost is $14 for 1-2 hours or $20. Read more here.

There are facilities available outside the building to lock bikes.

Accessibility: The building is wheel chair accessible. There are no steps at entry on ground level and a lift can be taken to Level 7. Ambulatory toilets are located on the ground floor as well as Level 8 where there is a medical centre. There is one parking spot on Blackwood Street for people with disabilities and 2 car spots are available in a nearby street. For more information to discuss your particular mobility or sensory needs please contact the AASW Vic Branch.


Register before Monday 1 April.

Places are limited to 26 participants.

AASW Members: 14 CPD Hours - Category 2 Skills and Knowledge/Workshops

**FPS Relevant Activity**

**Can count towards AASW Mental Health Accreditation CPD requirements**

Morning/afternoon tea and lunch included.

View AASW CPD Terms and Conditions

Members - Please log on to the website prior to registering to take advantage of the member rates.

AASW - Australian Association of Social Workers