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New certification makes students more marketable

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Tuesday, December 4, 2007

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Media Contacts:
Donna Pope
Herb Booth, Office:817-272-7075, Cell:214-546-1082, hbooth@uta.edu

ARLINGTON - A new University of Texas at Arlington School of Social Work certification – the first of its kind in the country – will equip the program’s initial graduates with therapy methods that are quickly becoming the norm in the industry.

The first Solution-Focused Brief Therapy Certificate Program in the United States was launched last year by Dr. Peter Lehmann, through UT Arlington School of Social Work Continuing Education Department.

Eight graduates will receive their certification in a 4:30 p.m. ceremony Friday, Dec. 7, at the School of Social Work complex, 211 S. Cooper St.

One of those graduates, Rene Taylor, is a social worker at UT Southwestern’s St. Paul Hospital and among the first participants in the program.

“The training I received in this program has increased my counseling skills and confidence,” Taylor said. “Knowing that I do not have to know everything has been a relief. The main thing I have to know is how to help those I am working with find their answers.The techniques are wonderful tools for helping and the spirit of the theory is empowering.”

Unlike more traditional approaches, Solution-Focused Brief Therapy is a form of treatment that uses clients’ strengths, rather than their deficits, to help them find solutions to the problems they are addressing in therapy.

The certification makes social workers more nimble to respond and get results in a health care industry that sometimes demands quick turnarounds. Working with a client’s strengths instead of what is troubling them many times leads to that quick response everyone in health care is interested in attaining.

The 60-hour/10-seminar program is designed to teach solution-focused skills to professionals in human service fields such as social work, psychology, nursing and medicine.

This new certification will enhance the credentials of the professional giving them a competitive edge in the demanding field of mental health. The program has enjoyed success for many years in the United Kingdom and in Canada but this is the first in the United States.

More than 100 participants are currently enrolled in the UT Arlington School of Social Work program with many commuting from around the state.

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The University of Texas at Arlington is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer.

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