Toward effective service to persons and divorcing-family and stepfamily clients

Requisites for Effective Clinical Service

Special Clinical Skills Needed,
Client Type - p. 4 of 4

By Peter K. Gerlach, MSW


Continued from page. 3...

  The Web address of this 4-page article is

        This page continues an outline of the third personal trait required to provide effective clinical service to childhood trauma survivors and low-nurturance families - special clinical skills. The prior page outlines skills needed for typical divorcing families, courting-co-parent families, and stepfamilies with couples denying major relationship problems. This page outlines clinical skills needed for stepfamily couples who admit relationship problems and are motivated to reduce them, while managing other concurrent stepfamily stressors. Recall that the "/" in re/marriage notes that it may be a stepparent's first union.

6) Clinical Skills Needed When Clients Commit to Wound-recovery



        This four-page series summarizes the third personal trait needed for effective clinical outcomes with these complex clients: (a) general special clinical skills, and (b) special skills for each of six client types. Clinicians who haven't fully accepted how different average divorcing-family and stepfamily clients are from intact biofamilies are apt to discount the need for these special skills. Restated: it will take average licensed clinicians several years and several dozen client families of all six types to really appreciate the need for and impact of these many special skills.

        Clinicians, supervisors, and colleagues who need to deny (a) significant psychological wounds and (b) how different these client families are, are apt to c/overtly trivialize or discount the need for these special skills. That risks providing ineffective long-term help to client families and leaving their descendents vulnerable to inheriting significant psychological wounds and ignorance and passing them on.

Reality check: on a scale of one (I believe these skills are not needed or useful) to ten (I believe that clinicians must proactively develop all these special skills for effective outcomes with these clients), I am now a __.

Continue with the third of five requisites for effective service to trauma-survivors and divorcing-family and stepfamily clients: special personal traits.

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Updated  September 30, 2015