Social Work 710

SOWK 710: Women and Mental Health

Prerequisites: Graduate Status or Permission of Instructor

Credit Hours: (3)

This course is designed to provide students with specific knowledge about clinical social work practice with adult women and mental health issues that affect women. Key themes and concepts include: historical social work practice with women, theories for mental health practice and a feminist critique of those theories, feminist practice issues, aspects of feminist/mental health practice, feminist social work practice methods and current issues/situations that affect women’s lives and their mental health. Mental Health emphasis area elective.


Detailed Description of Course

Thematic Outline of the content of the Course

I. Introduction
II. Feminist Issues

        A. Theory
        B. Critique

III. Mental Health Issues
IV. Feminist Practice

        A. Practice Methods
        B. Fields of Practice

                    1. Mental Health
                    2. Medical Social Work
                    3. Rural Practice

        C. Population Groups

                    1. Special Population Groups

V. Women's Issues


Detailed Description of the Content of the Course

This advanced clinical course provides critical conceptual lenses through which to view women's issues in various settings and circumstances, and skill in designing various innovative strategies related to diverse population groups. It is intended to engage the student in theory, methods, practice, and settings through sensitization assignments, e.g., reflective journal keeping, and
through an interrogation of the assigned readings, class discussion, and research assignments shared orally with the class.


Goals and Objectives of the Course

Goal: The goal of this course is to prepare social workers for clinical social work practice with female clients and provide added sensitivity and insight into the needs and unique experiences of women. A conscious awareness of the student's socialization and relationship to practice will be encouraged.

Objectives: Upon completion of the course, students will be able to demonstrate:

1. A thorough knowledge of the evolution of social work practice with women.
2. A knowledge of the feminist critique of theories used for mental health practice.
3. An understanding of the translation from feminist theory to feminist practice.
4. Knowledge of the interface between feminist practice and politics, research and diversity.
5. An understanding of the aspects of mental health practice that relate to working with women.
6. Specific practice methods with women in mental health settings.
7. How current issues (e.g., body image, work, divorce, aging, etc.) affect women's mental health.
8. How race, class, and sexual orientation create different issues and needs for women.
9. An awareness of one's own socialization and how that influences one's understanding and practice with women.


Assessment Measures

  • Reflective journal keeping based on engagement with readings and class discussions
  • Midterm paper
  • Book Review and/or Interview on feminist issues
  • Final Research paper
  • Assignments are assessed on the basis of both oral and written presentations
  • Class participation


Other Course Information



Review and Approval

April 2001 New course approved