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Presentation on theme: "- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Chapter 4: Theory & Approaches to Social Work."— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapter 4: Theory & Approaches to Social Work Practice Social Work In Canada Copyright © 2010 Thompson Educational Publishing, Inc SOCIAL WORK IN CANADA An Introduction Third Edition Chapter 4: Theory and Approaches to Social Work Practice

2 Chapter 4: Theory & Approaches to Social Work Practice Social Work In Canada Copyright © 2010 Thompson Educational Publishing, Inc. Theory & Approaches to Social Work Practice What Is a Social Work Theory? Specific Theories of Social Work Psychologically Based Theories Toward a Personal Approach to Social Work Practice

3 Chapter 4: Theory & Approaches to Social Work Practice Social Work In Canada Copyright © 2010 Thompson Educational Publishing, Inc. Using Knowledge To Shape Work with Clients A Social Work Theory is an organized way of thinking about the world that guides the way we carry out social work practice Traditionally social workers have been influenced by the medical model Modern social work theory has shifted towards assessment and intervention

4 Chapter 4: Theory & Approaches to Social Work Practice Social Work In Canada Copyright © 2010 Thompson Educational Publishing, Inc. What Is a Social Work Theory? In social work, theories are rooted in two knowledge bases: Foundation Theories: Organized ideas about the world that provide the basis for practice theories Practice Theories: Build on foundation knowledge, making it specific and relevant to the way we practice social work

5 Chapter 4: Theory & Approaches to Social Work Practice Social Work In Canada Copyright © 2010 Thompson Educational Publishing, Inc. What Is a Social Work Theory? Social work practice theories can be classified into two groups: Individual-level: Varied and complex Emphasize the individual and their interactions Focus is on what people do Structural-level: Emphasize social structures, processes and systems Focus is on social structures and policies that influence what people do

6 Chapter 4: Theory & Approaches to Social Work Practice Social Work In Canada Copyright © 2010 Thompson Educational Publishing, Inc. What Is a Social Work Theory?

7 Chapter 4: Theory & Approaches to Social Work Practice Social Work In Canada Copyright © 2010 Thompson Educational Publishing, Inc. Specific Theories of Social Work Functional Theory Introduced in the 1930s by Jessie Taft and Virginia Robinson Based on work by Otto Rank Problems come from negative experience Problems can be overcome using personal power to effect change Emphasized the clients role in directing change

8 Chapter 4: Theory & Approaches to Social Work Practice Social Work In Canada Copyright © 2010 Thompson Educational Publishing, Inc. Specific Theories of Social Work Strengths-Based Social Work Introduced by University of Kansas social work professor Dennis Saleebey Each person has unique strengths and abilities and a capacity of growth and change Social worker supports client to recognize his or her assets Together, the worker and client collaborate to understand and resolve the situation

9 Chapter 4: Theory & Approaches to Social Work Practice Social Work In Canada Copyright © 2010 Thompson Educational Publishing, Inc. Specific Theories of Social Work Social Systems Theory Places individual within a series of interdependent systems, like an ecosystem Social work professors Carel Germain and Alex Gitterman used ideas from biology and ecology to develop life-model People exist in particular environments Problems arise when there is a lack of fit between people and their surroundings

10 Chapter 4: Theory & Approaches to Social Work Practice Social Work In Canada Copyright © 2010 Thompson Educational Publishing, Inc. Specific Theories of Social Work The Structural Approach Canadian development Originates from the work of Maurice Moreau Focuses on the impact of wider social structures on personal problems Involves a critical analysis of socio-economic structures, which oppress and exploit people Social worker must be skilled in casework, family counselling, group work, and community organizing

11 Chapter 4: Theory & Approaches to Social Work Practice Social Work In Canada Copyright © 2010 Thompson Educational Publishing, Inc. Specific Theories of Social Work Critical Social Work Focuses on the impact of social structure on personal problems Must contribute to a transformation of everyday lives It critiques or unravels the societal relations underpinning our personal problems Introduced the notion of empowerment

12 Chapter 4: Theory & Approaches to Social Work Practice Social Work In Canada Copyright © 2010 Thompson Educational Publishing, Inc. Specific Theories of Social Work Feminist Social Work Practice Women-centred approach that strives to understand particular experiences of oppression in relationships and broader society Mutual support, valuing diversity, and an emphasis on womens lived experiences guide work with clients Origins in the womens liberation movement of the 1960s

13 Chapter 4: Theory & Approaches to Social Work Practice Social Work In Canada Copyright © 2010 Thompson Educational Publishing, Inc. Specific Theories of Social Work Anti-Oppressive Practice Bob Mullaly defines oppression as the domination of subordinate groups in society by a powerful group. Oppressive relationships exist at structural and individual levels Acknowledges the existence of oppression and the complex nature of our identities Not a single theory but draws on many traditions

14 Chapter 4: Theory & Approaches to Social Work Practice Social Work In Canada Copyright © 2010 Thompson Educational Publishing, Inc. Specific Theories of Social Work Anti-Oppressive Practice – Common Ideas Both macro- and micro-level relations generate oppression Everyday experience is shaped by multiple oppressions Social work is a contested site Social work is not a neutral, technical profession, but an active political process Social work needs to build allies and work with social causes

15 Chapter 4: Theory & Approaches to Social Work Practice Social Work In Canada Copyright © 2010 Thompson Educational Publishing, Inc. Specific Theories of Social Work Anti-Oppressive Practice – Common Ideas Participatory approaches between practitioners and clients are necessary Self-reflexive practice and ongoing social analysis are essential components of social justice-oriented social work practice

16 Chapter 4: Theory & Approaches to Social Work Practice Social Work In Canada Copyright © 2010 Thompson Educational Publishing, Inc. Specific Theories of Social Work Anti-Racist Social Work Focuses specifically on how racism affects the lives of people of color Examines effects of racism by means of an economic and social analysis of relations between members of different groups Helps us to understand the individual effects of racism and the broader, structural effects

17 Chapter 4: Theory & Approaches to Social Work Practice Social Work In Canada Copyright © 2010 Thompson Educational Publishing, Inc. Psychologically Based Theories The Medical Model An approach that mirrored a medical approach to problems Involved in-depth study of a persons situation in order to improve his or her condition Most social workers located the cause of social problems within the person Taught person how to lead a more moral, ordered life

18 Chapter 4: Theory & Approaches to Social Work Practice Social Work In Canada Copyright © 2010 Thompson Educational Publishing, Inc. Psychologically Based Theories Psychodynamic Perspectives Introduced by Freud in 1920s Norms and values of a society put limits on how people fulfill their own needs The id, the ego, and the superego work to fulfill these needs, but only in ways that are acceptable to society This creates constant conflict between human desire and the limits set by society Conflict leads to anxiety and irrational behaviour Persons troubles are understood as result of internal pathology

19 Chapter 4: Theory & Approaches to Social Work Practice Social Work In Canada Copyright © 2010 Thompson Educational Publishing, Inc. Psychologically Based Theories Existentialist Approach Based on 19 th century philosophy of existentialism or the search for the meaning of life Life is essentially meaningless and without purpose Human beings create meaning and purpose People are intentional and deliberate in their choices to act People are capable of controlling and changing their lives

20 Chapter 4: Theory & Approaches to Social Work Practice Social Work In Canada Copyright © 2010 Thompson Educational Publishing, Inc. Psychologically Based Theories Existentialist Approach Gestalt therapy is an example of an existentialist approach Human beings are defined by their relationships to others Relationships influence the way we understand and move through the world Support client to develop self-awareness and assume personal responsibility in order to reach self- actualization

21 Chapter 4: Theory & Approaches to Social Work Practice Social Work In Canada Copyright © 2010 Thompson Educational Publishing, Inc. Psychologically Based Theories Client-Centred or Person-Centred Perspectives Based on the idea that clients are experts of their own problems Introduced by Carl Rogers in the 1950s Rogers was greatly influenced by humanism All human beings are good, worthwhile, and guided by a search for meaning and purpose in life Provide unconditional positive regard for client

22 Chapter 4: Theory & Approaches to Social Work Practice Social Work In Canada Copyright © 2010 Thompson Educational Publishing, Inc. Psychologically Based Theories Rational-Emotive Psychotherapy Earliest form of a cognitive behaviour approach Introduced by psychologist Albert Ellis in mid-1950s Blended ideas from cognition and behaviourism Client is active in the process of identifying problems and working on ways of changing Help a client to see that negative emotions experienced are due to flawed perceptions of reality

23 Chapter 4: Theory & Approaches to Social Work Practice Social Work In Canada Copyright © 2010 Thompson Educational Publishing, Inc. Psychologically Based Theories Cognitive-Behaviour Therapy Shorter term approach Behaviours are learned and shaped by our interpretations of the world Therapists work with clients to understand the thought patterns that bring about certain behaviours Focus is on problem-solving and promoting more accurate ways of understanding the world

24 Chapter 4: Theory & Approaches to Social Work Practice Social Work In Canada Copyright © 2010 Thompson Educational Publishing, Inc. Psychologically Based Theories Task-Centred Model Developed in the 1980s A short-term therapy with a measurable outcome Social workers assess and clarify the target problem and desired outcome, then create a list of tasks that must be completed to resolve the problem

25 Chapter 4: Theory & Approaches to Social Work Practice Social Work In Canada Copyright © 2010 Thompson Educational Publishing, Inc. Toward a Personal Approach to Social Work Practice What works for you? Integrative approach Eclectic approach Dialectical approach

26 Chapter 4: Theory & Approaches to Social Work Practice Social Work In Canada Copyright © 2010 Thompson Educational Publishing, Inc. Toward a Personal Approach to Social Work Practice Integrative approach Select concepts and methods from various sources and theories Build a unified system that fits you and is appropriate for the setting in which you work Draw theories together that are compatible

27 Chapter 4: Theory & Approaches to Social Work Practice Social Work In Canada Copyright © 2010 Thompson Educational Publishing, Inc. Toward a Personal Approach to Social Work Practice Eclectic approach Involves selecting concepts and methods Does not unify or integrate the pieces Selects various concepts and methods as deemed appropriate Extremely flexible

28 Chapter 4: Theory & Approaches to Social Work Practice Social Work In Canada Copyright © 2010 Thompson Educational Publishing, Inc. Toward a Personal Approach to Social Work Practice Dialectical approach Involves a synthesis or combination of opposing assertions within theories Takes a balanced or middle-of-the-road approach Incorporates concepts from differing approaches Enables the drawing together of theories that may contain opposing assertions Oppositions are held in awareness and balanced

29 Chapter 4: Theory & Approaches to Social Work Practice Social Work In Canada Copyright © 2010 Thompson Educational Publishing, Inc. Questions for Discussion What kinds of linkages do you see between the development of theories guiding social work and the development of social work as a profession?

30 Chapter 4: Theory & Approaches to Social Work Practice Social Work In Canada Copyright © 2010 Thompson Educational Publishing, Inc. Questions for Discussion Discuss important factors that would shape the ways in which you choose theories that guide your social work practice.

31 Chapter 4: Theory & Approaches to Social Work Practice Social Work In Canada Copyright © 2010 Thompson Educational Publishing, Inc. Questions for Discussion In what ways might you share your theoretical perspectives with your clients?

32 Chapter 4: Theory & Approaches to Social Work Practice Social Work In Canada Copyright © 2010 Thompson Educational Publishing, Inc. Questions for Discussion Choose one theory discussed in this chapter. Can you identify a group who would benefit from looking at a social issue using this theoretical lens? Who might be disadvantaged using this lens?

33 Chapter 4: Theory & Approaches to Social Work Practice Social Work In Canada Copyright © 2010 Thompson Educational Publishing, Inc. Questions for Discussion Social work theories draw on foundation knowledge from multiple disciplines. What are some ways that social work norms and values can inform models in other disciplines?

34 Chapter 4: Theory & Approaches to Social Work Practice Social Work In Canada Copyright © 2010 Thompson Educational Publishing, Inc. Websites Association for the Development of the Person-Centered Approach Critical Social Work


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