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The reason why is because, Michael has not engaged in any kind of behavior that is considered to be a crisis. If there were other underlying issues that he was wrestling with (such as: drug abuse, alcoholism or uncontrolled rages), then this kind of technique would need to be utilized. as, this will help the social worker to: intervene in those situations where the behavior of the individual is declining. (Michael a Gay Son 1980)
Systems Theory Approach
The system theory approach states that society and the workplace are similar to a large family. What is happening in these situations is that, the same kind of: rules, regulations and social norms will apply to these different sub-groups within society. This can have an impact upon the behavior of an individual, as they are often influenced by: the various social perceptions inside these groups. This can be problematic, as this will have a direct impact upon: how someone will react and perceive themselves (based on these views). Once this takes place, is when conflict can begin to occur, as the person feels trapped and unable to express who they really are. (Tolley 1994)
When you apply this to the video, Michael obviously feels like he is some sort of social outcast. As his co workers and many of his friends will look at him; as if he has done something wrong (based upon his sexual preferences). This can be seen in the video in: his body language and in the tone of his voice. As they are highlighting the overall amounts of hesitation that he is feeling about discussing this issue. This is important, because it is showing how the systems theory approach, can help the social worker to identify various issues that could have an effect upon the client. (Michael a Gay Son 1980)
When you step back and look at all of the information that has been covered earlier, it is clear that the social worker has a number of different tools. As they will use them in conjunction with one another to be able to: improve communication and begin to refocus the client. This will allow them to begin to have an impact upon: addressing the underlying problems affecting these individuals. At which point, they can begin introducing possible solutions and different ways of seeing the situation. Once this takes place, it means that these individuals can be able to live productive and normal lives.
In the video that were looking at, these different techniques can have an impact upon the way Michael and his family are interacting with one another. As they will determine how quickly the counselor is able to refocus the various individuals, on how they are contributing to the problem. This is accomplished by using the various tools that can be able to: understand what is taking place and the way each person can address their role in the situation. Once this occurs, it means that everyone will begin to see various events differently and will be more agreeable to coming to some kind of mutual understanding. This helps to improve the overall quality of life for: all of the various parties and it allows Michael to feel a sense of acceptance. (Michael a Gay Son 1980)
Clearly, the role that social workers are playing is a vital part of: the various services that are being offered to the community. This is because their function is one of serving as a liaison between: society and the government. While at the same time, they are seen by: individuals and families; as a friend that they can reach out to during times of crisis. This can occur with: someone having drug or alcohol problems, to having families work with the counselor in group therapy. During these sessions there are a number of different tools that will be utilized by the social worker these include: empathy, the appropriate use of questions, rephrasing, reframing, the use of the strength based / anti-oppressive approach, crisis intervention and the systems theory approaches. This is important, because it is showing how the social worker can be able to have a positive impact upon the community.
In the case of the video that we examined, the social worker is using these various tools selectively to: discuss how Michael's family is coping with him being a homosexual. As they are being utilized to help improve communication between: the counselor and the various clients. Once this takes place, it means that the different barriers can be: reduced and each person can see how they are contributing to the underlying problem. At which point, alternative behaviors can be introduced and the thoughts / emotions that someone is feeling can be addressed. This will help to reduce the possible issues that result from conflicts in families (such as: domestic violence). As the social worker is playing a role, in helping their clients to understand how their behavior is contributing to the situation. This is when they can begin to have a positive impact upon: their community and the people they are working with.
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Gerdes, K, 2009, 'A Social Worker Model of Empathy,' Advances in Social Work, vol. 9, no. 2, pp. 114 -- 127.
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Robbins, a, 1991, Awaken the Giant Within, Simon and Schuster, New York.
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