Social Work Is an Important Thesis

Excerpt from Thesis :

The stopping of treatment is the primary reason for this early intervention. This tactic has been extremely successful for many years and should be

Once the induction interviews are complete, the client and the social worker can move on to treating the patient. Once the treatment has started it is vitally important that the social worker pay careful attention to eliminating communication patterns that are counterproductive. Social workers have to be careful not to get stuck in unproductive type of communication that serve no purpose and do nothing to assist the client.

In addition if a social worker must examine the family functioning and diverse family and cultural contexts. This simply means that the social worker is responsible for examining the home situation of the client and assisting the client based on this environment. There are several different family structures that may be present including single family homes, blended families and so on. Each family structure has different challenges. For instance, in a blended family the step parents may have difficulty getting along with their step children. In such an instance the social worker may need to assist the family in solidifying the relationship so that the family unit can be stronger and more secure.

Once the home situation is made clear there are a plethora of theories that can be applied to the situation. Indeed, it is also essential that social workers implement change oriented approaches. There are four primary approaches which include task centered systems, crisis intervention, cognitive theory, and solution focused (Hepworth et al., 2009). The task centered systems, crisis intervention, cognitive theory are similar in that they are all problem-solving oriented approaches (Hepworth et al., 2009). That is, these approaches tend to try to understand the problem and resolve the problem so that the client can be assisted (Hepworth et al., 2009). On the other hand, the solution focused approach tends to put a great emphasis on the remedy instead of the problem (Hepworth et al., 2009).

According to the authors all of these approaches have as a foundation the systematic interpersonal and structural characteristics of the helping process. The helping process is actually inclusive of four stages which include, engagement, assessment, intervention and termination and evaluation (Hepworth et al., 2009). Understanding the strategies to implement during each phase is critical for social workers. The inability to properly implement the most effective strategies at each phase can prove to be detrimental to clients and can increase the likelihood that the client may not complete treatment.

One of the most responsive and successful cognitive approaches is the social learning theory (Zastrow, 2009). The social learning theory asserts that

"human behavior is learned during interactions with other persons and with the social environment. This is not to deny the presence of biological or psychological processes that produce emotions and thoughts. However, little credence is given to the idea that some sort of internal personality governs behavior. Thus learning theorists are much more interested in observable behaviors and in the factors that produce and modify these behaviors. A shorthand way of thinking about the factors that produce or modify behavior -- that is, the contingencies of social learning -- is as cues, cognitions, consequences (Silver, 1980). In Silver's words, "To understand social action, social learning looks to cues that occur prior in time, mental processes (cognitions) that mediate them, and rewarding or punishing consequences that follow. There is also feedback from consequences to cuing and thinking for future behavior. All together, these are the social learning contingencies (Hardcastle 2004, 35)."

Additionally social learning theory acknowledges the significance of cognition in understanding and changing human behavior. The authors explain that perceptions, thoughts, memories of the past and anxiety about the future all have an impact upon behavior (Hardcastle 2004). In addition the Social cognitive theory proposes "a model of reciprocal causation in which behavior, cognition and other personal factors, and environmental influences all operate as interacting determinants that influence each other bidirectionally (Hardcastle 2004, 36)."

The aforementioned theories can be used in practice to assist people in changing their behaviors. This is done by changing the nature of the interactions that the client has with people in his environment. The client may not have control over the other person's behaviors but he does have control over his own behavior. By showing the client skills that can be used to better interact with their environment, gradual behavior changes will occur.

The social worker also has a responsibility to assist clients in getting a greater amount authority over the institutions and organizations that govern their lives. This can only be achieved in clients and social workers begin to view the world as changeable rather than constant. For the most part the manner in which people view the world is tethered to the meaning that people associate with objects and events. In other words "Practice is an intersection where the meanings of the worker (theories), the client (stories and narratives), and culture (myths, rituals, and themes) meet. Social workers must open themselves up to clients' constructions of their individual and collective worlds (Hardcasle 2004, 37)."

The aforementioned changed oriented approaches can assist clients tremendously. It is essential that social workers truly understand the problems that the client is facing so that the correct change oriented approach is chosen. For instance a cognitive approach may work for some clients and a solution focused approach may be beneficial to another client. Overall the research seems to suggest that the social worker must have some degree of intuitiveness to have an effective practice. This intuitiveness is necessary because treating clients is not a one-size-fits-all scenario. Each client is different and comes to the social worker with a unique set of circumstances. As such the assistance that is rendered should be fashioned to meet the needs of individual clients.

Lastly, it is also vitally important that social workers understand the unique challenges that face minority groups. It is also essential that social workers understand that people of different ethnic and racial backgrounds have their own cultural norms that may not be familiar to the social workers. For instance, if a White social worker is working in a predominantly Hispanic community may want to know some Spanish and understand the cultural norms of the particular group (Puerto Rican, Mexican, Dominican) that is being served.


The purpose of this discussion was to examine view on social work and social work practices. The research found one of the initial concepts that social workers must explore is assessment. Assessments allow the social worker to evaluate the situations of the client so that the help that is rendered is the most effective possible. These assessments also allow the social worker to communicate with the client in a manner that is clear and addresses the issues that are present.

Communication is also vitally important. It is essential that the social worker establishes a rapport with the client. Additionally, communication is important in assisting the client in understanding the purposes of counseling and the expectations for outcomes. The social worker must assist the client in understanding that the relationship is one of partnership and that they must work together to remedy the situation.

The research suggests that there are four primary approaches that can be utilized to centered systems, crisis intervention, cognitive theory, and solution focused. The first three are problem solving approaches while the fourth is focused on solutions. The approach that the social worker chooses is dependent upon the client. Social workers must also be mindful of the unique situations of their clients and design strategies around these situations. Social work is a demanding field and social workers must use all the concepts presented in this discussion to ensure an effective practice.

Works Cited

Glossary. Retrieved November 24, 2009 from: http: / / www. cmpmhmr. / glossary.html

Hardcastle, David A. (2004) Community Practice: Theories and Skills for Social Workers. Cary, NC: Oxford University Press

Hepworth, DH Rooney, R.H., Rooney, G.D., Strom-Gottfried K., Larsen J. (2009) Direct Social Work Practice: Theory and Skills. Cengage Learning, 2009

Ogrodniczuk, J.S., Joyce, A.S., and Piper W.E. (2005) Strategies for Reducing Patient-Initiated Premature Termination of Psychotherapy. Harvard Review Psychiatry Vol. 13 Issue 2, p57-70,…

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