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Social Work 1
Heading: Social Work
Your name:
Course name:
Professors’ name:
Date
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Social Work 2
Abstract
The paper aims at exploring certain casework theories in order to facilitate effective
understanding and identification of some of the factors that affect human life situations,
especially families. The paper uses these casework theories in the analysis of one of the available
cases to understand the causative factors. Some these theories include ecosystem theory,
psychodynamic theory, and social cognitive theory. Upon identifying these theories, the paper
will create a proposed case plan that will be used in discussing the situation facing Sarah’s
family.
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Social Work 3
Introduction
In social work practice, various theoretical models are used to understand and explain human
situations. According to these theories, certain factors affect particular situations that individuals,
groups, or families experience. The paper intends to explore some of the casework theories in
order to identify some of the factors influencing the family situation in the case study provided.
Some of the theories used are ecosystem theory, psychodynamic, and social cognitive theory.
The paper also offers a case plan for discussing the situation with Sarah’s family.
Casework theories on social work
Fugure 1: Ecomap
Ecosystem theory
The Urie Bronfenbrenner propounded this theory. The theory utilizes various kinds of
surroundings and relationships of individuals to describe their development. It is divided into
distinct sections of the child’s surrounding, which include the microsystem, exosystem,
Families
Social
Service
Center
Restaur
ant
School
Healthc
are
center
Church
es
Stores
Position
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Social Work 4
mesosystem, and macrosystem. The main concept of the theory entails interrelationship between
the structures in a layer and the interrelationship amidst layers. It also posits that whereas close
connections to a child have an express effect, other external factors also have strong effect on the
child’s development process (Wilder, 2009). For instance, in the case study, Sarah’s older boy
has currently been bullying other students in school; hence landing in many problems with the
school authorities. Here, the boy’s behavior could be attributed to the environment in which he
grew up, which is his violence-prone home.
According to the theory, microsystem comprises of the interactions and activities in an
individual’s immediate environment. Structures within the system may include neighborhood,
family, and childcare settings. The link within a microsystem has a bi-directional effect, which is
both towards and away from the child. In this circumstance, the child has an effect on the
parents, who in turn, have an effect on the child. In fact, other people within a microsystem
influence the value of the two-person association, such as, the shared support between two
parents with child-rearing roles (Pickett, 2007).
In terms of mesosystem, the theory categorizes it as the linking of the microsystem
structures. A child’s environment connects the child with its surroundings. For instance, a child’s
learning and education relies on the teacher’s knowledge, as well as the parents’, because they
are both equally responsible for the child’s success. An adult’s association as parents and as
spouses relies on the relationship affects their workplace (Pickett, 2007). For instance, the
pressures that he goes through at work place shape Craig’s, Sarah’s husband, behavior.
In terms of exosystem, Pickett (2007) shows that the theory says that it entails social
settings, which do not comprise a developing individual, but influence experiences in their
environments. Exosystem entails an outer shell that surrounds both the microsystem and
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Social Work 5
mesosystem. They can aid both informal and formal environments. For instance, an exosystem
could be a person’s job that pays maternity leave, has a sick leave, as well as flexible working
hours. This could help guardians and parents with children as it could cater, and enable parents to
meet their children’s needs. Indirectly, this could improve the growth of the child and adult.
Informally, the parents’ social associations may influence children. In fact, research indicates
that unemployed guardians and parents, who have no friends or family, indicate high rates of
child abuse and conflict.
According to Wilder (2009), macrosystem is external level of the theory’s structure. This
level does not have a certain subject, instead a range of influence like customs, laws, cultural
values, and resources. The effects in the exosystem’s inner levels are influenced by the
macrosystem’s support. Thus, mesosystem, exosystem, and microsystem are influenced by the
macrosystem. For example, children born into devout Christian family will affected by their
parents (mesosystem), who have been affected by their parents (exosystem), who in turn have
been affected by the Christian customs and values perpetuated via family generations
(macrosystem). This indicates that macrosystem may have an indirect, but significant effect on
the children.
According to Bronfenbrenner, ecological system involves an active system that
consistently developing. Moreover, size of microsystem of individuals always changes they
achieve or abandon surroundings or life goals (Wilder, 2009). These adjustments are critical to
the child’s growth. Life challenges are implemented from external settings, nonetheless, these
may happen from within the individual. This is because people can select, change, and build
many of their understandings and settings. The way this happens is determined by person’s age,
behavior, logical characteristics, physical, and their environment views. The theory maintains
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Social Work 6
that the individual’s development is not determined by ecological variables or inner character.
People are creators and products of their own settings. This implies that what Sarah and the
family are experiencing is a product of their actions (Pickett, 2007).
Strengths
According to Pickett (2007), one of the greatest strengths of the theory entails the fact it
handles living things in relation to their natural environment, instead of artificial isolation. Other
fields of biological branches handles certain components of organisms and can therefore, miss
the reality of their interaction and connections, which are crucial in the understanding life as a
whole. Besides, evolution offers a core structure, and may be appreciated from environmental
angle of populations’ interrelationships with their surroundings.
Weaknesses
The theory needs knowledge from a wide range of disciplines and intimate coordination
among groups and individuals from different community sectors. Other critics also say that
ecosystem theory is abstract and vague. They describe the practitioners as detached and aloof
from the transformation process in spite of the emphasis on working or joining in the system.
From the clinical standpoint in the practice of social work, therapist requires to have special
training that could very costly. It is also critical to have supervision, as it is significant in
controlling external and internal bias. Moreover, the theory is flawed as it puts more focus on the
why of issues from a qualitative angle, and overlooks on how of the issues from a quantitative
angle, as superficial or highly rated (Pickett, 2007).
Psychoanalytic and psychodynamic theory
Because of the pioneer works of Alice (1926) in Germany and Richmond (1917) in US,
theories and concepts of this type became the initial powerful explanatory theory for several
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Social Work 7
practice ideas. Their shared foundation was the Freudian psychoanalytical theory, with its
presumption of motives or the libido as vital in the satisfaction of basic sexual and physical
needs and developmental phases of the ego, id, and superego. The possible challenges during this
process are conflicts amidst the id and superego. The resultant anxiety yields defense
mechanisms, which alter reality perceptions.
Some scholars like Florence Hollis used psychoanalytic theory in the practice of social
work to develop the ideas of anxiety-reducing techniques, lack of confidence, low self-esteem,
and sustaining relationship. She also included certain lines of action to ecological work with
individuals pertinent to the client, such as the employers, family members, and proprietors.
Nevertheless, she focused on the individual (Brandell, 2004).
Here, a social worker’s main role entails interpreting feelings, protecting children,
mediating, promoting insight, and providing, or creating resources. Although society may be
imperfect, its major role is to aid an individual in coping with his problems to develop an anxiety
free, realistic viewpoint of his situation and adapt it. The professional looks for social change as
an independent activity. Notably, some theorists highlighted some of the aspects of the
aforementioned theories. First, they asserted that the theories have an agency function of offering
practice direction and form. Secondly, they claimed that the theories help in problem solving, as
well facilitating between ego-modifying intervention and ego supporting (Lishman, 2007).
Additionally, Brandell (2011) says that the focus of these theories is to determine the way
in which external forces and inner energies network to affect an individual’s emotional
development. For instance, both external and inner forces shape the behavior of Sarah’s old boy.
One of their major concepts involves the fact that both conscious and unconscious mental
activity drive human behavior. Besides, they maintain the ego roles are vital in the mediation
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Social Work 8
between the environment and the individual. They also emphasize that ego defense mechanisms
help in the protection of individuals from being overwhelmed by undesirable threats and
impulses. According to the psychodynamic theory, internalized experiences are instrumental in
shaping one’s personality growth and functioning. It also maintains that healing happens via
attention to the treatment connection and transferences. Some of the theorists involved in here
include S. Freud, Horney, Klein, Kernberg, and Bowlby among others.
Regarding its application, psychodynamic theory facilitates the understanding of
intrapsychic processes, and inner meanings. Secondly, it helps in the understanding of
adaptation, motivation, and interpersonal connections. Thirdly, the theory is applicable in the
assessment of ego functioning and strengths (Brandell, 2004).
In terms of the practice interventions, the theory is important in the supportive treatment
of ego by education, clarification, and adaptive functioning support. This is also possible
thorough demonstration of attention and empathy to emotions and affects. In addition, it enables
one to understand ego defense approaches and to underscore ego strengths. It also entails the
establishment, building, and use of treatment association to cause change (Lishman, 2007).
Strengths
To begin with, Brandell (2004) asserts that the theory considers both sides of nurture and
nature debate. Freud asserted that a personality produces both childhood occurrences (nurture)
and innate motives (nature). These innate motives include ego, id, superego, and psychosexual
stages. Secondly, the theory’s strength is evident in its usefulness. First, it emphasizes that
childhood is a vital time of development, as it affects who people become. More so, the theory’s
ideas affected therapies employed in treating mental disorders. Besides, the theory is useful in
aiding the understanding of mental disorders. Furthermore, the theory is beneficial as it mirrors
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Social Work 9
the human behavior’s complexity. The theory intends to reveal deep meanings and to
acknowledge that comprehending behavior is a long process.
Weaknesses
One of the weaknesses is that case studies are subjective, and may not generalize
outcomes. Secondly, the theory is unscientific, as it has no empirical evidence. The theory is
flawed because it is too deterministic, which means it is has little free-will. It also uses biased
sample, as well as ignoring mediational processes, such as, memory and thinking. Besides, the
theory is limited as it declines free will. Lastly, the theory is unfalsifiable, meaning that it is hard
to prove if it is wrong (Brandell, 2004).
Social Cognitive theory
This theory functions with the presupposition that human beings develop their own forms
of problems and realities using their knowledge and experiences. A process that involves
awareness, attending, describing, and interpreting of explicit behavior affected by self-concept,
converts stimuli (Carducci, 2009). Nevertheless, there may be conflicts amidst self-conceptions
and intentional self. Consequently, a social worker’s role entails supporting of learning
strategies, such as, concept formation, discrimination, problem solving, and value finding, which
are sustainable through assignments and diary usage. Notably, Merrell (2003) says that social
workers confront clients with conflicting thoughts in demonstrating to him alternative ways of
thinking, inconsistencies, and faulty thinking. One major intend of this is to indicate that
responses to adverse situations and conditions may be illogical, and hence, should be reviewed
by a coherent, practical course.
Cognitive theory is derived from social learning theory, whose proponent is Albert
Bandura. It emphasizes on the capacity to observe others and grow from these observations
Showing Page:
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Social Work 10
certain behavioral models, and the outcomes expected from the behavior. This is also called
vicarious learning. This theory has a concept of reciprocal determinism, which indicates a
dynamic interconnection between individual, his environment, and other people’s behavior.
Here, an individual learns behavior by observing and interacting with others, particularly people
with whom one identifies. For instance, Sarah’s eldest son is a bully in school because of the
violent environment in which he lives. His behavior might be shaped by the father’s violent
behavior. This is a two-way traffic, in that while his environment shapes one, he also participates
in the modification of the same environment. Therefore, an individual will start choosing
environments based on learned behavior and acquired preferences. The theory holds that
individuals are both products and producers of their wider situation.
Another concept is behavior modeling, which is holds that people gain the capacity to
model some types of behavior in their minds through personal experience and observation. This
is vital in allowing individuals to mentally construct circumstances and establish the possibility
of some outcomes, which in turn, allows one to select behavior based on the results. These
models are reliant on the individual’s past experiences; hence, if one a frequently experiences
positive reinforcement or sees others gaining positive support for acting in a particular manner,
the individual is likely to replicate the behavior through induction from behavior models he has
built in his mind (Merrell, 2003).
Cognitive theory has a concept of foresight, which asserts that since individuals gain
specific expectations concerning the results of various behavior kinds, one can differentiate from
those expectations if a particular action will meet negative or positive reinforcement. This does
not require to be instant, as there may be an important time lapse amidst an actions and results. In
addition, the theory posits self-regulation, in which individuals attain control their reactions to
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Social Work 11
stimuli through mediation of their own reactions to the surrounding. It also consists of self-
efficacy, which means that individuals have the capacity to mirror on their conduct and modify
their self-perception. This may then result in modifications in behavior (Carducci, 2009).
Strengths
One of the strengths of the social cognitive theory is that it accounts and facilitates
cognitive processes. Another theory’s strength concerns its ability to use both practical and
impractical information to make conclusions. Social cognitive theory is also supported for its
ability to explain a wide variety of behaviors (Merrell, 2003).
Weaknesses
To start with, social cognitive theory is criticized for lack of a unifying structure and
principle. People are seen as too dynamic to enforce the theory in its whole. Instead,
implementing the theory is probable to emphasize on concepts like self-efficacy. Secondly, the
theory is flawed as it reduces emotional reactions. Some psychologists assert that behaviors
results from emotional reactions determined by biological variables, controlled by evolution, and
not observation or conditioning.
Thirdly, Social Cognitive Theory is flawed as it neglects lifespan and maturation
behavior modifications. This implies that it ignores the fact that people’s behavioral patterns
change during their development stages, with slight modification of the environment. Lastly, the
theory faces criticism based on the fact it gives people psychological problems. This implies that
people experiencing psychological issues are not wholly accountable for, or in control of their
abnormal conduct (Sharma & Romas, 2011).
Case plan to discuss the issue with the family
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Social Work 12
For a social worker, the case plan below is essential in discussing the problems with the
family in relation to the three casework theories above.
Identifying and sorting through the significant facts as Sarah presents (Hepworth, 2010),
and informing her that her husband’s behavior is influenced by the environmental factors,
such as, the stressful workplace, and fears of losing their home, as per the ecosystem
theory
Informing Sarah that her husband’s drinking habit, violence, and short-temper to
everyone is enhanced by the challenges he faces at workplace as stated by ecosystem
theory. He could be experiencing too much work, and little pay; hence the need to escape
the reality
Informing the family that external forces and inner energies network to affect an
individual’s emotional development, as per psychoanalytic and psychodynamic theory,
which explains Sarah’s husband and eldest boy violent behavior
Using ecosystem theory to explain to the family that the eldest son’s behavior is
influenced by the environmental in which he lives, which is abusive and violent
Using the social cognitive theory to discuss Sarah’s eldest son and husband’s behavior,
which maintains that individual behavior is shaped by his environment
Using social cognitive theory to discuss with the family about the importance of self-
regulation and modification of their behaviors, especially Reece and Craig to peaceful
coexists in the family and society
Conclusion
Sarah’s case is a manifestation of the way environment, society, and innate drives
facilitate one’s behavior and personality. It is worth noting that the case can be explained using
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Social Work 13
various casework theories including ecosystem theory, psychodynamic, and social cognitive
theory. Psychodynamic theory posits that both external and inner forces affect the human
emotional development. On contrast, social cognitive theory indicates that human beings develop
their own forms of problems and realities using their knowledge and experiences. Ecosystem
theory assumes various kinds of surroundings and relationships of individuals to describe their
development process. The theory has four levels of including microsystem, exosystem,
mesosystem, and macrosystem. Additionally, the detailed plan above is crucial in facilitating an
effective discussion of the situation of Sarah’s family.
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Social Work 14
References
Brandell, J. (2004). Psychodynamic social work. New York: Columbia University Press. Pp. 1-
20.
Brandell, J.R. (2011). Theory & practice in clinical social work. Los Angeles: SAGE. Pp. 1-20.
Carducci, B. (2009). The psychology of personality: viewpoints, research, and applications.
Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell. Pp. 400-450.
Hepworth, D.H. (2010). Direct social work practice: theory and skills. Belmont, Calif:
Brooks/Cole, Cengage Learning. Pp. 315-325.
Lishman, J. (2007). Handbook for practice learning in social work and social care: knowledge
and theory. London Philadelphia: Jessica Kingsley Publishers. Pp.86-100.
Maidment, J. & Egan, R. (eds) (2009). Practice Skills in Social Work and Welfare, 2
nd
edition,
Allen & Unwin, NSW.
Merrell, K. (2003). Behavioral, social, and emotional assessment of children and adolescents.
Mahwah, N.J: L. Erlbaum Associates. Pp. 5-20.
Pickett, S. (2007). Ecological understanding the nature of theory and the theory of nature.
Amsterdam Boston: Elsevier/Academic Press. Pp. 1-50.
Sharma, M., & Romas, J.A. (2011). Theoretical Foundations of Health Education and Health
Promotion, New York: Jones & Bartlett Publishers. Pp. 174-185.
Wilder, A.R. (2009). Ecological Systems Theory as Applied to Family Caregivers of Aging
Adults. Pp. 1-31.
http://socialwork.nyam.org/nsw/students/journals/Ann_Wilder_Ecological_Systems_The
ory.pdf

Unformatted Attachment Preview

Social Work 1 Heading: Social Work Your name: Course name: Professors’ name: Date Social Work 2 Abstract The paper aims at exploring certain casework theories in order to facilitate effective understanding and identification of some of the factors that affect human life situations, especially families. The paper uses these casework theories in the analysis of one of the available cases to understand the causative factors. Some these theories include ecosystem theory, psychodynamic theory, and social cognitive theory. Upon identifying these theories, the paper will create a proposed case plan that will be used in discussing the situation facing Sarah’s family. Social Work 3 Introduction In social work practice, various theoretical models are used to understand and explain human situations. According to these theories, certain factors affect particular situations that individuals, groups, or families experience. The paper intends to explore some of the casework theories in order to identify some of the factors influencing the family situation in the case study provided. Some of the theories used are ecosystem theory, psychodynamic, and social cognitive theory. The paper also offers a case plan for discussing the situation with Sarah’s family. Casework theories on social work Social Service Center Restaur ant School Position Families Healthc are center Stores Church es Fugure 1: Ecomap Ecosystem theory The Urie Bronfenbrenner propounded this theory. The theory utilizes various kinds of surroundings and relationships of individuals to describe their development. It is divided into distinct sections of the child’s surrounding, which include the microsystem, exosystem, Social Work 4 mesosystem, and macrosystem. The main concept of the theory entails interrelationship between the structures in a layer and the interrelationship amidst layers. It also posits that whereas close connections to a child have an express effect, other external factors also have strong effect on the child’s development process (Wilder, 2009). For instance, in the case study, Sarah’s older boy has currently been bullying other students in school; hence landing in many problems with the school authorities. Here, the boy’s behavior could be attributed to the environment in which he grew up, which is his violence-prone home. According to the theory, microsystem comprises of the interactions and activities in an individual’s immediate environment. Structures within the system may include neighborhood, family, and childcare settings. The link within a microsystem has a bi-directional effect, which is both towards and away from the child. In this circumstance, the child has an effect on the parents, who in turn, have an effect on the child. In fact, other people within a microsystem influence the value of the two-person association, such as, the shared support between two parents with child-rearing roles (Pickett, 2007). In terms of mesosystem, the theory categorizes it as the linking of the microsystem structures. A child’s environment connects the child with its surroundings. For instance, a child’s learning and education relies on the teacher’s knowledge, as well as the parents’, because they are both equally responsible for the child’s success. An adult’s association as parents and as spouses relies on the relationship affects their workplace (Pickett, 2007). For instance, the pressures that he goes through at work place shape Craig’s, Sarah’s husband, behavior. In terms of exosystem, Pickett (2007) shows that the theory says that it entails social settings, which do not comprise a developing individual, but influence experiences in their environments. Exosystem entails an outer shell that surrounds both the microsystem and Social Work 5 mesosystem. They can aid both informal and formal environments. For instance, an exosystem could be a person’s job that pays maternity leave, has a sick leave, as well as flexible working hours. This could help guardians and parents with children as it could cater, and enable parents to meet their children’s needs. Indirectly, this could improve the growth of the child and adult. Informally, the parents’ social associations may influence children. In fact, research indicates that unemployed guardians and parents, who have no friends or family, indicate high rates of child abuse and conflict. According to Wilder (2009), macrosystem is external level of the theory’s structure. This level does not have a certain subject, instead a range of influence like customs, laws, cultural values, and resources. The effects in the exosystem’s inner levels are influenced by the macrosystem’s support. Thus, mesosystem, exosystem, and microsystem are influenced by the macrosystem. For example, children born into devout Christian family will affected by their parents (mesosystem), who have been affected by their parents (exosystem), who in turn have been affected by the Christian customs and values perpetuated via family generations (macrosystem). This indicates that macrosystem may have an indirect, but significant effect on the children. According to Bronfenbrenner, ecological system involves an active system that consistently developing. Moreover, size of microsystem of individuals always changes they achieve or abandon surroundings or life goals (Wilder, 2009). These adjustments are critical to the child’s growth. Life challenges are implemented from external settings, nonetheless, these may happen from within the individual. This is because people can select, change, and build many of their understandings and settings. The way this happens is determined by person’s age, behavior, logical characteristics, physical, and their environment views. The theory maintains Social Work 6 that the individual’s development is not determined by ecological variables or inner character. People are creators and products of their own settings. This implies that what Sarah and the family are experiencing is a product of their actions (Pickett, 2007). Strengths According to Pickett (2007), one of the greatest strengths of the theory entails the fact it handles living things in relation to their natural environment, instead of artificial isolation. Other fields of biological branches handles certain components of organisms and can therefore, miss the reality of their interaction and connections, which are crucial in the understanding life as a whole. Besides, evolution offers a core structure, and may be appreciated from environmental angle of populations’ interrelationships with their surroundings. Weaknesses The theory needs knowledge from a wide range of disciplines and intimate coordination among groups and individuals from different community sectors. Other critics also say that ecosystem theory is abstract and vague. They describe the practitioners as detached and aloof from the transformation process in spite of the emphasis on working or joining in the system. From the clinical standpoint in the practice of social work, therapist requires to have special training that could very costly. It is also critical to have supervision, as it is significant in controlling external and internal bias. Moreover, the theory is flawed as it puts more focus on the why of issues from a qualitative angle, and overlooks on how of the issues from a quantitative angle, as superficial or highly rated (Pickett, 2007). Psychoanalytic and psychodynamic theory Because of the pioneer works of Alice (1926) in Germany and Richmond (1917) in US, theories and concepts of this type became the initial powerful explanatory theory for several Social Work 7 practice ideas. Their shared foundation was the Freudian psychoanalytical theory, with its presumption of motives or the libido as vital in the satisfaction of basic sexual and physical needs and developmental phases of the ego, id, and superego. The possible challenges during this process are conflicts amidst the id and superego. The resultant anxiety yields defense mechanisms, which alter reality perceptions. Some scholars like Florence Hollis used psychoanalytic theory in the practice of social work to develop the ideas of anxiety-reducing techniques, lack of confidence, low self-esteem, and sustaining relationship. She also included certain lines of action to ecological work with individuals pertinent to the client, such as the employers, family members, and proprietors. Nevertheless, she focused on the individual (Brandell, 2004). Here, a social worker’s main role entails interpreting feelings, protecting children, mediating, promoting insight, and providing, or creating resources. Although society may be imperfect, its major role is to aid an individual in coping with his problems to develop an anxiety free, realistic viewpoint of his situation and adapt it. The professional looks for social change as an independent activity. Notably, some theorists highlighted some of the aspects of the aforementioned theories. First, they asserted that the theories have an agency function of offering practice direction and form. Secondly, they claimed that the theories help in problem solving, as well facilitating between ego-modifying intervention and ego supporting (Lishman, 2007). Additionally, Brandell (2011) says that the focus of these theories is to determine the way in which external forces and inner energies network to affect an individual’s emotional development. For instance, both external and inner forces shape the behavior of Sarah’s old boy. One of their major concepts involves the fact that both conscious and unconscious mental activity drive human behavior. Besides, they maintain the ego roles are vital in the mediation Social Work 8 between the environment and the individual. They also emphasize that ego defense mechanisms help in the protection of individuals from being overwhelmed by undesirable threats and impulses. According to the psychodynamic theory, internalized experiences are instrumental in shaping one’s personality growth and functioning. It also maintains that healing happens via attention to the treatment connection and transferences. Some of the theorists involved in here include S. Freud, Horney, Klein, Kernberg, and Bowlby among others. Regarding its application, psychodynamic theory facilitates the understanding of intrapsychic processes, and inner meanings. Secondly, it helps in the understanding of adaptation, motivation, and interpersonal connections. Thirdly, the theory is applicable in the assessment of ego functioning and strengths (Brandell, 2004). In terms of the practice interventions, the theory is important in the supportive treatment of ego by education, clarification, and adaptive functioning support. This is also possible thorough demonstration of attention and empathy to emotions and affects. In addition, it enables one to understand ego defense approaches and to underscore ego strengths. It also entails the establishment, building, and use of treatment association to cause change (Lishman, 2007). Strengths To begin with, Brandell (2004) asserts that the theory considers both sides of nurture and nature debate. Freud asserted that a personality produces both childhood occurrences (nurture) and innate motives (nature). These innate motives include ego, id, superego, and psychosexual stages. Secondly, the theory’s strength is evident in its usefulness. First, it emphasizes that childhood is a vital time of development, as it affects who people become. More so, the theory’s ideas affected therapies employed in treating mental disorders. Besides, the theory is useful in aiding the understanding of mental disorders. Furthermore, the theory is beneficial as it mirrors Social Work 9 the human behavior’s complexity. The theory intends to reveal deep meanings and to acknowledge that comprehending behavior is a long process. Weaknesses One of the weaknesses is that case studies are subjective, and may not generalize outcomes. Secondly, the theory is unscientific, as it has no empirical evidence. The theory is flawed because it is too deterministic, which means it is has little free-will. It also uses biased sample, as well as ignoring mediational processes, such as, memory and thinking. Besides, the theory is limited as it declines free will. Lastly, the theory is unfalsifiable, meaning that it is hard to prove if it is wrong (Brandell, 2004). Social Cognitive theory This theory functions with the presupposition that human beings develop their own forms of problems and realities using their knowledge and experiences. A process that involves awareness, attending, describing, and interpreting of explicit behavior affected by self-concept, converts stimuli (Carducci, 2009). Nevertheless, there may be conflicts amidst self-conceptions and intentional self. Consequently, a social worker’s role entails supporting of learning strategies, such as, concept formation, discrimination, problem solving, and value finding, which are sustainable through assignments and diary usage. Notably, Merrell (2003) says that social workers confront clients with conflicting thoughts in demonstrating to him alternative ways of thinking, inconsistencies, and faulty thinking. One major intend of this is to indicate that responses to adverse situations and conditions may be illogical, and hence, should be reviewed by a coherent, practical course. Cognitive theory is derived from social learning theory, whose proponent is Albert Bandura. It emphasizes on the capacity to observe others and grow from these observations Social Work 10 certain behavioral models, and the outcomes expected from the behavior. This is also called vicarious learning. This theory has a concept of reciprocal determinism, which indicates a dynamic interconnection between individual, his environment, and other people’s behavior. Here, an individual learns behavior by observing and interacting with others, particularly people with whom one identifies. For instance, Sarah’s eldest son is a bully in school because of the violent environment in which he lives. His behavior might be shaped by the father’s violent behavior. This is a two-way traffic, in that while his environment shapes one, he also participates in the modification of the same environment. Therefore, an individual will start choosing environments based on learned behavior and acquired preferences. The theory holds that individuals are both products and producers of their wider situation. Another concept is behavior modeling, which is holds that people gain the capacity to model some types of behavior in their minds through personal experience and observation. This is vital in allowing individuals to mentally construct circumstances and establish the possibility of some outcomes, which in turn, allows one to select behavior based on the results. These models are reliant on the individual’s past experiences; hence, if one a frequently experiences positive reinforcement or sees others gaining positive support for acting in a particular manner, the individual is likely to replicate the behavior through induction from behavior models he has built in his mind (Merrell, 2003). Cognitive theory has a concept of foresight, which asserts that since individuals gain specific expectations concerning the results of various behavior kinds, one can differentiate from those expectations if a particular action will meet negative or positive reinforcement. This does not require to be instant, as there may be an important time lapse amidst an actions and results. In addition, the theory posits self-regulation, in which individuals attain control their reactions to Social Work 11 stimuli through mediation of their own reactions to the surrounding. It also consists of selfefficacy, which means that individuals have the capacity to mirror on their conduct and modify their self-perception. This may then result in modifications in behavior (Carducci, 2009). Strengths One of the strengths of the social cognitive theory is that it accounts and facilitates cognitive processes. Another theory’s strength concerns its ability to use both practical and impractical information to make conclusions. Social cognitive theory is also supported for its ability to explain a wide variety of behaviors (Merrell, 2003). Weaknesses To start with, social cognitive theory is criticized for lack of a unifying structure and principle. People are seen as too dynamic to enforce the theory in its whole. Instead, implementing the theory is probable to emphasize on concepts like self-efficacy. Secondly, the theory is flawed as it reduces emotional reactions. Some psychologists assert that behaviors results from emotional reactions determined by biological variables, controlled by evolution, and not observation or conditioning. Thirdly, Social Cognitive Theory is flawed as it neglects lifespan and maturation behavior modifications. This implies that it ignores the fact that people’s behavioral patterns change during their development stages, with slight modification of the environment. Lastly, the theory faces criticism based on the fact it gives people psychological problems. This implies that people experiencing psychological issues are not wholly accountable for, or in control of their abnormal conduct (Sharma & Romas, 2011). Case plan to discuss the issue with the family Social Work 12 For a social worker, the case plan below is essential in discussing the problems with the family in relation to the three casework theories above. • Identifying and sorting through the significant facts as Sarah presents (Hepworth, 2010), and informing her that her husband’s behavior is influenced by the environmental factors, such as, the stressful workplace, and fears of losing their home, as per the ecosystem theory • Informing Sarah that her husband’s drinking habit, violence, and short-temper to everyone is enhanced by the challenges he faces at workplace as stated by ecosystem theory. He could be experiencing too much work, and little pay; hence the need to escape the reality • Informing the family that external forces and inner energies network to affect an individual’s emotional development, as per psychoanalytic and psychodynamic theory, which explains Sarah’s husband and eldest boy violent behavior • Using ecosystem theory to explain to the family that the eldest son’s behavior is influenced by the environmental in which he lives, which is abusive and violent • Using the social cognitive theory to discuss Sarah’s eldest son and husband’s behavior, which maintains that individual behavior is shaped by his environment • Using social cognitive theory to discuss with the family about the importance of selfregulation and modification of their behaviors, especially Reece and Craig to peaceful coexists in the family and society Conclusion Sarah’s case is a manifestation of the way environment, society, and innate drives facilitate one’s behavior and personality. It is worth noting that the case can be explained using Social Work 13 various casework theories including ecosystem theory, psychodynamic, and social cognitive theory. Psychodynamic theory posits that both external and inner forces affect the human emotional development. On contrast, social cognitive theory indicates that human beings develop their own forms of problems and realities using their knowledge and experiences. Ecosystem theory assumes various kinds of surroundings and relationships of individuals to describe their development process. The theory has four levels of including microsystem, exosystem, mesosystem, and macrosystem. Additionally, the detailed plan above is crucial in facilitating an effective discussion of the situation of Sarah’s family. Social Work 14 References Brandell, J. (2004). Psychodynamic social work. New York: Columbia University Press. Pp. 120. Brandell, J.R. (2011). Theory & practice in clinical social work. Los Angeles: SAGE. Pp. 1-20. Carducci, B. (2009). The psychology of personality: viewpoints, research, and applications. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell. Pp. 400-450. Hepworth, D.H. (2010). Direct social work practice: theory and skills. Belmont, Calif: Brooks/Cole, Cengage Learning. Pp. 315-325. Lishman, J. (2007). Handbook for practice learning in social work and social care: knowledge and theory. London Philadelphia: Jessica Kingsley Publishers. Pp.86-100. Maidment, J. & Egan, R. (eds) (2009). Practice Skills in Social Work and Welfare, 2nd edition, Allen & Unwin, NSW. Merrell, K. (2003). Behavioral, social, and emotional assessment of children and adolescents. Mahwah, N.J: L. Erlbaum Associates. Pp. 5-20. Pickett, S. (2007). Ecological understanding the nature of theory and the theory of nature. Amsterdam Boston: Elsevier/Academic Press. Pp. 1-50. Sharma, M., & Romas, J.A. (2011). Theoretical Foundations of Health Education and Health Promotion, New York: Jones & Bartlett Publishers. Pp. 174-185. Wilder, A.R. (2009). Ecological Systems Theory as Applied to Family Caregivers of Aging Adults. Pp. 1-31. http://socialwork.nyam.org/nsw/students/journals/Ann_Wilder_Ecological_Systems_The ory.pdf Name: Description: ...
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